1 Timothy 6
Because we deviated from our current study through 1 Timothy for Resurrection Sunday, let’s spend a few minutes reviewing where we are with chapter 6.
So the church sought to help to fill in the gaps with a daily distribution of food … possibly in the form of a meal being served.
Well, in Chapter 5, Paul gave practical advice on how church members of different walks of life should be treated.
And for part of our chapter for today, Paul continues on this theme.
But he soon switches back to defending the faith from those who twist the gospel for personal gain.
The Apostle uses words like: “Fight the good fight of faith” ().
“Command those that are rich” ().
“Guard what was committed to your trust” ().
We start out our chapter with Paul addressing a subset of believers that might surprise us … slaves.
Among the many believers from many different walks of life that would be in the early church, some were slaves.
That being said, in the church that Timothy was pastoring, there was a problem that Paul needed to address.
Paul is not endorsing slavery in these verses.
He is addressing a reality that existed at that time.
Paul taught in Colossians that a Christian master was to treat slaves with love and respect.
Some historians have estimated that half of the population of the Roman Empire was composed of slaves. Many of these people were educated and cultured, but legally they were not considered persons at all. The Gospel message of salvation and freedom in Christ appealed to the slaves, and many of them became believers. (The word translated “servant” in the KJVNew Testament usually means “slave.”) When slaves were able to get away from their household duties, they would fellowship in local assemblies where being a slave was not a handicap (Gal. 3:28).
But there was a problem: Some slaves used their newfound freedom in Christ as an excuse to disobey, if not defy, their masters. They needed to learn that their spiritual freedom in Christ did not alter their social position, even though they were accepted graciously into the fellowship of the church.
Earlier in the Gospel of Mark, His disciples were arguing about who would be the greatest.
When Jesus is Lord of our lives, His lordship will be expressed in the way we love and serve others.
A large part of our testimony to the unsaved, but also to one another, is how we love and serve one another.
Paul had opened this letter with warnings about false teachers and false doctrines.
He touched back on the subject again in chapter 4.
Paul had opened this letter with warnings about false teachers (1 Tim. 1:3ff), and had even refuted some of their dangerous teachings (1 Tim. 4:1ff). The spiritual leaders in the local church must constantly oversee what is being taught because it is easy for false doctrines to slip in (Acts 20:28–32). A pastor I know discovered a Sunday School teacher who was sharing his “visions” instead of teaching God’s Word!
Paul now returns to the topic of false teachers and false doctrines.
These verses contain a blunt warning about the damage that false teachers and false doctrines were capable of causing.
In the text here, Paul gives a very revealing picture of the typical false teacher … a teacher of “new things” is the implication of Paul’s words.
God will not contradict Himself and His Word will not fail.
God does not conform to any standard … He is the standard.
Instead of being humble, a false teacher is proud.
This attitude causes a teacher to argue about minor matters, Paul says, concerning “words” ().
This word for “Godliness” is found in the N.T. only in the pastoral epistles and in 2 Peter.
It suggests “a reverent faith which expresses its awe of God in glad obedience to Him.”
True contentment comes from godliness in the heart.
It never comes from an abundance of money in the wallet.
Food and covering are basic needs.
When we are content, we are satisfied with having the basic necessities of life (v. 8). Rather than being driven by a desire to accumulate money and possessions, our greatest aim is to please God