Slaves, wealth, false teachers and a reminder of the gospel were the major themes we encountered in 1 Timothy 6.
Paul opens the chapter by addressing slavery and specifically what the attitude should be of slaves toward their masters. In his writing, Paul isn’t condoning slavery—nor supporting it—but is simply pointing out that, in our fallen times, slavery existed. (see 1 Corinthians 7:20) And as he has throughout the book, he’s focusing on people’s attitudes and hearts in that situation.
Two points we can take from this section include:
- Social goals are subordinate to spiritual goals. Bert reminded us that those times when great revival and social change have occurred were characterized by the church focusing on the gospel—focusing on people’s attitudes and hearts, not simply calling for social change.
- While we may not be slaves, we have bosses. What is our attitude and behavior and witness at the workplace?
From slavery, Paul moves into false teachers and greed. And these aren’t false teachers in the sense that they simply misunderstand the Word. These false teachers knew the what the scriptures said, yet were purposefully deceiving people and leading them astray—because of financial gain. Teachers at that time were paid, so some saw the idea of teaching as a way to earn some money, rather than bring people closer to God.
Throughout this section, Paul indicates how our contentment in God is our gain—not finances. We bring nothing into the world and God brings everything, so are to rest in that contentment and praise God for what He has provided us. Chasing after money, as Paul says, is a root of “all kids of evil.” Money itself is not a bad thing—but a heart that’s set on accumulating wealth and material things is. Indeed, this attitude leads to “ruin and destruction,” Paul says. And Bert pointed out that the Greek for these words—ruin and destruction—refer not just to physical destruction, but spiritual, as well.
How content are you in your faith and with God?
Paul them moves into his final charge to Timothy—and, yes, us:
- Flee from those things which Paul just described;
- Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness;
- Fight the good fight of the faith;
- Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
What does these points look like in your life?
And Timothy is do this “until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which God will bring about in his own time—God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords.”
Everything is in God’s hands and we are to spend our time worshiping Him and thanking Him.
The chapter closes with Paul returning to the subject of money, instructing Timothy to tell those with money to not be arrogant (it’s from God, remember?), don’t put hope in it (it’s fleeting and our hope is in God) and “to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.”
Where are you storing up your treasures?