I Timothy

I Timothy 6:3-10 The Word, And The Danger Of Sinful Pride And Greed.

Paul upholds the word. He regarded everything that preceded, along with “the words of our Lord Jesus Christ,” as “wholesome words” (v. 3a Cf. II Tim. 1:13). The word alone provides the substance for “doctrine which accords with godliness” (v. 3b Cf. Titus 1:1). Those who oppose the word are “proud, knowing nothing” (v. 4). We only know the truth by revelation, and this is humbling. There are people who enjoy arguing over disputable points simply because they enjoy arguing-the more disputable the better. This attitude ultimately stems from “envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions.” Doctrine that accords with godliness is useful, that which is contrary to it is “useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth” (v. 5a). A good minister will preach and teach in defence of the truth. False teachers will promote discord over disputable matters and do so for pride and financial gain. The church needs to support the former and withdraw from the latter (Cf. II Tim. 3:5).

With true godliness comes contentment (Phil. 4:11; Heb. 13:5). True godliness is not greed, or arguing for it’s own sake, or pride. These are all contrary to “the doctrine that accords with godliness.” “Godliness with contentment,” far from being a loss, is a “great gain” (v. 6). “For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out” (v. 7). What kind of gain of any kind is it if we leave it all behind? All we really need to be content is to have food, clothing, and shelter (v. 8 Cf. Prov. 30:8-9). The danger for those who pursue wealth just so they can be rich, is that they have fallen into the temptation of putting the love of wealth over love for God. Having crossed this line, their wealth then only feeds their other lusts (v. 9). Money itself is not the root of all kinds of evil, but the love of money places it above everyone and everything else, including God (v. 10a). Many have strayed, and many continue to stray from the faith because of their greed, “and pierced themselves through with many sorrows” (v. 10b).

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