1 Timothy 6:1-21, slaves, masters, warning against false teachers and love for money
VV 1-2, 1 Let as many bondservants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honor, so that the name of God and His doctrine may not be blasphemed. 2 And those who have believing masters, let them not despise them because they are brethren, but rather serve them because those who are benefited are believers and beloved. Teach and exhort these things.
Christians who were slaves should honor their masters, particularly if they were Christians. Christians who were slaves should serve their Christian masters as brothers in Christ.
VV 3-5, 3 If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness, 4 he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions, 5 useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourself.
Paul warned Timothy to reject pedlars of gnostic heretic doctrines, who were proud, ignorant, argumentative, envious, aggressive, abusive, evil, corrupt, deceptive, greedy and misused the gospel for financial gain.
VV 6-10, 6 Now godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. 8 And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. 9 But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
Godliness and contentment are great Christian virtues to embrace. Everyone entered the world without anything and will leave the world without anything. Everyone should be contented to have the necessities of life such as food and clothing. Anyone who desires to get rich fell into the temptation of sin and destroys themselves. All the evils of the world are due to money greediness and not to money per se.
VV 11-12, 11 But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called, and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
Addressing Timothy as a man of God, Paul encouraged him to pursue righteousness, godliness, faithfulness, love, patience, and gentleness. These are some of the fruit of the Spirit, Galatians 5:22-23. Paul encouraged Timothy to fight the good fight of faith and claim the promise of eternal life.
Galatians 5:22-23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law”.
VV 13-16, 13 I urge you in the sight of God who gives life to all things, and before Christ Jesus who witnessed the good confession before Pontius Pilate, 14 that you keep this commandment without spot, blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ’s appearing, 15 which He will manifest in His own time, He who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16 who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honor and everlasting power. Amen.
Paul urged Timothy before creator God and Jesus Christ as his witnesses to obey Christ’s commandments above reproach until His second coming. Greek for potentate is “dunastes”, which means Prince. Verse 15 is a doxology. Jesus Christ, the Prince, King of Kings, and Lord of lords is immortal, glorious, and invisible, who had the honor and everlasting power.
VV 17-19, 17 Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. 18 Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, 19 storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.
Those who are rich in this present life should not be proud and trust in uncertain riches but in the living God. They should be rich in doing good works, generous, and willing to share to store up for treasures in heaven.
Matthew 6:19-20, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.”
VV 20-21, 20 O Timothy! Guard what was committed to your trust, avoiding the profane and idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge, 21 by professing it some have strayed concerning the faith.
Grace be with you. Amen.
Paul instructed Timothy to avoid blasphemy, foolish talks, and false doctrines that will lead Christians away from the faith. Paul pronounced a blessing of grace to Timothy.
Paul’s instructions to Timothy also apply to us. We are to treat our employers with respect especially if they are Christians. We are to reject pedlars of heretic doctrines. We are to embrace godliness with contentment. We should not stay away from pride, materialism, and money greediness. We should avoid blasphemy and foolish talks.
Heavenly Father, thank You for this timely message on the employee-employer relationship, heresy, and correct handling of money. We pray for wisdom to understand and apply Paul’s instructions to Timothy into our lives as these instructions transcend time and culture, in Jesus’ name, Amen.