1 Timothy, 6
1: Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed. 2: And they that have believing masters, let them not despise them, because they are brethren; but rather do them service, because they are faithful and beloved, partakers of the benefit. These things teach and exhort. 3: If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; 4: He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, 5: Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself. 6: But 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 raiment let us be therewith content. 9: But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. 10: For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. 11: But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. 12: Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses. 13: I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession; 14: That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: 15: Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; 16: Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen. 17: Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; 18: That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; 19: Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life. 20: O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called: 21: Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with thee. Amen.
Paul continues to give Timothy practical advice on how to instruct the various members of the Church. In this passage he turns his attention to slaves. Paul says that those who are slaves are to look on their masters as worthy of honour so the Gods name is not cursed by their behaviour. The Roman Empire never found rebellion against slavery in Christianity. And says Paul, those slaves that have masters that are believers are not to despise them. It’s interesting that Paul does not enter into the pros and cons of slavery but he deals with the practical implications of it. Paul is very emphatic to Timothy he says this is the truth regarding godliness, it is the teaching of Christ himself and if anyone teach anything else then he is proud and knows nothing. Those who teach contrary to this are sick in mind and full of pointless debate and arguments over words. From these things come all the difficulties of church life, jealousy, troubles, heated arguments, evil imaginations, weary irritating discussions by men of corrupted minds. They have thrown away the truth. They think that godliness is a source of income. From these types of men, Paul says, withdraw yourself. The truth is that godly living with contentment for what God provides is all the gain a man needs. Because we came into the world naked and it is certain that we will take nothing with us into the next world. So let us be content with food and clothing. Paul gives a solemn warning, he says, those that long to be rich fall into a trap of the devil and into senseless and hurtful lusts. These things cause men to drown in destruction and perdition. Because the love of money is a root of evil. (It’s not the only source of evil) Paul is careful to warn Timothy that there are some who have coveted after money and have been led astray from this teaching and have harmed themselves with many heart aches. Then Paul raises the tone to command him. Timothy – O man of God run away from these things as fast as you can and chase after righteousness, godly living, faith, love, patience and meekness. Fight the good fight of faith and take hold of the life of God. It is to this you have been called and have made a good profession in front of many witnesses. I order you before God who gives life to all men and before Jesus Christ who himself made a good profession before Pilate, That you keep the whole body of moral principles of Christianity unsullied, irreproachable unto the appearance of Christ in glory. At the right time he will be revealed, who is the blessed and the only Ruler, the King of kings and the Lord of lords. Only he is incorruptible. He lives in unapproachable light. No man has seen him nor can they see him. To him be honour and power for ever. Amen. Then Paul turns his attention on Timothy’s ministry he says solemnly instruct them that are rich in this world not to take a high view of themselves, or to put their trust in insecure investments, but in the living God who gives to everyone all things to fully enjoy. They are to be rich in doing good things, says Paul, ready to share with the poor and willing to donate to Gods work. In this way they will lay up in heaven capitol for the future and in doing so they will take hold of their responsibilities as believers. Timothy – keep secure the treasure of truth that has been entrusted to you, avoiding empty talk and the opposing views of the (so called) scientists. Some believers have turned off the path of ‘the faith’. May Gods kindness be with you. Amen.