Be a Man of God
Church and the institution of Slavery: 1 Timothy 6:1-2.
Paul warns Timothy against anyone who teaches a different doctrine that does not agree with the teaching of Lord Jesus Christ. When Paul wrote this epistle, the institution of slavery was universal in the Roman Empire. Many believers were slaves, serving under unbelieving masters. Paul advises that they should obey their master so that the name of God should not be slandered. Christians are exhorted to honor those who are in authority. The institution of slavery was not openly condemned in the New Testament. But as the teachings of the gospel spread, the abuse of slavery has been abolished. Though there is common brotherhood in Christ our social differences are not abolished. When a believing master is a brother in Christ, it should motivate the believing slave to serve him faithfully. Where the spirit of Christian brotherhood exists, our mutual love and respect can make life happier in any circumstances. When local churches meet together there should not be any social distinction.
False Teachers and the Love of Money: 1 Timothy 6:3-10.
Paul reminds Timothy that sound doctrine is necessary for godly living. Unhealthy teaching stirs up envy, strife, slander, evil suspicions and constant friction in the church. False teachers think godliness in terms of making money. But Paul adds that godliness with contentment is great gain (6:6). Contentment is a learned habit (Philippians 4:12). It is finding true satisfaction with what has been provided. Real contentment is independent of either poverty or wealth. Contentment coupled with godliness will bring great blessings. Paul says, ”For we brought nothing into the world and we cannot take anything out of the world”. The Lord knows our needs. We should be content with food, clothing and a place to live (Matthew 6:33). Paul warns against the peril of covetousness. Greed and contentment will never go together. We cannot serve two masters (Luke 16:13). Those who desire to become rich fall into many temptations. They also fall into harmful desires that lead to destruction (1 Timothy 6:9). The love of money is the root of all kinds of evils. Greed for material things can ruin our souls. Christians should seek the things above (Colossians 3:1). Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all our basic needs will be given.
Timothy, Be a Man of God: 1 Timothy 6:11-16.
Timothy is addressed here as a "Man of God" (1 Timothy 6:11). Scholars suggest that Timothy is the only one addressed in this manner in the New Testament. Someone has suggested that this phrase is used 78 times in the whole Bible and only twice in the New Testament (1 Timothy 6:11; 2 Timothy 3:17). This phrase is used in the Old Testament to designate prophets (Deuteronomy 33:1). This describes a man who is godlike in behavior. He should flee from all evils and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience and gentleness. Pursuing personal and practical righteousness is a continuous action. He should flee from pride and vanity of false teachers and fight the good fight of faith. He should strive for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. He should take hold of eternal life that God has given him. Timothy was a saved person and possessed eternal life. He also confessed his faith before many witnesses through his baptism. Now Paul commands Timothy before God and Jesus Christ to obey commandments until the appearance of Jesus Christ. The coming of Christ is the great motivation for godly living (1 John 3:1-3). After his solemn exhortation Paul gives the glorious doxology. At the appearance of the Lord Jesus, believers will receive reward for their faithful service. One day the world will acknowledge that Jesus is the King of kings and Lord of lords. Christ is the only one worthy of our praise. He alone is sovereign, immortal and unapproachable (6:16). God is not unjust to forget our work and labor of love we have done toward him. What a faithful Savior we serve!
Conclusion and Instructions to the Rich: 1 Timothy 6:17-21.
Paul warns Timothy against the peril of covetousness. It is not sinful to be rich. Jesus never condemned a rich man because he was rich. But He warns against putting false confidence in riches rather than becoming rich toward God (Luke 12:21). Those who place their trust in uncertain riches will be disappointed. God provides us with everything to enjoy (6:17). This knowledge is the secret of true happiness. Christians are only stewards of their wealth. The proper attitude toward riches is to use it for the good of others. By doing this, they store up treasures in heaven. This is the best investment we can make. Paul finally exhorts Timothy to guard what was committed to him. He was committed with the truth of the gospel of grace. In order to be a faithful steward of the truth, Timothy should avoid the godless wisdom which has no regard for God. Believers must separate themselves from worldly wisdom that waters down the gospel of Christ. Many have missed the blessing by following this godless wisdom. Paul concludes the letter with benediction. “Grace be with you”. Only God’s grace can keep his servant to remain faithful in the ministry. May God bless you!