6 Let all who are under a yoke as bondservants regard their own masters as worthy of all honor, so that the name of God and the teaching may not be reviled. Those who have believing masters must not be disrespectful on the ground that they are brothers; rather they must serve all the better since those who benefit by their good service are believers and beloved.
False Teachers and True Contentment
Teach and urge these things. If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain. But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.
Fight the Good Fight of Faith
But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, to keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which he will display at the proper time—he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.
As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.
O Timothy, guard the deposit entrusted to you. Avoid the irreverent babble and contradictions of what is falsely called “knowledge,” for by professing it some have swerved from the faith.
Grace be with you.
1 Timothy 6 Commentary
by Hank Workman
Sometimes we get it backward. We forget that everything we accumulate, everything we strive to have, we can’t take with us in the end. Yet, we build up our bank accounts, pack our homes with things, collect the collectibles but in the end, we can’t take it with us.
David Platt said something along the lines in his book Radical, “All our stuff is for future garage sales and the junk yard.” He’s got it right – none of the things matter in the end.
As Paul was winding down his first letter to Timothy he charges Timothy with the same fact dealing with money.
“For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either.”1 Timothy 6:7
Instead, he challenges him to pursue the things that make a difference, that translate beyond this life: righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance, gentleness. Breaking these down, righteousness is giving both God and to people what they deserve; Godliness is always remembering all of life is lived in His presence.
Faith is being loyal to God through all of the challenges we face. Love is always remembering what God has done for us and that people matter to Him. Perseverance is an unswerving constancy, never, never giving up. Gentleness is forgiving when we’re wronged but also fighting for what is right when others are wronged.
These are the things that resonate beyond this life. These are the things that bring honor to God our Father. These are the things that are truly the life God wants for us.
1 Timothy 6 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
Paul bookends this letter by circling back to his thoughts from 1 Timothy 1. In that chapter, he introduced the problem Timothy was facing at Ephesus which was the deceptive doctrine of false teachers. Here in 1 Timothy 6, he expands on that teaching by exposing their methods.
Look around the Body today and you will find the same problem. The church today functions much like a business, with the most talented and charismatic preachers and teachers getting paid accordingly. This sets a precedent for all young preachers and teachers. If you want to be the best, you must have the most followers, the latest technology, and the boldest message.
The megachurch culture has contributed to a mega pastor overload. Christians are using their checkbooks to tell the world what they prefer. This, in turn, leads to young preachers and teachers who view the church as an opportunity to cash in on fame and fortune. The goal is less about leading others to an understanding of the foundational doctrines of Scripture and more about achieving personal success. Therefore, the true message of Christ is watered down and compromises are made.
Paul writes concisely that these false teachers believed that “godliness is a way to material gain.” What are the signs that indicate false teachers and false doctrine?
A Different Doctrine – I already outlined this in 1 Timothy 4, but the breaking point for Paul was always predicated upon a distorted gospel message. Before false teachers can draw others to themselves, they must first change the message of Jesus Christ to be about something other than faith leading to godliness. This subtle change allows for message to appear “new and updated” as opposed to the “same old thing.”
Subtle is the key word here. Obvious and blatant false doctrine is easily recognized, but a good false teacher masks their message to look like the real thing. We may not initially recognize false doctrine, but as the familiar phrase goes, “where there’s smoke, there’s fire.” The next two points are the smoke that will lead us to the fire.
An Argumentative Spirit – In order to propagate their new revelations, false teachers must take on the task of opposing the status quo. This means they will bully others into submission. Paul writes here in 1 Timothy 6, “From these come envy, quarreling, slander, evil suspicions, and constant disagreement among people whose minds are depraved and deprived of the truth.” True believers are filled with joy and peace. A person who consistently displays defensive, hostile behavior demonstrates the internal unrest of their heart.
Pride – Paul was a genius. He was the best of the best, intellectually superior to most everyone around him. But he writes in 1 Corinthians that when he taught, he set aside all of his intellectual power in order to preach the simple message of Jesus! He killed his pride so that Jesus would be lifted high.
When I came to you, my friends, to preach God’s secret truth, I did not use big words and great learning. 2 For while I was with you, I made up my mind to forget everything except Jesus Christ and especially his death on the cross. 3 So when I came to you, I was weak and trembled all over with fear, 4 and my teaching and message were not delivered with skillful words of human wisdom, but with convincing proof of the power of God’s Spirit. 5 Your faith, then, does not rest on human wisdom but on God’s power.1 Corinthians 2:1-5 GNB
In their pride, false teachers transpose verse 5. They want to convince you that your faith rests on their human wisdom and not on God’s power. If they are the key to unlocking God’s power, you will come back to them time and time again. This is actually what Paul feared. He didn’t want people to be impressed with him, but to realize for themselves the profound depth of Jesus Christ!
It is amazing that these old letters from Paul still hold such significant truth and practical wisdom. Though our culture is drastically different, the old tactics of the enemy remain the same. For Timothy, he was charged with the duty of protecting the flock from these ferocious wolves. We must do the same today.