1 Timothy 6

6:1 All who are under the yoke of slavery should consider their masters worthy of full respect, so that God’s name and our teaching may not be slandered.

6:2 Those who have believing masters are not to show less respect for them because they are brothers. Instead, they are to serve them even better, because those who benefit from their service are believers, and dear to them. These are the things you are to teach and urge on them.

6:3 [Paul did not want false teachers to undermine the church he had planted in Ephesus] If anyone [cf. Matt. 7:15-16] teaches false doctrines [doctrines that contribute to spiritual illness in listeners; cause people to think and act in ways contrary to Christ’s teaching] and does not agree to the sound [a medical term from which we get our English word “hygiene” (thus healthy doctrine that is life-giving)] instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ [what Jesus taught and demonstrated] and to godly teaching [literally “healthy words;” likely includes teachings about Jesus as well as His teachings],

6:4 he is conceited [people whose opinion of themselves is excessively high; derived from a word meaning “to make smoke” and indicates people blinded by pride] and understands nothing [about God’s revealed truth]. He has an unhealthy interest [literally, are “diseased with”] in controversies and quarrels [a competitive attitude] about words [Gr. logomaxias or “word wars”] that result in envy [material gain was a key motive behind false teaching], strife [quarreling or selfish competition], malicious talk [slander; malicious verbal attacks], evil suspicions

6:5 and constant friction [disagreement] between men of corrupt [debased or tainted] mind, who have been robbed of the truth [the truth was completely absent from their minds] and [note false teachers’ motives…] who think that godliness is a means to financial gain [their goal was to get rich].

6:6 But godliness [in itself; truth displayed in right living] with contentment [sufficiency in Christ] is great gain [spiritual rather than material].

6:7 For we brought nothing into the world [cf. Job 1:21], and we can take nothing out of it [cf. Ecc. 5:15; Lk. 12:20-21; we should not spend our lives pursuing what we cannot keep].

Note: “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” Jim Elliot (martyred in Ecuador 1/8/56)

6:8 But if we have food and clothing [life’s basic needs], we will be content [requires discipline and dependence on God] with that.

6:9 People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap [cf. 1 Tim. 3:7; 2 Tim. 2:26] and into many foolish [desires that reasonable people would reject] and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction [includes both material and spiritual disaster].

6:10 For the love [craving money above all else] of money [money itself is neither good nor evil] is a [one among many] root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

6:11 But you [Timothy], man of God, flee from all this [included the heresy, envy, quarreling, greed that characterized false teachers (cf. 6:3-5)], and pursue [1] righteousness [morally upright and virtuous living; dealing rightly with others], [2] godliness [includes moral purity and behavior that is in line with God’s character], [3] faith, [4] love, [5] endurance [patience in difficult circumstances] and [6] gentleness [patience with difficult people].

6:12 Fight the good fight [suggests continuous struggle with the false teachers] of the faith [unlike false teachers who expended energy for wrong purposes]. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses [refers to Timothy’s public profession of faith at his baptism].

6:13 In the sight of God, who gives life to everything, and of Christ Jesus, who while testifying before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you

6:14 to keep this command without spot or blame until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ,

6:15 which God will bring about in his own time—God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords,

6:16 who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honor and might forever. Amen.

6:17 Command those who are rich [word here refers to someone extremely wealthy] in this present world [or present age; refers to one of the two divisions of history in Jewish thought — the present evil age and the age to come] not to be arrogant [Gr. hupsilophroneo means to think too highly of oneself] nor to put their hope [here implies a confident assurance of what will be] in [or upon] wealth [wealth is unreliable], which is so uncertain [something that can be lost as easily as it was gained; cf. Matt. 6:19], but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.

6:18 Command them [1] to do good [to do works that are beneficial and helpful to others; works that leave others in better shape than before the good was performed], [2] to be rich in good deeds, and [3] to be generous [includes willingness to share with those in need; thrilled at the opportunity to share with those in need] and [4] willing [as opposed to begrudgingly] to share [as opposed to selfishness].

6:19 In this way they will lay up [to store away treasure in a place where it cannot be stolen or ruined] treasure [cf. Matt. 6:19-21; Lk. 12:33; 18:22] for themselves as a firm [sound] foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life [cf. Jn. 10:10].

6:20 Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to your care. Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge,

6:21 which some have professed and in so doing have wandered from the faith. Grace be with you.

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