1st Timothy Chapter 6 -- John Karmelich




1.                  If I had to pick one idea that I have seen through all of this letter it is “God’s reputation”.

a)                  God cares about his reputation.

b)                  Therefore, he cares about the behavior of those who follow him.

c)                  This six-chapter letter had lots of practical instructions about how to organize a church, how to pick leaders, how to take care of the widows, how our pastors should behave, how men and women should behave in church, and other things I can’t recall off the top of my head.  J

i)                    The common thread of all of these subject’s is the behavior of Christians.

ii)                  The practical purpose of this letter is to give standards for our behavior:

a)                  So we can grow in maturity as believers, and

b)                  So we can be a good witness to Non-Christians.

2.                  If I asked you to summarize what God requires of us in two sentences, I would these words:

a)                  Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”  (Matthew 22: 37-40, NIV)

i)                    Jesus quotes Deuteronomy 6.5 and Leviticus 19.18.  He says in effect, “if you strive to obey these two commandments, the rest comes naturally.

a)                  These two are:  1) Love God with all your heart, soul and mind.

b)                  Love your neighbor as yourself.

ii)                  There is a famous Jewish traditional story where they summarize all the commandments of Moses in these two commands. 

a)                  The saying goes “the rest is just commentary”.

b)                  The point I’m making is Paul’s first letter to Timothy can be thought of as additional commentary on these two commands.  Details of this letter “are just commentary”.

i)                    I truly believe if one strives to let God work through you to live these two commandments, the rest of the Bible falls into place pretty easily.  The “trick” is to consistently obey these two commandments.

3.                  Which leads us to Chapter 6 of Paul’s First Letter to Timothy.

a)                  This chapter focuses on our behavior to the outside world.

b)                  The last chapter focused on our behavior within the church.

c)                  Remember that when Paul wrote this letter, there were no chapter breaks.  Those were added many centuries later.

i)                    With that said, whoever did the chapter breaks picked a good spot here, only because it becomes obvious that Paul changes topics in Verse 1 of this chapter.

d)                 The specific issues we are dealing with in this chapter are:

i)                    Bosses and employees

ii)                  False Teachers

iii)                Money:  Greed vs. contentment and how to treat rich and poor Christians.

iv)                Paul’s final thoughts of encouragements to Timothy

e)                  The common thread, like all of First Timothy, focuses on our behavior to each other. 

i)                    The overriding topic of Chapter 6 is our behavior in front of non Christians.

ii)                  With that, let’s get started.

4.                  Chapter 6, Verse 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.

a)                  The first two verses of Chapter 6 talk about “masters” and slaves”.

i)                    Paul wrote this around the time where the Roman Empire was near its peak.

ii)                  It is estimated that over half the Roman Empire were slaves.  That means millions of people around Paul were slaves.

b)                  Let me start by stating right-out that Paul was not pro-slavery.

i)                    One can use the Bible to make a case that slavery is acceptable.

a)                  During the years leading up to the Civil War, one can read pro and anti-slavery writings by American pastors. 

b)                  Charles Spurgeon was considered the greatest preacher of the 18th Century.

(1)               His writings are studied in most seminaries to this day.

(2)               His influence as a pastor teacher is strong to this day.

(3)               He was based out of England.

(4)               He also supported his ministry by selling his weekly sermons through out America.  Right before the Civil war broke out he started preaching against the ownership of slaves.  Let’s just say his sales dropped considerably in the South to Christian readers.

ii)                  One can also use the Bible to make a case where slavery is unacceptable.

iii)                There are entire chapters in Exodus, Leviticus and Deuteronomy dealing with how to treat slaves.  In summary, you are to treat them fairly and if you “mess up”, you are to be punished and/or the slaves are to be set free.

iv)                Let’s just say the Biblical model for treating slaves is a lot better than our mental picture of the South during the colonial years in American history.

v)                  On an interesting side-note, most people don’t realize that when the Constitution was being written the Southern States were in favor of slaves being allowed to vote.  That way, they get greater support in the census for determining the number of congressmen per state.  It was the Northern states who didn’t want slaves to vote for the same reason.  They came up with a stupid compromise (in my opinion) where each slave counts as “three fifth’s of a person”.

a)                  They did this to put-off the debate over slavery in order to get the more important issue of the day settled of getting the constitution in order.

b)                  Which, surprisingly, leads us back to Paul.  J

c)                  You can’t tell whether Paul was pro or anti-slavery by this letter.

i)                    What Paul cared about was the over-riding issue of how Christians should behave.

ii)                  Whether Paul liked it or not, half the world was in slavery.

iii)                The issue of the moment was the growth of the church and Christian behavior.

iv)                Paul was not obsessed with social revolution.  To preach on anti-slavery would have branded Paul a traitor to the Roman Empire.

v)                  Paul’s job was to preach Christ, not to overthrow the Roman Government.

a)                  Because of that, Paul is saying in effect “look slavery exists.  Maybe there will come a day when all men will be free.  Right now, I’ve got “bigger fish to fry”.  I want to see men and women saved for all eternity.  Does injustice exist in the world?  Of course it does.  All people treated fairly?  Of course not.  I’m not here to solve the world’s problems.  I’m here to teach people how to have eternal salvation and how to have joy and peace during these difficult times.  The social issues are 2nd priority.

b)                  Remember it was the growth and acceptance of Christianity that eventually lead to the end of slavery in the Roman Empire.

c)                  It was the growth and acceptance of Christianity in America that lead to the Civil war. 

d)                 Suppose Paul argued against slavery.

i)                    Now supposed you were a slave owner during this time.  Someone of your household, one of your slaves just announced “I’m a Christian now, and Paul said slavery was wrong, so I’m running away”.

a)                  What would that slave owner think of Christianity?

b)                  Would he fight this new religion or accept it?

c)                  The reason Paul is condoning slavery in these two verses is not because it is right, but because it exists and Paul is more concerned about the salvation of the slave owner and the slave than about the existing slavery system.

ii)                  Bring this up to modern times, oppression of Christians exist around the world.  A large chunk of the world today has places where Christianity means a death sentence and persecution.

a)                  Should we as Americans, where freedom exists, do everything in our power to try to stop this?  Of course!  One should pray for the persecuted church as well as pray in gratitude for our freedom to worship.

b)                  But our primary concern as Christians is to win as many souls as possible for Christ.  That takes precedent over the conditions of church members.  Therefore, Paul writes in Verse 1 about how slaves are to be treated and how slave masters are to be treated.

c)                  Gee, I’ve wandered so far off on this tangent, I better write the verses out again and talk about the verses themselves.  J

5.                  Verses 1 again:  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.

a)                  The modern application of this verse would be “bosses and employees”.

i)                    One could also use this verse as a principal for grown children in the same household as their parents. 

ii)                  The idea behind this verse is 1) those in charge and 2) those under their command.

b)                  The verse teaches to show their masters “full respect”. 

i)                    Notice the reason that the masters deserve full respect.

a)                  It is not because they are good people.

b)                  It is not because God put them in charge over us.

c)                  It is because God’s reputation is at stake.  Read the whole verse again.

ii)                  We as Christians, have a fiduciary responsibility to God..  The word “fiduciary” means we represent God, the same way we hire a lawyer to represent us.  A fiduciary is supposed to do their utmost to represent their client.  That means putting their clients’ interest ahead of their own.

iii)                This is the idea Paul is trying to get across here.  It is about being a good witness for God.  A Christian should be an ideal employee, an ideal boss, an ideal housewife, an ideal child to their parents, not because those over us are good people, but because it is our fiduciary duty before God.

a)                  The secret in the tough situations (what situation like this isn’t tough?!) is to draw on God’s strength to get through those situations.

(1)               “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”  (Philippians 4:13, NKJV).

c)                  One also has to remember that this concept in the Bible has to be balanced with other principals taught in the Scripture.

i)                    As a husband and a parent, I have a fiduciary responsibility to financially provide for my family.  There is nothing wrong with working hard to make more money for the family.  We’ll talk more about that in the “money” verses coming up.

ii)                  Paul also has an interesting comment in 1st Corinthians: 

a)                  Paul said, “Were you a slave when you were called (to be a Christian) ? Don’t let it trouble you—although if you can gain your freedom, do so. For he who was a slave when he was called by the Lord is the Lord’s freedman; similarly, he who was a free man when he was called is Christ’s slave.” 
(1st Corinthians, 7:21-22, NIV)

(1)               Paul is saying as Christians we are “slaves” to what God commands us.  Therefore, whether we like it or not, we are slaves.

(2)               Further, Paul says in Verse 21 that if you can gain your freedom as a Roman-slave, do it! 

(a)               By that one verse, Paul is saying freedom from human slavery is better than being a slave.

(b)               Paul says it is “ok” to be ambitious.  It is not ok to be ambitious as to serve yourself.  It is acceptable to be ambitious to be a better Christian as to better serve God and those God called you to serve.

d)                 Well, I’m on Page 4 and I haven’t touched Verse 2 yet.  As usual, I’m now in trouble.  J

6.                  Verse 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.

a)                  This verse is about how Christian slaves are to treat their masters who are also Christians.

b)                  To paraphrase, “don’t take advantage of the fact your boss is also a Christian.”

i)                    Remember that many readers of this verse could be cases where the “slave” has been a long time Christian and the “boss” is a new believer.

a)                  In those cases, the boss, who may be immature in his knowledge of Christianity could be taken advantage of by the employee/slave.

ii)                  The big-picture idea is Paul cares about our behavior to fellow Christians and the surrounding world.  Let’s say the boss and the one employee are watching.  Let’s say the boss is “soft” on the one employee because he is a Christian.  The other employees will then say “Hey, I want to be a Christian too so I can slouch off on the job!”  That person would then become a Christian for the wrong reason.  Not because he wants Jesus as payments for his sins, but for the “fringe benefits”.

c)                  This verse is written to the “slaves” more than the masters. 

i)                    Notice Paul says the slave is to “serve him all the better” because the boss is a believer.  Again, this is about being a good witness to the boss as well as others that are viewing the situation.

d)                 These two verses now end Paul’s discussion of slaves and masters.

i)                    In Verse 3, Paul moves on to the topic of false-teachers.

ii)                  Notice that only two verses are given to the topic of slavery here and many more are given to the topics of 1) false teachers, 2) dealing with money issues, etc.

iii)                My point is to put those two verses in perspective of the big-picture of this chapter, which is Christian behavior.

7.                  Verse 3:  If anyone teaches false doctrines and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, 4 he is conceited and understands nothing.

a)                  Verse 4 begins in the middle of a sentence. 

i)                    There is another sentence to Verse 4, which I’ll get to in a few moments.

b)                  The New Testament spends a lot of time talking about false teachers.

i)                    One can look at every book in the New Testament and find some warnings against false-teachers.  God cares deeply about the maturity of the believers and therefore spends a lot of time in the Bible dealing with the subject of those who would lead the church away.

ii)                  These writings are not just “beware of false teacher” warning labels.

a)                  They specifically discuss what false-teachers are like and their motivation.

b)                  They are written for our learning:  1) so we know how to recognize them and 2) how to avoid them.

c)                  Modern Christianity has “watchdog” ministries designed to keep an eye out for false teachers.  This is both necessary and Biblically supported.

(1)               Among the ones you may not be aware of include accounting firms and legal firms that are available for hire to specifically keep churches accountable to the principals of Scripture.

(2)               Further, there are radio programs and periodicals based on such ministries.  Church elders and pastors are encourages to watch for these signs.

iii)                Let’s go back to my opening discussion of “Love God with all of your heart” and “Love your neighbor as yourself” as the key principals of Christian behavior.

a)                  If people would obey those two commandments, the whole discussion of false teachers would not even be necessary. 

b)                  Because we battle to serve our needs versus God’s and other’s needs, thus false-teachers come into our lives.

(1)               Not so much because they exist, but because they appeal to our own selfish interest.

(2)               False teachers don’t just teach you to turn away from God, they encourage you to serve yourself in such deceiving sermon titles as “how to be more holy” or “how to be more like God”.  They appeal to our ego over Biblical principals.


c)                  With that, let’s get back to Verses 3 and 4:  If anyone teaches false doctrines and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, 4 he is conceited and understands nothing.

i)                    Notice the results of a false teacher : “he is conceited and understands nothing.”

ii)                  The word “conceited” refers to a big ego.  He wants to concern himself.

iii)                The phrase “understand nothing” means nothing of Biblical principals.

8.                  Now let’s go to the next sentence, which begins in the middle of Verse 4:  He (a false-teacher) has an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions 5 and constant friction between men of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain.

a)                  Yeah Paul, but what do you really think of false teachers?  J

i)                    For those people who think Christians need to go around “never judging”, loving everybody “just as they are”, or “live and let live”, take a look at what Paul says about false-teachers in this sentence!

b)                  As Christians, we are to grow in God’s love.  God wants us to grow in maturity as believers.  Those who diligently seek God become more “God-like” in our behavior.

c)                  The opposite is also true.  Those who grow further and further away from God, become worse and worse in their behavior as they grow older.  Those who diligently seek to oppose God develop the negative qualities that Paul talks about in Verses 4 and 5.

i)                    For more on this topic, I would recommend John’s first letter (1st John).

a)                  The main topic of that letter is about God’s love.  Those who grow in God’s love grow as Christians, those who turn away from God become more ungodly and sinful in their behavior.  Here is a sample:

b)                  “So now we can tell who is a child of God and who belongs to Satan. Whoever is living a life of sin and doesn’t love his brother shows that he is not in God’s family; for the message to us from the beginning has been that we should love one another.  (1st John 3:10-11, The Living Bible).

d)                 Before we move on, let’s talk a little about this “negative-list” of behaviors.  Here it is again:  an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions 5 and constant friction between men of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain.”

i)                    “an unhealthy interest in controversies…”. 

a)                  Let’s face it, Christians disagree on a lot of minor issues.  That is why we have so many different denominations and independent churches.

b)                  It is ok to discuss controversial issues so that people can make their own choices on how to view those issues.

c)                  The key words here is “unhealthy” interest.  The false-teacher is more interested in dividing the church than uniting the church.

ii)                  “result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions…constant friction”.

a)                  This is best described by a recent illustration.

b)                  One of the debates among 20th and 21st Century bible scholars is the debate over “King James” translation versus “other” modern English translations.

(1)               There is nothing wrong with discussing the pro’s and con’s of different English translations.

(2)               I’ve actually lectured on this topic myself.

(3)               In researching this topic, I was amazed at the viciousness of some of the writers on this topic about their opponents.

(a)               Some writers are so obsessed about being right on this issue that they horribly slander other Christians.  It is not “my Christian brother is wrong on this issue” as much as “they will burn in hell for teaching false doctrine”.

(b)               Imagine what the outside world would think of this!

(i)                 “Gee, why would I want to become one of them.  All they do is quarrel all the times among themselves”.

(ii)               To quote Chuck Missler ,“The problem with Christians is we spend too much time organizing our firing squads in circles!”

e)                  The last part of this sentence ties in with Verse 6, so I’ll take them on together.

9.                  End of Verse 5 and Verse 6:  “…who think that godliness is a means to financial gain.  6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.

a)                  When you read the Book of Proverbs, you often get two opposite-thoughts together.

i)                    For example:  The way of a fool seems right to him,
but a wise man listens to advice.  (Proverbs 12:15, NIV)

ii)                  In one verse we have the contrast between a “foolish” and a “wise” person.

iii)                In Verses 5 and 6, we have the contrast in the concept of a false-Christian and a true Christian.

b)                  In Verse 5 the false teacher thinks acting religiously (“godliness”) leads to financial gain.

i)                    In Verse 6 “godliness with contentment is great gain.

ii)                  Ok, so what is Paul getting at here?

iii)                I can think of a number of examples:

a)                  There are false teachers who wrongly emphasize what is commonly called “the health and wealth” doctrine.  They will say things like “you don’t have a Rolls Royce” because you didn’t pray hard enough or have enough faith that God will give you this!

(1)               This type of teaching is nonsense.  Our prayers are for what God wants for our lives not ourselves.  God does answer all our prayers, but he often says “no” because he wants what is best for us.

b)                  There are also false teachers and pastors who do it for money.

(1)               You can tell these types because of their over-emphasis on money.  You will hear lectures like “if we don’t get $20,000 in the next two days, God will strike down our ministry.”  Unfortunately, people give to these ministries out of guilt.  If God really wanted to save their ministry, God will find a way.  God is not broke.  

(2)               Sometimes I think God wants to shut down some of these ministries that over-emphasize money.  The problem is that Christians still give to them thinking “God needs the money."

10.              Verse 6:  But godliness with contentment is great gain.

a)                  First of all, there is nothing wrong with godliness.

b)                  “Godliness” means “reverence,” or “likeness to God”.  It focuses on our external behavior. 

c)                  The key is to combine godliness with contentment, as opposed to being focuses on acting “Godly” for the money.

d)                 Paul talks about this in his letter to the Philippians:

i)                    “Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.”  (Philippians 4:11, NASB)

ii)                  Paul goes on in Verse 12 of Philippians how to be content whether rich or poor.  What is his secret?

a)                  Verse 13:  “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”  (NASB)

e)                  One of my favorite quotations on this topic is as follows “To many Christians I know are trying to push a bus uphill.  They forget the bus has a motor.  God wants us to ride on the bus instead of pushing the bus.  (Source unknown).

f)                   The concept of contentment in the ministry (and we are all in the ministry) is to let God lead and we follow.  We struggle with ambition, with money, with unnecessary suffering often because we try to step out in front of what God has planned for us.

i)                    The corollary is to not sit down and wait for an angel to appear and give you hand-written directions.  God expects us to keep moving.  What we do then is watch and see what opportunities are being presented before us.

a)                  “In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.”  (Proverbs 3:6 NKJV)

11.              Verse 7:  For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.

a)                  You can throw what you want into your casket, but it won’t rise with your soul.

b)                  This verse is very similar to a quote in the Book of Job.  Job just lost every possession he had, including all his children.  His response:

i)                    “Then he (Job) fell to the ground in worship and said:  “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.”  (Job 1:20b-21, NIV).

c)                  Remember to read this verse in perspective of the bigger topic.

i)                    Paul is trying to teach Timothy to focus on what God has called him to do.

ii)                  There is a parable told in three of the four gospels about “four types of soil”.  (References:  Matthew 13, Mark 4 and Luke 8).  It refers to those who hear the word of God.  One of the four “types” don’t get it all.  One of the four types becomes very “fruitful” and grows into maturity.  The other two grow, but eventually fall away from their faith.

a)                  One falls because of persecution.

b)                  One falls because of seduction of things of the world.

c)                  It is debatable whether or not these two “types” enter salvation.  The key issue is that neither one of these two grow into maturity.

d)                 That is the issue Paul is focusing on in this chapter.  Paul is encouraging Timothy to stay focused on what God has called him to do.  The seduction of money is always out there, then, as well as now.

e)                  “The ground covered with thistles represents a man who hears the message, but the cares of this life and his longing for money choke out God’s Word, and he does less and less for God.”  (Matthew 13:22, TLB).

f)                   Verses 8-10 are just more commentary on Verse 7 and Matthew 13:22.

12.              Verse 8:  But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 9 People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many grieves.

a)                  Verses 8-10 teaches there is nothing wrong with money unto itself.  The key words to underline in Verse 10 is “For the love” (of money is the root…evil).

b)                  Verse 8 implies it is ok, in fact important to make enough money to supply ourselves with our basic needs, which is food and clothing.  (The word “clothing” including “shelter).

c)                  It is a Godly responsibility to work to provide for your family.  This was covered in last week’s lesson.  The issue is not responsibility, it is obsessivness.

i)                    The temptation is to become more obsessed with riches than living a Godly life.

ii)                  “People are truly rich when they are content with what they have. The richest person is the one who doesn’t need anything else.”  John MacArthur

13.              Verse 11:  But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.

a)                  Paul now stops talking about the negative aspects of money and encourages Timothy what he should focus on instead. 

b)                  Notice Paul ends his anti-money-obsession speech with the verb “flee”. 

i)                    In the Greek, the verb tense means to continually flee from these things.  It is not a one time thing.  It is a constant danger and a constant danger.

c)                  The way you flee is to focus on the positive aspects listed in this verse.

d)                 People who are even vaguely familiar with the Bible are familiar with the fact that Peter denied knowing who Jesus was after Jesus’ arrest.

i)                    What people often miss in the Gospel text is the night before, Jesus asks three times for Peter and the other disciples to pray with him.  (Reference Matthew 26 39-45).  I’ve always wondered if Peter had prayed with Jesus, the night before, would he have not denied Jesus the next day?

ii)                  The ability to flee the temptations of the world, as well as the ability to face the persecutions does come from drawing our strength from God. 

iii)                That is the point Paul is making to Timothy here in Verse 11.

e)                  Paul is teaching Timothy not only to “flee” from the cares of the world, but instead to vigorously peruse the things of God.

i)                    The “specific’s” are ideas we are familiar with by now. 

a)                  “Godliness” focuses on our external behavior. 

b)                  “Righteouness” focuses on our internal behavior.  These two go “hand-in hand”.  The strength for our outward behavior comes from drawing upon God through prayer and study.

(1)               “A minister may fill his pews, his communion roll, the mouths of the public, but what that minister is on his knees in secret before God Almighty, that he is and no more” (John Owen  “A Puritan Golden Treasury”, Page 192).

c)                  “Faith” is defined in Hebrews:  “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”  (Hebrews 11:1, NIV)

d)                 “Love” is the concept of giving of oneself over one’s own needs.

e)                  “Endurance” is self-explanatory.  It is the idea of “hanging in there” through the good and bad times.

f)                   The Greek word for “Gentleness” means kindness or meekness.

(1)               “Although consumed with the greatest of causes, the man of God recognizes that in himself he makes no contribution to its success, and is marked by considerate humility.”  John MacArthur.

14.              Verse 12:   Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.

a)                  Verse 12 continues “the encouragement verses”.

b)                  It is easily and natural to get excited when one first starts a major project.

c)                  The hardship and drudgery comes half-way-through. 

i)                    Paul here is warning against “burn-out”.  During the difficult times when things aren’t going well we need to focus on the end result.

ii)                  During those difficult times, we need to remember what God called us to do.

iii)                Paul is reminding Timothy of when he was first called to be a minister “in the presence of many witnesses.

a)                  I have heard it said, when you are serious about going on a diet, tell a bunch of people.  That way, if you are “slipping”, there are others present to remind you what you declared to them about your diet.

b)                  The same principal applies all the more so to God.  Timothy was called in front of a bunch of people.  They are now watching Timothy’s behavior.  This gets back to the theme of being a good witness.

15.              Verse 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,

a)                  Verses 13-16 is all one long sentence. 

b)                  The topic at hand is Timothy being a good witness in front of his congregation.

i)                    Paul uses Jesus’ confession that he is the Messiah in front of Pontius Pilate as an example.  (References: Matthew 27:11, Mark 15:2, and Luke 23:3).

ii)                  It further shows that Paul may have had copies of the Gospels in hand.

iii)                Pontius Pilate could have found Jesus guilty for treason against Rome.

iv)                A reason Paul used this example was that persecution of the church was beginning.  Many Roman Emperor’s declared themselves as a god.  Failure to make that proclamation was a death sentence.  Therefore Paul may have had that in mind as he made this statement.

c)                  Verse 14:  to keep this command without spot or blame until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 which God will bring about in his own time--God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 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.

i)                    Pal starts to talk about Jesus, and Paul’s natural instinct is to go into praise as he brings up the topic of Jesus.  It shows you where is Paul’s heart.

a)                  I always suspected Paul had “Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)”. J He tries to stay on the topic of “fighting the good fight for God”.  He mentions Jesus and he can’t help himself but to go into praise.

ii)                  The praise focuses on both God the Father and God the Son.  We don’t pray to the Holy Spirit.  The job of the Holy Spirit is to lead us in praise of God.

a)                  We pray to the Father through the son.  It is scriptural to praise both.

iii)                Notice also it is “God the Father” that no one has seen.

a)                  Exodus says that Moses spoke to God “face to face”.  This does not mean God has a face.  It is meant as an idiom.  (See also Deuteronomy 5:4 and Exodus 33:20)

b)                  In our resurrected bodies God will reveal himself to us more clearly.

(1)               “In the same way, we can see and understand only a little about God now, as if we were peering at his reflection in a poor mirror; but someday we are going to see him in his completeness, face-to-face.”  1st Corinthians 13:12, TLB)

iv)                For those of you who have to deal with Jehovah Witnesses, this is a good verse.

a)                  Jehovah Witnesses argue that Jesus is not God.  They deny the Trinity.

b)                  In Verse 15, God the Father is called “King of kings and Lord of lords”.

c)                  In Revelation 17:14, Jesus is called “King of kings and Lord of lords”.

d)                 Christianity teaches that Father, Son and Holy Spirit are “equal, but separate”.  Think of steam, water and ice: They are all the same, but each has separate characteristics.

16.              Verse 17:   Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 18 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 19 In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.

a)                  Paul got off topic to praise God for a few verses.  There is nothing wrong with that.  J

b)                  Now Paul is back to talking about “riches”.

c)                  It is almost as if Paul is saying, “oh, speaking of riches, here is how you deal with Christians who have money.”

d)                 These verses are necessary.  Paul hammered away for half a chapter on the danger of the love of money.

e)                  Paul needed to reassure those who have wealth that they are not eternally damned.

i)                    Therefore, Paul spends a few verses dealing with those who have wealth.

f)                   All of these verses can be summed up by the statement of not trusting in their wealth.

i)                    There is nothing wrong with being wealthy in itself.

ii)                  God does bless many people in the Bible with great wealth.

iii)                Therefore, there is nothing wrong with being ambitious and working smart and working hard. 

a)                  The key is one’s perspective and time commitments.

b)                  If making money is becoming a priority over the things of God, then one has a problem.

g)                  Remember back in Verse 7, Paul said about like “we can take nothing out of it.”

i)                    In a sense he is wrong.  I support that statement by Verse 19:  “In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age”.

a)                  You can take it with you.  The key is to send it up ahead, not put in the casket!  J

b)                  There are eternal rewards for those of us who are faithful.

c)                  There is an interesting comment by Jesus near the end of Revelation:

(1)               “Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done.”

(2)               I believe the “coming soon” refers to the fact that our lives on earth are relatively short.  Once we get into heaven, we enter a world without time.  God is not someone with lots of time on his hands.  God (and heaven) exist outside of time as we know it.

(3)               Further, this verse indicates we are rewarded based on our faithfulness to what God calls us to do.

(4)               In that sense, I am greedy. J  It is the love of that reward that motivates my life.  I want to have great rewards in heaven.  That is going to last a whole lot longer than my time on earth.

(a)               This is why it is important to keep the eternal focus in mind.

h)                 Which leads us back to the verses about those who are rich. 

i)                    Paul is reminding them about the eternal focus.  Their money may disappear one day.  It is the eternal rewards that matters.  The rest is just “commentary”.  J

a)                  Paul tells Timothy to remind them continually about their focus on their wealth.  We need to do that is our wealth is visible and our eternal rewards are not visible to the naked eye.

i)                    One last thing (I promise! J).  Notice this part of Verse 17:  God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.

i)                    Paul is saying God provides everything for our enjoyment in contrast to those things provided by riches.

a)                  Riches don’t make you happy.  At best, it can provide freedom to do the things you enjoy if you have the discipline to stop worrying about the money itself.

b)                  On the other hand, the things God meant for us to enjoy don’t cost a lot.  This includes, nature, our families, joy and communion with God and other people. 

(1)               When God created the world in Genesis Chapter 1, God kept saying “it is good”.  He didn’t do that to pat himself on the back, he said that so we would know it is good for us.

(2)               Further, I do believe God provides all of your needs, just not necessarily everything you want.

17.              Verse 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, 21 which some have professed and in so doing have wandered from the faith.  Grace be with you.

a)                  Paul wraps up his letter with this summary statement of “guard what has been entrusted to your care.”

i)                    Timothy was left in charge of this church.  Therefore, Timothy’s job was to protect it as well as help it grow.  Thus, all the warnings about false-teachers and money.

b)                  The rest of Verse 20 is another summary statement against false-teachers.

i)                    That statement is a summary of what we’ve already covered about dealing with false teachers.  Paul urges Timothy to avoid those incidents and people as well as to protect those that are under his care.

ii)                  That same principal can apply to those under “us”:  This would include our children, and those God has called us to witness to.

iii)                Verse 21 says the false teachers “have wandered from the faith”.

a)                  It is debatable whether or not this means one has lost their salvation.

b)                  What is clear is that they have lost, or are losing, their eternal rewards.

c)                  Paul’s desire is to not only to see as many people as possible saved, but also to see as many people as possible grow into maturity as a Christian.

i)                    Thus he commands Timothy though this letter to:

a)                  Watch his behavior;

b)                  Teach and preach how other Christians are to behave; and finally to:

c)                  Teach what outsiders to watch out to protect those under him.

ii)                  The principals behind 1st Timothy lead us to grow in maturity as a Christian.

a)                  Not only to benefit us, but to benefit other Christians and to be a good witness to the world around us.

d)                 Paul ends this letter with “Grace be with you”.

i)                    Grace is God’s unmerited favor to you.

ii)                  The final words is to remind Timothy that all we do begin and end with God.

a)                  It is through God that we draw on as a resource to do the things commanded in this letter.

b)                  It is for God we live the Christian life to bring glory to him.

c)                  OK, I better get to the prayer, or I’m going to break out in praise myself.  J

18.              Father,  For we ask this in Jesus name, Amen.