Wednesday, 12 January 2011

1 Timothy 6

1 All those under the yoke of slavery must have unqualified respect for their masters, so that the name of God and our teaching are not brought into disrepute.

2 Those whose masters are believers are not to respect them less because they are brothers; on the contrary, they should serve them all the better, since those who have the benefit of their services are believers and dear to God. This is what you are to teach and urge.

Teachers and the Love of Money

3 Anyone who teaches anything different and does not keep to the sound teaching which is that of our Lord Jesus Christ, the doctrine which is in accordance with true religion,

4 is proud and has no understanding, but rather a weakness for questioning everything and arguing about words. All that can come of this is jealousy, contention, abuse and evil mistrust;

5 and unending disputes by people who are depraved in mind and deprived of truth, and imagine that religion is a way of making a profit.

6 Religion, of course, does bring large profits, but only to those who are content with what they have.

7 We brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it;

8 but as long as we have food and clothing, we shall be content with that.

9 People who long to be rich are a prey to trial; they get trapped into all sorts of foolish and harmful ambitions which plunge people into ruin and destruction.

10 'The love of money is the root of all evils' and there are some who, pursuing it, have wandered away from the faith and so given their souls any number of fatal wounds.

Final Charge to Timothy

11 But, as for you Man of God, avoid all that. You must aim to be upright and religious, filled with faith and love, perseverance and gentleness.

12 Fight the good fight of faith and win the eternal life to which you were called and for which you made your noble profession of faith before many witnesses.

13 Now, before God, the source of all life, and before Jesus Christ, who witnessed to his noble profession of faith before Pontius Pilate, I charge you

14 to do all that you have been told, with no faults or failures, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ,

15 who at the due time will be revealed by God, the blessed and only Ruler of all, the King of kings and the Lord of lords,

16 who alone is immortal, whose home is in inaccessible light, whom no human being has seen or is able to see: to him be honour and everlasting power. Amen.

17 Instruct those who are rich in this world's goods that they should not be proud and should set their hopes not on money, which is untrustworthy, but on God who gives us richly all that we need for our happiness.

18 They are to do good and be rich in good works, generous in giving and always ready to share-

19 this is the way they can amass a good capital sum for the future if they want to possess the only life that is real.

20 My dear Timothy, take great care of all that has been entrusted to you. Turn away from godless philosophical discussions and the contradictions of the 'knowledge' which is not knowledge at all;

21 by adopting this, some have missed the goal of faith. Grace be with you


Mr Wesley said...

1. Let servants under the yoke - Of heathen masters. Account them worthy of all honour - All the honour due from a servant to a master. Lest the name of God and his doctrine be blasphemed - As it surely will, if they do otherwise.

2. Let them not despise them - Pay them the less honour or obedience. Because they are brethren - And in that respect on a level with them. They that live in a religious community know the danger of this; and that greater grace is requisite to bear with the faults of a brother, than of an infidel, or man of the world. But rather do them service - Serve them so much the more diligently. Because they are joint partakers of the great benefit - Salvation. These things - Paul, the aged, gives young Timotheus a charge to dwell upon practical holiness. Less experienced teachers are apt to neglect the superstructure, whilst they lay the foundation; but of so great importance did St. Paul see it to enforce obedience to Christ, as well as to preach faith in his blood, that, after strongly urging the life of faith on professors, he even adds another charge for the strict observance of it.

3. If any teach otherwise - Than strict practical holiness in all Its branches. And consent not to sound words - Literally, healthful words; words that have no taint of falsehood, or tendency to encourage sin. And the doctrine which is after godliness - Exquisitely contrived to answer all the ends, and secure every interest, of real piety.

4. He is puffed up - Which is the cause of his not consenting to the doctrine which is after inward, practical religion. By this mark we may know them. Knowing nothing - As he ought to know. Sick of questions - Doatinglyy fond of dispute; an evil, but common, disease; especially where practice is forgotten. Such, indeed, contend earnestly for singular phrases, and favourite points of their own. Everything else, however, like the preaching of Christ and his apostles, is all "law," and "bondage," and "carnal reasoning." Strifes of words - Merely verbal controversies. Whereof cometh envy - Of the gifts and success of others. Contention - For the pre-eminence. Such disputants seldom like the prosperity of others, or to be less esteemed themselves. Evil surmisings - It not being their way to think well of those that differ from themselves in opinion.

5. Supposing that gain is godliness - Thinking the best religion is the getting of money: a far more common case than is usually supposed.

6. But godliness with content - The inseparable companion of true, vital religion. Is great gain - Brings unspeakable profit in time, as well as eternity.

7. Neither can we carry anything out - To what purpose, then, do we heap together so many things? O, give me one thing, - a safe and ready passage to my own country!

8. Covering - That is, raiment and an house to cover us. This is all that a Christian needs, and all that his religion allows him to desire.

9. They that desire to be rich - To have more than these; for then they would be so far rich; and the very desire banishes content, and exposes them to ruin. Fall-plunge - A sad gradation! Into temptation - Miserable food for the soul! And a snare - Or trap. Dreadful "covering!" And into many foolish and hurtful desires - Which are sown and fed by having more than we need. Then farewell all hope of content! What then remains, but destruction for the body, and perdition for the soul?

Mr Wesley said...

10. Love of money - Commonly called "prudent care" of what a man has. Is the root - The parent of all manner of evils. Which some coveting have erred - Literally, missed the mark. They aimed not at faith, but at something else. And pierced themselves with many sorrows - From a guilty conscience, tormenting passions, desires contrary to reason, religion, and one another. How cruel are worldly men to themselves!

11. But thou, O man of God - Whatever all the world else do. A man of God is either a prophet, a messenger of God, or a man devoted to God; a man of another world. Flee - As from a serpent, instead of coveting these things. Follow after righteousness - The whole image of God; though sometimes this word is used, not in the general, but in the particular, acceptation, meaning only that single branch of it which is termed justice. Faith - Which is also taken here in the general and full sense; namely, a divine, supernatural sight of God, chiefly in respect of his mercy in Christ. This faith is the foundation of righteousness, the support of godliness, the root of every grace of the Spirit. Love - This St. Paul intermixes with everything that is good: he, as it were, penetrates whatever he treats of with love, the glorious spring of all inward and outward holiness.

12. Fight the good fight of faith - Not about words. Lay hold on eternal life - Just before thee. Thou hast confessed the good confession - Perhaps at his baptism: so likewise, ver. 13; but with a remarkable variation of the expression. Thou hast confessed the good confession before many witnesses - To which they all assented. He witnessed the good confession; but Pilate did not assent to it.

13. I charge thee before God, who quickeneth all things - Who hath quickened thee, and will quicken thee at the great day.

15. Which - Appearing. In his own times - The power, the knowledge, and the Revelation of which, remain in his eternal mind.

16. Who only hath underived, independent immortality. Dwelling in light unapproachable - To the highest angel. Whom no man hath seen, or can see - With bodily eyes. Yet "we shall see him as he is."

17. What follows seems to be a kind of a postscript. Charge the rich in this world - Rich in such beggarly riches as this world affords. Not to be highminded - O who regards this! Not to think better of themselves for their money, or anything it can purchase. Neither to trust in uncertain riches - Which they may lose in an hour; either for happiness or defense. But in the living God - All the rest is dead clay. Who giveth us - As it were holding them out to us in his hand. All things - Which we have. Richly - Freely, abundantly. To enjoy - As his gift, in him and for him. When we use them thus, we do indeed enjoy all things. Where else is there any notice taken of the rich, in all the apostolic writings, save to denounce woes and vengeance upon them?

18. To do good - To make this their daily employ, that they may be rich - May abound in all good works. Ready to distribute - Singly to particular persons. Willing to communicate - To join in all public works of charity.

19. Treasuring up for themselves a good foundation - Of an abundant reward, by the free mercy of God. That they may lay hold on eternal life - This cannot be done by alms-deeds; yet they "come up for a memorial before God," Acts x, 4. And the lack even of this may be the cause why God will withhold grace and salvation from us.

20. Keep that which is committed to thy trust - The charge I have given thee, chap. i, 18. Avoid profane empty babblings - How weary of controversy was this acute disputant! And knowledge falsely so called - Most of the ancient heretics were great pretenders to knowledge

Anonymous said...

Behavior of Slaves—1 Timothy 6:1,2

Let all who are under the yoke as slaves regard their own masters as worthy of all honor so that the name of God and our doctrine may not be spoken against. And let those who have believers as their masters not be disrespectful to them because they are brethren, but let them serve them all the more, because those who partake of the benefit are believers and beloved. Teach and preach these principles.

It may seem odd that having just given guidelines for ecclesia servants, Paul segues into this chapter by describing how being a disciple of Christ changes how servants are to treat their masters.

The word translated “slave” (Strong’s #1401, doulos) is the word most commonly used for someone in permanent slavery. There are five other Greek words used in the New Testament that denote various other kinds of servitude, such as a household servant or employee (Strong’s #3610, oiketes), or an indentured servant, honorably “working off a debt” which otherwise he would be unable to pay (Strong’s #2324, therapon).

Why did Paul make this point? Today, we might consider those in permanent servitude as somewhat disgraceful, being unable to properly discharge one’s duties and/or commitments. This was not Paul’s perspective. He clearly felt there was honor in service done well and faithfully to the master of the house. The master would also clearly value the service of a good slave. Paul was speaking of Christians whose covenant relationship to God has obligated them to “permanent service” to him.

With Timothy’s ultimate spiritual welfare in mind, Paul chose this illustration to make a point about humility. We are running for the most noble cause (and reward) in the universe, the high calling, and its reward of the divine nature. As such it may be easy to think of ourselves more highly than those who have some legitimate authority over us: parents, teachers, employers, any to whom we owe some kind of debt (though not necessarily a monetary debt). Paul indicated that service to any is to be a Christian’s constant objective: “So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all men, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith” (Galatians 6:10).

Ρωμανός ~ Romanós said...

I like the way you're presenting scripture and then using the comments to insert what the church fathers say...

Blogs can be used well for this, I think.