The secret of the truly rich is revealed here - Godliness with Contentment is Great Gain - Now and in the Future of Heaven (1 Tim 6:6, 19).
Q1 How is the relationship between boss and subordinates?
(This part 1 Tim 6:1-2 is better to be related to the relationship issue of Chapter 5 Relationship between Boss and Employee is one of many relationships(husband-wife, parent-child, brothers and sisters and friends) that we shall have in life.).
Paul tells us, as employees, to honor our bosses. This is to make sure that we do not bring shame to the name of our God and the teaching of our faith. For Chinese, when we encounter misbehaving children, we say those children are without proper home education, meaning that the parents are not teaching their children well. The parents bear the blame. Similarly, believers must perform well in their job so as to bring honor to our God and Faith.
When our bosses are believers too, Paul warns us not to be disrespectful because they are our brothers/sisters ( the chances of similarity breads condemns is high). Rather, because they are our brothers and sisters, we should do even more for them. On top of that, all working together, believing bosses and employees, will make for a better and greater influence to the world.
Q2 Who are the ones stirring up troubles? What do they do? (1Tim 6:3-5)
The ones giving and stirring up troubles are those who disagree with the sound doctrine of Christ and teaching a different doctrines. They are proud and unteachable. They hold on to their own thinking and stir up quarrels. They are not interested in doing the right things but only like to engage in discussions to show how clever they are. They like to be different to show they are cool and wiser than others. They produces envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions and friction among people because of their different views. If you have a few of them, there will indeed be lots of different and conflicting views and endless quarrels. Some of them will even use the Faith to mislead believers and create wealth for themselves (1 Tim 6:5) resulting in Paul warning about the Greed for Money (v10) see Q4.
Compare Godliness & contentment IS great gains vs
Godliness and contentment is the Means to great gain.
(for details, see Our Colored Eyes - 1 Tim 6:6 Godliness and Wealth )
Q3 What are for great gains?
Godliness with Contentment is great gain. Contentment alone is not. There is the goal of Godliness. Godliness alone is not enough as v5 tells us that some uses Godliness for their own personal gains as we can see that happening in the fall of some famous tele-evengelists.
Or perhaps, we must define true godliness to include contentment.
Paul gives an example of contentment - as long as we have food and clothing, basic subsistence living, we should be content. We should not pursue wealth alone as we bring nothing here and shall bring nothing back into the next world.
In v19, Paul tell us to invest, or bring things into the next world, and that is by giving our richness away in good works, generosity and sharing. It brings two benefits, foundation for future (in this present life and in the future heavenly life as taught by Jesus Mat 6:20) and to truly live a meaningful life here.
Richness is defined not in what we possess but in what we give out to bless others! See Q6.
Godliness is about fleeing greed and pursuing righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness, and fighting the good fight of faith, and living out the eternal life that we have inside of us. (Compare this list with the Fruit of the Spirit in Gal 5:22-23 and the Great Mystery of Christ in Us in Col 1:26-27 ).
Godliness with contentment is being satisfied with God had provided for us in Jesus Christ. In Christ, we have all that is needed for life and I shall have no more want (Ps 23:1). We do not seek things outside of Christ and stay within Biblical practices. The purpose of man is to know God and glorify God. John Piper said that God is most glorified when we are most satisfied in Him.
Q4 What brings destruction? 1 Tim 6:9-10
1Tim 6:10 For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evils.
Those who seek after money alone will fall into temptation, snare, senseless and harmful desires and do illegal and unethical things (e.g. taking short cuts, committing offenses, bringing harm to oneself and families and even friends etc), and be pierced with many pains and eventually into ruin and destruction! Two short verses but full of the bad consequences of the greed for money. We are to take heed of such warnings. Remember godliness with contentment is great gain in life and life is more than just money. Life is of relationships, peace, joy, health and be content with some comforts in life.
Q5 What are believers to do in the meantime until the 2nd Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ?
We are to keep the commandments, living them out, of our Lord Jesus Christ. As an encouragement and a focus, Paul reminds us who Jesus Christ is and how worthy it is to be called and do serve with Him. He is the blessed and ONLY Sovereign, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, who ALONE has immortality, the glorious light so powerful that none has ever seen ( imagining trying to see the sun and we will be blinded and Christ light is infinitely brighter than the sun). What honor it is to serve Him. When we are discouraged and feel like giving out, remember who is the Lord that you serve. Go to Him and think about Him. You will find that He is beside you and bidding you to come an rest on Him and let Him, His grace, comfort and giving you power to live through you.
Q6 How should the rich behave? How rich is rich?
The rich in this present time (may not be in the future or in heaven depending on how you use your richness)
- should not be haughty. It is easy for the rich to show off, to demand attention, to demand service, as their lifestyle is usually about being served rather than to serve.
- should not trust in the wealth that one has. Wealth is most uncertain. The 2008 Financial Crisis, the fall of Lehman Brothers, tells us that clearly.
- to trust GOD who richly provides us with everything to enjoy.
- to be truly rich by doing good works, be generous and in sharing with others.
- The benefits are :
- protection for the future -- storing up treasure as good foundation
- take hold, live out, that which is truly life.
- make good use of our God given talents.
- avoid the different for different sakes irreverent to true life babbles disguised as knowledge.
- be full of grace (Godliness with contentment!)
I prayed that your life have been enriched by this study.
Lim Liat copyrighted 18 Aug 2011
Our Colored Eyes - 1 Tim 6:6 Godliness and Wealth
Similar Verses in Bible and Chinese