Paul’s gives us instructions concerning employers and employees, false teachers, and material wealth.
1 Timothy Chapter 6
Employers and Employees
1 Let all servants, who are under a yoke, consider their own masters worthy of full honor, so that the name of God and his doctrine be not spoken evil of.
[Slavery is never good. But what if a person puts their faith and trust into Jesus only for salvation, and they are a slave? What does the Law of Christ teach? What if someone is a servant because of debts? We are to respect those masters we may have, not despise them. The goal is to live Christlike so that the masters will become Christians as well. Then they will live according to the Law of Christ and treat those under them well. Yet, if we have opportunity to be free, we should (1 Corinthians 7:21)].
2 Now those who have believing masters must not despise them, because they are brothers, but instead, they must serve them, because they are faithful and worthy of love, partakers of the Good News benefits. Teach and insist on these things.
False Teacher False Christian
3 If anyone teaches otherwise and doesn’t consent with the wholesome sayings of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching on godliness,
[The Law of Christ (the rules in the New Testament that the Lord Jesus or His Apostles gave; Galatians 6:2) is our worldview and lifestyle. If someone opposes that law, then we know their motivation is pride, ignorance, and semantics. The effect on the person and the church is envy, discord, abusive verbal attacks, evil suspicions, and arguing. Eventually, it leads to a corrupt mind deprived of truth. The final result is a belief that if one has lots of wealth, then God has blessed them].
4 He is proud, knowing nothing, and having a sick interest in inquiry and specifics about words, which result in envy, discord, abusive verbal attacks, evil suspicions, [and]
5 Contentious arguing from people of corrupt minds and deprived of truth, who suppose that financial gain is godliness. Withdraw yourselfs from this kind.
[The Greek word for ‘contentious arguing’ is παραδιατριβή paradiatribḗ (G3859). It means mutual irritation. Robertson gives one scholar’s interpretation of this word as “Mutual irritations” (Field). The mind is corrupt instead of renewed. Compare Romans 12:1-2. The Greek word for ‘deprived truth’ is ἀποστερέω aposteréō (G650). Vincent (WORD STUDIES IN THE NEW TESTAMENT) writes: The implication is that they once possessed the truth. They put it away from themselves (1 Timothy 1:19 and Titus 1:14). Here it is represented as taken away from them. Comp. Romans 1:8. Since truth has disappeared willfully, the teaching and conclusions of these people are nothing but lies. Scripture is clear, that when someone has reached this stage, other believers are to withdraw from them, to separate, themselves. The idea is a little leaven corrupts the whole lump (1 Corinthians 5:6-8). The Greek word for ‘deprived’ is (G650) ἀποστερέω apostereo, which means a loss of something. Here, they lost it deliberately. These teachers no longer have truth].
6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.
[Real gain is not wealth but godliness with contentment. Ray Stedman (RAY STEDMAN EXPOSITIONAL STUDIES) writes on this verse: The truth is, as Paul goes on to say, that wholeness, balanced realism, richness of soul and spirit—godliness—is in itself gain. That is the true wealth; it brings contented hearts, which is what we are all looking for. One of the great problems of this age, with its crass materialism, its blatant hedonism, is that we are a rootless, restless people. We are always looking for some anesthetic to deaden the pain of an empty life. We look with envy upon contented people].
7 We brought nothing into this world, [and it is] certain we can carry nothing out,
[This is an attitude we must have to prevent hoarding and accumulating unnecessary riches. Earthly treasures are deceptive (Haggai 1:6). Moses chose heavenly riches over earthly riches (Hebrews 10:26). Laodicea chose earthly treasures over heavenly treasures (Revelation 3:17). Jesus commands us to put forth effort to store heavenly treasures instead of earthly treasures (Matthew 6:19-20)].
8 But having food and covering, we will be content with these.
[Note the contrast, we came into the world with nothing, but having food and covering now. The Greek word for ‘content’ is (G714) ἀρκέω arkeo. It means to be satisfied and content. Compare Proverbs 30:7-9, Luke 3:14, and James 5:1-6. The word content is in future tense. God is telling us that we will be content. Isn’t God’s blessing enough for us? Matthew Henry writes on this verse:
…godliness is itself great gain, it is profitable to all things; and, wherever there is true godliness, there will be contentment; but those have arrived at the highest pitch of contentment with their godliness are certainly the easiest happiest people in this world. Godliness with contentment, that is, Christian contentment (content must come from principles of godliness) is great gain; it is all the wealth in the world. He that is godly is sure to be happy in another world; and if withal he do by contentment accommodate himself to his condition in this world he has enough. Here we have, [1.] A Christian’s gain; it is godliness with contentment, this is the true way to gain, yea, it is gain itself. [2.] A Christian’s gain is great: it is not like the little gain of worldlings, who are so fond of a little worldly advantage. [3.] Godliness is ever accompanied with contentment in a great or less degree; all truly godly people have learned with Paul, in whatever state they are, to be therewith content, Philippians 4:11. They are content with what God allots for them, well knowing that this is best for them. Let us all then endeavor after godliness with contentment].
9 Those who want to be rich fall into temptation, a trap, and into many foolish and harmful cravings, which drown people in destruction and eternal ruin.
The superiority of contentment with the fulfillment of needs instead of an overabundance. [The Greek word for ‘want’ is βούλομαι boúlomai (G1014). It means a desire to be rich. Robertson writes: The will (boulomai) to be rich at any cost and in haste (Proverbs 28:20). This desire leads into temptation (being seduced by money and for money), a trap (addiction to money), and foolish and harmful cravings (of what money can do and bring). These three things overwhelm people into spiritual loss. Barnes writes on this latter idea: The word which is here rendered, “drown” – βυθίζω buthizō – means, to “sink in the” deep, or, “to cause to sink;” and the meaning here is, that they become submerged as a ship that sinks. The idea of drowning is not properly that of the apostle, but the image is that of a wreck, where a ship and all that is in it go down together. The destruction is complete. There is a total ruin of happiness, of virtue, of reputation, and of the soul. The ruling desire to be rich leads on a train of follies which ruins everything here, and hereafter. How many of the human family have thus been destroyed]!
10 For the love of money is a root of all evil, which some, longing for, strayed from the faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.
[The love of money is one root of evil. The texts do not have the word ‘the;’ The text states, ‘A root of all evil.’ Money is one of many roots of evil. This addiction for wealth sometimes overwhelms a person to the extent that anything goes to increase one’s wealth—morals, kindness, compassion disappear from this person’s conscience, strictly for the purpose of more wealth. These people do not lose faith, they stray from the faith and injure themselves (and others) with many sorrows, sadnesses, griefs, etc.].