The Book of 1 Timothy Bible Study Chapter 6 Part 1

Our next portion is 1 Timothy 6:1-10

In this chapter, the instructions that Paul gives to Timothy teach us a different mindset. We are not to think according to the way that the world does. All of our decisions need to be Kingdom based and inspired. 

v1: Note: Slavery, from a Biblical point of view, is very different to the view that the world has held in regard to slavery. Scripturally, when someone could not manage their debt, and they could not afford to pay their creditors, they would become slaves to pay off their debt. This was not for an indefinite period of time. The bond slave would work until his debt was paid off, or he would work for six years and would be freed or released in the 7th year. This form of servanthood was often seen as an act of love or kindness toward the slave, because often the amount of time that they needed to serve did not fully compensate either the creditor or the one that made the payment on his behalf. Having a bond servant was often not in the best interest of the creditor/’master’. A master had to provide properly for his servant at his own expense. 

  • Under the yoke: A term referring to them being under authority. These slaves/servants were under the authority of their masters. 
  • Masters: Rulers. People who had control over other people (not from being captured and made a slave, but becoming a slave because of an inability to pay off a debt). 
  • Count…worthy of all honour: This was the mindset that Paul wanted these bondservants to have. Part of this was for the purpose of training them how to respond to those who were in authority over them. This gives us an idea of how we are to respond to the L-rd’s authority over us. If we cannot serve or submit to a man, we will not be able to serve or submit to the L-rd. 
  • Doctrine: Biblically based teaching.  
  • Not be blasphemed: This should be one of our primary concerns – not to do or say anything that would cause contempt to fall upon the name of G-d or His doctrines. As believers we should know what it means to be submissive, we should know what it means to serve others. 

v2: Let them not despise them because they are brethren: If a bondservant served under a believing master, he was still required to respect him and submit to him as his master. Although they are brothers in the L-rd, the servant must still give him the respect due to a master. 

  • Teach and exhort these things: Encourage others to realize that we are not to exploit fellow believers that we serve under. Although we are all part of the L-rd’s family, we are called to submit to the authority of the believers that we work under, and we are called to honour them. Be humble. See the need to be subservient and the need to recognize authority. These believing masters were helping others to pay off their debts.  

v3: If anyone teaches otherwise: Paul is writing here about individuals who are not teaching truth. Their doctrine is not Biblically sound. They are teaching things which are contrary to what Paul is teaching. 

  • Wholesome (healthy) words: These words are the words of Yeshua – the words/doctrine found within the Scripture. These individuals who are teaching falsely do not go near the words of Messiah Yeshua which are according to the teachings of G-dliness.
  • Doctrine which is according to G-dliness: Paul is emphasizing a doctrine of G-dliness. ‘G-dliness’ is a word that speaks of behaving in a way that manifests G-d’s character – not only through behaviour but also through attitude and personality. When we believe in Yeshua we become new creations – our personalities are changed by our faith, every aspect of our lives is impacted by our faith. 

v4: Proud: Puffed upThey are haughty and prideful. They have put themselves first. The Scripture speaks about humbling ourselves. Being humble is opposite to how these false teachers behave. 

  • Obsessed with disputes and arguments: They pay way too much attention to controversy. They love warring with their words. 
  • Evil suspicions: Instead of giving someone the benefit of the doubt, they always think poorly or negatively about things. 

v5: Wranglings of men: They are constantly in contention, constantly debating this or that. 

  • Of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth: If we are a people who do not properly accept and submit to authority (1 Tim 6:1-2), we become rebellious and dishonouring toward authority. Rebellion has a very adverse effect in our lives. It leads to us becoming puffed up, lacking understanding and obsessed with contentions and arguments. 
  • Who suppose (reckon): They believe this (G-dliness as a means of gain) as a truth.
  • G-dliness is a means of gain: They believe that all the things that they do in an outwardly pious way is going to bring prosperity to them. They are misled and they are misleading others with this concept of the prosperity gospel. They wrongly believe that piety is a means of becoming wealthy.
  • From such withdraw yourself: Stay away from or put a distance between ourselves and these people. (Note: Many Bible translations, as can be seen in biblehub.com, do not include this last part of 1 Tim 6:5). 

v6: Contentment: Paul emphasises that it is inward peace and contentment that profits us far more than outward wealth would. Behaving in a G-dly way is what leads to contentment in our lives. 

  • Great gain: Great profit. 

v7: Brought nothing into this world: We were born into this world naked and empty. 

  • We can carry nothing out: When we die, we can take nothing with us (materially or physically). We depart this world as naked and as financially empty as we arrived in it. If we bring zero into this world and we take zero out, why would we emphasise, store up and live for material gain? (Matt 6:19-21). 

v8: Clothing (literally: covering): This could be referring to both clothes and a shelter to live in.

  • With these we shall be content: We should not be a people who are obsessed with worldly wealth, wasting hours and hours of our time in pursuit of it. Paul is instructing us to be content with our daily needs being met. 

v9: Desire to be rich: If we have this desire we need to watch out. This is not a desire that leads to good things but is a desire that has an adverse effect in our lives. 

  • Fall into temptation: Easily seduced or manipulated. They are willing to do underhand and shady things, even taking advantage of other people, in order to accumulate more wealth. 

Note: Being wealthy is not wrong. G-d can do great things through people who have resources. It is very dangerous, however, when our objective is the pursuit of wealth.

  • Destruction and perdition: satan is the source of ruin and destruction. 

v10: Root: A root anchors the plant and nourishes it. The love of money anchors evil and nourishes it. 

  • Pierced themselves through with many sorrows: Many people think that money will give them happiness. This is not the case. The pursuit of money is a great source of sorrow to people (unlike the pursuit of G-dliness, which brings great joy to people). 

Note: What Paul is writing about gives us a foretaste of the Kingdom. When we recognise G-d’s authority and submit to it in our lives, we are going to be spiritually strong and full of joy.

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