BOOK BY BOOK BIBLE STUDY
BIBLE STUDY LESSON
For the week beginning Sunday June 16, 2013
PURSUE SPIRITUAL GAIN
(Pursue the spiritual over the material)
1 Timothy 6
The Greek word “eusebeia” (yoo-seb-i-ah) which means “godliness” is only found in the New Testament in the “Pastoral Letters” of the Apostle Paul, and, in Second Peter. It describes a reverent faith which expresses an awe of GOD that is coupled with a desire to be obedient to GOD, and, to do GOD’s will, at all times.
In First Timothy 6, after reminding Christian servants (those who work under the authority of either, Christians or non-believers) to always show respect and work hard for their superiors (Vs.1-3), Paul then gives a final warning to Timothy about the prevailing threat, and indeed, the reality of false doctrine that was already infiltrating the Christian Church in its infancy.
The Greeks of the first century were fascinated by fancy speech, pretty much as we are today in the twenty-first century. They loved to hear a good and trained motivational speaker who could deliver a good word, and entertain a gullible audience. It was against this type of backdrop that false teachers came preaching their religious jargon to the newly formed Christian Church where Timothy resided at, in Ephesus.
The Church gave these savvy speakers a new forum in which to work their magic charm, and, to make themselves rich and famous at the same time. They cared nothing about the sound doctrine of JESUS CHRIST that Paul had birthed the Church with, and they just simply wanted to promote themselves, under the guise of being holy men of GOD.
Paul warned Timothy that anybody who taught anything different than what he had already been taught was both conceited, and ignorant. Such people possess an unhealthy desire to argue over words that would lead to jealousy, slander, and evil suspicions. Their minds are corrupt, and they are only looking for power and prestige in the church. To them, religion was just another way to get rich, and, to increase their evil influences.
Paul tells us in verse 6 that true religion with contentment is great wealth. We didn’t bring anything into this world, and it is a certainty that we can’t take anything of a material nature out of this world when we die. We have to allow ourselves to be content with having enough for our daily needs. That must be the attitude of a true Christian, as having any other mindset puts us at a greater risk of being tempted by satan into abandoning GOD’s plan, and thereby, piercing ourselves with many sorrows as a result (Vs.6-10).
The Christian who is willing to leave material things behind in their pursuit of an experiential relationship with GOD, stands to gain far greater treasures than the earthly perishables that he or she has long become accustomed to valuing and desiring. When we choose to go the way of CHRIST JESUS, we gain insurmountable spiritual gains such as the following;
· We gain a personality that begins to exhibit GOD’s transforming works in our lives to others.
· We begin to share the mind of CHRIST in our thinking, as we are more and more attuned to the things of GOD.
· We gain a heart that beats more in sync with GOD’s OWN heart.
· We gain a will that shapes all of our choices so that they might glorify GOD more, and glorify our selves less.
· We store up spiritual gains that we can indeed, take with us, when we are forced to part with the material things, and the evil influences from the people (gravitational pull) of this world.
In verses 11-16, Paul urges young Timothy to shun, or turn his back to the evil influences of this world, because he belongs to GOD. People who truly belong to GOD are interested only in pursuing a GODly lifestyle, one that includes love, faith, perseverance, and gentleness. They have to fight the “good fight” for what they believe in, and in other words, they must defend the Gospel of CHRIST with their whole life. And at the right time, CHRIST will be revealed from Heaven by the almighty GOD the FATHER, as being the KING of Kings, and the LORD of Lords.
In verses 17-21, the Apostle Paul closes out this doctrinal letter with a warning to the rich of this world. Here he says to tell all who are rich, not to be proud, and not to trust in their wealth, which will soon enough, be gone. They are to instead, put their trust in the LIVING GOD WHO is richly willing to give, even the poorest among men, all that he daily needs.
Paul goes on to say that, the rich should use their money to do good works, and to always show a willingness to give generously to those in need. That way, they will be storing up treasures in Heaven that will be used as a good foundation for their future. This will enable them to take a firm hold on the “real life”, that can only be found, in the Kingdom of GOD.
And finally, Paul urges Timothy to guard what GOD has entrusted to him, and to avoid godless, foolish discussions with those who oppose GOD with their own so-called knowledge. For some people have actually wandered away from the faith, and chose to follow such foolishness to the grave.
A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander
LARRY D. ALEXANDER- Official Website