Tuesday, August 6, 2013

1 Timothy 6 - Flee from These Things

LINK: 1 Timothy 6

We have 4% of reading to go until we are done with the whole Bible!!! Are you doing the happy dance????


BACKGROUND 


Paul gives final instructions:


Slaves and Masters (6:1-2)


Paul gave Timothy instructions to slaves but not to masters as he did in Ephesians 6:5-9 and Colossians 3:22-4:1. It is estimated that half of the population of the Roman Empire were slaves and many of them became believers which created a whole new dynamic with both unbelieving and believing masters.  Slaves and masters in the same place on equal footing before God was a totally foreign concept, and they needed instructions in how to behave.


The slaves were to respect their masters so God would not be slandered. Spiritual freedom did not alter their social position. Jesus said we are to be a "servant of all" (Mark 10:42-45). 


False Teachers (6:3-10)


Sound (healthy) doctrine is a key theme of this epistle, and the false teachers were the enemies of this! Paul discussed false teachers at the beginning of his epistle (1:3-11), and he is ending with this same discussion. The false teachers were proud.  Warren Wiersbe says:

A believer who understands the Word will have a burning heart, not a big head (Luke 24:32; and see Daniel. 9:1-20). 
(The Bible Exposition Commentary: Volume 2, p. 235)
Since they were proud and lacking in understanding, there were arguments about minor things resulting in division. They were motivated by financial gain. Paul was not motivated in this way and was content in his circumstances. He emphasized that wealth does not lead to contentment and can lead to ruin if one longs for and trusts in it. 

Man of God (6:11-16, 20-21)


In contrast to the false teachers, Timothy was to flee from longing after anything but God because only He can satisfy. He was called to be a man of God rather than the world. He was to take a stand with sound doctrine and "fight the good fight of faith" by defending Truth and avoiding foolish arguments. 


The Rich (6:17-19)


This is a "parentheses" in Paul's charge to Timothy. They were not to be conceited, greedy, or trust in their wealth like the false teachers. They were to enjoy riches but be generous with what God had given them, serve others, and understand that riches are uncertain but riches in God through Christ Jesus are everlasting! "Riches can lure a person into a make-believe world of shallow pleasure. But riches plus God's will can introduce a person to life that is real and ministry that is lasting" (The Bible Exposition Commentary:Volume 2, 1 Timothy 6:18-19, p. 238).


REFLECTION/APPLICATION 

"All that man vainly desires here below is perfectly realized in God. 
We have all those impossible desires within us as a mark of our destination, and they are good for us when we no longer hope to accomplish them.
Waiting for God by Simone Weil, p. 74

Paul urged Timothy to "flee from youthful lusts," but this does not mean "lust" as we think of that term. It is anything we long after other than God.

Are you longing for God alone? 

PRAYER

Lord, only You can satisfy the deepest longings of our hearts. So we come to you thirsty this morning knowing You fill us to overflowing. Help us to wait for You. Amen.
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