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Bible Commentaries

Bridgeway Bible Commentary

1 Timothy 6

 

 

Verse 1-2

The slaves (6:1-2)

Slaves had equal status with others in the church (Galatians 3:28), but not in the households where they worked. Paul helped to raise the status of slaves, and eventually to bring an end to slavery, by encouraging Christian slaves to work with responsibility and dignity. They were not to think of themselves as mere tools of their masters. Paul assures them that if they act in a way that is fitting for those who are God's children, they will also bring honour to the name of God (6:1). Any who work for Christian masters should work all the better. In so doing they will bring added benefit to those who are their fellow believers in Christ (2).


Verses 3-16

Trouble-makers and God's servant (6:3-16)

The teaching of the false teachers differs from that of Christ, and their conduct likewise differs. Their kind of teaching arises out of pride and creates argument, which in turn leads to suspicious thoughts and insulting talk about others. Paul knows that their real reason for setting themselves up as Christian teachers is to become rich (3-5).

Christianity does make a person rich, but not in the way the false teachers think. Christians are rich when they learn to be satisfied with what they have, and are not always wanting more (6-8). Those whose chief desire is to build up their wealth are easily led away from God. They might gain the wealth they desire, but spiritually they finish in a state of terrible poverty. Their spiritual lives become ruined, their true happiness is destroyed, and their minds are full of worries (9-10).

Paul warns Timothy to beware of these dangers, and encourages him to concentrate on developing the Christian virtues. He must not give up the struggle. When he first committed himself by a public declaration to his work, he knew that this work would require much perseverance (11-12). He is encouraged by the example of Jesus who, when he was before Pilate, made a firm declaration in spite of the suffering he knew it would bring. Timothy likewise must be faithful to the end in spite of the hardships. His assurance is that he will then share in the triumph of that great day when Jesus Christ returns (13-16).


Verses 17-21

The wealthy (6:17-21)

One danger with wealth is that when people have financial independence, they may not trust God as they should. Instead of hoarding their riches, they should use them to help others. In this way they will be investing in something far more lasting than earthly wealth. They will be building a life far more enduring than earthly life (17-19).

Paul brings his letter to a close by reminding Timothy of two of its chief points. First, Timothy must preserve and pass on the true Christian teaching. Second, he must not waste time arguing with those who have replaced this teaching with their own foolish inventions (20-21).

 


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Bibliography Information
Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 6:4". "Brideway Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bbc/1-timothy-6.html. 2005.

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