Things to Reconcile – 2
A Study of 1Timothy 6
“And they that have believing masters, let them not despise them, because they are brethren; but rather do them service, because they are faithful and beloved, partakers of the benefit. These things teach and exhort. If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.” 1 Timothy 6:2-5
Let’s first define some terms in context.
Doting— to give excessive attention to
Surmisings— thoughts or ideas based in scanty evidence. Synonyms: conjecture, guess, imagination, suspect, presume, speculate, suppose
When dealing with employers who are also believers in Jesus Christ do not despise them but serve them, support and uphold them, because they are faithful to God and loved by Him the same as you, and because they are also partakers of the covenants and promises of God.
The natural tendency for workers who don’t know the Spirit of God is to have an antagonistic and suspicious relationship with those who have authority over them, because they assume the employer is out to exploit and mistreat them because they have power over them. But, this is not the case with true believing employers and employees who recognize that they are serving the same Lord and each subject to the same Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus.
As a pastor and teacher to the church in Ephesus, Timothy was charged with teaching and the whole council of God and exhorting all in the church in the truth of God’s Word regardless of their social or economic station in life.
However, there were those then, as there are some today, who taught what they thought people wanted to hear and in so doing suppressed the truth in a lie in order to gain favor and make themselves rich in the process receiving money for their false flowery, flattering messages that satisfied the baser natures of those who follow them.
But, Timothy was not to be like them. He was to teach and be true to the Word of God, to the Scriptures, the things that Jesus taught, proved and demonstrated in all that He did. His were wholesome words and instruction that lead to godliness in those who received them.
Those who teach otherwise are known by their character. They are filled with arrogance and pride. They know nothing, but yet, strut about as though they do by being overly fixated on questions that no one but God could answer, if He cared to. They strive over words of little or no significance in matters that do not bring life and peace, but only instigate “…envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth…”
Their arguments are perverse, because their minds are corrupt and destitute of the truth. Our world is being bombarded by such men even today, teaching corrupt and perverse ideas and behavior especially to the young and innocent in order to warp their minds with lies to better manipulate them into denying Godliness and embracing what is earthly, sensual and devilish.
The “wisdom” that they teach is not from above. It is not given to them by God, but it is the work of the devil, the same spirit that Jesus encountered in the wilderness after He was baptized and the same spirit that prompted Adam's disobedience in the Garden of Eden.
“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.” James 1:5-6
“Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.” James 3:13-18
The ESV translation puts it this way.
“Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. .” James 3:13-18 ESV
Finally, gain is not godliness, but godliness with contentment is great gain.