Things To Reconcile 5
A Study of 1Timothy 6
“Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life. O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called: Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with thee. Amen.” 1 Timothy 6:17-21
Ephesus was the fourth richest city in the world after Rome, Alexandria (in Egypt) and Antioch (in Syria) at the time of Paul’s writing to Timothy. It was the chief commercial city known as the “gateway to Asia.” As such, there were many wealthy people there and among them were believers in Jesus who were part to the church that Timothy pastored.
It is no wonder then that in the final verses of this first of Paul’s two letters to Timothy he returns to the admonition that Timothy must give particular attention to keeping the rich aware of God who had given them the power to get wealth, and therefore, they were not to use their privileged economic status as an excuse for arrogance and pride, for high mindedness, thinking themselves to be superior to other believers in the church, especially, not to put their trust in their wealth, but use it to do good, to be generous and compassionate, willing to communicate the Good News of the Jesus Christ, and being good stewards laying up from their prosperity a store against the time to come.
That is, by good works, acts of love to all and especially the poor, laying up treasure in Heaven where it cannot be corrupted or stolen, keeping in mind that eternal life is not about things, but about faith in Jesus Christ and Him alone, not by our works, but by faith in His name we all are saved.
His final appeal to Timothy is to stay true to His calling and the proclamation of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ and warning him to avoid vain arguments and the opposition of the so called scientist who have erred concerning the faith choosing to falsely use science in an attempt to oppose the Word of God.
As in nearly all His letters he ends as he opened with the blessing of grace to you. This is far more than a nice way to close a letter, but it is a profound reaffirmation that all things given by instruction, admonition, exhortation or commandment must be received through the way of grace. No matter how gentle or how stern the Word of instruction or correction, of affirmation or exhortation may be, God’s way of communicating it to us is by His grace, and we take hold of it through our faith in Him.
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.” Ephesians 2:8