Wednesday, October 3, 2012

1 Timothy 6:3-5

Summary retelling of 1 Timothy 6:3-5

When Paul talks about theology, he gets pretty blunt.  He basically says that if anyone doesn’t agree with the doctrine of Jesus Christ and His teachings on godliness, then that person is conceited and naïve.  Such people have an unhealthy desire to argue, squabble, and bring contention.  Such desires bring about jealousy, strife, friction between people, suspicion, distrust towards motivations, and semantic arguments.  Such people are depraved in the mind and deprived of the truth.  They believe that through godly action we gain advantage in this world.

Thoughts for Today
First Thought:
Conceited.  Might I remind anyone that conceited is really just a fancy way of saying self-monger?  Naïve.  Isn’t that just a way of saying a person is unable to think deeply and see clearly?  Paul is saying that people who disagree with Jesus are simply burying their heads in the sand so that they can continue to focus on themselves.  In other words, in order to genuinely believe in Jesus a person must inherently be willing to stop pursuing their own agenda.  This line of thinking is like what Paul says in Galatians 2:20.  “For I have been crucified with Christ.  It is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me.”

Does it feel like the more you read the New Testament the more the anti-self-monger message becomes predominant?  Why do you think Paul spends so much time talking about how life is not about us?  What does the predominance of this message in the Bible really tell us about human beings? 

Second Thought:
People who do not agree with Jesus are people who love contention, debates, competition, etc.  The fruit of their words is often jealousy and friction.  Their words bring division.  They plant the seeds of mistrust and speculation.  They spoil the true fruit of the Spirit.  Paul calls people who fruit in this manner as depraved and deprived.  That is really a pretty harsh critique when you think about it.

Have you ever been at a point in your life where you fruited in such a way as to bring about unhealthy division?  Have you ever been a part of causing people to look at someone with speculation and mistrust – especially someone who didn’t deserve it?  Why are human beings so prone to suffer from jealousy?  Why do we want to drag people’s name through the mud when they really don’t deserve it?

Third Thought:
Paul says that godliness is no means to gain.  Now, of course Paul believes that godliness is a good way to live.  But it is not a means to gain.  After all, being spiritual in this world will not get us anything from the world.  {And if it does, then chances are we aren’t really being spiritual, are we?}  Godliness doesn’t earn us anything spiritual, either.  After all, what we receive from God is a gift, not something we earn.  We cannot earn salvation, His love, or His mercy.  What Paul is getting at is that godliness is not a means to gain; godliness is a response to grace.  We are godly because we respond in appreciation to God.  That is why we are godly, not for some gain.

How often do you experience people trying to live godly lives in order to gain something?  How can you recognize this?  Why is it easy to slip into that mindset?  How can you help keep your mindset on being godly as a response to grace?

Passage for Tomorrow: 1 Timothy 6:6-8
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