Lasting Investments

                                                  I Timothy 6:6-19

                                                     July 7, 2019

 

 

WE endeavored, this morning, to prove the profitableness of godliness as

to the life which now is, and to discriminate as to what the promise of this

life really is. We tried to prove that “the promise” of the life that now is, its

real and highest beauty and excellence, consists in peace of mind, peace

with God, contentment, and happiness of spirit; and while we pointed out

that godliness did not ensure wealth, or health, or even a good name — for

all these even to godly men might not be granted — yet we showed that

the great end of our being, that for which we live and were created, that

which will best make it worth while to have existed, shall certainly be ours

if we are godly. We did not think it an unimportant matter to expound the

bearing of true religion upon this present state, but I trust we did not

exaggerate that view so as to keep those in countenance who dream that

this world is the main consideration, and that the wisest man is he who

makes it the be-all and the end-all of his existence.

 

Beloved friends, there is another life beyond this fleeting existence. This

fact was dimly guessed by heathens:  This puzzle was solved when

JESUS CHRIST WHO ABOLISHED DEATH AND BROUGHT

LIFE AND IMMORTALITY TO LIGHT THROUGH THE GOSPEL! 

 

 

                                    The Doctrine of God (vs. 1-2)

 

Slaves, led doubtless by the miseries of their condition to seek the

ennobling, comforting privileges of the gospel, formed a considerable

portion of the first congregations of disciples (see the names in Romans

16.;  Corinthians 1:27-28; Ephesians 6:5-8; Colossians 3:22-25; Titus 2:9;

Philemon 1:10, 16; I Peter. 2:18, etc.). Hence so many exhortations addressed

specially to them. In nothing, perhaps, does the Divine excellency of the gospel

show itself more strikingly than in the adaptation of its precepts to such different

classes of society, and in the wise moderation with which it met the social evils of

life. The subjects of a Nero are bid to honor the king, the slave is told to count his

master worthy of all honor; and the motive for this self-denying moderation is the

paramount desire not to bring any reproach upon the gospel of Christ. The

world shall not be able to say that Christianity is a breeder of confusion, or

that the peaceable order of society is endangered by the fanaticism of the

servants of Christ. And yet the manly self-respect of the slave is

wonderfully increased by being reminded that he is the servant of Christ;

or, again, by the thought of his spiritual freedom as a child of God; or,

again, by his brotherhood with his master and partnership with him in the

faith and love of the gospel of Christ. He has before him a career as noble

and as dignified as his master, though that master were Caesar himself.

And while he patiently submits to the peculiar trials of his bodily condition,

he is transported into a region where bodily distinctions are of no account

where the petty differences of rich and poor, bond and free, are

swallowed up, and melt away, before the common glory of the children of

God and the common privileges of Christian fellowship. And yet all the

while he maintains the respect and obedience of the slave to the master.

Truly the doctrine of God is a wise, an excellent, and a worthy doctrine,

and carries with it its own credentials, THAT IS FROM GOD!

 

 

            The Duties of Slaves to Unbelieving Masters (v. 1)

 

The apostle next proceeds to deal with the distinctions of civil duty, and takes up

the case of a very numerous but miserable class which appears to have been largely

attracted to the gospel in primitive times.

 

·               THE HONOR DUE TO PAGAN MASTERS. “Whoever are under the

yoke as bondservants, let them reckon their own masters worthy of all

honor.”

 

Ø      The condition of the slaves was one of much hardship. There was

practically no limit to the power of the masters over the slaves. They might

be gentle and just, or capricious and cruel. The slaves had no remedy at

law against harsh treatment, as they had no hope of escape from bondage.

 

Ø      Yet their liberty had not been so restricted that they had not the

opportunity of hearing the gospel. There were Christian slaves. Their hard

life was ameliorated, not merely by the blessed hopes of the gospel, but by

the privilege of spiritual equality with their masters which was one of its

distinguishing glories.

 

Ø      The gospel did not interfere with the duty of obedience which they owed

to their masters. They were to give them all honor — not merely outward

subjection, but inward respect. Christianity did not undertake to overturn

social relations. If it had done so, it would have been revolutionary in the

last degree; it would have armed the whole forces of the Roman empire

against it; it would itself have been drowned in blood; and it would have

led to the merciless slaughter of the slaves themselves. Yet Christianity

prepared the way from the very first for the complete abolition of slavery.

The fact that with the great Master in heaven “there was no respect of

persons(Romans 2:11), and that “in Jesus Christ there was neither bond

nor free, but all were one in Christ” (Galatians 3:28), would not justify the

slaves in repudiating their present subjection, while it held out the hope of

their eventual emancipation. They must not, therefore, abuse their liberty

under the gospel.

 

Ø      Yet there was a limit to the slaves obedience. He could only obey his

master so far as was consistent with the laws of God and His gospel,

consenting to suffer rather than outrage his conscience. Cases of this sort

might arise, but they would not prejudice the gospel, like a simple revolt

against existing relationships.

 

·               THE REASON FOR THE DUE HONOR GIVEN TO THEIR

PAGAN MASTERS. “That the Name of God and his doctrine may not be

blasphemed.”

 

Ø      There would be a serious danger of such a result if slaves were either to

withhold due service to their masters or to repudiate all subjection. God

and His doctrine would be dishonored in the eyes of their masters, because

they would be regarded as sanctioning insubordination. Thus a deep and

widespread prejudice would arise to prevent the gospel reaching their

pagan masters.

 

Ø      It is thus possible for the lowliest members of the Church to do honor

to God and the gospel. The apostle contemplates their adorning “of the

doctrine of God our Savior in all things” (Titus 2:10).

 

Ø      The same considerations apply to the case of domestic servants in our

own day. The term translated here “slaves” is used with some latitude in

the Scripture. It applies sometimes:

 

o        to persons entirely free, as to David in relation to Saul (I Samuel 19:4),

o        to Christians generally (Romans 6:16; I Peter 2:16),

o        to apostles, prophets, and ministers (Galatians 1:10; II Timothy 2:24), and

o         to the higher class of dependents (Matthew 18:23; 21:34).

 

            Thus the term implies a relation of dependence without legal compulsion.

            Christian servants must yield a willing and cheerful service that they may

                        thus honor the gospel.

 

 

                                       Heterodoxy (vs. 3-5)

 

It is a great mistake to limit the notion of heterodoxy (deviation from accepted or

orthodox standards or beliefs – and there are a lot of these in our society – CY –

2019)  ) to the holding of wrong opinions in dogmatic theology.

Heterodoxy is teaching anything otherwise than as the Word of God

teaches it. Here they are declared to be heterodox who depart from the

wholesome teaching of Christ concerning the duties of slaves to their

masters, and use language in speaking to slaves which is provocative of

strife and envy, of railings and suspicions. Such men, instead of being

guided by a disinterested love of truth, are actuated by selfish motives.

They seek to curry favor with those whose cause they espouse, and receive

in money the reward of their patronage of the cause. And so we may

generally discern between the orthodox and the heterodox by the methods

they pursue, and the results they attain. The one seeks to promote peace

and contentment by gentle words and by counsels of love and patience, and

has his reward in the happiness of those whom he advises. The other

flatters, and inflames the passions of those whom he pretends to befriend;

plays upon the bad parts of human nature; raises questions which tend to

loosen the joints which bind society together; declaims and fumes and

agitates, and receives in money or other selfish advantages the price of his

mischievous patronage. Disinterested love is the characteristic of orthodox

teaching, selfish gain that of the heterodox. Peace and contentment are the

fruit of the one, strife and suspicion are the fruit of the other.

 

 

 

 

6 “But godliness with contentment is great gain.” Godliness, etc. The apostle

takes up the sentiment which he had just condemned, and shows that in another

sense it is most true. The godly man is rich indeed. For he wants nothing in

this world but what God has given him, and has acquired riches which, unlike

the riches of this world, he can take away with him (compare Matthew 6:19-21;

Luke 12:33). The enumeration of his acquired treasures follows, after a parenthetical

depreciation of those of the covetous man, in v. 11. The thought, as so often in

Paul, is a little intricate, and its flow checked by parenthetical side-thoughts. But it

Seems to be as follows: But godliness is, in one sense, a source of great gain, and

moreover brings contentment with it — contentment, I say, for since we

brought nothing into the world, and can carry nothing out, we have good

reason to be content with the necessaries of life, food and raiment. Indeed,

those who strive for more, and pant after wealth, bring nothing but trouble

upon themselves. For the love of money is the root of all evil, etc. Thou,

therefore, O man of God, instead of reaching after worldly riches, procure

the true wealth, and become rich in righteousness, godliness, faith,” etc.

(v. 11). The phrase, Eστι δὲ πορισμὸς μέγας ἡ εὐσεβεία μετὰ αὐταρκείας, - Estin

de porismos megas hae eusebeia meta autarkeias  - But goldliness with contentment

is great gain - should be construed by  making the μετὰ (great) couple πορισμὸς

(a way of gain; capital) with αὐταρκείας  (contentment) so as to express that

godlinessis both “gain” and contentmentnot as if αὐταρκεία (contentment)

qualified εὐσεβεία (godliness) that would have been expressed by the collocation,

μετὰ αὐταρκείας εὐσεβεία. Contentment (αὐταρκεία). The word occurs elsewhere

in the New Testament only in II Corinthians 9:8, where it is rendered, both in the

Revised Version and the Authorized Version, “sufficiency.” The adjective αὐτάρκης

 Autarkaes found in Philippians 4:11 (and common in classical Greek), is

Rendered “content.” It means “sufficient in or of itself” — needing no external

aid and is applied to persons, countries, cities, moral qualities, etc. The

substantive αὐταρκεία (contentment) is the condition of the person, or thing,

which is αὐτάρκης (content).

 

 

9 “But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into

many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and

perdition.” Temptation. The Revised Version inserts the article “a” before

temptation  because it seems to be that, as the three substantives all depend

upon the one preposition εἰς – eis - into, they ought all to be treated alike. But

if so, the reasoning is not good, because “temptation” implies a state, not merely

a single temptation. The prefixing of the article is therefore improper. It should be

temptation,” as in the Authorized Version and in Matthew 6:13; 26:41; Luke

22:40, etc. Snare (παγίδα – pagida – snare; trap); as ch.3:7, note. The

concurrence of the two words περιρασμός – perirasmos – trial; temptation

 and παγίς – pagis – snare -show that the agency of Satan was in the

writer’s mind. Drown (βυθίζουσι – buthizousi – drown; are swamping;

submerging); only here and Luke 5:7  (sink) in the New Testament. 

Destruction and  perdition (ὄλεθρον καὶ ἀπώλειαν – olethron kai apoleian

extermination and destruction). The two words taken together imply UTTER

RUIN AND DESTRUCTION OF BODY AND SOUL!    Ὄλεθρος

Olethros – destruction -  very common in classical Greek, occurs in I Corinthians

5:5;  I Thessalonians 5:3; II Thessalonians 1:9, and is limited in the first passage to

the destruction of the body, by the words, τῆς σαρκός – taes sarkos –

of the flesh – (I Corinthians 5:5).  Ἀπωλεία – Apoleia – here translated

perditionmeans to destroy utterly, less common in classical

Greek, is of frequent use in the New Testament, and, when applied to

persons, seems to be always used (except in Acts 25:16) in the sense

of “perdition” (Matthew 7:13; John 17:12; Romans 9:22; Philippians 3:19;

II Thessalonians 2:3; Hebrews 10:39; II Peter 3:7; Revelation 17:3, etc.).

 

 

The Dangers of the Eager Haste to be Rich (v. 9)

 

“But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare.”

 

Ø      The apostle does not condemn the possession of riches, which

have, in reality, no moral character; for they are only evil where they

are badly used. Neither does he speak of rich men; for he would not

condemn such men as Abraham, Joseph of Arimathsea, Gaius, and

others; nor such rich men as use their wealth righteously as good

stewards of God.

 

Ø      He condemns the haste to be rich, not only because wealth is not

necessary for a life of godly contentment, but because of its social

and moral risks.

 

fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful

lusts, which DROWN MEN  in DESTRUCTION and PERDITION.

 

Ø      There is a temptation to unjust gain which leads men into the

 snare of the devil. There is a sacrifice of principle, the abandonment

of conscientious scruples, in the hurry to accumulate wealth.  (One

should:  “never sacrifice principle for temporary gain.”

This maxim is all over Twitter and Facebook – CY – 2013)

 

Ø      The temptation in its turn makes way for many lusts which are

foolish,” because they are unreasonable, and exercised upon

things that are quite undesirable; and which are “hurtful,” because

they injure both body and soul, and ARE AGAINST A MAN’S

BEST INTERESTS!  

 

Ø      These lusts in turn carry their OWN RETRIBUTION.   They

DROWN MEN  in DESTRUCTION and PERDITION.

 

o       This is more than moral degradation.

o       It is A WRECK OF THE BODY accompanied by

THE RUIN OF THE IMMORTAL SOUL!

 

 

                                    The Contrast (vs. 6-21)

 

There is no more effectual way of bringing out the peculiar beauties and excellences

of any system or character than by contrasting with it the opposite system or character.

Let us do this in regard to the two characters which are here brought before us, and the

uses of money by them respectively.

 

·               THE MONEY-LOVER. The love of money sits at the helm of his inner

man. It is the spring of all his thoughts, desires, and actions. Observe what

is his ruling motive, what takes the lead in his plans and schemes of life,

and you will find that it is the desire to be rich. (Christ sums it up when he

says “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”  Matthew

6:21 – CY – 2019)  To be rich ranks in his estimation before being good or

doing good; and personal goodness and benevolence towards others, if they

have existed before the entering into the heart of the love of money, gradually

fade and die away under its withering influence. (Does this explain why you

are not a Christiian?  Is this why you do not come to church?  CY – 2019)

As the thistles and rushes, the docks and the plantains, prevail, the good

herbage disappears. A hard selfish character, indifferent to the feelings and

wants of others, and ready to brush on one side every obstacle which stands

in the way of getting, is the common result of the love of money. But in many

cases it leads on into impiety and crime, and through them to sorrows and

perdition.

 

Ø      It was his greed for the wages of unrighteousness which urged

            Baalam on to his destruction; (II Peter 2:15)

Ø      it was his greed for money that made Judas a thief, a traitor, and

      a murderer of his Lord.

 

Many an heresiarch (the founder of a heresy or the leader of a heretical sect)

has adopted false doctrines and led schisms merely as a means of enriching

himself at the expense of his followers; and every day we see crimes of the

blackest dye springing from the lust of riches. In other cases the coveted

possession of wealth is followed by inordinate pride and contempt of

those who are not rich, by a feeling of superiority to all the restraints

which bind other men, and by a headlong descent into the vices

and self-indulgences to which money paves the way. In a word, then, the

lover of money stands before us as at best a selfish man — a man of low

and narrow ends; one pandering to his own base desires; one sacrificing to

an ignoble and futile purpose all the loftier parts of his own nature; one

from whom his fellow-men get no good, and often get much harm; one

whose toil and labor at the best end in emptiness, and very often lead him

into sorrow and destruction. His progress is a continued debasement of

himself, and moral bankruptcy IS HIS END!

 

·               THE MAN OF GOD IS OF A DIFFERENT MOLD. He views his own

nature and his own wants in their true light. He is a man, he is a moral

agent, he is a child of God. His hunger and thirst are after the things that

are needful for the life and the growth of his immortal soul, his very self.

He is a man; he is one of those whom the Lord Jesus is not ashamed to call

His brethren, and who has been made partaker of His Divine nature, and

therefore, like his Divine Lord, he wishes to live, not for himself, but for

his brethren, whom he loves even as Christ loved them and gave Himself for

them. And so, on the one hand, he lays himself out to enrich himself with

those treasures which make a man rich toward God — righteousness,

godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness; and, on the other, he uses his

worldly wealth for the comfort of the poor and needy; doing good,

distributing freely of his substance for every good work, and admitting

others to a share of the wealth that God has given him. It is very

remarkable, too, how he both degrades and yet elevates wealth. He

degrades it by depriving it of all its false value. He does not trust in it,

because he knows its uncertainty; he does not desire it, because he knows

its dangers; he does not boast of it, because he knows it adds nothing to his

real worth. But he elevates it by making it an instrument of doing good to

others, and by making it a provocative of love to man and of thankfulness

to God; and though it is so fleeting and so uncertain in itself, he forces into

it an element of eternity by consecrating it to God, and compelling it to

bear witness on his behalf in the great day of judgment that he loved Christ

and did good to those whom Christ loves.

 

To sum up, the money-lover, by putting a false value upon money, makes it

a snare and an instrument of hurt to himself and others, and an ETERNAL

LOSS TO HIS OWN SOUL!  To his own soul; the man of God, by putting

the true value upon money, makes it a joyful possession to himself and his

brethren, a nourisher of unselfish virtue, and an ETERNAL GAIN!

 

 

 

 

ἀπόλλυμὶ - apollumi - a strengthened form of ollumi, signifies “to destroy utterly”;

in middle voice, “to perish.” The idea is not extinction but ruin, loss, not of being,

but of well-being. This is clear from its use, as, e.g., of the marring of wine skins,

Luke 5:37; of lost sheep, i.e., lost to the shepherd, metaphorical of spiritual

destitution, Luke 15:4, 6, etc.; the lost son, 15:24; of the perishing of food,

John 6:27; of gold, I Peter 1:7. So of persons, Matthew 2:13, “destroy”; 8:25,

perish”; 22:7; 27:20; of the loss of well-being in the case of the unsaved hereafter,

Matthew 10:28; Luke 13:3, 5; John 3:16 (v. 15 in some manuscripts); 10:28; 17:12;

Romans 2:12; I Corinthians 15:18; II Corinthians 2:15, “are perishing”; 4:3;

II Thessalonians 2:10; James 4:12; II Peter 3:9. Compare ἀπώλεια  below.

See DIE, LOSE, MARRED, PERISH. 

 

ἀπώλειαapoleia  akin to ἀπόλλυμὶ above, and likewise indicating “loss of

well-being, not of being,” is used:

 

·               of things, signifying their waste, or ruin;

 

Ø      of ointment, Matthew 26:8; Mark 14:4;

Ø      of money, Acts 8:20 (“perish”);

 

·               of persons, signifying their spiritual and eternal perdition, Matthew 7:13;

      John 17:12; II Thessalonians 2:3, where “son of perdition” signifies the

      proper destiny of the person mentioned; metaphorically of men persistent

      in evil, Romans 9:22, where fitted” is in the middle voice, indicating that

      the vessels of wrath fitted themselves for “destruction”,

 

Ø      of the adversaries of the Lord’s people, Philippians. 1:28 (“perdition”);

Ø      of professing Christians, really enemies of the cross of Christ,

      Philippians 3:19 (Revised Version, “perdition”);

Ø      of those who are subjects of foolish and hurtful lusts, v. 9 here

      (for the preceding word “destruction” see ὄλεθρος below);

Ø      of professing Hebrew adherents who shrink back into unbelief,

      Hebrews 10:39;

Ø      of false teachers, II Peter 2:1, 3;

Ø      of ungodly men, ibid. ch. 3:7;

Ø      of those who wrest the Scriptures, ibid. v. 16;

Ø      of the Beast, the final head of the revived Roman Empire,

      Revelation 17:8, 11;

 

·               of impersonal subjects, as heresies, II Peter 2:1, where “destructive heresies”

         (Revised Version; King James Version, “damnable”) is, literally “heresies

         of destruction” (margin, “sects of perdition”); in ibid. v. 2 the most authentic

         manuscripts. have ἀσελγείαιςaselgeiais – lascivious  instead of ἀπώλειας.

         See PERDITION, PERNICIOUS, WASTE.

 

 

ὄλεθρος olethros - ruin, destruction -  akin to ὀλοθρεύω (see below) always

translated “destruction,” is used:

 

·               in I Corinthians 5:5, of the effect upon the physical condition of an erring

         believer for the purpose of his spiritual profit;

 

·               in I Thessalonians 5:3 and II Thessalonians 1:9, of the effect of the divine

         judgments upon men at the ushering in of the Day of the Lord and the

         revelation of the Lord Jesus;

 

·               in v. 9 here, of the consequences of the indulgence of the flesh, referring

         to physical “ruin” and possibly that of the whole being, the following word 

         (see No. 1) stressing THE FINAL, ETERNAL,  and IRREVOKABLE

         CHARACTER OF THE RUIN! 

 

 

ὀλοθρεύω olothreuo - to destroy - especially in the sense of slaying, is found

in Hebrews 11:28, where the Revised Version translates the present participle with

the article by the noun “destroyer.” ὁ ὀλοθρεύων ho olothreuon – the destroyer.

 See ὀλοθρεύτής below.

 

ὀλοθρεύτήςolothreutes - akin to ὀλοθρεύω - a destroyer – (see above) is found in 

I Corinthians 10:10.  Note:  Compare Ἀπολλύων – Apollyon - in Revelation  9:11,

the present participle of ἀπόλλυμὶ, used as a proper noun.

 

 

Two personal points to be made:

 

(1)   Concerning your physical body, how often have you ever looked in

       an anatomy book or a doctor’s descriptions of maladies or diseases,

      to learn something to help for well-being of a current condition? 

      Then is not your soul that important?  important enough to look

      into God’s Word for help, or better still, Look to Jesus Christ for

      healing!

 

(2)   Whenever a form of the Greek word for perishing or destruction - ἀπόλλυμὶ -

      apollumi - which signifies “to destroy utterly”; in middle voice, “to perish.”

      The idea is not extinction but ruin, loss, not of being,  but of well-being,

      DOES IT NOT BOTHER YOU THAT A WORD USED TO DESCRIBE

      YOUR CONDITION, IS A MONIKER ALSO OF SATAN THAT YOU

      CAN/WILL SHARE THROUGHOUT ETERNITY WITH HIM, WHETHER

      IN NAME ONLY OR IN REALITY????????????????????

 

DO YOU EVER PLAN TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT?  IF NOT TODAY?

WHEN??????????