Tuesday, February 20, 2007

1 Timothy 6:6-10 - Stay out of the trap.

6But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 9People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. 10For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

Verse 6:
Here Paul uses the word contentment (one who is satisfied) to mean the empowering Christ gives to live above both want and plenty (Phil 4:13 – I can do all things through Christ…). Paul’s point of this passage is to combat the greed of false teachers or anyone else who might lean this direction.

Verses 7-8:
Contentment accompanies godliness and is the “great profit”.
(1) Materialism and greed is irrelevant and irrational because we take nothing with us when we die. (Job 1:21 “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I shall return.)
(2) All we need are the basic essentials of food and clothing – this excludes greed.
So, godliness is not something by which to gain material gain. Rather, it is itself the greatest gain!

Verses 9-10:
Paul returns to the false teachers and expands to all who want to get rich. The results of greed are a downward spiral.
(1) Fall into temptation (enticement)
(2) Caught in a trap (many foolish and harmful desires). The trap is set by Satan for your spiritual ruin.
(3) Plunge into ruin and destruction (all kinds of sin)

“The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil” is often misinterpreted or misquoted to mean that money is at the root of all evil. Rather this statement is intended to support his previous statement that greed is a trap full of many hurtful desires that lead to all kinds of sin.

Finally, Paul states the harsh and tragic reality that many men, who used to be good men, allowed themselves to be snared by Satan in the trap of greed and therefore went astray and pierced themselves through, as with a sword, with many griefs.

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