1 Timothy 6
The final injunction of the apostle concerning Timothy's duty toward his flock had to do with his dealing with Christian slaves. The master must not treat them with contempt. They are to recognize that the slaves are serving Christ, and so make their service the opportunity of testimony to the power of the' Gospel. Service will be rendered more readily and faithfully because impulsed by love.
The apostle then reverted to the prime occasion of Timothy's appointment to Ephesus, which was the presence and action of false teachers. To these he referred in scathing words. In this connection occurs a sentence which flashes a fierce light into the inner working of the minds of these teachers as the apostle refers to them as "supposing that godliness is a way of gain." To this evil the apostle opposes the great truth that "Godliness with contentment is great gain." The contrasting ideas are arresting. According to these false teachers, godliness is a means of gaining much. According to Paul, godliness is the gain of being content with little.
An appeal is then made to Timothy, who is addressed, "O man of God." The note of the appeal is threefold, "flee," "follow," "fight." He is to flee the things of evil, to follow those of truth, and thus to fight the good fight of faith. The strength for the conflict is found in the life eternal. Moreover, there is to be a great epiphany, when the supreme and absolute Lordship of Jesus is to be revealed. That is to be the supreme inspiration of service and of conflict.
The final charge to Timothy brought to the mind of the apostle the peril which threatened those who were rich. He describes the true attitude of the Christian man possessed of wealth, showing
(1) his true state of mind,
(2) his proper use of wealth, and
(3) the secret strength of realization. The epistle closed in an outburst of personal appeal full of force and beauty.
the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25