1 Timothy 6:6-10
1 Tim 6:6 (KJB)
But godliness with contentment is great gain.
In the previous verse, we read that the false teachers had taught that gain or wealth is godliness because it means that they believe that they have the favor of God. Whet they fail to realize is that it is a satanic trap. When Satan tempted the Lord when He was here, he promised Jesus that he would give Him the kingdoms of the world if He would bow down and worship him. Gain made by false methods or evil methods is a form of Satan worship. The world system is in the system of wickedness and when people worship the beast system, Satan rewards them and they think it is God rewarding them. (1 John 5:19 KJV) And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness. Paul is stating in our verse that real godliness, which would be true salvation and not outward religious show, and being content in whatever situation you are in, is great gain. The reason we have great gain is because whatever the Lord gives us in this world, will be sufficient for our needs for the ministry the Lord will give to us. A person could be poor but if they are saved, they have everything because this world will pass away but the real riches will be Heaven for eternity. Another reason we have great gain from godliness with contentment is that we do not spend our lives driven by the lust for wealth and material goods. Wealthy people who are unsaved may live in mansions but there is no contentment to remain at the financial level they are at. A person once asked John D. Rockefeller, “How much money is enough?” and he responded “Just a little bit more.” In that nebulous response, we see that there was no contentment in his life with the billions he had.
1 Tim 6:7 (KJB)
For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
Certain - Clear or evident
The Scripture here make a great truth which is normally neglected by people. The truth is that it is a great certainty that we came into this world with absolutely nothing and it is also a great certainty that we will carry nothing out. Every person who has died, including believers, leave all their worldly goods behind. Paul wanted to make this clear so Christians who had wealth or even decent wages, would not try to hoard and build up their finances. There is nothing wrong with saving but when we begin to hoard, it becomes an obsession. A few days ago I heard Dr. Charles Stanley on the radio make a really good statement, and I am repeating it from memory. “God is blessed by us being funnels.” This means that God gives us finances and material goods for the purpose of glorifying God and advancing the Kingdom of God on earth. Paul is stressing the fact that not a penny or any material good will ever go with us and that is why Paul wants us to use what the Lord has given us for the sake of the gospel. I remember going through the pockets of my father’s pants which he wore the day before he died and I found one lonely quarter. He couldn’t even take a quarter with him, never mind trying to build millions of dollars in finances for a temporary situation and then believe you can take it with you. If God makes a believer wealthy, and there is nothing wrong with that, especially if they use their wealth for the furtherance of the kingdom of God. That wealthy believer may even want to start a business and in this way he or she will be putting people to work so they can support themselves, their families, and ultimately if there are any believers who are hired, they can support the gospel. Paul is not condemning riches but just making a fact that since we can never take anything with us, let us labor for the true riches which is eternal life. (Luke 16:11 KJV) If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?
1 Tim 6:8 (KJB)
And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
Raiment - Covering or clothing
Let us be content - We shall be satisfied
If we have food and clothing and even a roof over our heads, then we shall be content with what the Lord has given us. The four words “let us be…content” is one word in the Greek and is in the future tense. This means that contentment should be a continuum in the life of every Christian. When we are in Christ, He never changes, even though He may change our ministries and along with that our finances or whatever, we know that we will have a stable Christian life, with or without many material goods. (Heb 13:5 KJV) Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. The Christian is only a pilgrim on this earth and must not be encumbered with the material goods of the world or the mindset of the world. When God saved us, we now belong to Him and He will supply whatever needs will arise. (Phil 4:19 KJV) But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
1 Tim 6:9 (KJB)
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.
That will - Desire, intend, or incline
Snare - Trap
Foolish - Senseless or unwise
Hurtful - Harmful or injurious
Drown - To sink as to the bottom of the sea
Perdition - Ruin, waste, or loss
The exact opposite of godliness with contentment is ungodliness with greed. Many set out in this world to try and become wealthy, some may make it but the majority will not. Greed for gain creates a downward spiral in a person’s life and Paul describes it in its final state as something which can drown a person and lead to total ruin of their lives. That scenario has been played out in the lives of countless numbers of people who have made shipwreck of their lives because of their insatiable lust for wealth. The lust for wealth can easily lead a person into a life of crime, trying to make money with illegal deals and illegal merchandise. If they make shady deals and are caught, they could go to prison and that would end their hopeful climb to the top. This is why Paul wants Christians to avoid the trap of lusting for money because it only leads to heartache. On the other hand, if the Lord has gifted you in the area of business and you want to start a business, there is nothing unbiblical about that unless the motives for starting the business are not according to Scriptures. If one starts a business for the purpose of desiring to give more to the Gospel, then that is a good motive but if it is just to get rich and hoard money and material goods, then the reasoning is flawed. Many people and ministries have fallen for the get rich quick Ponzi schemes which promised tremendous returns from investment and the end of those investments were bankruptcy for the investors. Bernie Madoff is probably the most recent example of a Ponzi scheme operator who bilked his investors for billions. The only reason people got involved with him was because their greed had overridden their better business judgment. Paul was trying to warn this church to beware of the lust of riches because it will lead to becoming broke.
1 Tim 6:10 (KJB)
For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
Love of money - Avarice
Root - Source or shoot
Coveted after - Stretch toward, yearn for, or strive for
Have erred - Mislead, lead astray, or were seduced
Pierced - Impaled as one runs themselves through with a sharp object
Many people misquote this verse by stating “money is the root of all evil.” The truth is that money is neutral, it can be a great servant but a cruel taskmaster. When someone engages in a life of “fortune seeking” they are going down a wrong path. Even if they make millions, they will look to that money as their security and if they do not become saved, that false security will be left at the gravesite while they continue to judgment. The word “coveted after” is interesting because it shows a person who is stretching toward the goal of money. When one is stretching, they are engaging their whole body which shows us they are engaging their whole life for wealth. Since they are focused on the wealth, they have no focus upon Christ and this is what Paul wants to prevent anyone from doing. The idea of great wealth somehow seduces a person’s better judgment and will cause them to depart from the faith, not necessarily losing their salvation, but departing in a sinful manner. When a Christian departs from the faith, it is like being pierced through with many sharp arrows. It is like suffering a living death because the spirit in the Christian will yearn for the things of God but the flesh will yearn for the things of this earth.
The results of going after wealth for a Christian will yield disillusionment, grief, heartbreak, and just the opposite effect they were looking for, bankruptcy. Money must be a tool in the Christian’s life and not a goal. This does not mean we cannot invest in a mutual fund or shares of stock, but this must be done with the proper goals in mind such as retirement or funding our children’s education. The Lord wants us to have joy in our Christian walk and not constant sorrow and misery. This world already gives the Christian enough sorrows and misery, so we do not need any more.