Paul gives advice to the slaves and to the Christian masters. We must understand that back then slavery was a common thing in fact around half of the people in Rome were slaves an estimated 60 million. In verse 1 Paul wants the Christian slave to honor his master. This was important to Paul because he taught the same thing in many other passages Read Eph. 6:5-8; Col. 3:22-25 (Titus 2:9; 1Pet 2:18). If these slaves started rebelling against their masters after they had been converted they would blame it on Gods doctrine and curse Christianity. It was very important that these slaves be even more humble and respectful to their master to be good examples so that maybe they might even lead their masters to salvation. They need to have the attitude that Paul had remember when he said for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: Phil 4:11. This does not mean that they had to stay a slave no matter what because notice what Paul says in 1Cor 7:21-22.
2 Sometimes these slaves master would also be converted and they might start thinking why should I serve my brother in Christ? But Paul makes it clear donít despise them instead serve them and be glad that a brother is benefiting from you service. Rom 12:10 tells us that we are to prefer one another and we see that not only does Paul want these slaves honor their unbelieving masters he especially wants slaves to honor those who they can call brother.
3-5 Timothy is told to teach and exhort these things related to the master and slave relationship in vrs 1 and 2. Now this is the immediate subject at hand but we know that this also applies to all that Paul is writing to him and has taught him. Now we see that vrs 3 is continues on with this idea that if anyone teaches something other than these words that Paul is sharing with Timothy Paul describes† these false teachers as those who do not consent to wholesome words. This word wholesome carries the idea of healthy words. This is exactly what Paul has been telling Timothy all along to fight for. Over and over again he tell Timothy to keep sound doctrine. Paul goes on to equate these wholesome words with the very words of our lord Jesus and to the doctrine which accords to godliness. This is very important to us today to realize how important it is to follow the words we read in out Bibles because we will be judged by them. John 12:48. Mk.8:38 2Jn 9.
Notice what Paul says about this type of false teacher that he proud. That is he is so wrapped up in himself that he cannot see the truth because he is so blinded by his own thoughts and he is simply to prideful to think that he could ever be wrong. A person who thinks he know the answer to everything will not listen to someone else much less to the word of God. Lets look a few verses that speak of this. Prov. 1:7, 7:1, 11:2, 12:15,† Isa. 5:21. This person who thinks he is so smart so great actually knows nothing just as Paul said in Rom 1:21-22.
Paul goes on to say that these type of people are OBSESSED with arguments and disputes about words and because of this obsession they generates envy, strife, reviling and evil suspicions, and useless wranglings. Paul tells that these people have corrupt mind. A person like this has the same characteristics of the Pharisees of the 1st century time. Do remember when Jesus told the Pharisees that they were blind guides who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel. They were always† wanting to argue about something that really and truly was not that important. This is what false teachers will do today as they try and convince people of their doctrine they will take words in the bible and twist them and make arguments about them to teach something false. People like this exist in the church as well. These kind of people divide churches and kill the faith of others. Instead of encouraging and sharing the love of God all they want to do is argue and cause problems again this is why they are referred to a men of corrupt minds.
Notice these same false teachers think that godliness is a means of gain. This is a message you see taught all the time on TBN. They say if you are not driving around in a new car or have big house you must be living wrong for God. Then they always tell the people if they want to be richer they need to give to the address below more money and it will be given back to them 10 fold. Look at what Paul told Titus in TIT. 1:11. While it is scriptural to support a minister it is not right for a preacher to just preach for the money like it just another job. A preacher should preach because he loves the Lord and because he has been blessed with the ability to do so not because of the money. 1Cor 9:16. †Paul tells Timothy and us today to withdraw from such false teachers as described in these verses. Rom† 16:17, 2Jn 10-11.
Now the false teacher things that godliness produces great financial gain but Paul tells that godliness with contentment is great gain. The word contentment has the idea of being satisfied with what you have and where you are. Paul had learned this very thing as he said in whatever state he was in he was content and the reason why he was content and satisfied in whatever state he may find himself was because he believed just a we should that we can do all thing through Christ who strengthens us. Philp 4:11, 13. Look at Ps 37:16. (Prv 15:12, 16).
7 Paul answers the question why we should be content with what we have because we cannot† take it with us. Now if the riches we are going to have in heaven were some how a reflection on the riches we have on this earth then I could see why someone would want to struggle as hard as they could to be rich on this earth but that simple is not the case. Notice what Jesus said in Mat. 6: 19-21. Heaven is where we need to lay our treasure not the material things of this earth. Even one of the wealthiest men in the Bible understood this concept look at Ecc 5:15 Solomon (Ps. 49:16-19). †(Alexander the Great wanted to buried with hands hanging out his casket so that when people saw this they could see that even though he was a man of great wealth he was leaving this earth empty handed.
8. Paul is returning the idea of content again. All that man really needs in this life is food clothing and shelter and to trust in the Lord to provide these things. Jesus put it best on the sermon on the mount in Mat 6:25-34. If God takes care of our needs here on this earth just think how much more we will be taken care of in the hereafter. So let us as Christians not covet after material things. Heb. 13:5-6.
9. Vrs 9 is opposite of being content. First of all I want you notice what this verse does not teach. It does not† teach that it is wrong to possess riches nor does it teach that the rich will fall into temptation. What it does say it that those who DESIRE or long for riches are the ones who will fall into temptation or in snare. Once they get trapped in this snare they will do anything and everything weather good or evil to lay hold of their riches. David gave this warning If riches increase do not set your heart on them Ps 62:10.† If you do you will never be satisfied Solomon said this Ecclesiastes 5:10 He who loves silver will not be satisfied with silver; Nor he who loves abundance, with increase. This also is vanity. This is so true in our society today and all of us can understand this concept. How many times have you heard of a professional athlete who was making some ridiculous amount of money like 10 million dollars a year but then you find out that just isnít good enough they want more so they try and renegotiate their contract for more and more money. All of us go through this process to some degree. We tell our selves if I just make 5000 dollars more I will be set. Then we reach that goal we find ourselves saying the same thing over again. We do the same thing with our possessions. Cars, toys etcÖ (Pro. 28:20).
10. This† is one of the most misquoted verses in the Bible. You will hear people say that money is the root of all evil. Money itself is neither good nor bad but what the text teaches is that the love for money that is root of all kinds of evil. There is nothing wrong with being rich its you attitude toward your riches is what matters. There were many rich men in the Bible that were consisder God fearing men and they did not let their wealth come between them and God. You have Job who started out rich and was chosen by God to be tested by Satin. He lost it all and because of his love for God he endured the hardship and in the end he ended up even more rich than when his tribulation began. Abraham was also rich in livestock and in silver yet you donít read where he let is wealth get between him and God. Now there are also many examples in the Bible that show how the love for money did cause evil things and also how these people were pierced through with many sorrows. Remember Delilah† how she took a bribe to find out how Samson had his strength. Or how about the greedy Governor Felix who kept Paul locked up in Acts 24 yet he kept calling for him during this time hoping that Paul would offer him a bribe. Now lets look at 2 examples of those who were struck with great sorry because of their love for money. Do remember what happened to Achan in Joshuahs day. Remember how God told them not to take anything from the battle but Achans love for money did him in Jos 7:20-21. Not only did he have to die for this sin his whole family did as well.
One of the most familiar characters in the NT who was pierced through with sorrow was Judas. Because of his great love for money he did the unthinkable he struck a bargain with the chief priest to turn Jesus over to them with a kiss mat 26:15. †After Jesus was condemned to death Judas felt sorry for what he did and brought the money back to the chief priest throwing down into the temple and telling them that he had sinned against Jesus and he left and hung himself. Mat 27:2-5. There is no doubt that the love for money is the root of all kinds of evil.
11 Paul calls Timothy a man of God this expression is rarely used† in the Bible and its only used twice in the NT once here and once in 2Tim 3:17. This term was used in reference to Godly men in the OT such as Moses, Samuel, Elijah, Elisha and David. We can see that Paul thinks very highly of Timothy and his dedication to serving God (called him like-minded Phi 2:20). We learn from our text that this great man of God had 3 different task to perform. The first one was to flee. He was to flee, that is to get as far away from the desire of money and he was to flee away from the attitude of the false teacher which had no respect for the word of God. Not only was Timothy to flee but he was also to pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience and gentleness.† This word pursue has the idea of continuing after something until you lay hold of it. When you look at the tense of this word in the Greek you see that it is continual action. These attributes that Timothy and we today are to pursue is what defines and makes up a man of God or woman of God.
12 Thirdly Timothy is fight the good fight of faith. Being faithful to the Lord is a continual battle one that we all want to win. Jesus told us it wouldnít be easy in Mat 7:13:14. Again, Paul was not asking Timothy nor was he asking us today to do something that he himself did not do. 2Tim 4:7-8. We can know that if we continue to fight the good fight of faith we to will lay hold of eternal life (1 Jn. 5:3). Timothy had made the great confession that Jesus was the son of God in front many witnesses not doubt shortly before his baptism. This is very similar to the Eunuch in Acts 8 when he made they same confession right before he was baptized.
13- Once again Paul is charging Timothy in the sight of God and of Jesus. In this verse we learn that God gives life to all things because he is the creator and we also see here the Deity of Jesus Christ. Jesus was his own witness before Pontius Pilate that he was the king of the Jews. Lk 23:3, Jn. 18:37.
14 Paul urges Timothy to keep the commands spotless and blameless until Jesus appears. Again, we see the battle that Timothy had to fight here to remain pure. We have already learned in our study about the qualifications of elders that the word blameless does not mean sinless it means above reproach. This is what we all as Christians should strive to become in Christian walk of faith. Yes we will sin from time to time but what its important is how we deal with it. We donít need to let it drag us down but we need repent of it and work harder spiritually not to let sin enter back in to our lives. When we became Christians we died to sin and we should live our lives accordingly. This idea of us being without spot and without blame is found in many other passages lets take a look at some of them. James 1:27, 2Pet. 3:14. Paul wrote of this many times in his epistles to remain blameless until the coming of Christ.
1Cor 1:8 He pleaded with the Corinthians to be blameless in the day of our lord Jesus Christ
Philp 1:10 he encouraged the Philipians to remain sincere and without offence till the day of Christ.
He reminded the Thessalonians that God wanted them to establish their hearts on being unblameable in holiness before God even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints 1Thes. 3:13.
Finally Paul says this in 1The. 23. This is what we all need to strive for everyday we need become more Christ like everyday and we do this by making God a part of our lives every single day. We do this by keeping his commandments which involves reading them studying them and meditating on them and having an active prayer life. And verse 15 tells us that Jesus appearing will be in his own time. So we or no one else knows when that time will come and we need to live our lives today as if it were our last day here on earth. (2peter 3:8 1000 years, Mark 13:32 only the father). The text goes on to describe Jesus as the king of kings and lord of lords who alone immortal. Humans have an immortal soul but it came into being by God. Gods immortality has always been there he did not come from something else he has always existed and always will. Ps 90:2. Jesus is now in that unapproachable light which no man has seen. The brightness of God glory no man has seen Moses came the closest but he was only allowed to the back of God Exod. 33:18-23. We mere human† who live their life in obedience in God will one day get to see this glory in heaven. Mat 5:8, 1John 3:2, Rev 22:4.
†17 and following.
God warned Israel about riches Deut 8:11-18, Its harder for a rich man to enter heaven Mat. 19:23, Jesus became poor so we could become spiritually rich 2Cor 8:9, we are told to turn away from evil and to do good 1Peter 3:10-12, We are Gods workmanship and we are to walk in good works Eph. 2:10, If a rich man turns a brother away in need he does not have the love of God 1John 3:17. The church at a Macdoniea was in poverty and anguish yet they gave beyond the measure to help out the needy 2Cor. 8:1-3.††