1 Timothy 6:2-10 (CSB) Teach and encourage these things. 3 If anyone teaches false doctrine and does not agree with the sound teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ and with the teaching that promotes godliness, 4 he is conceited and understands nothing, but has an unhealthy interest in disputes and arguments over words. From these come envy, quarreling, slander, evil suspicions, 5 and constant disagreement among people whose minds are depraved and deprived of the truth, who imagine that godliness is a way to material gain. 6 But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out. 8 If we have food and clothing, we will be content with these. 9 But those who want to be rich fall into temptation, a trap, and many foolish and harmful desires, which plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and by craving it, some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
2 Teach and encourage these things
Don’t ignore the Great Commission. And you might be like, “Listen, I can’t teach the Scriptures.” But can you encourage using the Scriptures? The word of God calls to you to teach and encourage the things in the word.
How? How often do you read your Bible? If you stayed in the word, would you be able to teach and encourage these things? What can you tell me about what you read in the word today? See! That is teaching! That is encouragement! Go and do likewise!
Practically, what does this look like?
- Yearly Reading Plan that you tap out around Leviticus
- Reading once a day like the Chinese Church does
- Listening to a Bible on audiobook
- Reading a Commentary
- Reading a not-quite a translation such as the Message or the Passion Translation
I don’t care how you do it–just get it done. This is the word of God to us. This is the literal words of God that was meant for us.
If you don’t understand, reach out to the Holy Spirit. Pray. Seek counsel.
If you fallen off, get right back on and read.
If you stay in it, you will know it.
But there is some caution:
3-4 If anyone teaches false doctrine and does not agree with the sound teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ and with the teaching that promotes godliness, he is conceited and understands nothing, but has an unhealthy interest in disputes and arguments over words
Ah, the great sober moment. It might be weighty or even scary to give the word over to others for fear of getting it wrong. Listen, be obedient. If you are “wrong” or “off the rails”, I know the Spirit of God will bring you back.
Here are the rails: don’t teach false doctrine–that is, your hot take that contradicts the teachings of Christ and does not promote godliness. If you decide to ignore the Holy Spirit, God judges you as prideful (which is an abomination in the eyes of God) and worthless.
You might say, “I used to be in a church that taught false doctrine, and I used to teach the same thing. What must I do?” Do you still breath air? Are you still alive? Repent! Change your ways and renew your mind and chase after God. And let the peace of God settle upon you!
Don’t seek out arguments. Stop trying to be right. Teach the things of God and encourage using the word of God.
When you are trying to be right all the time, this is what happens to you:
4-5 From these come envy, quarreling, slander, evil suspicions, and constant disagreement among people whose minds are depraved and deprived of the truth
False doctrines leads to people thinking they are right with God when they are far, far off. How do you spot false doctrine? Look at the actions it’s producing despite the best efforts of the people under that false teaching:
- evil suspicions
- constant disagreement
And I say, “despite the best efforts of the people” because so much false and bad teaching out there promotes legalism and self-righteousness. This is false doctrine: they are teaching that you have to do everything so that you can be blessed by God. Yet, God did everything perfectly and completely by the life and death and resurrection of His Son so that he would bless you and keep you.
And this is the path you are heading down:
5 who imagine that godliness is a way to material gain
Here is the outcome:
- minds are depraved rather than renewed
- deprived of the truth rather being filled with the truth of God
- and they foolishly think that their self-righteousness will lead to riches
Abstained from and run far from such teaching. Run to the word and sit in him.
6-8 But godliness with contentment is great gain–For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out and if we have food and clothing, we will be content with these
Whatever God gives us, we give. For:
Psalms 16:5-9 (CSB)
LORD, you are my portion
and my cup of blessing;
you hold my future.
The boundary lines have fallen for me
in pleasant places;
indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.
I will bless the LORD who counsels me—
even at night when my thoughts trouble me.
I always let the LORD guide me.
Because he is at my right hand,
I will not be shaken.
Therefore my heart is glad
and my whole being rejoices;
my body also rests securely.
Psalms 50:10 (CSB) … for every animal of the forest is mine, the cattle on a thousand hills.
And because he is our great Father in heaven, who has given the world and the galaxy to His Son, Christ Jesus our Lord, and because of his Son, we are made co-heirs with the heir of the entire world.
Everything belongs to the Lord. And he gives grace for us to do his will. What is his will? Read this word! He will tell you. And then go and do!
9-10 But those who want to be rich fall into temptation, a trap, and many foolish and harmful desires, which plunge people into ruin and destruction–For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and by craving it, some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs
Here’s straight facts: world has nothing to give you that is worthwhile. I spent all of my life running hard after those things. The moment I held it in my hands, I realized I had nothing. The world gives crap and does nothing that fills the hole inside of your heart. That hole that you are so desperate to fill is actually infinite.
Ecclesiastes 3:11 (CSB) He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also put eternity in their hearts, but no one can discover the work God has done from beginning to end.
What do you think that sex, money, power, family, marriage, work, fame, skill, talent is going to fill the infinite? To fill the infinite, it has to be infinite. Only the Infinite God can fill that space inside your heart and soul.
Be content in him.
Here’s the truth: God provides for all of your needs because the Father knows what you need.
Matthew 6:7-8 (CSB) When you pray, don’t babble like the Gentiles, since they imagine they’ll be heard for their many words. 8 Don’t be like them, because your Father knows the things you need before you ask him.
The ultimate truth is that you and I need Christ. All of my bills paid, a roof over my head, and a running car and good credit and my kids in college will not mean jack unless we have and treasure Christ Jesus as our Lord, Savior, and our literal All in all.
Isn’t that the difficult part? When I can’t pay the electric bill, my lights get shut off. That is tangible. That is real.
What God is trying to get you to see is that the spiritual realm–the heavenly places, God, eternal life, demonic warfare–is more real than you can possible see and has a greater effect on you than you can possibly know.
Our born eyes and hearts and mind can’t see it. Only Christ can open our eyes. Only the Father can give us new hearts. Only the Spirit can raise us up from death in sin.
If you have it all on earth and you are satisfied, it will not be enough.
If you have God and anything that you might have here on earth will be more than enough.
Come into our hearts and occupy the entire space so we would be less in love with world and love you more so we might love each other more. For in your Son's beautiful and holy name I pray. Amen.