Lesson 71 Timothy 6:1-21
In this lesson, we conclude our study of 1 Timothy by looking at Chapter 6 and Paul’s final instructions to Timothy. Paul briefly addresses three subjects in this closing chapter, (1) masters and slaves and their relationship to each other, (2) the negative effects of seeking after money and wealth, and (3) personal instructions to Timothy himself.
Let’s briefly examine each of these three in the following verses:
- In 1 Timothy 6:1-2, what Paul is writing would seem foreign to us today, but yet was life-changing in Timothy’s day. Paul’s instruction was surely seen as a radical approach, because a relationship between master and slave that was unheard of at the time. What is this new approach, this new relationship, that Timothy was to proclaim and teach to the followers of Christ in Ephesus? Why is this also pertinent to us today?
- In 1 Timothy 6:3-10, Paul warns of the evils of pursuing after wealth, among other things. He addresses those within the church who pursue teaching false doctrine, those who intentionally stir up divisive conversations and quarreling, and those who are motivated by financial gain. Even today we see this behavior embedded with the church. Arguing over theories, bad doctrine, half-truths, and positioning oneself for recognition and even gain within the kingdom Christ can be readily seen. What are some of the ways we see people do this?
- In 1 Timothy 6:7-10, Paul warns Timothy about people who pursue wealth and get caught in its snare. (See also Luke 16:19-31.) List below what Paul specifically warns Timothy about regarding these people, and what he warns about in terms of pursuing wealth in general.
- In 1 Timothy 6:11-21, Paul concludes his letter with some very personal instructions to Timothy. In doing so, he provides us with a solid and dependable spiritual compass. His words to Timothy are as true for us today as it was for Timothy. If we just follow what Paul tells Timothy in 6:11-16, we will stay on the narrow path and please God in all that we do. What are the specific things that Paul tells Timothy—and, by extension, us—to do? List them below:
Paul concludes his instructions to Timothy by reminding him of two important instructions. First, Timothy is to warn the wealthy about the snares that wealth can bring and remind them to focus on laying up treasure in heaven—just as today we are to have that same approach. Rather than accumulating and hoarding wealth and treasure in this world, we are to lay up treasure in heaven. We are to invest in the Kingdom of God, advance the Gospel, and to be good stewards of all that God has entrusted to us.
Secondly, Paul is concerned about Timothy’s continued spiritual health and ministry. He warns Timothy one last time to be on guard, not to get caught up in "godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge." Paul knows that such things could defeat Timothy’s efforts at spreading the Gospel and fighting the false teaching within the new body of believers at Ephesus. Today as well, we should be watching constantly for those who teach false doctrine and prevent others from hearing the true Gospel. As the time of Christ’s return grows closer, false teachers and false teaching will abound. Be on guard that you do not get caught in their lies and half-truths.
I pray that this study has helped you grow in Christ, and that it has opened your eyes to other opportunities to serve in His Kingdom, as we work toward the day of His coming again. What a day of rejoicing that will be!