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Jesus is ALL we need! – 1 Timothy 6:2-10

11/06/2015

Jesus is ALL we Need

A contrast between the aims and methods of the apostate teachers and the humble, trusting Christian.

Text: 1 Timothy 6:2b-10 These things teach and exhort.

Everything in the world, imagines the modern mind, revolves around ME, – because I’m ‘worth it!’ Timothy has found that in Ephesus, there are preachers in the church, who believe this very thing! They are pushing Christ away to the very edge of their sermons and they are focusing on GAIN for themselves and for their listeners. Paul exposes these people, and offers an alternative; a Biblical solution.

1. The Grim Profit of Self-centeredness!

The apostate teachers at Ephesus were leaving Jesus out of their teaching, with dreadful consequences. Let’s see how Paul analyses these people, for he does it in three verses, which are all one long extended sentence:-

  1. The teaching of the apostates. v3 Paul starts with what they teach and preach, their message, and he states that they reject wholesome words.
    1. ‘Consent not’ in AV simply means to disagree.
    2. The ‘wholesome words’ (sound words) are the very words of Jesus himself. His words are ‘wholesome words’. They carry great importance. Matthew 7:24  And all Scripture is God breathed, and Jesus is God, – the entire Bible is His Word.
    3. So the unfaithful preachers of Ephesus are begging to differ with Jesus! Their own words are more important, in their minds, than the very words and doctrine of Christ himself.
    4. It is the words of Christ that are in line with godliness, and which lead people to a godly life.
  2. The attitude of the apostates. v4. 4He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, Now why would a man think that his own invented words and doctrines are more important and more worthy of inclusion in a sermon or message than the words of Jesus? PrideIgnoranceObsession with controversy 1 Tim 5:17
  3. The corruption of the apostates. v5. 5Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself. See how corrupt these people are, and then see how much they destroy the congregations they are serving.
    1. Depraved minds. Their minds have never known anything if the renewing work of the Holy Spirit. The Christians mind is being renewed, Romans 12:2
    2. Deprived of the truth. They have turned their back on God’s word and shamefully spread their own lies.
    3. Determined to profit. Since apostate preachers were only interested in themselves, it is obvious that they are not preaching for the glory of God or the good of the flock, so what is their motive? Simple. MONEY! They are hucksters, good living for a living, more interested in the fleece than in the flock!
  4. The destruction of their flock. whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Imagine what it must have been like, coming to church every week, and you just hear the blatant self-promotion of a man who wanted to make a good living from your generosity? What effect would that have on the congregation? Paul doesn’t hold back… EnvyDissensionConstant frictionSlanderSuspicion. Christians thinking the worst of each other, suspecting that there is something going on… Contrary to Paul’s observation of ideal Christian fellowship in 1 Corinthians 13:6, James 4:1

Paul warns Timothy that he must avoid such people. v9 Self-centred ministry, self-centred preaching is the road to personal and congregational ruin.

2. The Great Profit of Christ-centeredness! 6 But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. 8And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.

Now, the opposite to what the apostates are doing is what Paul is urging Timothy to do, and to encourage in others. There is real gain in contented godliness, but it is not financial gain, or personal progress or fulfilled dreams, it is spiritual gain. When we have Jesus, at the centre of our message and the centre of our lives, we have everything we can ever need, whether we are rich or poor! Philippians 4:11-13  Look how Paul reinforces this:-

  1. The brevity of life!   Surely the thought that we have a very limited lifespan ought to wake us up to the fact that fleecing the flock for money and power and position in this life is utterly futile, for one day we will leave it all behind and stand before God and explain why we didn’t tell poor sinners about Jesus!
  2. The contentment of enough!   Here is Paul’s positive response to the money-scamming apostates. Whatever we have in enough!

So, Timothy must seek out such people and WITHDRAW himself from them.

Sunday Lunch.

Talk with your family about how wealthy and privileged we are in the west, – and how so many people in our world are hungry and homeless and poor. N Teach them to be thankful for what the Lord has given to us, and not to seek after earthly wealth.

Where does our real, incorruptible treasure lie, and how do we obtain it?

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