1 Timothy 6

* The duty of Christians towards believing, as well as other

masters. (1-5) The advantage of godliness with contentment.

(6-10) A solemn charge to Timothy to be faithful. (11-16) The

apostle repeats his warning to the rich, and closes with a

blessing. (17-21)

1-5 Christians were not to suppose that religious knowledge, or

Christian privileges, gave them any right to despise heathen

masters, or to disobey lawful commands, or to expose their

faults to others. And such as enjoyed the privilege of living

with believing masters, were not to withhold due respect and

reverence, because they were equal in respect to religious

privileges, but were to serve with double diligence and

cheerfulness, because of their faith in Christ, and as partakers

of his free salvation. We are not to consent to any words as

wholesome, except the words of our Lord Jesus Christ; to these

we must give unfeigned consent. Commonly those are most proud

who know least; for they do not know themselves. Hence come

envy, strife, railings, evil-surmisings, disputes that are all

subtlety, and of no solidity, between men of corrupt and carnal

minds, ignorant of the truth and its sanctifying power, and

seeking their worldly advantage.
6-10 Those that make a trade of Christianity to serve their

turn for this world, will be disappointed; but those who mind it

as their calling, will find it has the promise of the life that

now is, as well as of that which is to come. He that is godly,

is sure to be happy in another world; and if contented with his

condition in this world, he has enough; and all truly godly

people are content. When brought into the greatest straits, we

cannot be poorer than when we came into this world; a shroud, a

coffin, and a grave, are all that the richest man in the world

can have from all his wealth. If nature should be content with a

little, grace should be content with less. The necessaries of

life bound a true Christian's desires, and with these he will

endeavour to be content. We see here the evil of covetousness.

It is not said, they that are rich, but they will be rich; who

place their happiness in wealth, and are eager and determined in

the pursuit. Those that are such, give to Satan the opportunity

of tempting them, leading them to use dishonest means, and other

bad practices, to add to their gains. Also, leading into so many

employments, and such a hurry of business, as leave no time or

inclination for spiritual religion; leading to connexions that

draw into sin and folly. What sins will not men be drawn into by

the love of money! People may have money, and yet not love it;

but if they love it, this will push them on to all evil. Every

sort of wickedness and vice, in one way or another, grows from

the love of money. We cannot look around without perceiving many

proofs of this, especially in a day of outward prosperity, great

expenses, and loose profession.
11-16 It ill becomes any men, but especially men of God, to set

their hearts upon the things of this world; men of God should be

taken up with the things of God. There must be a conflict with

corruption, and temptations, and the powers of darkness. Eternal

life is the crown proposed for our encouragement. We are called

to lay hold thereon. To the rich must especially be pointed out

their dangers and duties, as to the proper use of wealth. But

who can give such a charge, that is not himself above the love

of things that wealth can buy? The appearing of Christ is

certain, but it is not for us to know the time. Mortal eyes

cannot bear the brightness of the Divine glory. None can

approach him except as he is made known unto sinners in and by

Christ. The Godhead is here adored without distinction of

Persons, as all these things are properly spoken, whether of the

Father, the Son, or the Holy Ghost. God is revealed to us, only

in and through the human nature of Christ, as the only begotten

Son of the Father.
17-21 Being rich in this world is wholly different from being

rich towards God. Nothing is more uncertain than worldly wealth.

Those who are rich, must see that God gives them their riches;

and he only can give to enjoy them richly; for many have riches,

but enjoy them poorly, not having a heart to use them. What is

the best estate worth, more than as it gives opportunity of

doing the more good? Showing faith in Christ by fruits of love,

let us lay hold on eternal life, when the self-indulgent,

covetous, and ungodly around, lift up their eyes in torment.

That learning which opposes the truth of the gospel, is not true

science, or real knowledge, or it would approve the gospel, and

consent to it. Those who advance reason above faith, are in

danger of leaving faith. Grace includes all that is good, and

grace is an earnest, a beginning of glory; wherever God gives

grace, he will give glory.

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