A study of 1 Tim.6:1-21

Paul concludes his first letter by suggesting advices to Timothy in coping with various kinds of people and situations in the Church.

He encourages “All (servants) who are under the yoke of slavery” <1 Tim.6:1 (NIV)>; those that are under the oppression of servitude are to do so with respect and sincerity in the same way as they serve and obey the Lord Jesus <see Eph.6:5-8>, such service should also display reverence for the Lord with the understanding that “It is the Lord Christ you are serving” <Col.3:22-24 (NIV)>. Slavery was the “way of life” in the Roman and Greek empires, and many slaves became followers of Christ and continued to work for their Christian masters.

He continues to counsel and addresses the dilemma of false teachers in the Church; revealing their chief interest, their ruling motives and the outcome of their teaching. They have “an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words” <1 Tim.6:4 (NIV)>; constantly arguing about the content of scripture, the manner in which it is written and how various words should be interpreted; they dwell on the “so-called errors” but fail to understand the accurate meaning of The Word of God. They continually think and teach “that godliness is a means of financial gain <1 Tim.6:5b (NIV)>, a subject that is quite evident from some of our pulpits today. The outcome of their teaching is seen in “envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions and constant friction between men of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth…” <1 Tim.6:4-5 (NIV)>. These people who want to use godliness as a means of getting rich “fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” <1 Tim.6:9-10 (NIV)>. This form of teaching also produces bitter envy and selfish ambition, it is secular and of the devil, causing disorder and evil practices <see Jas.3:14-16>.

Paul therefore directs Timothy “Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of eternal life…” <1 Tim.6:12 (NIV)>, claim the benefits by placing his hope in God alone and not in material wealth, by paying careful attention to his character and doctrine <1 Tim.4:16>. A command to each of us, that as followers of Christ we should do the same until death or the second coming of Christ, whichever comes first <1 Tim.6:14>.

We all must live godly lives and follow this command as we look forward to Christ’s second coming, a day and time that has been set by God, “the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone is immortal and lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honor and might forever, Amen” <1 Tim.6:14-16 (NIV)>.

He appeals to those that are rich and instructs them “not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth…. but to put their hope in God” <1 Tim.6:17 (NIV)> since it is God who richly provides for us <see Jas.1:17>. They are further commanded to do good, to be rich in good deeds and to be generous and willing to share; for by doing so they will accumulate real wealth in the coming kingdom of Christ.

Finally, he encourages Timothy. “…guard what has been entrusted to your care. Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge” <1. Tim.6:20 (NIV)>

“Guard what has been entrusted to your care”; this is indeed the whole duty of the Pastor, Elder, Bishop, whatever the title may be; and this protection is possible with the help of the Holy Spirit <see 2 Tim.1:14>. The gospel has been entrusted to the care of all believers in Christ, and we need to take note of Paul’s encouragement to Timothy; but more important, to the command of our Lord Jesus Christ Himself <see Matt.28:19-20; Lk.24:46-49>. Furthermore, all Pastors are given additional instructions found here in Paul’s letter to Timothy in relation to doctrine, public worship, false teaching and church discipline; and these instructions are extremely important, for Paul had given a previous warning in his farewell address to the Ephesian Church Elders <see Acts 20:28-31>; and the unfortunate effect that this has had on the Church down through the ages is evident today in the incompetence of many Churches because Pastors have neglected their responsibility.

So, the question is: As a Pastor, how well am I guarding what has been entrusted to my care?

Timothy, and indeed all followers of Christ, are instructed to be aware of and to avoid the false teaching of Gnosticism which states that our salvation can be accomplished through knowledge. Let us all hold to and proclaim the gospel of God that has been committed to us, that salvation comes only in and through the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ.

SAVING FAITH [11/05/21]

Faith is defined as belief, trust, consistency or loyalty, to a doctrine or religion; and is exercised by every person in Faithsome practise or custom. We employ faith in people and entities as we depend upon others, and devices to support us and to keep us going. But what is biblical faith? How is Faith in God defined?

Faith in God is not a blind act of the individual, but is based upon the best evidence that is given to us – The Word of God, the Scriptures. It is a trust in the God of the Scriptures and in Jesus Christ who was sent by God to provide our salvation from sin. Saving faith is a personal trust in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Therefore, faith is fundamental to Christian creed and conduct, for we are saved by faith <Eph.2:8> and we live by faith in God <Heb.11:1; 2 Cor.4:18>. Faith is confidence in God, it leads us to believe His Word, the Scriptures, and to receive Jesus Christ as our saviour which brings into being a change in our character and our lifestyle.

There can be no relationship with the invisible God without faith in His existence <Heb.11:6>, we must believe that He exists and that He will reward those that believe with salvation and eternal life, for as said previously, faith is necessary for salvation <Acts 16:31>. There are however, two kinds of faith that pertain to our salvation: first, there is “intellectual knowledge” which is a general acceptance of the historical Christ and the Bible which yields no decision. Secondly, there is “resolve”; belief or faith, causing the person to act on that decision; belief “ON” Christ will result in saving faith, we must base our faith on Christ and not on our own belief or intellectual knowledge, for neither knowledge or agreement is true faith, true faith involves acceptance.

There are two components of the source of our faith: first, there is the Divine aspect in which faith is the work of the Triune God. God The Father gives the potential of faith to all people <Rom.12:3>, and that potential is distributed by The Holy Spirit <1 Cor.12:9>, and The Lord Jesus is the origin and securer of our faith <Heb.12:2; cf Lk.17:5>. Each individual has the potential of faith in God and as that faith is exerted it will increase. Secondly, there is the human aspect; as the Word of God is heard through preaching or reading, faith is exercised resulting in the salvation and spiritual growth of the individual <see Rom.10:17; Acts 4:4; Mk.9:24>.

The focus of faith must be the Word of God, accepting that the Scripture is true and genuine; and the Person of Christ, in that He is the divine Son of God. The principle of faith is the same as that which we act on in every day life, just as all transactions are conducted on the principle of faith and confidence in others, faith in God is putting our confidence in Him and his Word.

What then are the results of faith on God?

  • Our salvation is by faith alone: “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God” <Eph.2:8 (NIV)>; “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” <Jn.1:12 (NIV)>.
  • We are vindicated by faith: “… we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” <Rom.5:1 (NIV)>
  • We become children of God through faith: “You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus” <Gal.3:26 (NIV)>
  • We are sustained by faith: “who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.” <1 Pet.1:5 (NIV)>

Our eternal destiny will be determined by our faith, or lack of faith in God. Our faith in God will ensure that we spend eternity with Christ as He promised; “In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” <Jn.14:2-3 (NIV)>. Unbelief, or lack of faith will result in eternity apart from God; “For we also have had the gospel preached to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith.” <Heb.4:2 (NIV)>; and the end-result is: “Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” <Rev.20:14-15 (NIV)>.

Our faith in God and in His Word gives us the confidence of knowing that what He has said, and what He has promised, will be fulfilled: “I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day.” <2 Tim.1:12 (NIV)>; “God’s elect…who have been chosen …. of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ …… Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade — kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.” <1 Pet.1:1-5 (NIV)>.

“[Carl] Sagan was fascinated by the phenomenon that educated adults, with the wonders of science manifest all around them, could cling to beliefs based on the unverifiable testimony of observers dead for 2000 years. “You’re so smart, why do you believe in God?” he once exclaimed to [cleric Joan Brown] Campbell. She found this a surprising question from someone who had no trouble accepting the existence of black holes, which no one has ever observed. “You’re so smart, why don’t you believe in God?” she answered. . .. Sagan never wavered in his agnosticism. “There was no deathbed conversion,” [his wife Ann] Druyan says. “No appeals to God, no hope for an afterlife, no pretending that he and I, who had been inseparable for 20 years, were not saying goodbye forever.” Didn’t he want to believe? she was asked. “Carl never wanted to believe,” she replies fiercely. “He wanted to know.””  (Source: Perfect Illustrations-Hopeless Death of Carl Sagan-Citation: Jerry Adler, Newsweek (March 31, 1997))

On what or in who will your eternal destiny be determined?




The first-century inhabitants of the island of Crete were notorious for untruthfulness and immorality <Titus 1:12-13>. Paul’s objective in his letter to Titus is “for the faith of God’s elect and the knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness” <Titus 1:1-2 (NIV)>; he states that knowledge of the Truth will lead to godliness. What is the knowledge of “the truth”? First of all, what is truth? This was the question that Pilate asked of Jesus, when Jesus stated “for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth.” <Jn.18:37-38(NIV)>; what is the “Truth” that Jesus was referring to? It is recorded that “The Word” (Christ Jesus) came as a “light” to testify concerning the “truth”; Christ took on the form of mankind <see Phil.2:5-8> and as a person came into this world to reveal God His Father who is grace and truth <see Jn. 1:1-14>.

It is widespread in our culture in the present day for our politicians, leaders and journalists to make statements that are questionable, and oftentimes prove to be misleading or completely false; one national leader speaks of “false news”; and many people express with dismay “who, or what can we believe”. The Scriptures teach that such statements are the result of the “darkness” of sin, and Satan the great deceiver causes all mankind to believe his lies that he has been communicating to us from the beginning of time <see Gen.1:13; Isa.44:18; 2 Cor.11:13-15; 2 Thess.2:11-12>, and since mankind has refused to listen to God He allows us to believe the lies of Satan. Christ Jesus came into this world to reveal the “truth” to mankind, to free us from the “darkness” of sin, and those who desire the “truth” must turn to Christ in faith, believing in Him and accepting His offer of salvation from sin and the hope of eternal life, and this will lead us to godliness, for godliness is the character of all believers in Christ.

Paul also speaks of “a faith and knowledge resting on the hope of eternal life” <Titus 1:1-2 (NIV)> and that this eternal life was promised by God “who does not lie” <Heb.6:17-18> from the beginning of time, and at His appointed time “he brought his word to light” <Titus 1:3; cf. Gen.3:15; Gal.4:4; Jn.1:1, 14> and later entrusted the preaching of the gospel to Paul. Paul is referring to the fact that Christ came into this world and revealed the truth of God’s word which is far removed from the lies of Satan, and that the gospel message is the truth of God. When anyone accepts the gospel message that person, through faith in Christ, now rests in God’s righteousness in the hope of eternal life <see Rom.3:22-26; 5:1-2; Col.1:27>.

Paul addresses Titus as “my true son in our common faith” <Titus 1:4 (NIV)>, an indication that Titus was converted to Christianity through the preaching of Paul, similar to Timothy <1 Tim.1:2> and Onesimus <Phm. 10>, and all individuals because of faith in Christ share in this “common faith”, or the mutual faith of all true believers in Christ.

The question to all of us is: Do you want the truth of the Scriptures or are you satisfied to accept the lies of Satan? The Cretans were quite satisfied to do so since “Even one of their own prophets has said, “Cretans are always liars, ….”” <Titus 1:12 (NIV)>, because the habit of continuous lying is the character of Satan, and Titus was instructed by Paul that such characteristics were not to be allowed in the community of believers that constituted the Church in Crete. What is your choice, the lies of Satan or the truth of the gospel? There is not one individual that does not wish to spend eternity in heaven, but there is only one way to be sure of eternal life with God; Christ said: “You must be born again” – born of the Spirit of God <Jn.3:3, 5>; and to all who have been born again of God’s Spirit is the promise of eternal life <Rev. 21:1, 6-8>.

What is your decision?