1Ti 6:3-6 “If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself. But godliness with contentment is great gain.”
Paul began this letter to Timothy with a warning against false teachers. He then proceeded to talk about praying for all men. He told Timothy the qualifications for filling the office of a bishop and of a deacon. In the verses immediately prior to the ones above, he talked about the responsibility of a servant.
The apostle makes an especially important distinction here. All the instruction he has given has been in harmony with the teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ. Please consider for a moment the power and personal affirmation of Paul’s words; this is from “our” Lord Jesus Christ. To teach differently is to give counsel that is not healthy (wholesome) for the child of God.
Anyone who does not teach the truth of Jesus Christ is proud. According to the scripture, he has a craving for meaningless disputes rather than furthering the cause of Christ. His arguments are not for instruction in righteousness. Instead, he stirs strife and ill will among the brethren.
No good thing ever comes from any doctrine that does not recognize that we cannot come to the Father except by the Son (John 14:6), and that we cannot come to the Son until the Father draws us (John 6:44). Otherwise, jealousy and turmoil come out of the things we say. They lead to blasphemy and hurtful suspicions. Paul says these are meddlesome words from men with a rotten understanding.
There are many today who attempt to prove their godliness by their wealthy manner of living. Yet, the scripture says such a stance is completely void of the truth. We are plainly told not to declare any such doctrine. We are to depart from those who would insist on declaring such a doctrine.
However, we also need to remember Jesus’ instruction to pray for our enemies. While men who preach false doctrines are our enemies for the truth’s sake, we are still to pray for them. We have no authority to seek their harm. Our warfare is not against these men, but rather against their misrepresentation of Christ and godliness.
Contentment is very illusive in this world. In fact, if we set our affections on the things of this world, lasting contentment is going to be impossible. Someone is always going to dangle the next big thing” before us. Subsequently, our carnality is going to want to possess that next big thing and contentment goes out the window.
Godliness is necessary if we expect to find contentment while we live here. In seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, we will find our worry over the things of this world decreasing. As worry decreases, contentment increases. Our worry decreases when we take our concerns to God (Php 4:6-7).
There is no greater gain in this world than to experience the peace of Jesus Christ. His peace is not just about our eternal destination. His peace ensures us that we are not alone in our trials. His peace lets us know that we have not failed in our faith because we are not wealthy in this world’s goods.
May we say with David “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer (Psa 19:14)!”