I Tim. 6:1-21
Slavery was and still is a gross injustice to humanity. Christ did not abolish the practice, but His principles changed the relationship between Christian masters and slaves. Christian slaves were to continue to serve and honor their masters. Masters who became Christians were to treat their slaves as they would want their Master, God to treat them. Mutual love and respect as brothers in Christ would eventually abolish slavery.
As Paul was concluding his letter to Timothy, he turned his attention again to the serious nature of false teachers. Whether slave/master relationships, direct commands regarding how to become a Christian or any other aspect of Christian living, he commanded obedience to his teaching.
Paul warned against those who would attempt to use their Christianity as a means toward financial gain. He emphasized that the source of one’s gain and contentment is in godliness—not in amassing a large bank account. One should be satisfied with only the necessities of life. Godliness leads to eternal riches in the world to come. Even though riches are not evil, there are many temptations involved in gaining them. Paul stated, “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil…”
After warning Timothy of those who would seek for riches, Paul reminded him of the good confession he had made of his own faith in Christ as he began his Christian life. He pointed out the necessity of the preacher keeping his own life free from the sins which he was to preach against by fleeing from them. Paul further reminded Timothy to not just follow, but to pursue those things that would strengthen his life and influence as a preacher and to fight the fight of faith. By doing these things, he would be able to secure the eternal life.
Paul continued his admonition to Timothy by urging him to keep Christ’s commandments as he looked forward to His coming at the end of time. He reminded Timothy of the majesty of Christ as “The blessed and only Potentate (Sovereign), the King of kings and Lord of lords…”
As a final charge regarding the rich, Paul instructed Timothy to command them not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches that can be here today and gone tomorrow. One’s trust should be in God. His riches should be in good works willing to share those riches with others.
Paul ended his letter with an urgent plea for Timothy to guard the truth that had been given to him and to avoid the false ideas of men who have made error appear to be truth.