It seems that in the overarching flow of 1 Timothy, Paul is concerned about unity for the sake of the gospel. He connects living a “quite and tranquil life” with God’s desire for “all men to be saved (2:2, 4).” He encourages men to “pray…without wrath and dissension,” and for women to “adorn themselves properly,” while “receiving instruction quietly, not teaching or exercising authority over a man (2:8-12).”
Those recognized as elders and deacons must have a “good reputation with outsiders, as not to fall into reproach (3:7, 10).” Those who have been changed by the power of the gospel should “conduct themselves as those in the household of God (3:15).” Believers should relate to people differently based on their situations, with a view towards humility and respect (5:1-2). There should not be unsubstantiated charges leveled against elders without proper evidence (5:19), and when witnesses are present, the elder should be publicly rebuked to keep others from sinning (5:20). Finally, slaves and masters are to live in unity together, under one roof so that God’s name is not dishonored and the gospel is not confused (6:1-2)!
But, is Paul saying that unity translates into an absence of confrontation? Is Paul avoiding a confrontation (with the false teachers) for the sake of a quiet business meeting? The answer to that question comes this week as we consider 1 Timothy 6:3-10 as Paul warns Timothy to Watch out for Wolves! Interestingly enough, these wolves are not content in the goodness of God shining forth in Christ. They want money! Paul addresses the dangers of the love of money and the many branches that can stem from its evil root.
Are you using your money as currency for the expansion of the Christian gospel or are you counting the days until retirement? Are your hands open with respect to your money or tightly clinched? Are you a cheerful giver? Are there symptoms in your life that are pointing to the deeper disease of greed and the attempt to serve two masters? Join us this week as we seek to satisfy our souls on the God that “holds pleasures forever more at his right hand (Psalm 16:11).”