1Timothy 6:1-10, “Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed. (2) And they that have believing masters, let them not despise them, because they are brethren; but rather do them service, because they are faithful and beloved, partakers of the benefit. These things teach and exhort. (3) 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; (4) He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, (5) Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself. (6) But godliness with contentment is great gain. (7) For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. (8) And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. (9) But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. (10) For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”
Paul addresses four types of people in this text. One might divide this chapter with the following:
Workers – 6:1-2
Wicked – 6: 3-5
Wise – 6:6-8
Wealthy – 6:9-10
Godliness is great gain
What is remarkable about our text is that the apostle Paul is not just describing as ‘great’ the living God, but godliness. “Godliness … is great gain.” Godliness is the character of God in the heart of man. This is only possible through the desire and power the Holy Spirit bestows – (Grace).
It is the life of discipleship, of following the Lord Jesus day by day. It is great gain. Let me make this as practical as I can. What most of you will do today at your home, work, local church and Reformers Recovery groups, whether eating or drinking (1 Corinthians 10:31) or some task that seems higher than that, that which is done to the glory of God is godliness.
The giving of a cup of cold water in the name of Jesus; lovingly caring for your family; displaying an attitude of forgiveness; the going of the second mile; and such things are the actions of true greatness.
What has a man of this caliber gained you might ask? One of my mentors said, “The man or woman who walks with God, will always arrive at his destination.” I like to think of it this way: the man or woman who walks with God has arrived at his destination. We were created to walk with Him. We were created for the praise of His glory.
He has gained the indwelling comfort and resources of the Holy Spirit. He gains deliverance from the bondage of his addictions. He has gained true freedom – the chains which bound him to his past life have been broken as if they had been made of cotton. He has gained new friends, a new Book, a new name.
Godliness with Contentment is Greater Gain
Godliness is gain, if you mean spiritual gain, and also if you are contented with what you have gained from God. In this way the apostle introduces to us a familiar theme of his, that of Christian contentment. The primary meaning of the word ‘contentment’ is what I have now is enough. It was a term used by the Stoic philosophers. It meant that a man did not depend upon his outward circumstances or his environment. He had something in himself which left him at peace. He is a man at peace with the world, and at peace with God, no matter what his own situation may be.
How does a godly man gain contentment? He learns it. Do we understand the implications of this? Contentment is not a matter of personality. Contentment is not an issue of property. Contentment is not an issue of privacy. Contentment is an issue of choice. Contentment is an issue of comprehension. Paul was a humble man after coming to Christ. I believe we would experience this gain today in our lives if we would walk in the Spirit and walk in great humility before others. The reason we have strife in our homes and churches is a lack of contentment. That lack of contentment breeds covetousness, which is idolatry.
A man became envious of his friends because they had larger and more luxurious homes. So he listed his house with a real estate firm, planning to sell it and to purchase a more impressive home. Shortly afterward, as he was reading the classified section of the newspaper, he saw an ad for a house that seemed just right. He promptly called the realtor and said, “A house described in today’s paper is exactly what I’m looking for. I would like to go through it as soon as possible!” The agent asked him several questions about the listing and then replied, “But, sir, that is your current house!”
Happy is the man that has contentment added to his godliness.