Pastoral Epistles - Lesson 13

1 Timothy 6

Paul concludes his letter with a series of different and not always related topics. He deals with slaves, and begins to lay the groundwork for abolition, gives Timothy two tests for correct theology and spells out the download spiral and eventual destruction of the false teacher especially related to their love of money, and then encourages Timothy three ways. And in proper biblical fashion, he concludes with a doxology. The final paragraph (skipped by Dr. Mounce, is a final word to the rich in the church and a final plea to Timothy to be careful.

Bill Mounce
Pastoral Epistles
Lesson 13
Watching Now
1 Timothy 6

1 Timothy 6:1-2a

Honor and respect one another (6:1)

Slaves: fully respect your masters (6:1a)

Difficult for our ears to hear

Plants the seeds of abolition

6:1b — Motivation — Evangelistic

More important than turning Christianity into a political movement

Not to say that political involvement is wrong

Specifically with slaves with christian masters (6:2)

Paul is planting the seeds for what became the abolition movement

1. “Enslavers” (1 Tim 1:10) parallels “Though shalt not steal”

2. “Good service” is more accurately “acts of kindness”

3. Masters

4. Slaves

5. Philemon 15-16

6.1 Cor 7:21

Our deepest/most significant relationships are not assigned by society

Paul’s refusal to outwardly condemn slavery has led to great abuse

Writings of the pre-war south

Piper on Jonathan Edwards

1 Timothy 6:2b-10

Godly contentment is contrasted with loving financial “profit” (6:9)

1. Starts with temptation

2. These temptations become a snare

3. Plunged into ruin and destruction

Paul concludes: “the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil” (6:10)

Fee: why would anyone want to become rich?

The only profit there is in loving wealth is the pain of more temptations

1 Timothy 6:11-16

1. Encouragement: Flee and pursue (6:11)

2. Encouragement: Christian life is a struggle (6:12)

3. Encouragement: Remember who is watching (6:13-15a)

“Commandment” is probably not one specific statement

Who’s watching? In whose presence do we live and minister?

Something else is going on

4. “Doxology” (6:15b-16)

“Only Sovereign”

This is the God who demands our loyalty, worship, our lives

  • Dr. Mounce introduces himself and covers the traditional issues in introductions, including his historical reconstruction of the writing and history behind the Pastorals, basic misconceptions people have of the Pastorals, and the survey of the critical issues often raised.

  • Paul begins by reminding Timothy of an earlier visit, and encourages Timothy to stay on at Ephesus, dealing with the issues in the church. Paul's goal is love, which stands in stark contrast to the work of the false teachers. Throughout 1 Timothy 1, Dr. Mounce is enumerating the ways in which Timothy (and we) should deal with false teaching.

  • Paul gives the theological argument up front as to why the false teachers were wrong and Timothy needs to silence them. They are legalists, applying the Mosaic Law to all Chrsitians. Rather, salvation is by God's mercy and grace as seen in Paul's conversion. But things have gotten bad in Ephesus, and Paul had to take a firm stance on dealing with two of the leaders of the opposition.

  • Having looked at the core teaching on why the false teachers were wrong, the class now looks at the other main pasages in the Pastorals that deal theologically with the false teaching.

  • Paul begins a two chapter discussion on issues of leadership in the Ephesian church. He begins by critiquing their habit of praying only for some people, which shows their legalistic way of looking at salvation. Then he deals with issues of public worship, first men then women. These are issues that the leaderhip should have been dealing with but most likely were being caused by poor leadership.

  • While this paragraph is not a matter of orthodoxy, it is nevertheless important since there are so many women in the church. Paul lays out the basic principle that women should learn with a submissive attitude, and then restates that principle with an eye to application; they cannot teach certain people in certain situations. Paul looks to the pre-Fall creation and the relationship that Adam and Eve were created to fulfill, and then spells out a consequence of what happens when that relationship is not honored. Because Paul references Genesis 2 and not Genesis 3, this is not a cultural teaching but transcultural.

  • After dealing with some questions, the class resumes by finishing the last two verses in chapter 2.

  • Paul gives four basic requirements for the leaders of a church. He beghins by emphasizing that leadership is a good thing and insists that leaders must be a certain kind of person, a person's who character is above repreoach. To appoint unqualified people to leadership is a sin, and those appointing them share in the responsibiiltiy when they fail and damage the church. But elders must also have a proven managerial ability of people, be spiritually mature, and have a good reputation in the eyes of people outside the church.

  • We conclude our discussion of elders by looking at two other passages on the role, Titus 1:5–9 and 1 Timothy 5:17–25.

  • We now move into the discussion of deacons in 1 Tim 3:8–13. There is much overlap between elders and deacons, and yet deacons are more involved in the day-to-day service of the church and are not required to be able to teach. The major interpretive decision is in v 11 as to whether it refers to women (i.e., deaconnesses) or wives (of the deacons).

  • This paragraph is the heart of the letter, putting everything that Paul has been discussing into perspective and giving it context. The church is precious, and we should protect the gospel because of the truths it teaches.

  • Paul goes back to addressing the needs of the Ephesian church. He deals in summary fashion with people of different ages, with a special note of concern for Timothy in how he deals with young women, which leads him into a discussion of young widows. His concern is that the church care for those who are "truly widows," i.e., who are old, truly alone, and have lived godly lives. Younger widows, however, should remarry and not burden the church. The church has limited resources, and it should initially care for those who are the most vulnerable.

  • Paul concludes his letter with a series of different and not always related topics. He deals with slaves, and begins to lay the groundwork for abolition, gives Timothy two tests for correct theology and spells out the download spiral and eventual destruction of the false teacher especially related to their love of money, and then encourages Timothy three ways. And in proper biblical fashion, he concludes with a doxology. The final paragraph (skipped by Dr. Mounce, is a final word to the rich in the church and a final plea to Timothy to be careful.

  • Most of the content of Titus has been covered in the lectures over 1 Timothy. However, the letter does have something to add to the discussion of leadership, and its two salvific hymns raise the issue of the reationship between justification and sanctification.

  • Paul begins his letter to his best friend by encouraging him to continue in ministry. If ever there were a model for how you encourage someone, especially someone who looks up to you, this is the chapter. The best thing you can do is find how many ways Paul encourages Timothy, and then see how to apply those points in your own life and ministry.

  • Paul concludes his encouragement to Timothy, and points out examples of faithless friends, and of one faithful friend.

  • Paul continues to encourage the discouraged Timothy, reminding him of the glorious gospel that he proclaims. Even if Paul himself is bound, the gospel is not.

  • The false teachers come back into view with a strong emphasis on Timothy's need to remain faithful. But the encouragement is that God's foundation in Timothy's life, and others, is sealed with a promise, and yet Timothy must also pursue righteousness and flee evil. Paul uses his own life as an example of faithfulness, and concludes with a strong admonition to preach the gospel because it comes from the very mouth of God.

  • Paul concludes his discussion of the role of Scripture in Timothy's life, reminding Timothy of Paul's own life of faithfulness. Paul makes some personal remarks about a few people, and references his final trial. He knows he will die, but death is merely a loosening.

The Pastoral Epistles contain some of the most practical advice in the New Testament. Learn how to handle heresy, appoint qualified leaders, take care of those who may not be able to care for themselves, and especially how to encourage one another in ministry. Titus alone contains two of the most powerful salvific statements in all of Scripture. These 13 chapters are worth studying.

Pastoral Epistles

Dr. Bill Mounce


1 Timothy 6

Lesson Transcript


Okay. What we're going to do is that we're going to finish off first Timothy six, and then we'll take another short break and then we're going to blow through Titus most of what needs to be covered in Titus we've already seen. But there's a couple of really cool things worth pointing out. And then tomorrow we will look at Second Timothy and we will find out what you think about the relationship between justification and sanctification. A second, Timothy. All right. First, Timothy six. Paul is again dealing with different groups of people in the church. He's dealt with people in their different age range. He's done with dealt with widows. He dealt with elders. We've already talked about that. So we get to chapter six, and now he's dealing with slaves and masters. And so he says, let all who are under a yoke as bond servants. Um, regard their own masters as worthy of all honor. And the reason they are to do that is that so the name of God and the teaching may not be revealed. He's looking at the social implications of Christians slaves misbehaving. And then he focuses in on one special group, slaves whose masters are believers. Is this those who have believing masters must not be respect disrespectful? And the reason they might be disrespectful is on the grounds that they are brothers. And then, rather, instead of doing that, those slaves must serve their Christian masters all the better. And the reason they must serve all the better is that those who benefit by their good service are both believers and beloved. All right. Paul has to address this issue of masters and slaves. Quite often it's first Peter, not Paul, but first. Peter does it to Ephesians, Colossians and then all of five Leman.


And his basic message is, uh, to respect your masters and to work in a way that is pleasing. Um, this is really hard to hear, isn't it? I mean, it's really hard in 2013 to hear someone speak of the single most disgusting, repulsive institution in the history of the world. As well. He just let it go. It's caused a lot of problems. And after we go through the passage, I am going to come back. And because Paul does not explicitly condemn slavery, but as I've said, he plants the germs, the seeds that moved into the abolition movement. And we're going to talk about some of those things so that if somebody says to you, well, Paul believed in slavery, you can say, no, he didn't even he did not expressly forbid it. But it is it is, I think, a difficult thing. But he wants those who are under the yoke his bond servants, as this particular translation. Are you aware of the discussion coming out of MacArthur's book on all this? Is a do Laos a servant or a slave? And this is the same word that, you know, we are slaves of Christ, but it's also of slaves and human institutions. It's a very hard word to translate because the the the Roman institution of slavery wallet has a lot of overlap with what we hear as Americans. When we hear slavery, there was a lot that was different. Um. There was. And that's why the phrase bond servant is kind of gaining credence. In fact, the ESV did a very, very silent update on the ESV a year ago, and one of the things they did is they changed quite a few of the translations of Do lost to bond servant. Because a bond servant is actually, you know, when I hear of a servant, I think I hear someone who, um, can leave employment whenever he or she wants and is there's no long term, you know, real connection.


Um, but when you hear slave, you think of antebellum South. Right? I mean, that's just the image of slavery that's in our minds. A bond servant is someone who voluntary sells himself into servitude to a master. It was very common, for example, that if you wanted to come from Europe to the New World, you would sell yourself into slavery, sell your servant to be a bond servant. And that means the man owned you, the servant owned you for seven years, but he would give you pay for your passage to come to the new world and work. And then after seven years, you were free, unless you decided to make it permanent. And then they had another process where they would pierce ears and stuff like that and make the relationship permanent. So Bond Servant is actually the closest thing we have to the ancient to the Roman practice of slavery. But you can see I mean, this is a topic of debate right now. Are you a servant of Christ or a slave of Christ? You're a slave. In case you didn't know the answer, you're a slave. You were owned. You were bought with a price. You belong to him. And you are not your own. Me too. So that's why. But if you say you're serving a crisis, that means well, I'd say I serve him. Aren't I a good person? I'm helping him out. And then tomorrow I may serve someone else. So, I mean, it's just. It's just. We don't have an English word for do Los Bon serving as the closest, but it's an old word and a lot of people don't know refers to. But anyway, hard hardware to translate, but all are under the yoke of bonds. Servants regard their own masters as worthy of honor.


In other words, respect them. All right. But the motivation and this is what's key. The motivation is not because slavery is right, but because. There are more important things. And those more important things is the spread of the gospel. And Paul was not willing to combat an evil social institution. Because of its effect it would have on the spread of the gospel. And I think this clarification that he makes is pretty interesting. It is hard enough to be a slave. But can you imagine being a slave in your master claiming to be a Christian and you're sitting there in church with him? You're hearing the word brother being used. You know, Galatians three there's neither slave nor free. And yet you know that this person owns you, controls you, controls your family, controls your children. My guess it was pretty hard. I guess this. And you could see how a Christian slave who has a Christian master could think, you know, this guy needs to cut me some slack. We go to church together. So I could see why why Paul needed to add in verse two, just to be really clear. Just because you have a Christian master doesn't mean you cannot do a good job. I mean, this has got to been one of the one of, if not the greatest social conflicts in the church. It just because slavery was so widespread. And we're not aware of any segregation that happened in the church. I mean, these people met together. As far as we know. So it's not like you, you know, in the in the pre-war south, in postwar south, even that you had, you know, white churches and black churches. They were they were meeting together. One of the interesting things, by the way, that I'm often asked on this passage is how about employers and employees? And I remember when I was younger, I say, No, it's totally different.


You can just get up and leave your employ whenever you want. As I've gotten a little older and I understand more the nature of how things work in this world, I'm not too sure that employer employee relationships are that different in certain circumstances. I mean, there are certain I mean, think of a I'm thinking of a metalworker in Pittsburgh. See free. His father spent his entire life working for U.S. Steel. You're raised, you know, you're going to work in the factories. It's the only possible employment. No place to go. This is your home. How much difference would that be, then? Saving for me? I don't know. It just is one of those interesting things to mull over. But. Okay, let me. Let me. Somebody says you, Paul. Paul believed in slavery. Let me give you some of the basic biblical data so you can tell them that they're wrong. Um, Paul never expresses a belief that slavery is a good thing, ever. It's only something that is allowed. And he's dropping hints all over the place. Well, he's dropping hints in places that this is not right. We've already seen one of them. Right. Number one is first Timothy 110 that he interprets the commandment, Thou shalt not steal as an ENSLAVER. So he lists anyone involved in the slave trade as breaking that particular commandment. Okay. That's that's one hint as to how Paul feels. Hint number two is actually in this passage, Where is the inverse Teresa's? These Christian slaves must serve all the better since those who benefit by their good service. It's a very cleverly picked. Phrase. I think probably a better translation is acts of kindness. Really? Why would you say that? A slave's activity are acts of kindness? Because Paul starting to redefine what a slave is.


And when you have a Christian slave serving a Christian master, Paul doesn't care what the world says. These are acts of kindness on the part of the slave. Again, just just a little something. But he's starting to redefine the nature of that relationship. Makes sense. Their acts of kindness. And, you know, some of the secular world would say, no, they're not. The master owns the slave. You can demand anything you want. Paul says, no, that that's not actually what's going on. These are acts of kindness on the part of the slave toward his Christian master. So he's starting to redefine the relationship. Number three, you have verses not in the past, but you have them elsewhere. That where he starts limiting what masters can do. Again, this is not the way it works in the secular world. Are slaves were objects that were owned. And for Paul to put restrictions on masters is really astounding. For example, Ephesians six nine Masters, stop your threatening knowing that he who is both their master and yours is in heaven and there is no partiality with what Paul just do. He threatened every slave master on the face of the earth. He said. He said, don't threaten your slaves because you're both going to answer for God. And by the way, God's not like social customs. He's not showing any partiality at all. He's not going to care who's a slave and who's a free. So the very fact that Paul would issue restrictions to Masters was revolutionary, and I'm sure it wasn't received in many categories. A statement number four is how we talks to slaves. I'm thinking of Ephesians six six. He describes slaves as servants of Christ doing the will of God from the heart.


No slaves are owned by their masters and they are to do what they're told to do because their possessions. Paul says, No, no, no, you don't. You don't get the nature of the relationship. The nature of the relationship in Christ is that these slaves, whatever, be their social condition, they are servants of Christ first and foremost. They are servants of Christ. And you may think they're just doing whatever the master tells them, but they are doing God's will. Even I mean, when I say he's he's changing the nature of the relationship, of the definition of who we are. The most powerful passage, frankly, is Phi Lehman. So this would be number five. The book of onus on estimates. I think a column on Tsipras the other day on this, Imus was a slave who apparently ran away from his master, a capital offense under Roman law, came to Rome. It would appear he became a Christian under Paul's ministry in Rome. And Paul's sitting here with a very difficult situation. Paul knows his master. He knows that the master has the right to put on estimates to death. But what do I do with my new brother? And so Paul writes a fascinating letter. I mean, if you've not spent time in film and you really ought to, because he it is Paul is making it very clear that Philemon can do what he wants to do. But if he does not do exactly what Paul is telling him to do, he better stand in fear of God. I mean, it's you know, he said, even though, you know, finally, I mean, you only your very life, you know, those kinds of statements and Philemon. But the verse that I think is really important when it comes to slavery is verses 15 and 16.


And I can't take credit for this. This is a sermon I heard 30 years ago as my first year of teaching. I was at a school in Denver and Frank Tiller, Paul was my pastor and Frank was preaching to finally me, which I thought was pretty interesting. Never heard even preached if I Leeman before. And he used this passage to make us question How do we understand our relationships to one another? Do we let society tell us how we relate to each other? Or do we let Scripture tell us how we relate to each other? In other words, for a for example, Scripture. The world tells us that the rich are more valuable than the poor. The Bible says the love, the ground at the foot of the cross is level. There is no partiality with God. So who are you going to let define who you are, the world or God? I mean, guys, this is. This the 32 years ago. And I can still remember the sermon. I can't remember my last sermon. This thing really had an impact on us. Here's the verse, Paul. Paul's talking to finally, and he goes for this reason. Up for this perhaps is why honest Thomas has was parted from you for a while. That's why he ran away. That you might have him back forever. No longer as a slave, but more than a slave as a beloved brother. And you got to think about that for a second. What would Jesus what would Paul is saying is that the world defines your relationship as master slave. That is not the essential relationship that you have with on estimates. The most essential relationship is that he's not your slave. He's not your slave. He's your brother.


Now that is a radical reworking of social structures and a claim that we should allow Scripture to define the nature of our relationships and not society. Heard. Who was it that it was someone and was talking about? How we separate out clergy and laity in the church. And he was making the point, you know, we've all heard sermons for perhaps other pastors or or sermons or pastors or inviting prayer for themselves, perhaps prayers for missionary. Let's spend some time on, you know, brothers so-and-so in Zambia, and you take time out of the Sunday morning service to pray. But the person said, How many times have you ever heard a pastor say, Let's pray for all the plumbers? You're afraid. Have you ever had prayer time? Sunday morning for the plumbers? Why not? I didn't either. Why would we take a time out for missionaries and not break time for plumbers? We've lost sight of document location. Yeah. Yeah, That's still. That's a theological answer. Yeah. You know, Gene, and it's come back around. Yeah, it is. It's in. It's good. Yeah, It's like, I just think we without realizing it, we let the world define the nature of our relationships. And so in our church culture, missionaries are more important than plumbers right up until the faucet breaks and it's four in the morning. But other than that, the pastors are more important than laypeople. They're rich. You know, rich people are more important than poor. I just think it's it's it's a fascinating exercise to think through this verse. And Paul's saying Philemon. You can't think of honest on estimates in the way the world thinks of you. That's gone. You are brothers, you are equal. I think it's a very powerful verse and one that we think about.


Should think about. So number five, Paul's radically redefining the nature of relationships. And that is a seed to abolition. And then, of course, the most famous number six, the most famous verses, first Corinthians 721. And it's a I mean, it is a hard verse to translate Where Paul is, is the basic encouragement to stay in whatever condition you are in. And then he adds the caveat. But for slaves, if you can get your freedom, go ahead and do it. So he's saying that, you know, if you're a slave and if there's a chance that you can be free, is it? You should get free. It's better to be free. And so he places a, um, that kind of priority on it. So those are the those are the seeds that Paul plants. I'm not aware of any others, but those are the seeds that Paul plants. I heard a. Again, this is the John Piper story. We were at ETS, our national meetings as to five or six years ago. And I mean, it's it's very popular in the academy to bash Paul for this. Paul You should have had a social conscience. Paul You should have spoken out against slavery is wrong that you didn't. And Piper was was talking about how that same charges leveled against Jonathan Edwards. Jonathan Edwards remained silent on the abolition movement for the most part. And the group of papers that were being read were about Jonathan Edwards. That's why he was talking. And and he and John talked a bit about why Edwards was quiet on the whole slavery issue. And then he said and then he said before, we're too quick to castigate Paul. For not actively promoting the abolition of slavery. And before we are too quick to condemn Jonathan Edwards because he didn't take a leading movement in the abolition of movement, he says.


Imagine this scenario. Scenario is it's 200 years later. And America is nothing but an archeological ruin. There's nothing here. There's nothing but crumbled buildings and dusty remains. And the center of Christianity has moved to Africa. And the church has grown and African and archeologists from Africa come back. And they start excavating the United States and they start excavating our churches and and then they start discovering the phenomenal amount of wealth that we wasted on ourselves and how someone in that situation would look and say, How could you do that? How could you build a building that cost $20 million? And the kids on the other side of the tracks are starving to death. How could you not deal with the social issues of your day and waste so much money on yourself? How could you do that? Now, of course, you've got to put John Piper saying that much more effectively than I can. And what John was saying is let's let's be cautious at condemning Paul and condemning Jonathan Edwards and not looking at our refusal to deal with the burning social issues of our day that we are not dealing with. I thought it was a it was a pretty powerful speech. Pretty powerful speech. Here's what I wrote in my notes. It. How do we think of the janitor versus the principal white collar versus blue collar, black skin versus white skin? College graduates versus non-college graduates. Since I was preaching with a lot of high school kids, I'd say freshman versus seniors, men versus women, women who work outside the home versus women who stay in the home. Masters versus slaves. How do we think about all these social relationships? And the point that I made when I preach this is that we have to look beyond socially defined roles and socially assigned worth.


And we must embrace kingdom values and kingdom definitions of worth, because until we do that, we will always view the principal as inherently more valuable than the janitor. We will always inherently view the rich as more important than the poor. And we simply cannot afford to allow the world to tell us how to think about social relationships. We just can't. We have to look at what the Bible says about social relationships and let that define us. And only, only then will truly we will. We value a poor person in our church as much as a rich person. When we see them as God sees them, not as the world sees. Okay. Slavery, uh, to be first Corinthians six to be in following is the discussion of false teaching. And we looked at that our first day together. So we're going to go to chapter six, verse 11 and following. And this is just just Paul again, encouraging Timothy just means it is time to focus in on Timothy and and how Timothy is doing. And he says, But as for you, old man of God, using a title out of the Old Testament, you are Timothy. A man of God is a person of God if you want. But Timothy is a man so out of mind saying Man of God, flee from these things. Flee from all the bad things he just finished describing. I try to teach my sons that only a coward doesn't know when to flee. You know, it's this American idea that, you know, men stand and fight is just stupid. If that's the only way you know how to handle things. Joseph fled from Potter for his wife. Right. And sometimes the manliest thing there is to do is to flee.


And that's what Paul's telling them. Timothy, Just. Just get out of there, flee from these evil things, but rather pursue righteousness, Godliness, faith, love, steadfast gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of eternal life. The life to which you were called, and the eternal life about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. Again, probably either is confer is conversion or is ordination. Is this remember the confession that you made? Hang on to those words. Continue to believe those words. By the way, do you in baptisms, do you have the the person. Make a confession. I hope you do. I know some people are terrified to do it, and I guess at times it's okay to ask some questions and say yes. But I think the most powerful baptisms I've ever been involved in or have ever seen are when the person being baptized has to make the good confession, has to has to state that they were a sinner or they've been saved with God's grace and they're going to follow him again. This is just him trying to encourage Timothy, you know, hang on to eternal life. In other words, persevere. All right. That you were called to it, you confess believing it. And then verse 13 says, I charge you. And he's trying to add solemnity to this. He's saying, remember who's watching you right now? I'm charging you in the presence of God and not just kind of like any God. This particular God is the one who gives life to all things. So the God who gives life to all things is listening. Christ Jesus is listening. And Christ himself made a good confession. He he witnessed before Pontius Pilate. He he he didn't back down.


He persevered. God and Jesus are watching Timothy. And so I charge you keep the commandment. And I don't think he's thinking of any one particular commandment, but just the commandment of a Christian life, of a Christian calling, of the calling of an evangelist, the calling of of the teacher. He's saying, keep that commandment that what God has placed on your life, keep it unstained, keep it free from approach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which he meaning God the Father will display at the proper time. So he's a saint saying, Timothy, you got to hang in there. God, the Father is watching God, the son is watching. And you've got to continue to do what you're doing, unstained and free from reproach, and you just got to do it until the Lord comes back again. Yeah, the commandment is probably not. One specific statement is Timothy's commitment to Christ to preach the Gospel. It's his commitment to keep his life unstained, above reproach. Something along those lines. One of the things that simply you can't come into English is the the cultural backdrop behind the word appearing. This particular word, 14. Yeah. Epiphany of this particular word. If you just kind of heard it in general usage, you would hear it connected to the coming of the emperor. It's a specific word that refers to the appearing of the emperor, the appearing of great power. And he's about to call God the King of Kings and Lord of Jesus, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. And he kind of sets it up by using a word that said, I know you're used to standing in awe and being respectful of the appearing of the emperor. But let me tell you, the the appearing that really matters, the appearing that really matters is Jesus Christ.


So there's some kind of like, I don't want to call it a pun, but he's he's he's creating an image in Timothy's mind. He's picking up language normally is associated with emperor worship, but is saying the real appearing that you should be looking forward to is the breaking of God into history. I'm sitting here wondering. Who the he is? The Godfather. God. The Sun. Yeah, I think it probably is. Jesus said what I said in the commentary. You remember? Okay. Yeah. And then he, in talking about Christ, describes Christ is the blessed in only sovereign. I know you think that Caesar is sovereign, but he's not. Jesus is the blessed and only sovereign. He's the king of kings. He's the Lord of Lords. He alone has immortality. He alone dwells in unapproachable light. He alone. Well, no, no. This has got to be God whom no one has ever seen or can see to him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen. What do you got? See which he will display at the proper time that he is God the Father. So since this this he is someone who is never seen or or can be seen. This has this can't be the revelation of God in Christ. It has to be. It has to be who we call God the father. Very interesting phrase here. And I don't know if you all struggle with this or not. But the doctrine of the immortality of the soul, I don't believe to be biblical is platonic. Plato was the one who taught that souls are never created and never ending. And that part of platonic philosophy was picked up in mainstream Christianity. I don't know who Augustine or who, but by someone. And I think it's very important that that God alone has immortality.


The human soul does not innate in and of itself have immortality. Now, I believe what's going to happen at the final judgment is that we will be given immortality. But I believe those of us who follow Christ will live forever in his presence. But that is not something that we possess innately. Um, it is, um. It is a gift, probably a judgment. Whenever sin is removed from our bodies, whenever we are given our new glorious bodies. Somewhere around there, we will be granted immortality. But immortality alone belongs to God. Not us. Don't deal with it. Shame on me. Second edition. Does that bother you? Let me let me finish up. We have 10 minutes. Let me finish up first, Timothy here. It actually is the funniest story was I think it's funny, when I was teaching this in Hong Kong a couple of months ago, I got to this doc zoology and it was I mean, it's a I love this dog. Geology is powerful is moving And I said and thus end it's first Timothy. And my translator just kind of turned and looked at me and said, Here's a few more versus and asset said the docs challenge such a powerful ending. I want it to end there. But Paul says, no, I got a few more things to say. And so in verse 17, he gets back to the issue of Rich. Apparently this was an issue in the Fijian church. He says that's for the rich in this present age. Tell them, Timothy, don't be hardy. Don't be arrogant. Don't set your hopes on riches. Riches are uncertain that even rich people should set their hope on God. And you may think that you earn a lot of money and enjoy a lot of things, but it's God who provides us with everything to enjoy.


I once preached a sermon that a husband's job is not to provide for his family, is to care for his family. And there's an important distinction because it's God who provides is God who provides by giving you a good mind, God who provides giving a good education, giving you a job. You know, it is it is God who is providing for your family. And I don't think I ever had a stronger response for men than I had in that sermon. It's God who provides. He provides through us. But it is God who provides. And the rich need to know that it's that they can trust their riches. The rich are to do good there, to be rich in good works there to be generous and ready to share. And the result of sharing is you're storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future. And because they have a good foundation for the future and heaven, that way they can take hold of what is true life. Jesus demands that we treasure up treasures in heaven. Right? Is not a good idea. And that's the part of the verse is Treasure of Treasures in Heaven. And Randy Alcorn says, How do you do that? Said you said. He said you can't take it with you, but you can send it on ahead. So wouldn't you like to know how to treasure treasures and have heaven? How to send your wealth on a head? And the way I ended up saying is that you treasure treasures in heaven by you use God's wealth to advance God's purposes. I think that's how you lay up a good foundation for the future. Everything you and I have is possessed by God, not just our tithe.


Everything we possess is God's. And the way and we are to use God's wealth to advance God's purposes. And one of the really cool things Randy points out from the really cool things about God is that he actually lets you take some of his money and spend it on yourself. What a great God we serve. Didn't have to do that. But hey, this is all mine. I'm going to give you a little, but I expect you to use my wealth to advance my purposes. Alcorn also says it's not how much you give, it's how much you keep. Because it's all Guardsmen, he says. How would you like it if you were shot up? If you put $1,000,000 cash into a FedEx envelope. And you called FedEx and you said, I want you to send this down to this mission. And the FedEx guy goes, okay. He takes it and goes home and. Takes up 90% of it, keeps it for himself and then delivers 10% to the mission. How would you feel if the FedEx guy did that? He said it's it's God's wealth. It is to be used to advance God's purposes. What that looks like in all of our lives is going to be different, right? That's for some 10% is a great number. For others, it's a it's a terrible number. Um, neither poverty nor riches. Craig Bloomberg's book. Anyway, good. A good admonition for the poor, for I mean, for the rich, for storing up treasures for themselves. And then he closes with this admonition. Old Timothy, guard the deposit entrusted to you. God has given you great things. He's given you life. He's given you gifts. He's given you abilities to serve. GUARD What was deposit He's giving you the gospel? GUARD What has been entrusted to you? And part of guarding the gospel is avoid the realm of irreverent babble.


And the contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge for by professing it. Some have swerved from the truth and obvious reference to the false teachers. And he says, Grace, be with you. One of the arguments that Paul cannot have written the past rules is this word contradictions. It's antithesis in Greek. It's the word of a famous Gnostic writing in the second century. And so some people look at that and say, the author is telling the Ephesians, don't read that book. And since the book is second century, the pastoral must be second century. We know, of course, that it is just a complete coincidence. And Paul is just referring to the first century false teaching and just saying they think they know what they're talking about. They're arrogant. They call what they teach true knowledge. Goes Just stay away from it. But rather guard the gospel that's been given to you. Grace, be with you. Great to be with you.