Charges Concerning Riches 1 Tim.6: 11-19 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
In 1 Tim 6:11-19, Paul gives charges to Timothy concerning his own attitude and the attitude of those who are rich toward riches.
Charge to Timothy – 1 Tim 6:11-16 – preachers are easily tempted to love and trust money. So, Paul instructs Timothy and, therefore, all preachers on their proper attitude toward riches. Preachers are to:
Flee – 1 Tim 6:11 – flee the love of money and the temptations, snares and lusts associated with being rich [1 Tim 6:9]. You can get hooked by riches and lose your love for and trust in the Lord.
Follow – 1 1 Tim 6:11 – instead of loving money and trusting riches, preachers must follow spiritual things by which God can accomplish what he desires through each man he calls. Money can’t buy any of these things. Preachers are to follow:
- Righteousness – we serve God by yielding to the righteousness of Jesus Christ in us [Rom 6:13-18]. This keeps sin from having dominion over us.
- Godliness – godliness is produced by God in us [Phil 2:12-13] and is powerful [2 Tim 3:5] and profitable [1 Tim 4:8]. This keeps us from hypocrisy, pretending to be what we are not.
- Faith – it is impossible to please God without faith [Heb 11:6]. We walk by faith, not by sight [2 Cor 5:7]. We have faith in God and in his words.
- Love – love for God [Deut 6:5]; love for God’s words [Jn 14:23-24; Ps 119:163]; love for the brethren [Jn 13:34].
- Patience – we must wait on God to provide [Phil 4:19], to strengthen us [Is 40:31], to bring forth fruit from his word [1 Cor 3:7], to grow his church and his saints [Eph 4:11-16].
- Meekness – meekness is submissive obedience. We must be obedient to the Lord’s words and submissive to his authority [Titus 3:2] in our relationship to him and in our dealings with others.
Fight – 1 Tim 6:12 – this is the fight of faith and it is a good fight [2 Tim 4:7]. We encounter spiritual adversity in much of what we do, and we must fight in the Lord’s strength and armor [Eph 6:10-18].
Lay hold – 1 Tim 6:12 – lay hold on eternal life. Eternal life is our current possession, though it won’t be fully manifested in us until our bodies are redeemed [Rom 8:23]. Nevertheless, the power of Christ’s resurrection resides within us [Phil 3:10-12], and we must apprehend it. Timothy had a good profession of eternal life before many witnesses and we should, too.
Keep – 1 Tim 6:13-16 – Paul charged Timothy before God and Christ Jesus to keep this commandment without spot and unrebukeable till Jesus comes. In other words, we aren’t to follow these things most of the time, but all of the time, and without fail.
We are to keep this command because Jesus Christ, whom we serve, is the only Potentate [ruler], the King of kings, and the Lord of lords. He alone has immortality and dwells with God in his light, unapproachable and unseen by man, “to whom be honour and power everlasting.”
Charge to the rich – 1 Tim 6:17-19 – Paul instructs them that are rich on their proper attitude toward riches. Those who are rich are to:
Not be high-minded – 1 Tim 6:17 – rich people can be haughty and arrogant [see Prov 8:13].
Not trust riches – 1 Tim 6:17 – riches are uncertain and, therefore, not trustworthy [Prov 23:4-5].
Trust in God – 1 Tim 6:17 – God is alive and gives us all things to enjoy [Acts 17:24-25] and he has everything to give. He even gave his Son [Jn 3:16].
Do good – 1 Tim 6:18 – do good to all men and not evil [see 1 Thes 5:15 and Gal 6:10].
Be rich in good works – 1 Tim 6:18 – men who are rich have the wherewithal to do many good works [Titus 2:14; 3:8, 14].
Be ready to distribute – 1 Tim 6:18 – men who are rich should be willing to communicate; looking for opportunities to help those who need help [Eph 4:28].
Lay up – 1 Tim 6:19 – distributing and communicating riches is a good way for a rich man to establish for himself a good foundation for the future. The rich ruler could have laid up treasure for himself in heaven had he given his wealth to the poor [Mk 10:21; Matt 6:20].
Lay hold – 1 Tim 6:19 – rich men should lay hold on eternal life as Timothy was instructed to do [1 Tim 6:12]. Eternal life, rather than temporal life, is the abundant life [Jn 10:10].
Conclusion: Neither preachers nor those who are rich should trust in riches, but in God. All the money in the world can’t buy what God can give and can’t accomplish what God can do.