Pursuing Godliness – 1 Timothy 6:1-10 Work Ethic and Belief System

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Materials: Bible, scrap paper or spiral notebook, colored pencils (optional); The Bible Knowledge Commentary by Zuck; Slave by John MacArthur

All of the Pursuing Godliness quotes from Elizabeth George come from this study unless noted otherwise.

1) Please read 1 Timothy 6:1-10 If you would like to mark the key words and phrases in your Bible here is a list: teach, faith, doctrine, godliness, money/riches, all references to the devil, all references to prayer.

2) We need to better understand what it meant to be a slave during the Greco-Roman era. “Slavery was a pervasive social structure…it was so commonplace that its existence as an institution was never seriously questioned by anyone…Roughly one-fifth [12 million] of the empire’s population were slaves…Most slaves had never known freedom…To be a slave was to be in someone else’s possession, totally subjugated to one’s master in everything…Each slave owner defined the nature of his slaves’ lives. For their part, slaves had only one primary objective: to please the master in everything through their loyal obedience to him.” ~ John MacArthur

3) How are servants and slaves to treat their masters? If we think about this from the standpoint of employer and employee, then this scripture has a lot to say to us. We need to watch our attitude, especially if we are working under someone who is a fellow Christian. Those employers are worthy of our respect because they are brothers or sisters in Christ. We are to work as unto the Lord. (Ephesians 6:5-9) “This attitude is complete nonsense to anyone who does not understand Jesus.” ~ Zuck Our attitude toward work is a reflection of our attitude toward God. For more scriptures about work ethic see: Colossians 3:17-4:1, Titus 2:9-10, 1 Peter 2:18, 1 Corinthians 10:31, and 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12.

4) What are the three warning signs for recognizing a false teacher?  Evidently Timothy must have been having a problem with false teachers. This is the third time Paul speaks on this topic. False teachers can cause disputes and arguments which can lead to five sins. Can you find them in the scripture? Paul wants us to be able to recognize these false teachers when we see them. This is why it is SO important for us to KNOW and UNDERSTAND what we believe. We have to know our doctrine. If we don’t, then we are in danger of being sucked into the depraved nature of the false teacher.

5) What erroneous conclusion does a false teacher come to regarding “godliness?” Money does not bring contentment. And the LOVE of money is the root of all kinds of evil. Read Philippians 4:11-13. Many people take verse 13 out of context. Paul is not saying that Christ can give us the strength to do anything we set our minds to. No. He is telling us that through Jesus Christ, we can be content in any circumstance that comes our way. Ask God to search your heart. Are you content with just food and clothes? I know I need to search my heart in this.

Conclusion: How can we get to know what we believe? First, we should be in Bible study. But then we need to read books by solid Christian writers such as: John MacArthur, John Piper, Elizabeth Elliot, Chuck Colson, and Beth Moore. Not only can these writers help “put skin” on Christian doctrine, world view, and theology, but they are also wonderful examples of how God can change hearts and use imperfect people to spread His message of godliness.

Homework for next week: Read 1 Timothy 6:11-21 and mark any key words that you see.

What book or study (other than the Bible) are you going to read to help you better understand what you believe?

Thoughts? Please share!