Wealth 1 Tim. 6:3-12 , & 17-19 04-04-04

We studied several lessons with a wealth or financial theme in recent weeks. Do we need these? I would say yes. Have you read studies about the younger generation, and their giving to the church? The percentage of income the younger generation gives is less than their parents generation. Why do you think that would be true? Younger people may find they are in deep debt because their wants exceeded their income, and the lenders were too lenient. Let's look at how the Spirit led Paul's teaching on the subject of wealth.

1.    The . . Cultivation of Good Teaching About Wealth. v 6:3-5

A.    The Cultivation of Good Teaching . . Promotes Truth About Wealth. v 3 - 4a
        3 If anyone teaches other doctrine and does not agree with the sound teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ and with the teaching that promotes godliness, 4 he is conceited, understanding nothing, but having a sick interest in disputes and arguments over words.

        1. Promotes . . Sound Teaching. v 3
        2. Promotes . . Sensible Teaching. v 4a
            a. Not Sick Teaching.

B.    The Cultivation of Good Teaching . . Pinpoints Truth About Wealth. v 4b - 6
        "From these come envy, quarreling, slanders, evil suspicions, 5 and constant disagreement
among men whose minds are depraved and deprived of the truth, who imagine that godliness
is a way to material gain.

        1. Pinpoints Truth Through the . . Contrast of Error. v 4b
        2. Pinpoints Truth Through the . . Constant Disagreements of Error. v 5

        How do we cultivate and promote good teaching about wealth, we must make sure the teaching is doctrinally sound. The so called "health and wealth gospel," is not doctrinally sound. In an article written in the Charisma Magazine, a few years ago, Benny Hinn admitted the poor people of the Philippines caused him to change his mind about God wanting everyone to be wealthy. To emphasize wealth over the saving gospel of our Lord is not sensible teaching, but should be called senseless and "sick." We pinpoint good teaching when we contrast truth with the qualities error produces. Error constantly accents false concepts about wealth. Paul stressed godliness as the kind of wealth a Christian needs.

2.    The . . Clarification from Good Teaching About Wealth. v 6:6-10

A.    Good Teaching Clarifies . . Contentment with Wealth. v 6-8
        6 But godliness with contentment is a great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world,
and we can take nothing out. 8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content
with these.

        1. Clarifies . . Great Contentment. v 6
        2. Clarifies . . Great Conclusions. v 7
        3. Clarifies . . Great Conviction. v 8

B. Good Teaching Clarifies . . Correct Thinking About Wealth. v 9-10

        1. Correct Thinking About the . . Riches of Wealth. v 9
                9 But those who want to be rich fall into temptation, a trap, and many foolish
and harmful desires, which plunge people into ruin and destruction.
            a. Riches and the . . Temptation of Wealth. v 9a
            b. Riches and the . . Trap of Wealth. v 9b

        2. Correct Thinking About the . . Roots of Wealth. v 10
            10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and by craving it, some have
wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pains.
            a. Roots from the Love of Money Produces . . Evil Roots. v 10a
            b. Roots from the Love of Money Produces . . Engaging Roots. v 10b

        To clarify, Paul says "godliness with contentment is a great gain." This clarification about contentment produces "great conclusions" as we realize what we take out of this world. Godly contentment also produces "great convictions" about the necessities of life, which will focus on correct teaching. When we allow the cultivation of correct teaching it causes us to know the temptations and traps wealth may bring. What is the root of evil? The love of money; and it has evil roots and engaging roots that may cause many painful situations. A study a few years ago discovered very few wealthy people said they had really happy lives. In contrast, many people with less money did believe they had a happy life.

3.    The . . Conduct from Good Teaching About Wealth. v 6:11-12

A.    Good Teaching Leads to . . Proper Conduct Related to Wealth. v 11
        11 Now you, man of God, run from these things; but pursue righteousness, godliness, faith,
love, endurance, and gentleness.
        1. Proper to Run From . . These Things. v 11a
        2. Proper to Run Toward . . These Things. v 11b

B.    Good Teaching Leads to . . Parading Conduct Related to Wealth. v 12
        12 Fight the good fight for the faith; take hold of eternal life, to which you were called and
have made a good confession before many witnesses.
        1. Parading Conduct Related to Your . . Calling. v 12a
        2. Parading Conduct Related to Your . . Confession. v 12b
C.    Good Teaching Leads to . . Preparing Conduct Related to Wealth. v 17-19
        17 Instruct those who are rich in the present age not to be arrogant or to set their hope on the uncertainty of wealth, but on God, who richly provides us with all things to enjoy. 18 [Instruct them] to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous, willing to share, 19 storing up for themselves a good foundation for the age to come, so that they may take hold of life that is real.
        1. Preparing Conduct Related to the . . Provider of Wealth. v 17
        2. Preparing Conduct Related to the . . Privileges of Wealth. v 18
        3. Preparing Conduct Related to the . . Permanence of Wealth. v 19

        Good teaching about wealth leads to proper conduct, and demonstrates itself in what a people run from, and what they run toward. I have seen ministers get entangleed in a pursuit for financial gain that caused them to lose all of what they had, even their family. Paul wants Timothy to (in effect) parade his conduct from good teaching as he "fights the good fight." This parading of godly qualities stem from his calling from God and the convictions produced through his confession. This conduct will be prepared from reflection on God, the provider of wealth, and the privileges true wealth brings. The proper conduct also prepares us to focus on the wealth that is permanent, and store up a good foundation for the age to come. Amen? Amen