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Rays of Light Bible Lessons by Keith Holder

GODLINESS WITH CONTENTMENT

1 Tim 6:6-10,But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. 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. 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 has just stated in verse 5, above, that false preachers teach error, supposing that (earthly) gain is godliness. Ungodliness occurs, and brings about nothing but discontent, when covetous, worldly-based, false preachers profess such doctrines of error, and lead others to follow after their false teaching. How sad it is when men, with corrupt minds, and ,,,(void) of the truth, proclaim a false doctrine that brings about, not godliness, but strife, envy, and disruptive disputing, into the church of Christ.

The lesson text tells us that God's truths is just the opposite of the doctrine taught by these false prophets. Here the apostle Paul presents the true doctrine of God - godliness with contentment is great gain. And what is the greatest gain that obedience to God brings? The answer is eternal life with God in Heaven! And it can only be attained when godliness - a holy, pious, life dedicated to faithful obedience to the will of God, is accompanied with contentment.

A person that is discontented with their lot in life and the things they are given by their Creator, will become envious of others that have received better things and a more fortunate lot. Of these false teachers, Paul indicates, that covetousness will be the light that guides their way, and they will "faithfully follow their own desires" rather than the godly life that God wills for them to follow. Then we can say, godliness with discontentment will result in the loss of eternal life, regardless of the earthly, material gains that are accumulated in life on earth. Earthly gain, however great it may be, can never compare to the immortal hope of eternal salvation, that comes to men and women when contentment accompanies the godliness of a member of Christ's body, His church. Paul said, for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content (Phil. 4:11).

For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. Job demonstrated this spiritual truth in the conduct of his life, and expressed it in no uncertain terms, when he said Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord (Job 1:21). By inspiration, the writer of the book of Ecclesiastes infers that earthly gain, without leading a godly life, has the same spiritual benefit as one that laboreth for the wind (Eccl. 5:16). With these truths before us, Paul urges all Christians to understand, and believe, that, in life here on earth, having food and raiment let us be therewith content.

But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare. To "will" to be rich, is to have one's heart completely fixed on the desire for earthly wealth. With this inordinate, covetous desire determining the conduct of men and women, they are tempted to use many varied dishonest, and deceitful, methods in order to accumulate earthly wealth. When mankind is attracted by, and takes hold of the lure of temptation, the snare of Satan will entrap them, lead them into many foolish and hurtful lusts. When one has become completely entangled in Satan's snare - when they become physically submerged in the mire of covetousness, their souls will be eternally lost, and they will drownin destruction and perdition.

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. As this inspired commandment is given here, Paul is not saying that the danger of sin lies in the possession of wealth, but in the manner it has been desired, gained, and by inference, the manner it is used. When love for God and for others is replaced by the love of money, it is said here that they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. Satan will assuredly place worldly wealth before all mankind, and he will guide all willing men and women into the lustful love of money. If allowed to do so, their love affair with riches will be spiritually fatal and they will lose their souls.

However, according to the apostle Paul, as he taught the young preacher, Timothy, and teaches all Christians today,godliness with contentment is great gain!