GODLINESS, CONTENTMENT AND GAIN
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1 Timothy 6:6-11 KJV: But godliness with contentment is great gain. (7) For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. (8) And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. (9) 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. (10) 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. (11) But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.
Here the scripture tells us that Godliness with contentment is GREAT GAIN.
What are Godliness, contentment and great gain?
Godliness is more than just having a godly disposition to be morally upright like the rich young ruler (Mk. 10:17-22); it is literally becoming like God in nature, character and ability: wisdom and power.
All truly born-again Christians are like God in nature: they have the divine nature of God in their spirits (2 Peter 1:4); but many have not developed God’s character of humility and love and consequently have not experienced God’s ability: His wisdom and power to any great significant degree.
In fact, it is the degree to which you develop God’s character that He will entrust you with His wisdom and power.
Contentment is an inner satisfaction by the fruit of the Spirit of peace and joy with whatever your present material or financial situation maybe:
Philippians 4:11-13 KJV: Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. (12) I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. (13) I can do all things through Christ, which strengtheneth me.
Great gain is great increase in material and financial resources.
An incomplete or superficial reading of the scripture above in 1 Tim. 6:6-11 would seem to suggest that God does not want us to be rich as it could be a snare that could destroy us. While this is true, which is why godliness MUST BE WITH CONTENTMENT. The scripture teaches that indeed it is God’s will for us to be rich and enjoy all things richly: in other words have GREAT GAIN.
2 Corinthians 8:9 KJV: For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.
1 Timothy 6:17 KJV: Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;
If we attempt to be rich without GODLIKENESS AND CONTENTMENT, we will fall into the snare of covetousness, which is New Testament idolatry.
Colossians 3:5 KJV: Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:
Now just like literal idol worship is backed by satanic power:
1 Corinthians 10:19-20 KJV: What say I then? that the idol is any thing, or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is any thing? (20) But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils.
Covetousness will be backed by satanic wisdom and power to give wealth that God does not approve of because godly character has not yet been sufficiently developed by the recipient.
Psalms 73:3 KJV: For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
Psalms 73:12 KJV: Behold, these are the ungodly, who prosper in the world; they increase in riches.
We see this in the Old Testament typified by Balaam (Num. 22-24):
2 Peter 2:14-15 KJV: Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children: (15) Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;
So if we want GREAT GAIN, which is the will of God, then we must develop GREAT GODLIKENESS AND CONTENTMENT.
In our article next week, we will see in more detail how to do this.