Light Of His Word
The Sermons of Pastor Mike Walls
Freedom Baptist Church
Used By Permission
Psalms 119:105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
PEOPLE IN THE LIFE OF A SERVANT
1 Timothy 6
Introduction: Paul opened this letter with warnings about false teachers. You can see this in chapter 1 verses three and four. It says “As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine, Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do.”
Paul also warned further in that chapter 4 verse one through three. (“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.”)
Part of the pastor’s responsibility is to guard the doctrine in the local church. If he is not carefully, false doctrine can easily slip in. We do not need what some people are teaching as doctrine. This includes their visions and dreams. We have a more sure word of prophecy according to First Peter chapter one. If the church in Ephesus would have problems with this being so close to Pentecost, then how much more should we guard against false teachers? Acts 20:28-32
“Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears. And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.”
I. THE MARKS OF FALSE TEACHERS
“If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth”
If you would put a cat like creature in this building which black all over and had a white stripe do its back, I would say you brought a shunk or in country terms a polecat in our midst. That white stripe marks it for what it is. Of course, the odor would mark it also. Paul gives us two marks in this passage of a false teacher.
A. The first mark is that they refuse to adhere to "wholesome words". This is sound doctrine and godly teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ.
We live in a time that godly living is labeled as legalism. What does legalism? In my research, I have found that legalism is defined as adding some thing to salvation. Let me illustrate with an area found in the Word of God. In Galatians, Paul refutes those who tried to add circumcision to the salvation of the Gentiles. In essence, these men were saying that if Gentiles were circumcised, they could be saved. Paul further refutes this in Romans 2:29.
“But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.”
I know that we need to return to living different if we want those around to see a difference in our lives. I do not make it a practice to talk about clothing styles, hairstyles or such from the pulpit. I will answer people's questions honestly if asked why we do not wear certain things. So how can a man be labeled a legalist if he is not making it a practice of preaching on such?
What is the first test of a teacher?
“To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.”
Paul continues this exhortation about sound and wholesome words and doctrine in other books. Let me cite a few of them. 2 Timothy 1:13
“Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.”
“Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.”
“Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.”
“Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world”
Instead of being humble, a false teacher is proud; yet he has nothing to be proud about he does know anything. Vs. 4
“He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings”
“Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm.”
Albert Barnes puts an interesting twist on this verse. He puts in his commentary on 1 Timothy chapter six these words: “That is, he is lifted up with his fancied superior acquaintance with the nature of religion. The Greek verb means properly to smoke, to fume; and then to be inflated, to be conceited, etc. The idea is, that he has no proper knowledge of the nature of the gospel, and yet he values himself on a fancied superior acquaintance with its principles.”
One of the marks of a true believer is a burning desire to understand the Word of God. He wants this so he or she can further understand and love the Saviour. He does not learn the Word of God to get the “big head” so to speak.
“And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?
This “conceited attitude” causes the false teacher to argue about minor matters concerning words. They think that they more than anyone else. I have learned that there are men who been studying and preaching more years than I have been alive who know more about this blessed Book. My own step- father thinks his “revelations” has equal billing so to speak as the Word of God. When I tried to point out the fallacies of his thinking with the Word of God, he tries to counter that this is what the “Lord had told him.” When I shared with him some of the teachings of good and godly men such as Oliver Greene or Harold Slighter, he dismisses them even though they had been preaching, teaching and studying the Word of God for more than forty to fifty years. I try to encourage folks to study the Word instead of trying to interject their opinions.
His response to clear teaching is that he is doting. The word “doting” means clear teaching makes his mind sick.
real tragic is the people whom this teacher is supposed to be helping
are robbed of the truth of the clear teaching. The result of this
robbery is a loss of character. It is not improving the believer
who is supposed to be taught.
II. THE MOTIVE OF THE FALSE TEACHER
“supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself. 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.”
The literal translation of this passage is that false teachers see this as a way of financial gain. Godliness in this verse means reverence, respect or piety towards God. It is the profession of Christian faith. In other words, false teachers have found this is a very ludicrous method of making money. It is a business just religious in nature. If you took all the money away from all those teachers, many of them would find other ways to make money.
Paul was always careful not to use his calling and ministry as a means of making money. He refused money from the church in Corinth so no one could accuse him of greed. 1 Corinthians 9:15-19
“But I have used none of these things: neither have I written these things, that it should be so done unto me: for it were better for me to die, than that any man should make my glorying void. For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel! For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me. What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel. For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more.”
He never used his preaching as a cloak of covetousness. 1 Thessalonians 2:5
“For neither at any time used we flattering words, as ye know, nor a cloke of covetousness; God is witness”
We see many religious racketeers who prey on gullible people, promising to help all the while taking their money.
Let me give four truths about the dangers of covetousness that is found in this passage.
“But godliness with contentment is great gain.”
The word “contentment” refers to a state of mind; a calm and satisfied feeling; a freedom from murmuring and complaining. The idea is that "piety, connected with a contented mind--or a mind acquiescing in the allotments of life--is to be regarded as the real gain." Tindal gives substantially the same interpretation: "Godliness is great riches, if a man be content with that he hath."
“Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.”
True contentment comes from godliness in the heart. It does not come from wealth in hand. If you depend on material things for peace and assurance will never and I repeat will never be satisfied or content. Have you ever noticed that material things lose their appeal very quickly? Computers, cars, clothes lose their appeal quickly. If you look at the statistics, it is the rich who are more apt to commit suicide even though they have the better toys and more gold.
2. Wealth is not lasting. Vs. 7
“For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.”
“And 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.”
You leave all your possessions when you die. One person asked about how much a wealth man left when he died. A wise person replied, “All of it!”
One wise preacher reminds us that you should give while you living so you will know where it is going.
3. Our basic needs are easily met.
“And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.”
Our basic needs in life are something to eat and clothes for our back. If we lose these things, we lose the ability to secure other things. Henry David Thoreau reminds us that a man is wealthy in proportion to the number of things he can afford to do without.
The crisises that we are facing in the world today make you take an inventory of what is really important in life. Many times people are glutted with money that they forget how to enjoy the necessities of life.
“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.”
This passage describes a person who has to have more and more material things in order to be happy and feel successful. Riches can be a trap. They can lead to a bondage and not to freedom. Instead of giving satisfaction, they lead to additional lust and desires for more. John D. Rockefeller, Sr. was asked one time how much money it takes to satisfied. He replied it was just one dollar more.
The additional lust and desires will have to be satisfied. Getting additional money and possessions satisfies them, which leads to wanting to get more and more.
Instead of providing help and health to those around us, it plunges men into ruin and destruction. It is like a picture of a man drowning. He is trusting in his material wealth to save him but it is really a weight to pull him down.
Conclusion: It is a very dangerous thing to use religion as a cover-up for getting wealth. Why is it dangerous because you are dragging God’s very name into the situation! You are in danger of helping others to blasphemy the very name of God.
My wife’s boss who is from India thinks one of the big television preachers is one of the funniest shows on television. Why? It is because he can see what some church folks cannot see. They don’t see the man ripping off John Q. Public in the name of the Lord.
God’s laborer is certainly worthy of his hire.
“Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine. For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward.”
His motive is not making money. If that is his motive, he is nothing but a hireling. About eighteen years ago, my home church called a man to be their pastor. I was living in North Carolina at the time. When I first met the man, I had one impression that I shared with my wife after he left. I told her that he was a hireling. She did not believe me. A few years later, the church went through a flood and did not have much money. He was living in the church parsonage. His electricity was included. He did not have a phone bill. Yet he left because they were not able to pay him a large salary. He proved me right. He was a hireling.
May I always remember why I am here! I am here to help the church. It is my desire to never be labeled as a hireling.
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