Thursday, September 25, 2014

10 - 1 Timothy 6:1-10 - Lessons for Leaders

Lesson 10                                         “Masters and Money”                          1 Timothy 6:1-10
ID: Inductive Questions (Asking the text questions like who, what, where, when, why, & how?”)
CR: Cross References (Comparing Scripture to Scripture, understanding the vague by the clear.)
WS: Word Study (Understanding definition, theological meaning, and usages in other passages.)
The WORD: What does the Bible say?
Context: Read 1 Timothy 5:19-6:16 to understand the context.  This passage alludes to Job 1:21.  Read Job 1:18-22 so you will be familiar with its Old Testament context. Then read 1 Timothy 6:1-10 in a more literal or more dynamic translation than you usually use.
1.     ID: (6:1) What does it mean for bondservants to count their masters worthy of all honor?  Why are they told to do that?
2.     ID: (6:2) How should it change a bondservant’s attitude when his master is a believer?
3.   ID: (6:3-5) How does Paul characterize the teaching of those who believe that godliness (eusebeia) is a means to gain (porismos)? 
4.     ID/CR: (6:6-8) How does Job’s confession reinforce the truth that godliness with contentment (autarkeia) is a great gain?
5.     CR: (6:9) What often happens to those who desire to be rich (plouteō)?
6.     ID: (6:10) What cautions are given about the love (philargyria) of money?
The WALK: What should I do?
1.    We might have expected Paul to say, “Especially honor masters who are unbelievers so that you can win them to the Lord.”  Why do you think that he said the opposite?  Does that change the way you think about how we relate to believers and unbelievers?
2.    Paul tells Timothy to “teach these things.”  What resources have you found helpful teaching about a Biblical perspective on employment and money?  Put together a brief sketch of how you would teach from 1 Timothy 6 on this topic (for your children/grandchildren or a group of your peers). 
3.     What is the difference between teaching godliness is a means to godliness and Proverbs 10:22?
4.    Verse eight says that we should be content with adequate food and clothing.  What struggles would you have being content with so little?
5.   CSBI: How do you think Paul’s personality and background impacted the style and content of the pastoral epistles?  How has God used your individual traits and background in your ministry and witness?
Going Beyond: 1. 1 Timothy 6:6-10 are classic verses on contentment.  Pick one or more of them to memorize.
2. What areas of theology are touched on in this passage?
The Bible (Bibliology)  
God (Theology Proper)  
The Father (Paterology)  
The Lord Jesus Christ (Christology) 
The Holy Spirit (Pneumatology)  
Man (Anthropology)   
Salvation (Soteriology)
The Church (Ecclesiology) 
Angels & Satan (Angelology)
Future Things (eschatology)

Inspiration is the way in which God gave his Word to us through human authors, but how he did is a matter not fully understood.  In this section of the Articles of Affirmation and Denial the framers of the document explicitly deny understanding the mode of inspiration.  But they affirm, as Scripture itself also does (2 Tim. 3:16), that the Bible is the product of divine inspiration and that this work extended through the human writers to each section and even each word of the original documents.  The process of inspiration did not make the biblical writers automatons, for their books reveal differences of vocabulary, style and other matters of variation by human author and another.  But inspiration did overcome any tendency they may have had to error, with the result that the words they wrote were precisely what God, the divine author, intended us to have.

We affirm that God in His work of inspiration utilized the distinctive personalities and literary styles of the writers whom He had chosen and prepared.
We deny that God, in causing these writers to use the very words that He chose, overrode their personalities.
Article VIII reiterates that God’s work of inspiration does not cancel out the humanity of the human writers he uses to accomplish his purpose.  The writers of Scripture were chosen and prepared by God for their sacred task.  However, whatever the process of inspiration may have been, it does not include the canceling of the personality of the writers as they wrote.  Though the word is not used in the article, what is clearly in view is a denial of any kind of mechanistic or mechanical inspiration.  Mechanical inspiration would reduce the human authors to the level of automatons, robot-like machines.  An analysis of Scripture makes clear that the distinctive personalities and writing styles vary from one human writer to another.  The style, for example, of St. Luke is obviously different from that of Matthew.  The literary structures found in the writing of Daniel differ greatly from those found, for example, in the writing of James.  Men of Hebrew origin tended to write in Hebraic styles, and those of the Greek cultural background tended to write in a Greek style.  However, through divine inspiration God made it possible for his truth to be communicated in an inspired way making use of the backgrounds, personalities and literary styles of these various writers. The human writers were not machines and ought not to be conceived of as being without personality.  What is overcome or overridden by inspiration is not human personality, style or literary structure, but human tendencies to distortion, falsehood and error.

Leader Notes:

1-2.  This is an important reminder about our attitudes toward those in authority at work.  It is also interesting to note that while slavery was often different than what occurred in this country, there is no reason to assume the masters were always kind and progressive in their thinking.
3. Note that this passage does not teach about a reward for or gain from being godly and content.  Those ARE the rewards.  You may want to let the men think about how/why those two traits go together so well.
5-6.  We need to avoid all this being about somebody else.
1.  This explores two themes.  1) Let’s get away from a shallow mercenary motivation of being good just or primarily to entice others to get saved.  2) How is honoring masters central to the Gospel and Christ’s example?
2. Give each of the men 2-3 minutes (timed) to explain their outline and approach to teaching a lesson from this chapter.  It will be helpful to think about how they would put a lesson together and get good ideas from the other men.
4.  If this question does not make anybody a little uncomfortable, we may have missed the point.

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