Summary: What is godliness? What is contentment? Why is it great gain?
“Godliness with contentment is great gain.”
Before we start taking a look at this verse let’s see what the surrounding verses have to say;
“Let all who are under a yoke as slaves regard their own masters as worthy of all honor, so that the name of God and the teaching may not be reviled.
“Those who have believing masters must not be disrespectful on the ground that they are brothers; rather they must serve all the better since those who benefit by their good service are believers and beloved.
“Teach and urge these things. If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing.
“He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain.
“But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content.
“But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.
“For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.”
So, looking at our target verse
“Godliness with contentment is great gain.”
Paul is addressing slaves ... they should be content???
Paul is teaching Timothy.
Paul is warning about those who imagine that “godliness is a means of gain.”
Paul is warning against having a desire for riches.
Godliness … what is godliness?
OK. Let’s think about this. Let’s try an analogy, OK?
A Medical doctor is a healer, right?
Who is this? (Photos of famous TV doctors)
Doc Adams - Gun Smoke
Doc Baker - Little House on the Prairie
Marcus Welby MD - show had same name
Dr. Zachary Smith - Lost in Space
Dr. Leonard McCoy - Star Trek
Unnamed fake doctor - this man was arrested in Tucson AZ this past October when, dressed as a doctor in scrubs, he asked a police officer to direct him to the hospital in a city that has no hospital. He was driving an old beat up SUV which is consistent with most doctors.
He had also posed as a stock broker and sold fake shares to his family and “friends”.
How many of these would you like to have treat your illnesses or injuries?
They may have been doctor actors or impersonators but they definitely were not healers.
Now, suppose someone gets a medical degree and even licensed but after that they never treat a patient. They are fully qualified but they do not put that knowledge into action. They are indeed a doctor but they would not be a healer.
A healer is someone who not only is qualified but who also puts what they have been qualified to do into action. A person who is trained to be a doctor and who treats the illnesses and injuries of patients would indeed be a healer.
With that in mind; who is a godly person?
Like the TV doctors there are many people who live what would look like from the outside to be godly people. They may read the Bible, they may pray, they may go to church every time the doors are open, they may give tithes and offerings, they may visit the sick and those in prison, they may even cast out demons, and at the same time they may not be a godly person at all.
How is that possible??? How can that be???
Matthew 7:22-23 says
“Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name and in Your name drive out demons and in Your name perform many miracles?’ Then I [Jesus] will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from Me, you evildoers!’”
WOW! That’s quite a list! Prophecy, drive out demons, perform miracles? Certainly such a person would be the pillar of a church, an outstanding member and an exalted person in the community, wouldn’t they be?
But, what does Jesus say? “I never knew you. Away from Me, you evildoers!”
So, acting like a Christian does not make you a Christian does it?
What does it take to be a genuine Christian?
Realize that you are lost without Christ
Confess your sins and turn away from your sinful life