Summary: The gift of our treasure
1 Timothy 6:6-10 (p. 831) December 15, 2013
There is an amazing story in the book of Acts that takes place right after Stephen’s stoning and during the time Saul is persecuting the church. This persecution caused many of the disciples to run for cover, to be scattered around the world. Philip, one of those original deacons went to Samaria. He became an evangelist, proclaiming Jesus as the Messiah.
Miraculous things happened while he preached in Samaria, impure Spirits left people with shrieks, paralyzed and lame people were healed, joy filled the city.
There was a guy in Samaria named Simon who had a following before Philip showed up with the gospel. He was a magician, a sorcerer. He was so good at his magic people gave him the nickname “The Power of God.”
But when the people believed Philip as he preached the good news they were baptized into Christ (seems to be important doesn’t it?) And even Simon, the magician believed and was baptized. In fact he followed Philip everywhere because of the great signs and miracles. When the guy who pulls a rabbit out of his hat sees a leper cleansed and made whole he stops thinking he is the “power of God.” Real power blows away illusions.
The Apostles are still in Jerusalem, but when they hear the Samaritans have accepted the word of God they head for Samaria to pray and give the gift of the Holy Spirit. Peter and John are the two Apostles that are sent. Remember Acts 2:38 tells us we are baptized into Christ Jesus for the remission, forgiveness of our sins and to receive the gift of God’s Spirit. These Samaritans had only been baptized in the name of Jesus. Peter and John place their hands on these new believers and they receive the Holy Spirit.
Now is when the story takes a weird turn. Listen:
ACTS 8:18-24 (p. 764)
By the way Simon had believed, been baptized in the name of Jesus, but his heart was still not right before God, and he had no share in real ministry.
It seems he’d left repentance out of the equation and still had a thirst for this world’s money and this world’s power, and now he’d seen “real power” and he thought he could buy it.
By the way, I don’t know why he would pray and repent himself, and I don’t know what happened to him eternally!
What does this have to do with surrendering to God our treasure? What does it have to do with godliness and contentment? EVERYTHING!!
I. GODLINESS AND CONTENTMENT KEEP US ETERNALLY FOCUSED
Godliness with contentment is great gain.
[Have you seen those commercials that advertise “and” being better than “or” by Ford Motor Co? I love them all “sweet or sour,” “large or in charge,” “Bed or Breakfast.” My favorite, yes I am a guy, is this one “nuts or bolts”!!
Godliness with contentment is great gain, it’s not godliness or contentment, it’s godliness and contentment.
Remember Paul is writing to Timothy who is the Minister at Ephesus. He’s instructing a younger minister on how he should lead, the important things to teach.
There are some conceited folks in Ephesus who love to argue about current events and controversies. They like to take words out of context and use them to create strife, gossip, suspicions, and friction, and all of this wrapped up in a person who is more concerned with making a buck than God’s Church being healthy.
Paul says, “They’ve been robbed (Satan is a thief) of the truth and they think godliness is a means to financial gain.”
Simon the Magician fits in that category and comes to mind immediately. “I’d like to buy that ability to give the Holy Spirit to people. Man I’d make a fortune with that kind of power. How much is it?
No wonder our text says “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”
So what is godliness with contentment, and how is it great gain?
Godliness is simply “being like Jesus.” Christmas is the celebration of God becoming one of us, the incarnation, “God in the flesh.” Matthew 11:28 says Jesus was “gentle and humble of heart.” John 1:15 says, “we have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” Philippians 2 tells us his attitude. His way of thinking was “complete obedience to God and serving mankind, even dying for the purpose on a cross.”
That’s godliness. He is the perfect example of godliness in the flesh. The gospels reveal His life, love and purpose, and His Spirit is given so that we can hear Him prompt us from our heart, soul and mind. Perfect? No, not until this selfish perishable body is replaced with an eternal imperishable one.