Summary: Western culture is obsessed with achieving maximum gain. The Bible shows the Christian the true way to achieve maximum gain
“Living For Maximum Gain”
CLBC September 10, 2006 a.m.
Theme: The Supreme Value of Godliness
Passage: 1 Timothy 6: 1 - 10
How are your investments doing? If you are fortunate enough to have some investments, it is likely that you also have a financial advisor whose job is supposed to be making sure that you secure the maximum gain possible. One cannot watch the media without being aware that maximum gain is one of the chief goals of human beings. Why else would they report every day on the rise and fall of the stock market, the rise and fall of the dollar, the rise and fall of precious metals. You can’t watch the lineups at every lottery ticket counter without also being aware that foremost in the minds of many is the idea of making maximum gain, the faster and the easier, the better.
Well, believe it or not the Bible is also interested in securing for you the maximum gain and this morning I want to show how you can achieve that result.
The apostle Paul starts the passage in a most unlikely way. He talks about
1. Maximum Gain for those in the Workforce:
The passage is about slaves and their masters. Now what could a slave do to achieve any form of gain. The very idea of slavery was that of one human being belonging to another human being. There was usually no choice about it. They may have been slaves as a result of being captured, or being conquered or being sold into slavery to cover the debt of the family.
But in the days of the apostle Paul, and the spread of the gospel, many slaves heard about a freedom which had been purchased for them by the Son of God dying as a full payment for all which bound them, especially the bondage of sin. As a result many slaves had become Christians.
As Christians, these slaves became a part of the Church which is the Body of Christ.
Some slave owners had become Christians, and these also were part of the church, and the teaching of 1 Timothy 6: 1, 2 is not talking about slaves in general, but it is giving instruction to slaves who belonged to the Lord Jesus Christ. Though they were still under the yoke of slavery, they are instructed to consider their masters worthy of all honour, whether those master were Christians or unbelievers.
Why should they honour unsaved masters? It was because they belonged to a greater Master than those who owned them and it was important that as Christians they recognize that their Master Jesus Christ had allowed them to be in that position. He who had commanded that younger people honour older people, that widows be treated with special honour, that elders or Pastors be counted worthy of double honour, now also required that slaves honour those who were their masters, in word and deed, in action and obedience, so that the name of God and His doctrine be not blasphemed.
In verse 2 we see instruction to those who were fortunate enough to belong to Christian masters. Now even though the apostle Paul had written in Galatians 3: 27 and 28: “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” they had to realize that while faith in Christ changed forever their standing before God, it did not change their status or relationships to those who still held their lives in their hands.
1Timothy 6:2 “And those who have believing masters, let them not despise them because they are brethren, but rather serve them because those who are benefited are believers and beloved. Teach and exhort these things.”
As unlikely as it may sound, the way for slaves to achieve maximum gain in happiness and joy is by serving their masters as a way of serving their Lord Jesus.
Now, of course the question is, what has that have to do with us in Canada, in the year 2006. The application is that we substitute the term employee and employer, for the terms slave and master. A Christian employee must look upon his employment as the gift of God, and his service to be a way of serving the Lord Jesus. He should be the best employee possible so that the name of God may not be blasphemed because of shoddy, careless work or because of laziness. Some Christians can talk rich cream while their actions are skim milk. People see it, but most important, God sees it.
While every employee deserves a decent wage for the work performed, his real reward is not just the paycheck received. It is the satisfaction of pleasing his Saviour, and his ultimate reward is found at last in his Saviour’s presence.