Summary: The Apostle Paul gives commandments to the rich on the handling of money.
PAUL’S PREACHING ON THE PURSE (PART TWO:) COMMANDMENTS FOR THE WEALTHY
Audio Link to listen to this sermon: http://chirb.it/aKzkh6
1.) This morning as we come to the end of 1 Timothy, we will pick up a theme we had started two weeks ago concerning Paul’s preaching on the purse.
A.) In particular we will see some commandments that Paul gives for the wealthy.
B.) As we look at this portion of Scripture I am sure that each one of us are saying to ourselves that none of what Paul has to say is applying to us because we are not that wealthy.
C.) Yet when we look at some of the figures we would be considered by the standards of the entire world to be among the wealthiest people on this earth.
2.) I would like to point out a few statistics on this:
A.) If you have food in your fridge, clothes on your back, a roof over your head and a place to sleep you are richer than 75% of the world.
B.) 80 percent of the world population lives on less than $10 a day.
C.) Nearly half of the world’s population — more than 3 billion people — live on less than $2.50 a day.
D.) More than 1.3 billion live in extreme poverty (less than $1.25 a day).
D.) A quarter of all humans live without electricity — approximately 1.6 billion people.
E.) Hunger is the number one cause of death in the world, killing more than HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis combined. (Sources: Global Issues, Statistic Brain, One, WFP
ea.) 22,000 children die each day due to poverty.
eb.) 870 million people worldwide do not have enough food to eat, and in 2011 165 million children under the age of 5 had stunted growth due to malnutrition. http://www.dosomething.org/tipsandtools/11-facts-about-global-poverty)
F.) Certainly there are many other figures we could point out, but these are sufficient to show the considerable level of wealth that we have.
I. COMMAND THE RICH NOT TO BE ARROGANT.
1.) When there is wealth, there is often an air of superiority that anyone else could have what we do, and if they do not it is their own fault.
A.) We do not always acknowledge that we are especially blessed, perhaps more so than other people who are not in the same status.
1.) Many times riches is equal to power.
A.) The very fact that Paul is giving the warning on the riches here shows that Ephesus was in a much different situation than many churches.
B.) In most of the Churches, those who were Christians were often the poorest of the poor.
ba.) Last week I mentioned about the Church at Smyrna.
bb.) That was a church which was commended for their faithfulness to God.
bba.) Yet like many of the New Testament churches they were in extreme poverty and this was partially because of having a faith in Jesus Christ.
C.) We know that Ephesus was one of the wealthiest cities of the day.
ca.) Usually those of the Christians were very poor, but it seems as though in Ephesus many of the church, like the city as a whole were very well to do.
cb.) We have seen of this wealth earlier in 1 Timothy when Paul addressed the women and the attire in which they would come together for worship.
D.) Paul is giving a warning to the Christians not to be arrogant, or to think they are better than other Christians because of their wealth.
da.) Among the Jews, the Pharisees, and others would have been fairly wealthy, and looked at that wealth as a reward for their relationship with God.
db.) Often when a person would have physical wealth, they would also exert power over others in the church.
dba.) Sadly, there were, and still can be class distinctions within the church based on the financial portfolio a person has.
dbb.) I have in the past shared with you of my home congregation, and the terrible thing they did when that building was built in 1887.
dbb-1.) As a congregational fund-raiser, they sold the pews to each family of the church. The closer to the front of the building, the higher the price, and the greater the person was considered to be in financial and social circles.
dc.) James also warned Christians on money and having undue status and power within the church because of that.
dca.) The warning was given to not give, have, or seek a special status in the church because of our financial status in the community.
II. COMMAND THE RICH NOT TO PUT THEIR HOPE IN WEALTH.
1.) Wealth is always uncertain. (1 Tim. 6:17a.)
A.) By our standards today, we may feel that wealth is more solid than in the Bible days.