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1 Timothy 6:1-8

Talks for Growing Christians

Honoring Authority and Living a Content, Godly Lifestyle

1 Timothy 6:1-8

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Lesson Number 13

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. Believers should honor authority structures.
  2. Believers should heed sound doctrine.
  3. Believers should harbor godly contentment.

Practical Application

  1. Remember, you are saluting the office, not necessarily the officer.

Questions

  1. If the theme of 1 Timothy is church order, why was the apostle Paul writing to Timothy about the responsibility of slaves to serve their masters?
  2. Why might this be awkward in a church situation?
  3. How could this matter affect a church’s testimony?
  4. What is the evidence that Paul’s exhortation was heeded?
  5. Does this exhortation mean that slavery is taught in the Bible?
  6. When the Lord Jesus said, “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s,” was He condoning everything that Caesar and the Roman government represented?
  7. Is their a time when it is acceptable to refuse to do what your employer demands of you?

Answers

  1. Because a good percentage of the first century church was made up of slaves, some of whom would become church leaders.
  2. Both slaves and masters became Christians. At home, the slave would be subject to his master, but in the church the roles could be reversed if the slave was one the the spiritual leaders in the church.
  3. If Christian slaves were known to revolt or not serve their masters well, it would give a bad name to the Christian faith in general, and a bad reputation to the local church in particular.
  4. History shows that Christian slaves were very responsible and served their masters well, even bringing higher prices on the slave market.
  5. No. In fact, as the teachings of the New Testament gradually penetrated Roman society they eventually brought an end to slavery.
  6. Not at all.
  7. Only when his demands are contrary to the word of God.

Discuss/Consider

  1. Believers should honor authority structures because “All authority has its source in God,” (Romans 13:1). God has ordained four lines or structures of authority: a. of the family, or parental authority b. of the state, or civil authority c. of the church, spiritual authority d. in the area of labor, or social authority Discuss how at least one of these authority structures functions in your life.
  2. Sound doctrine is teaching that leads to the spiritual health of the believer. It does not get involved in nit-picking arguments that lead to jealousy and strife. Do you guard sound doctrine and avoid arguments that lead to jealousy and strife?
  3. Believers are admonished to harbor godly contentment. Remember, true contentment is independent of outward circumstances. See Philippians 4:11. Contentment finds its roots in the all-sufficiency and sovereignty of God. How about you? Are you content?

Challenge

  1. Remember, you salute the office, not necessarily the officer. When you do this, you are honoring God-ordained authority structures.

Key Verses

  • “ Let bondservants under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honor, so the name of God and His doctrine may not be blasphemed. ” - 1 Timothy 6:1 “ Do not be proud, knowing nothing, obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions. From such withdraw yourself. ” - 1 Timothy 6:4-5 “ Godliness with contentment is great gain. ” - 1 Timothy 6:6

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