Introduction

\\INTRODUCTION TO I TIMOTHY 6\\

In this chapter the apostle gives some instructions to servants; lays
down some rules, by which to judge of false teachers; advises to
contentment; exposes the sin of covetousness; exhorts Timothy to
avoid sin, and follow after things that are good, to be constant in
his warfare, the issue of which would be eternal life; gives him a
charge with respect to himself, and orders him what he should enjoin
others, particularly the rich, and what he should do himself; and
wishes grace unto him, to enable him to discharge his duty. The
instructions to servants are of two sorts; first, to such who had
unbelieving masters, whom they ought to honour and obey; that the
name and doctrine of Christ be not evil spoken of: and then to such
as had believing masters, that they despise them not being brethren,
but should the more cheerfully serve them; because believers in
Christ, beloved of God, and partakers of his grace; which duties are
worthy to be insisted upon in the Gospel ministry, \\#1Ti 6:1,2\\,
and such who teach not these things are to be accounted false
teachers, whose characters are given in several particulars; as men
unsound, proud, ignorant, quarrelsome, and covetous, and to be
withdrawn from, \\#1Ti 6:3-5\\. And from hence the apostle exhorts to
contentment; and argues for it, partly from the gain of it along with
godliness; and partly from the consideration of what men are, when
they come into the world, and what they will be, when they go out of
it; and also from having food and raiment, which include all the
necessaries of life, \\#1Ti 6:6-8\\. And then he exposes the folly
and danger of covetousness, being the root of all evil; an enemy to
true religion and godliness; and the cause of ruin and destruction,
\\#1Ti 6:9,10\\. Wherefore he addresses himself to Timothy, in
particular, to avoid everything of this kind; and to follow the
reverse of those things that were in the false teachers; to fight the
good fight of faith, and then lay hold on eternal life; to which he
encourages him, from his calling, and the profession he had made, in
a very public manner, \\#1Ti 6:11,12\\. And then follows a solemn
charge unto him, given him before God and Christ; that he would
observe what had been commanded him in the most perfect manner, until
the appearance of Christ; which is certain, and may be concluded will
be, from the various epithets of God; who will make him manifest in
his own time, \\#1Ti 6:13-16\\. To which is added an injunction on
Timothy to charge rich men not to be elated with their riches, nor
trust in them, since they are uncertain things; but in God, from whom
they have received such a plentiful measure of them; that they be
beneficent to others, which will turn to their own advantage in the
issue, \\#1Ti 6:17-19\\. And to close all, he is very urgent upon
Timothy, to keep the Gospel pure and uncorrupt, he was intrusted
with; and avoid everything that was opposite to it, as profane and
mere babbling, and having only a show of knowledge, but not that
itself; and the rather, since some profane teachers and professors of
the Gospel had erred from it: and concludes with wishing him grace,
to enable him to attend to the several instructions which had been
given him, \\#1Ti 6:20,21\\.

under the yoke of the law of God, or under the yoke of Christ; though
the servants here spoken of were under both; but "under the yoke of
government", as the Arabic version renders it; that is, under the
yoke of men, in a state of servitude, under the government of
masters, and in their service; being either apprentices to them, or
bought with their money, or hired by them:

\\count their own masters worthy of all honour\\; and give it to them;
which includes subjection to them; obedience to all their lawful
commands, which are consistent with religion and reason, with the
laws of God, and with the light of nature; and all reverence of
them, and respect unto them, expressed by words and gestures: and
all this is to be given to their own masters to whom they belong;
who have a property in them; whose money or goods they are; and that
be they what they will, as to their religion and temper; whether
they be believers or unbelievers; or whether they be good and
gentle, kind and humane; or whether they be froward, peevish, and
ill natured:

\\that the name of God and [his] doctrine be not blasphemed\\; by
unbelieving masters, who, should their believing servants be
refractory, disobedient, rebellious, or disrespectful, would be apt
to say, what a God do these men serve? is this their religion? is this
the Gospel they talk of? does their doctrine teach them such things,
to be disobedient to their masters, and carry it disrespectfully to
them? does it disengage them from the laws of nature, and dissolve the
bonds of civil society, and destroy the relation that subsists between
man and man? If this be the case, away with their God and their
doctrine too. Wherefore the apostle exhorts, that if believing
servants have any regard to that name they are called by, and call
upon, and to the doctrine of the Gospel they have embraced and
professed; that they would be obedient and respectful to their
masters; that they may have no occasion to speak reproachfully of God,
and of the Gospel.
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