Wenstrom Bible MinistriesMarion, IowaPastor-Teacher Bill Wenstromwww.wenstrom.org
Thursday September 22, 20111 Timothy: 1 Timothy 6:5b-Paul Describes The Motivation Of Those Teaching False DoctrineLesson # 127
The apostle Paul in 1 Timothy 6:5b presents the motivation of those teaching false doctrine in Ephesus.
1 Timothy 6:3 If anyone advocates a different doctrine and does not agree with sound words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the doctrine conforming to godliness,
4 he is conceited and understands nothing; but he has a morbid interest in controversial questions and disputes about words, out of which arise envy, strife, abusive language, evil suspicions,
5 and constant friction between men of depraved mind and deprived of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. (NASB95)
“Who suppose that godliness is a means of gain” is composed of the genitive masculine plural present active participle form of the verb nomizo (νομίζω) (noe-meezoe), “whosuppose” and then we have the accusative masculine singular form of the noun porismos (πορισμός) (poe-reece-moce), “a means of gain” and this is followed by the present active infinitive form of the verb eimi (εἰμί) (ee-mee), “is” and then we have the articular accusative feminine singular form of the noun eusebeia (εὐσέβεια) (ef-sev-ee-ah), “godliness.”
This verb nomizo means “to presume” in the sense of making a wrong assumption.
It is used of the false teachers describing them as acting presumptuously in the sense of overstepping the bounds stipulated by the Word of God.
The word denotes that these false teachers have “presumed” that godliness is a means of financial profit without biblical justification.
Unlike the word’s usage in 1 Timothy 2:2, 3:16, 4:7, 8 and 6:3, the noun eusebeia in 1 Timothy 6:5 does not refer to attitude and conduct that honors or worships God.
This is indicated by the fact that Paul describes his gospel, i.e. apostolic teaching in 1 Timothy 6:3 as “sound words, which originate from our Lord Jesus Christ” and is “the doctrine which is for the purpose of godliness.”
The false teachers were not teaching the gospel or in other words, they were not communicating his apostolic teaching to the church but rather were teaching heretical doctrine.
He teaches in 1 Timothy 6:4-5 that these apostate pastors has a sick obsession with pointless arguments about words and were incessantly arguing who had corrupt minds and were defrauded of the truth.
Therefore, eusebeia in 1 Timothy 6:5 could not possibly be referring to attitude and conduct that honors or worships God since they rejected the only means possible to produce godliness in one’s life, namely, the gospel, Paul’s apostolic teaching.
Rather, the noun refers to a religious profession of adhering to the Christian faith, i.e. doctrine.
Those teaching false doctrine used this religious profession as a means to gain for themselves financial wealth.
Thus, it does not refer to authentic Christian spirituality that is based upon obedience to the gospel but rather it is a false profession designed to gain wealth for oneself.
So the word appears to contain the figure of metonymy meaning that eusebeia, “godliness” is put for the profession of it.
Therefore, it is an “inauthentic” or a “form” or “outward appearance” of godliness, which Paul speaks of in 2 Timothy 3:5.
2 Timothy 3:1 But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. 2 For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy,
3 unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, 4 treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,
5 holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these. (NASB95)
The noun porismos denotes a “means of gain” or a “meaning of gaining wealth.”
It indicates that the apostate pastors in Ephesus who were teaching false doctrine presume that godliness was a “means of gaining wealth” or a “means of gaining financial wealth.”
This word speaks of the greed of the apostate pastors in Ephesus who were teaching false doctrine as well as the greed of the Judaizers who the former was adhering to.
The noun porismos denotes that these false teachers were lovers of money and materialism.
It indicates that they were in the ministry for the money or because it pays well.
Greed of those teaching false doctrine is condemned in other places in the New Testament.
Hebrews 13:5 Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, “I WILL NEVER DESERT YOU, NOR WILL I EVER FORSAKE YOU,” 6 so that we confidently say, “THE LORD IS MY HELPER, I WILL NOT BE AFRAID. WHAT WILL MAN DO TO ME?” (NASU)
Titus 1:10 For there are many rebellious men, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, 11 who must be silenced because they are upsetting whole families, teaching things they should not teach for the sake of sordid gain. (NASB95)
Jude 4 For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.
5 Now I desire to remind you, though you know all things once for all, that the Lord, after saving a people out of the land of Egypt, subsequently destroyed those who did not believe.
6 And angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode, He has kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day,
7 just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh, are exhibited as an example in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire.
8 Yet in the same way these men, also by dreaming, defile the flesh, and reject authority, and revile angelic majesties. 9 But Michael the archangel, when he disputed with the devil and argued about the body of Moses, did not dare pronounce against him a railing judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!”
10 But these men revile the things which they do not understand; and the things which they know by instinct, like unreasoning animals, by these things they are destroyed.
11 Woe to them! For they have gone the way of Cain, and for pay they have rushed headlong into the error of Balaam, and perished in the rebellion of Korah.
12 These are the men who are hidden reefs in your love feasts when they feast with you without fear, caring for themselves; clouds without water, carried along by winds; autumn trees without fruit, doubly dead, uprooted;
13 wild waves of the sea, casting up their own shame like foam; wandering stars, for whom the black darkness has been reserved forever. 14 It was also about these men that Enoch, in the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones,
15 to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.” 16 These are grumblers, finding fault, following after their own lusts; they speak arrogantly, flattering people for the sake of gaining an advantage. (NASB95)
Peter warned his fellow elders to shepherd the flock of God voluntarily according to the will of God rather than for sordid gain.
1 Peter 5:1 Therefore, I exhort the elders among you, as your fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ, and a partaker also of the glory that is to be revealed, 2 shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness. (NASB95)
In 1 Timothy 3:3 and Titus 1:7, the apostle Paul stipulated that in order for the man with the spiritual gift of pastor-teacher to be ordained to hold the office of overseer, he must be characterized as someone who is not greedy or loves money.
Titus 1:7 For the overseer must be above reproach as God’s steward, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not addicted to wine, not pugnacious, not fond of sordid gain. (NASB95)
In 1 Timothy 3:8, Paul teaches that those who desired to serve in the office of deacon also must be characterized as not greedy individuals.
1 Timothy 6:7 For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either. 8 If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content. 9 But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires, which plunge men into ruin and destruction.