Text: 1st Timothy 6:17-21 7/13/08 a.m.
Thesis: The rich must hope in God, do good, and take hold of true life.
Intro: A couple of months ago Abigail and I were talking about the simple truth that when we are sad, mad, or glad we must hope in God.
We also talked about graciously telling others to hope in God when they are sad, mad, or glad.
Later that afternoon Angela laid Abigail down for a nap but she was on a boycott. Again and again Angela went in to tell Abigail to calm down, quiet down, lay down, and go to sleep.
Finally Angela said, “I am so sad that you will not obey.” To which our sweet little 2 year old Abigail responded, “hope in God.”
In 1st Timothy 6 verses 17-19 Timothy is told to command the rich in the church to hope in God.
What’s instructive to us is that these rich are neither sad nor mad. These rich are glad. And what do they need even in their joy?
They need the gospel. In our sin we need the gospel. In our weakness we need the gospel. In our pain we need the gospel. In our joy we need the gospel. We always need grace.
May God fill us today with the eternal joy of hoping in God.
Read 1st Timothy 6:17-21
I) The rich must hope in God
a) And it is understood that there is nothing sinful about being rich
i) We saw from 1st Timothy 6:5-10 that it is those people who are controlled by greed and a selfish desire for more that are sinful.
ii) There is nothing evil about being rich. What is evil is being driven by a desire to be rich. You can be rich and godly but riches cannot be your god.
iii) Verse 17 says nothing about command the rich to repent or tell the rich to sale all their goods and give them to the poor.
iv) Verse 17 says (read it)
v) Who is the Holy Spirit talking to here? Who are the rich in this present age?
vi) I believe that the rich in this present age or not those who are at a certain income level. The rich are not those who live in a gated community. The rich are not those who drive a certain type of car or take vacations to foreign soil.
vii) I believe the rich in this present age or those who have more food than is necessary for one more meal.
viii) The rich in this present age are those who have more than one change of clothes.
ix) To be rich is to have necessary items in abundance. And the abundance spoken of here relates to this present age.
x) It’s the riches that moths eat, thieves steal, and rust destroys over time.
xi) At the return of Christ this age will end and give way to what is perfect and whole (Titus 2:12).
xii) Money is nothing but another tool to be used to spread the good news of Jesus Christ.
xiii) So when you think about riches do not think that money is the root of all evils. Understand that the love of money is the root of all evils (1 Tim 4:10).
b) And you know you are in love with the money you have when you think you’re better than other people.
i) Verse 17 says, “charge the rich not to be haughty.” The reason you shouldn’t think you’re better than everyone else is because it was God who gave you that money.
ii) God richly provides us with everything to enjoy.
iii) Where did your skills, knowledge, opportunity, and success come from? They all came from God.
iv) You knew what you knew, did what you did, and made the money you made because of God’s gracious provision for you.
v) So a right understanding of riches leads to humility. Why would God bless me this way and not another?
vi) Don’t get a big head about what you own; get a big heart of gratitude to God.
c) And don’t set your hopes on the uncertainty of riches
i) Christians talk a lot about hope. We sing about hope.
ii) My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
iii) Based on what Christ has done in his righteous life, atoning death, and victorious resurrection I have hope.
iv) God will work all things for good. My foolishness and sinfulness as a man, as a husband, as a father, as a friend, and as a pastor have all been dealt with by God through Jesus on the cross.
v) God is my Creator, God is my redeemer, God is my strength, and God is my provider. I have every reason to hope in God.
vi) Knowing that, it would be utterly foolish to hope in riches. It is God who gave those riches. Those riches will not last through this age and there is no certainty that those riches will last through this week.
vii) Why settle for what is uncertain? Why put your hope in a one time gift? Instead put your hope eternally in the perfect Giver or all good gifts?
d) Hope in God
i) Hope in the One who richly provides us with everything to enjoy.
ii) I want to be as clear as Scripture on this point. God gives you riches so that you will enjoy them.
iii) God wants you to gain pleasure or joy or happiness from the things he gives you.
iv) We’ve already seen in 1st Timothy 4:3 that it is foolish to forbid marriage and certain foods because God created these things to be received with thanksgiving.
v) Everything God created is good and should not be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer.
vi) God has given us all of creation to enjoy. But we must receive it with humble thankfulness and we must use it rightly. Here’s how to use it rightly
II) The rich must do good to others
Read verse 18
a) The right use of riches is giving away those riches.
i) God joyfully gave to you so now you in turn joyfully give to others. And in God’s grace He has given us some helpful guidelines that will increase our joy and fruitfulness.
ii) First, do good with the riches God has given you.
iii) God has not given you riches so you can blow them on yourself. If you ever try to justify an expense with the phrase, “I deserve it,” you’re on thin ice.
iv) If you ever try to appease someone else’s conscience concerning an expense with the phrase, “go on you deserve it,” know that you are pushing your friend onto thin ice.
v) If we are going to do good with riches we must not waste riches. The number one way I believe we in America waste riches is with the self-centered, not Christ-centered, mindset concerning what we deserve.
vi) What do you and I deserve for all our hard work? Let’s hear from Jesus what we deserve for all our hard work.
vii) Read Luke 17:7-10
viii) When you know yourself to be an unworthy servant who has only done what is commanded you will feel the awesome benefit of all Christ has done for you.
ix) We don’t deserve Christ but he has been given to us. We do not deserve grace or mercy or eternal life or even the slightest taste of the smallest joy but God in Jesus Christ has richly provided for us everything to enjoy.
x) So what do we do? We do good to others. We are rich in good works. We are generous. We are ready to share.
xi) Because our hope is set on God and not on riches we will give sacrificially because we want to be like Christ.
xii) Now think about this, if your gift allows the receiver of that gift to remain or increase in sin do not give it. You are not doing anyone any good. One way to do some people good is by cutting them off.
xiii) But when it’s time to give don’t be stingy; be rich in good works.
xiv) Have you noticed how many times the word rich is used in this short passage: rich in this present age, the uncertainty of riches, God richly provides, and rich in good works?
xv) The truly rich are those who are rich in good works. And you get rich in good works by being ready to share and generous when you do share.
xvi) So when you think of this church do you think about what you can get out of it or do you think of how much you can give to it?
xvii) Are you a taker full of demands or are you a giver generous and ready to share?
xviii) When is the last time you gave sacrificially to someone because you were just in awe of all that God sacrificially gives to you?
xix) I don’t want Mambrino Baptist Church to be a church of givers because it’s the right or Christian thing to do.
xx) I want us to be a church of givers because we are overflowing with gratitude to God, the One who richly provides for us.
xxi) When’s the last time you could not wait for the offering plate to come by because you were in such a spirit of thankfulness for all God has given you?
xxii) The more you appreciate all God has given you the less strange or even negative these things will sound.
xxiii) Are you doing anyone any good? Are you rich in good works? Are you generous? Are you ready to share? The question is, Do you believe the gospel?
xxiv) Now I want to give you the right perspective on using riches correctly. As I said, I don’t ever want you to give just because it’s the right thing to do.
xxv) I want us to be givers because of the joy that is ours both now and forever when we give.
III) The rich must live this life focused on the next
Read verses 18&19
a) Rich people should do the most lay away
i) When you hope in God and give to others you are storing up treasure for yourself
ii) Jesus said in Matthew 6:20, “lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven”
iii) Remember that game show The Weakest Link? To earn money the players had to answer right questions and say, “bank” thereby storing up that money in the pot.
iv) When you sacrificially give you are saying “bank” and storing up treasure in the final pot of eternal life.
v) Now I want to do somewhat of a little test. I’m going to read verse 19 again and I want you think about the words and ask yourself if this verse teaches that we can earn salvation by doing good works? Read 19
vi) We store up treasure by doing good works. This stored up treasure is a good foundation or the future.
vii) And we do it so that we may take hold of that which is truly life. It sounds like we can earn our salvation.
viii) Now that would be earning our salvation were it not for the gospel call that we opened with; the call to hope in God.
ix) What verse 19 does is explain God’s purpose for every living Christian who hopes in Him.
x) God expects everyone who has been saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone to store up treasure in heaven.
xi) The good foundation for the future is not what buys your way into heaven. The good foundation for the future is the tangible proof that your way into heaven has been provided richly by God himself.
xii) Because of who God is and what He has done through Jesus Christ you and I must take hold of that which is truly life.
xiii) 1st Timothy 6:12 says “fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called.”
xiv) True life, eternal life, joy-filled abundant life with Christ is found when we grab onto all that He is for us and let go of all we have in this world.
xv) Repentance let’s go of the world and faith grabs onto the hope and joy that are ours in Christ.
xvi) Let go of your money, let go of your time, and let go of your stuff. Let go of your family and let go of your church.
xvii) Do not let go because it’s the right thing to do. Let go because these things are God’s and God intends to use all those things for his glory, your joy, and the good of others.
xviii) Let go knowing that in heaven you will have joy the likes of which money on this earth could never buy.
IV) And finally, guard the deposit
Read verses 20&21
a) Don’t waste what you have been given
i) What each of us have been given as Christians is the gospel. We have been given redemption from every sin and perfect restoration with God.
ii) We are completely righteous in God’s eyes no matter how we feel.
iii) This gospel is meant to guide every aspect of your life. From marriage to ministry the deposit of Jesus Christ is intended by God to reshape your thinking, fuel your giving, and increase your joy.
iv) So protect the gospel, guard the gospel, keep watch over the gospel. The riches of God, the very person of Jesus Christ has been given to you.
v) And what you need to be on guard against is the irreverent babble and contradictions of what is falsely called ‘knowledge.’
vi) This is the last warning in this letter to Timothy and the church concerning false teachers.
vii) Timothy was teaching the truth and there were people in the church going around behind him house to house teaching something different.
viii) These people were making shipwreck of the gospel. Their talk was nothing but empty chatter and obvious contradictions.
ix) Claiming to know everything these people knew nothing and were causing great damage.
x) They had begun to preach a different gospel and some had swerved from the faith.
xi) It must always be on the mind of every preacher and teacher and person in the church that we say nothing and do nothing that would cause someone to be distracted from Christ.
xii) I pray you never do but if you hear that stuff from me come immediately and talk to me. Be sure you heard me correctly and if you did and I am causing some to swerve from the faith then it is your duty to correct me and avoid me.
b) I use myself as the example of someone who could get caught up in irreverent babble and contradictions because I feel my need for grace.
i) “Grace be with you” is the conclusion of this letter.
ii) The ‘you’ here is plural. Grace be with all of you. This letter was not just for the pastor. This letter was for the pastor and the church.
iii) And if the pastor is going to lead correctly there must be grace given to him by God and the church.
iv) He will make mistakes.
v) And if the deacons are going to serve correctly there must be grace given to them by God and the church.
vi) They will make mistakes.
vii) And if the church is going to be the church God must give us grace and we must give grace to each other.
viii) We all will make mistakes.
ix) The final issue of this letter “grace be with you all” (1 Tim 6:21) is the first issue of this letter. “Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord” (1 Tim 1:2).
x) Do you know the all surpassing grace of God poured out on you richly in Jesus Christ?
xi) Do you know the hope of God and the forgiveness of the gospel?
xii) Then all grace is yours. Go and give it to others.
xiii) Let’s join together as a church and pray for grace. Let’s come together as a church by giving grace.
Remember- tonight we are going to have our monthly members’ meeting, join in a time of worship, and then celebrate the Lord’s Supper. We will be taking up a special offering in connection with the Lord’s Supper to be used specifically for those who are in need. Come prepared ready to worship and come prepared ready to give.