World Wide Study Bible
a Bible passage
6. Love of Money
1Let as many as are servants under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honor, that the name of God and the doctrine be not blasphemed. 2And they that have believing masters, let them not despise them, because they are brethren; but let them serve them the rather, because they that partake of the benefit are believing and beloved. These things teach and exhort. 3If any man teacheth a different doctrine, and consenteth not to sound words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; 4he is puffed up, knowing nothing, but doting about questionings and disputes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, 5wranglings of men corrupted in mind and bereft of the truth, supposing that godliness is a way of gain. 6But godliness with contentment is great gain: 7for we brought nothing into the world, for neither can we carry anything out; 8but having food and covering we shall be therewith content. 9But they that are minded to be rich fall into a temptation and a snare and many foolish and hurtful lusts, such as drown men in destruction and perdition. 10For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil: which some reaching after have been led astray from the faith, and have pierced themselves through with many sorrows. 11But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. 12Fight the good fight of the faith, lay hold on the life eternal, whereunto thou wast called, and didst confess the good confession in the sight of many witnesses. 13I charge thee in the sight of God, who giveth life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed the good confession; 14that thou keep the commandment, without spot, without reproach, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: 15which in its own times he shall show, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; 16who only hath immortality, dwelling in light unapproachable; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honor and power eternal. Amen. 17Charge them that are rich in this present world, that they be not highminded, nor have their hope set on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; 18that they do good, that they be rich in good works, that they be ready to distribute, willing to communicate; 19laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on the life which is life indeed. 20O Timothy, guard that which is committed unto thee, turning away from the profane babblings and oppositions of the knowledge which is falsely so called; 21which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with you.
19 Laying up for themselves a good foundation Besides, he adds an incitement drawn from the promise of a reward; that, by bestowing and communicating, they will procure for themselves a better treasure than they can have on earth. By the word foundation he means a firm and lasting duration; for the spiritual riches which we “lay up for ourselves” in heaven, are not exposed to the ravages of worms or thieves, (Matthew 6:20,) or fires, but continue always to be placed beyond all danger. On the contrary, nothing on earth is solidly founded; but everything may be said to be in a floating condition.
The inference drawn by Papists from this passage, that we therefore obtain eternal life by the merit of good works, is excessively frivolous. It is true that God accepts as given to himself everything that is bestowed on the poor. (Matthew 25:40.) But even the most perfect hardly perform the hundredth part of their duty; and therefore our liberality, does not deserve to be brought into account before God. So far are we from rendering full payment, that, if God should call us to a strict account, there is not one of us who would not be a bankrupt. But, after having reconciled us to himself by free grace, he accepts our services, such as they are, and bestows on them a reward which is not due. This recompense, therefore, does not depend on considerations of merit, but on God’s gracious acceptance, and is so far from being inconsistent with the righteousness of faith, that it may be viewed as an appendage to it.