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Monday, May 15, 2017

Commentary On 1 Timothy 6:5-10

  • The Scripture Passage Presented:
          -"useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourself. Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows." (1 Timothy 6:5-10)
  • Reflections On 1 Timothy 6:5-10:
          -The context of this passage is exhorting believers to remain in the the truth of the gospel. In other words, we are being told to contend for the faith. We have been appointed by the Lord Jesus Christ to be emissaries for His sake. We have been called to maintain the purity of the glorious gospel. In light of our calling to holiness, 1 Timothy 6:5-10 is clearly a condemnation of purely worldly desires. This text is a moral apostasy passage. It serves as a condemnation of our selfishness. 
          -Men corrupt their own hearts by viewing holiness as a "means of gain", that is, as an opportunity to indulge their own lusts or to build up their own reputation for self-gain. These people are wolves disguised in the clothing of sheep. Hence, we need to withdraw from the people who reveal such characteristics because they not only deceive themselves into believing that they are saved, but they also work diligently to fool everybody around them. 
          -True godliness in itself is happiness. True godliness in itself is peace. What we need to focus on is the salvation of lost souls. Only through the grace of God can we ever find happiness and satisfaction. He completes us. We should not emphasize the physical things of this world because they can never satisfy our spiritual hunger and thirst. They are only finite, temporary things. They are not infinite and thus cannot fulfill our spiritual longings because they need an infinite source to be fulfilled. An infinite amount of finite things is useless because they can never add up to infinity. The things of this world cannot save us from eternal condemnation in the flames of hell. The physical things of this world are finite, whereas the things of the spiritual realm are infinite. 
          -We should not hope to take finite possessions into the spiritual realm for any reason whatsoever, for we shall depart from this world in the same way as we entered. If we have any lusts over any of our material possessions, then we are not prepared to serve God because we are not in reality willing to love and serve Him with all our hearts. We must follow Him, regardless of where obedience to Him leads us. He demands our complete attention. But how can we unconditionally love Him, if we are not totally focused on His will? How could we even say that we love Him with all of our heart, mind and strength, as He so clearly wants us to do? Nothing in reality belongs to us, for God is the Creator of all things. He is the One who ordered the universe to function in the manner that it does today. 
          -We should humbly choose to accept God's grace, which is sufficient for us at all times. He is the One who provides us with our daily needs. We shall be grateful for all of the blessings that we receive daily. The food and clothing on our backs should always be viewed as sufficient for our continual survival. We should always receive these things with gratitude and be prepared to give to those who are in need.
          -People who desire material wealth are deceiving themselves. They are placing themselves on the path to eternal destruction. This way of living is directly contrary to the ways of God. The desire to be rich can never quench our souls, which long for a sense of belonging. The desire for money can never lead to true happiness or peace. The love of money can only mean the love of oneself. If everybody goes his or her own way because he or she loves himself or herself, then the problems of this world can never be fixed. No problems can ever be resolved when nobody chooses to work together. In this scenario, happiness would cease to exist. The love of money is the root to a futile life. The ways of this world can only lead us away from God.

Where Is The Original Bible?

  • Introduction:
          -Critics of Christianity commonly lay the charge that we have no grounds for saying that the Bible as we possess it today is reliable because we do not have the original autographs available to our hands. In other words, we do not have the original biblical documents. While this point is certainly a valid concern, most biblical scholars do not believe that the lack of access to the original biblical manuscripts is problematic. While it is true that we cannot possess absolute certainty behind every sentence structure that has been recorded into the biblical records, we can indeed have a great degree of certainty behind the reliability of the Bibles that we study.
  • Why We Can Trust The Bible:
          -We do not need the original Bible because we possess thousands of reliable manuscripts that agree on all of the essential articles of the Christian religion. No possible translation errors found in the ancient biblical manuscripts alter Christian doctrines or the historical accuracy of the Bible. In other words, any errors in translation are very minor in nature. They range from minor spelling errors, minor errors in grammar, to differences in sentence structure. Most of these manuscript errors can be corrected through the the comparison of different manuscripts which stand in agreement with each other. In reality, there is incredible consensus among the thousands of biblical manuscripts available to reputable scholars. The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Greek Septuagint canon are a few examples of Jewish efforts to preserve the Old Testament canon. They give great testimony to the great accuracy of the Old Testament documents. There are literally thousands of Greek manuscripts which stand in almost complete agreement on the accuracy of the New Testament canon. In fact, some of the biblical manuscripts which form the basis of the Bible translations sold in stores can be dated as early as 130 AD. No ancient writings have as much accurate manuscript support as the Bible. In conclusion, the fact that we do not have the original Bible poses no problem for Christianity because we have several manuscripts that all agree on the truthfulness of events recorded in biblical texts.
  • Plausible Reasons For God Not Allowing Us To Touch The Original Biblical Manuscripts:
          -We have the inherent tendency to turn physical objects into idols. If Christians had access to the original Bible, then they would most probably end up idolizing it because it was written by men who were directly inspired by God. In other words, people would become more focused on the aspect of God preserving His words, rather than getting saved and preaching the gospel to bring lost souls to the Lord Jesus Christ. People would only be adoring the words of God, rather than the actual Person who deserves the adoration  because He is the One who is responsible for the existence of everything today, including the Bible. People would be worshiping the wrong entity. Such people would be in a state of bibliolatry.
          -We cannot prove that the original Bible was destroyed. It is also possible for God to have taken it into heaven for the sake of protection. If God decided to keep the first Bible, then He probably did so to preserve its purity. He does not want mankind to corrupt His message, but rather to preserve, abide by, and teach it. This is not problematic because we have several biblical manuscripts which agree on all the issues recorded in the Bible. Many are practically in mint condition. Furthermore, it is better to have several manuscripts than it is to have only one perfect copy of the Bible. It is better to have many reliable manuscripts because it is more difficult to corrupt many of them than it is to corrupt an individual copy. If a heretic produces a corrupt manuscript or attempts to corrupt an already existing biblical manuscript, then we can deem that person as heretical because we can judge them by the many other reliable manuscripts in existence. In this scenario, having more than one reliable copy of biblical manuscripts can make discernment easier. It is therefore best that we do not have access to the original copy of the Bible.