Tag Archives: in God’s Word

Gain =/= Godliness

This week, my church is having our annual Tent Meetings – we rent a big tent, have it set up down behind the church building, and spend Sunday, M-F evenings, and the next Sunday under the tent listening to men of God preach the Word. It’s pretty much my favourite church-related time of the year and definitely the highlight of my summer.

Last night, the first speaker  preached a message on the importance of doctrine. One of the passages he read was 1 Timothy 6:1-6.

1Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed.

2And they that have believing masters, let them not despise them, because they are brethren; but rather do them service, because they are faithful and beloved, partakers of the benefit. These things teach and exhort.

3If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness;

4He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings,

5Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.

6But godliness with contentment is great gain.

Now, being that his message was on doctrine, he focused mostly on the first four verses. But while reading through the passage, something jumped out at me from verses 5 and 6, and so I made note of it to study later.

Yes, I’ve heard verse 6, and verses following it that speak about contentment, many times in messages throughout the years. Contentment is important. But I don’t think I’ve ever heard verse 5 included… and I think it should be. It’s in direct contrast to the next verse.

5Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.

6But godliness with contentment is great gain.

Do you see it? Many think that gain equals godliness, but Paul says “No, it’s the other way around – godliness (with contentment) equals great gain.”

I can definitely think of some people who associate gain with godliness. How many times have I heard of people comparing numbers – “I had __ come forward during invitation time” or  “I have __ attending my church.” And people go “wow – he must be doing something right – he’s got that many people?!”

But, I think that it is usually the opposite. Look at verse 5 again – they are called corrupt men and “destitute of truth.” Look closely enough and you may find that behind the large numbers, there has been compromise in some area, because godliness is not popular in this world. Faithfully preaching God’s Word doesn’t bring the masses through your church door. And I’m not just talking about pastors and churches here. Faithfully following God’s word in your own life doesn’t really do much in widening your social circle or the add to the number of people who like you. Not much gain, at least in the physical and numbers realm, comes from being godly.

But Paul says that godliness is gain.  And not just gain, but great gain. Maybe not here on earth. Maybe you’ll never win the title of Most Popular Person. But where it really counts – where God is watching, when it comes comes time to receive your rewards in Heaven for being faithful – there is where you will find the great gain. And the best thing? Here on earth, any gain we have is only ours for a fleeting moment anyway. But in eternity, we have, well, all of eternity to delight in Christ, to know he has said “well done,” and to show our praise and love for him by casting our crowns at his feet.


6:1 Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and [his] doctrine be not blasphemed.

6:2 And they that have believing masters, let them not despise [them], because they are brethren; but rather do [them] service, because they are faithful and beloved, partakers of the benefit. These things teach and exhort.

6:3 If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, [even] the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness;

6:4 He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings,

6:5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.

6:6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.

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