Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Godliness as a Means of Gain?

1 Tim. 6:3-5 (ESV)
If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, [4] he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, [5] and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain.

The frustration of the orthodox teachers in the Church, is that it seems people will listen to almost anything but the gospel, and the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ. I sometimes sit in wonder that people will follow anything. They won’t however believe in the forgiveness of sins.
There are teachers out there who are puffed up with conceit, and yet understand nothing. Yet they imagine that godliness is a means of gain. Or perhaps, it is that they measure their godliness by worldly success. Today there are many who look at that. They see big churches large followings and lots of money as some sort of indicator as to how much the Holy Spirit is using someone. I don’t think these are very good indicators at all. If you challenge these people on what they are teaching and how it accords with Christ’s words, they more often then not these days just brush you off while pointing to how many conversions they have had.
Godliness should not be a means of gain. Not that pastors don’t deserve to be paid a fair wage. And that is at the bottom of what this means when it talks about gain. We should not ever though think of piety as a means of gain, neither in this life, or the life to come. This kind of godliness is the godliness that Saul practiced, before he became a Christian and his name was changed to Paul. It is a false form of godliness. True godliness is found in nothing else but faith in the word’s of our Lord Jesus Christ, “your sins are forgiven.”

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