1 Timothy 6:6-8
But godliness with contentment is great gain.…
The apostle, after his manner, expands his idea beyond the immediate occasion that led to it.
I. THE GAIN OF GODLINESS WITH CONTENTMENT. "But godliness with contentment is great gain."
1. Godliness is a gain in itself, because it has "the promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come." Godly men come into happy and thriving circumstances, for they are taught to pursue their callings with due industry, foresight, and perseverance.
2. Godliness, allied to contentment, is great gain.
(1) This does not mean that contentment is a condition necessary to the gainful character of godliness, but is rather an effect of godliness and part of its substantial gain. It is a calm and sedate temper of mind about worldly interests. It is God's wisdom and will not to give to all men alike, but the contented mind is not disquieted by this fact.
(2) The godly man is content with what he possesses; submits meekly to God's will, and bears patiently the adverse dispensations of his providence. The godly heart is freed from the thirst for perishing treasures, because it possesses treasures of a higher and more enduring character.
II. THE REASON FOR THIS SENTIMENT. "For we brought nothing into the world, because neither are we able to take anything out of it."
1. We are appointed by God to come naked into the world. We may be born heirs to vast possessions, but they do not become ours till we are actually born. Rich and poor alike bring nothing into the world.
2. This fact is a reason for the statement that we can carry nothing out of the world. It is between birth and death we can hold our wealth. The rich man cannot carry his estates with him into the grave. He will have no need of them in the next life.
3. There could be no contentment if we could take anything with us at death, because in that case the future would be dependent upon the present.
4. The lesson to be learned from these facts is that we ought not eagerly to grasp such essentially earthly and transitory treasures.
III. THE TRUE WISDOM OF CONTENTMENT. "But if we have food and raiment, with these let us be satisfied." These are what Jacob desired, Agur prayed for, and Christ taught his disciples to make the subject of daily supplication. The contented godly have these gifts along with God's blessing. The Lord does not encourage his people to enlarge their desires inordinately. - T.C.
Parallel VersesKJV: But godliness with contentment is great gain.