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Two Ways to Crave: Quarreling for More vs. Contentment in Christ (1 Timothy 6:2b

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A. W. Tozer once said that what you think about when you think about God is the most important thing about you.

In his statement, this Chicago pastor captured the way our thinking drives our living. If we could only order our thinking about God and everything else rightly, we would be headed in a good direction. The problem is that we are not just “thinking-things,” we are “loving-things.” And often our thoughts are not driven by external facts but by internal longings. As Paul says in Ephesians 4:18, ignorance comes from the hardness of our hearts, not the absence of information.

Addressing this internal desire again in 1 Timothy 6, Paul unveils two motivations for seeking Christ—one that leads to contentment and life, one that leads to endless craving and death. How shocking (and scary): it is possible to seek Christ in a deadly way.

On Sunday, we considered Paul’s words and what they say to us about our inner longings. From 1 Timothy 6:2b–10, we saw Paul contrast two ways of godliness, and how this spurs us on to find contentment in Christ and not in the material gains that we might seek from Christ.

You can listen to the sermon online. Response questions can be found below.

Response Questions

  1. How have you found the words of Jesus to be sound/healthy teaching that “accords with godliness”? In what ways have you seen Jesus’ words result in transformation?
  2. How ought we to understand the “different doctrine” that Paul warns against?
  3. How does Paul characterize these false teachers?
  4. In what ways have you experienced/encountered the “prosperity gospel”?
  5. How does Paul define true “gain”? Are you motivated to labor and strive for this “gain”?
  6. According to the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey released on 12/6/2018, Prince William County is the 19th richest county in the United States. Do you think our economic context sharpens or dulls our sensitivity to Paul’s warnings about the danger of desiring riches?
  7. What does it look like for one to desire godliness and contentment instead of riches?

Soli Deo Gloria, ds