If there is false teaching, people will long for things that are temporary. Proclaiming the gospel results in people pursuing the truth. Good church leaders have a good character and don’t love money. False teachers have a corrupt character and love money.
The idea of contentment is the idea of sufficiency. You have what you need. Paul doesn’t link godliness with financial gain. Don’t get caught up in the temporary. Godliness with contentment is great gain.
The trap of the temporary
Fall, trap, plunge (v9). You don’t realise you’re in a trap until it’s too late. That’s the point of a trap. A modern trap – rectangular objects that we are to desire. The Bible radiates with the glory of the permanent. The trap is the root of all kinds of evil. The love of money causes you to walk away from Jesus. You pierce yourself with many griefs. Do you love money? It’s a trap. We love it more than we realise. You probably don’t even notice it. How do we avoid the trap?
The pursuit of the permanent
Paul says to run from it. Pursue righteousness. Fight the good fight. What is it that will last forever? It’s our character. Pursue our salvation. Take hold of the eternal life. We do it in the sight of God with Jesus as our example. Jesus gives no appeal because he’s focused on the permanent rather than the temporary. He endures the temporary pain of crucifixion to secure the permanent and to take hold of the eternal life. He’s pierced for our transgressions. It’s by his wounds that we’re healed.
Two commands (v17-18). You might not feel rich if you’re living beyond your means. Being arrogant with money means you’re providing for yourself to live an enjoyable life. God richly provides everything for our enjoyment. When you make a financial decision consider whether it’ll allow you to be generous or not. The church is to be the household of the living God.
Flee the trap of the temporary. Pursue the permanent.