New Defender's Study Bible Notes
6:5 gain is godliness. A very common heresy in the Christian world is the so-called prosperity gospel, the teaching that material affluence is a reward from God for faith and spirituality. Paul himself, arguably the greatest Christian of all, disproves any such teaching, not only by such passages as this but by his own life. Like the Lord Jesus Himself, Paul finally died with almost no possessions of his own. His strong rebuke of this type of teaching says its promoters are “men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth.” He says, in fact, not to have fellowship with them.
6:8 content. God has promised to supply the needs of His people if they are faithful (Philippians 4:19; Matthew 6:33), and that should be enough. If the Lord, in His grace, provides more than this for any of His children, it is probably for the purpose of testing our faithfulness, to see if we will use such prosperity in ways to please ourselves or to honor the Lord.
6:10 love of money. It is not money, but the love of money, that is the root of all evil. Some commentators have softened the meaning here by taking it as “all kinds of evil,” but the original actually reads “all evil.” Paul elsewhere says that covetousness is idolatry, the worship of money as a god (not money in itself, of course, but the power and possessions that money can provide), and Jesus Himself said that we cannot serve both God and mammon (Ephesians 5:5; Matthew 6:24). Pride is the sin of the devil (I Timothy 3:6), and it is pride that generates the love of what money provides. Evolutionism, which is the basis of all false religion and false philosophy, is essentially just the rationale that justifies man’s God-denying pride which causes the love of money, which is the root of all evil.
6:12 the good fight of faith. Faith is not just some kind of passive belief. It involves a lifelong “fight of faith.” There is also the “work of faith” (I Thessalonians 1:3), and the “shield of faith” (Ephesians 6:16) as well as the “breastplate of faith” (I Thessalonians 5:8), and finally the “word of faith, which we preach” (Romans 10:8).
6:13 good confession. This “good confession” made by Christ in front of Pilate was equivalent to the “good profession” (I Timothy 6:12—same Greek word) made by Timothy before many hostile witnesses. So with our own profession of faith (compare Matthew 10:32; Romans 10:9; I John 4:15).
6:15 Potentate. The Greek for “Potentate” could well be translated “Mighty One.”
6:15 Lord of lords. See Revelation 17:14; 19:16.
6:16 immortality. Jesus Christ is God and, therefore, is the only one who has intrinsic immortality. However, He assumed human flesh, in order to die as man’s substitute for sin. “I am He that liveth, and was dead;” He says; “and, behold I am alive for evermore” (Revelation 1:18). Now He “hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel” (II Timothy 1:10). Now we can say, with Him: “This mortal must put on immortality” (I Corinthians 15:53).
6:16 no man can approach. No man can see God in His essential glory and live (Exodus 33:20; John 1:18). But we shall see Jesus Christ, the Man, in the glory, and live forever (Revelation 21:23; 22:4-5).
6:18 communicate. That is, “share” or “give.”
6:20 keep. The connotation of “keep” is “guard.” The Christian faith has been committed to us in all its purity and saving power. We must guard it against all attempts to distort, dilute or deny it, for these would destroy it.
6:20 vain babblings. “Profane and vain babblings” (that is, secular and pointless philosophizings) are to be utterly avoided, not in the sense of fleeing from them, but rather of not being influenced by them, and by rendering them void, refuting them with truth. The intellectual and political establishments are rife with humanistic philosophies and programs of all kinds. We must beware of them all (Colossians 2:8), guarding the integrity of the Christian faith in every detail.
6:20 oppositions. “Oppositions” is the Greek antithesis, the very name of which bespeaks empty philosophies culminating in Marxism.
6:20 science falsely so called. “Science falsely so-called” is, in the Greek, literally “pseudo-science” or “pseudo knowledge.” This pseudo-science is nothing other than evolutionism, which has been in “oppositions” against God as Savior and Creator and the world as His creation since the beginning of time. In Paul’s day, it mainly took the form of Epicureanism (based on atheistic evolutionism) and Stoicism (based on pantheistic evolutionism). It soon would take the form of Gnosticism and later of Neo-Platonism, both also assuming evolution. In other parts of the world, it had the form of Taoism, Hinduism, Confucianism, or Buddhism, all based squarely on some form of pantheistic evolution and an infinitely old cosmos. In recent times it assumed the form of Darwinism, though men are now returning again to various forms of eastern religion and their systems of pantheistic evolution, still rejecting God as Creator and Christ as Savior. Yet all forms of evolutionism are pseudo-science at best, filled with “profane and vain babblings.” Note the following summary of current scientific evidence against evolutionism.
1. There is no present evolution; only horizontal variations and extinctions.
2. There was no past evolution, only ubiquitous gaps between basic kinds in the fossils.
3. There can be no possible evolution, since universal laws of conservation and decay now govern all natural processes.
4. There has been no time period long enough for evolution, because historical records go back only a few thousand years, and the fossil record speaks only of rapid formation.
5. There is no Biblical evolution (see Genesis 1:25; 2:1-3; I Corinthians 15:38-39).
6. There can have been no theistic evolution, for death came into the world only when man sinned (Romans 5:12; I Corinthians 15:21).
7. There could have been no pantheistic evolution, for God condemns all who worship the creation as its own creator (Romans 1:20-25).
6:21 erred. Many people have abandoned the Christian faith during the two thousand years since Christ because of various compromises with evolution. This is still happening today, as many Christian colleges, seminaries, and entire denominations are teaching theistic evolution (or its semantic variant, progressive creation) to their future leaders. This will inevitably degenerate—as it always has in the past—into atheism, humanism or pantheism, unless they come back to the Bible and true Christianity soon.