Thursday, January 31, 2008

6) The love of money is the root of every kind of evil.

1Ti 6:9 But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition.
10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

"Love of money" is one word in the Greek. It refers to covetousness,
usually, but not always, referring to money. The rest of the verse is difficult to translate into English. The Greek means that the love of money is a root that can produce every other kind of evil.

Verse 10 begins with the word "For": it is explaining the previous verse. The previous verse warns that desiring to be rich will cause you to fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts.

When Christian leaders are living in mansions, drawing huge salaries and royalties, wearing expensive clothes, driving expensive cars, etc., this should be a warning. Notice that these "many foolish and hurtful lusts" don't have to be financial. Wealthy, high-living Christian leaders can and do get caught in sexual immorality that has nothing to do with their ministries.

Verse 10 also tells us that they have strayed from the faith. Christians who started out teaching God's Word can eventually begin teaching error after they have acquired wealth through their ministries.

"Prosperity" Verses
While in prison, Jim Bakker realized that he had been teaching and
preaching a false message. He had taught that God wants His children to be wealthy. He also explained that most of the inmates in his medium-security prison were there for the "love of money." Hurting people had been a side effect of their deeds; their motivation had been to get more money. Bakker and other prosperity preachers had misused various verses, such as:

John 10:10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. The Greek word for "life" is "zoe," which emphasizes spiritual life. Another Greek word, "bios," refers to life that is only physical. The abundant life that Jesus wants us to have is spiritual.

3 John 2 Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. The Greek word "prosper" refers to having a good journey. In Romans 1:10, Paul uses it to describe his journey to Rome. In 1 Corinthians 16:2, Paul uses to describe financial prosperity that is to be tithed. God wants us to be prosperous in our spiritual journeys, as well as being financially provided for.

Deuteronomy 8:18 "then you say in your heart, 'My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth.'
18 "And you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who gives
you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He
swore to your fathers, as it is this day.

The Hebrew word for "wealth" usually refers to power, and is used for
armies, valiant people, influence, and money. The context (cp. verse 18) is that God was the One Who gave Israel their power and wealth; they weren't able to do it on their own.

Now look at 1 Timothy 6:5 "...useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourself." When someone preaches that Godly living will produce financial wealth, he is acting like a person who has a corrupt mind and is destitute of truth. We are to separate from such people.

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