1 Timothy 6

About slaves who are believers

1 All slaves should know that it is right to respect their masters. Then other people will not insult God's name or the message that we teach. 2 Slaves who have masters who are also believers must continue to respect them. As believers, the slave and his master are like brothers together. But that slave must not refuse to obey his master because of that. Instead, he should work even better for his master. He should do that because he loves his master as a believer.

Teach these things and tell people to obey them.

About wrong teachers

3 Some people teach a false message that is different. Their message does not agree with the true message that our Lord Jesus Christ taught. They do not teach people to live in a way that pleases God. 4 People like that think that they are very clever. But they do not really understand anything. They like to argue about things which are not important. They like to quarrel about words. As a result, people become jealous of one another, and they become angry with each other. They insult other people and they think bad things about them. 5 Their minds have become confused and they argue all the time. They refuse to believe God's true message. They think that they will become rich if they say that they are serving God.

6 What makes our life really rich? We should serve God in a way that pleases him and be happy with the things that we have. 7 When we were born, we brought nothing with us into this world. When we die, we cannot take anything with us out of the world. 8 So, if we have enough food and clothes, we should be happy with that.

6:6‘Really rich’ does not mean that Christians will have lots of money. It means that they will receive good things from God to help them in their lives.

9 But some people want to have lots of money. This causes them to do wrong things. They cannot get free from their bad ways, like an animal in a trap. They want many things for themselves. Their foolish thoughts hurt them and finally destroy their lives. 10 When people like to have lots of money, it causes all kinds of bad things to happen. Some people have stopped believing the message about Christ because they want to get more money. As a result, they have caused themselves to become sad with many troubles.

Continue to serve God

11 But you, Timothy, are a servant of God. So keep away from all bad things like that. Instead, always try to do what is right. Serve God in a way that pleases him. Choose to trust God and to love other people. Continue to be strong when you have trouble. Be kind to people. 12 Continue to believe God's true message. Be like someone who fights well to keep it safe. God has chosen you to live with him for ever. You stood in front of many people and said clearly that you believed in Jesus Christ. So live in a way that shows that you belong to him.

13 Christ Jesus himself spoke God's true message clearly when he stood in front of Pontius Pilate. I now say this to you, in front of God who causes all things to be alive, and in front of Jesus. 14 You must obey the commands that you have received. Obey them completely without any mistake until our Lord Jesus Christ returns. 15 God will cause Christ to appear at the proper time. God is great, and he alone rules with all authority. He is the greatest King and the most powerful Lord. 16 God alone lives for ever. He lives in very bright light that nobody can come near. Nobody has ever seen God. Nobody is able to see him. So we praise him! He will rule for ever with great authority! Amen! This is true.

6:13Pontius Pilate was a Roman officer. When the Jewish priests wanted to kill Jesus, Pilate had to decide whether Jesus should die. Jesus told Pilate what was true about himself and about God's purpose. See Matthew 27:11-14; Mark 15:1-5; Luke 23:1-3; John 18:33-37.

Rich people must be careful how they live

17 Warn those people who are rich with many things that belong to this world. Tell them not to think that they are more important than other people. They must not think that their money will keep them safe. They could easily lose all of it. Instead, they should trust God. He gives us many things, so that we can enjoy all of them. 18 Tell those rich people to do many good things to help other people. They should be very kind to other people and share their things with them. 19 In that way they will store valuable things for themselves in heaven. These things will be a strong help for them in the future. As a result, they will have true life with God.

Timothy must continue to teach the true message

20 Timothy, God has given you his true message to tell people. You must keep that message safe. Do not listen to people who say a lot of silly things that are not important to God. Those people think that they have special knowledge. But their ideas are against God's true message. 21 Some people have believed those wrong ideas and now they no longer trust God.

I pray that God will continue to be very kind to all of you.