1 Timothy 6

About slaves

1 All slaves who are believers should respect their masters properly. Then other people will not say bad things against God's name or against the message that we teach. 2 Slaves who have masters who are also believers must still respect them. As believers, the slave and his master are like brothers together. But that slave must not refuse to obey his master properly because of that. Instead, he should work even better for his master because they both believe in Christ. God loves the master and the slave should work well to help him.

About wrong teachers

Teach these things and tell people to obey them. 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 makes God happy. 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 If we serve God and trust him, then our life is really rich. But we need to 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. God will make their spirits strong and happy.

9 But some people want to have lots of money. This leads them to do wrong things. They are like fools when they want things for themselves. They cannot get free from their bad ways, which only hurt them. In the end, the bad thoughts of those people destroy their lives. 10 When people like to have lots of money, that causes all kinds of bad things to happen. Some people have stopped believing the message about Christ because they just want to get more money. As a result, they have caused themselves to be very sad because they have many troubles.

Continue to live for God

11 But you, Timothy, are a servant of God. So, you must keep away from all bad things like that. Instead, always try to do what is right. Serve God in a way that makes him happy. Choose to trust God and to love other people. Keep strong when you have troubles. 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 clearly God's true message 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 I tell you strongly to obey the true message. Obey it completely without any mistake until our Lord Jesus Christ returns. 15 God will cause Christ to appear clearly 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 can never die. He lives in very bright light that nobody can come near. No human person has ever seen God. Nobody is able to see him. So, we praise him! He must rule for ever with great authority! Amen! This is true.

6:13Pontius Pilate was a Roman officer. He had authority in Jerusalem 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. But Pilate let Jesus die. 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. That is the way in which they should be rich. 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. Those things will be a strong help for them in the future time. 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 know about special things. 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 there.