The Great Gain of Godliness

Text: 1 Timothy 6:3-10

Why do we serve God? Some are motivated by a hope of material gain. Others are motivated by spiritual gain. Many are motivated by both. In this lesson, we will consider Paul’s words to Timothy about the dangers of being motivated by material gain and what is the great gain of godliness.

The Error of the “Health and Wealth Gospel”

  • Some will preach “a different doctrine” that “does not agree with sound words” (1 Timothy 6:3-5) – they are conceited (they have not humbly approached God’s word – James 1:21); they understand nothing (they are not qualified to teach – 1 Timothy 1:6-7); they cause division (Jude 18-19)
  • The specific false doctrine that Paul is dealing with is that “godliness is a means of gain” (1 Timothy 6:5) – the context clearly indicates that this gain is material
  • Nowhere in the NT are we promised a better life here for being a Christian – often it is the opposite (Philippians 3:7; 1 Peter 4:16; Revelation 2:10)
  • Of course, God is the source of all blessings (James 1:17) & some Christians will be prosperous (1 Timothy 6:17) – but material prosperity is not the promise or goal of the gospel

The Gain of Godliness

  • Though there is no promise of material wealth as a reward for godliness, there is something to be gained
  • Paul gives us a clue as to what it is (1 Timothy 6:7) – it is something past this life (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:19)
  • What do we stand to gain? … a home in heaven (John 14:2-3); eternal life (Matthew 19:29); the chance to be in the presence of God (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18)

What is Godliness?

  • We do not want to have a mere “form of godliness” (2 Timothy 3:5) – we need to have real godliness
  • Godliness is to be like God – look to Christ (John 1:18; 14:8-9), follow His example (1 Peter 2:21-22)
  • Godliness is to live according to God’s standard – sound words conform with godliness (1 Timothy 6:3; cf. Titus 1:1; 2 Peter 1:3)

The Need for Contentment

  • Important point – godliness is a means of gain when accompanied by contentment (1 Timothy 6:6)
  • The things of this life are only temporary – uncertain (1 Timothy 6:17); will be destroyed (2 Peter 3:10)
  • We must be content no matter what we have in this life (Philippians 4:12) – regardless of circumstances, our life is just a vapor (James 4:14)
  • Guard against the love of money (1 Timothy 6:9-10) – either wanting to get rich (covetousness – Colossians 3:5) or fixing our hope on riches (1 Timothy 6:17)


  • The Lord offers us a great reward for living godly lives
  • Let us not lose sight of His reward by focusing on the false promises of false teachers
  • Live a godly life so you can be with God for eternity

When you subscribe, you’ll also receive 3 free PDF’s: Plain Bible Teaching on Hope, the latest issue of Plain Bible Teaching Quarterly Review, and Road Trip.