1 Timothy 6:10 Commentary

1Timothy 6:11: For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. (NASB: Lockman)

Greek: rhiza gar panton ton kakon estin (3SPAI) e philarguria, en tines oregomenoi (PMPMPN) apeplanethesan (2PAPI) apo tes pisteos kai heautous periepeiran (3PAAI) odunais pollais.

Amplified: For the love of money is a root of all evils; it is through this craving that some have been led astray and have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves through with many acute [mental] pangs. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)

ESV: For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.

KJV: For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

Moffatt: For love of money is the root of all mischief; it is by aspiring to be rich that certain individuals have gone astray from the faith and found themselves pierced with many a pang of remorse.

NET: For the love of money is the root of all evils. Some people in reaching for it have strayed from the faith and stabbed themselves with many pains.

NLT: For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows (NLT - Tyndale House)

Phillips: For loving money leads to all kinds of evil, and some men in the struggle to be rich have lost their faith and caused themselves untold agonies of mind. (Phillips: Touchstone)

TLB: For the love of money is the first step toward all kinds of sin. Some people have even turned away from God because of their love for it, and as a result have pierced themselves with many sorrows.

Weymouth: For from love of money all sorts of evils arise; and some have so hankered after money as to be led astray from the faith and be pierced through with countless sorrows.

Wuest: for a root of all the evils is the fondness for money, which certain ones, bending their every effort to grasp, have been led astray from the Faith and have pierced themselves through with many consuming griefs. (Eerdmans)

Young's Literal: for a root of all the evils is the love of money, which certain longing for did go astray from the faith, and themselves did pierce through with many sorrows

FOR THE LOVE OF MONEY IS A ROOT OF ALL SORTS OF EVIL: rhiza gar panton ton kakon estin (3SPAI) e philarguria: (Love: Ge 34:23,24 38:16 Ex 23:7,8 De 16:19 23:4,5,18 Jud 17:10,11 Jud 18:19,20,29-31 2Sa 4:10,11 Pr 1:19 Isa 1:23 56:11 Jer 5:27 Jer 5:28 Eze 13:19 16:33 22:12 Mic 3:11 7:3,4 Mal 1:10 Mt 23:14 Ac 1:16-19 Tit 1:11 Rev 18:13)

For (1063 ) (gar) is "a marker of cause or reason between events, though in some context this association may be remote or tenuous" (Louw-Nida). Stated another way "for" is a term of explanation which should always cause one to pause and ponder the passage. You will be amazed at how much you can discern simply by observing the text! In the present context, the "for" explains the statement in the preceding passage (1Ti 6:9) which refers to the desire to be rich.

Root (4491) (rhiza) is used to describe a literal root

Rhiza is used as a negative metaphor here in 1Ti 6:10 and again in Hebrews 12:15-note., where it is a "root of bitterness." The NT uses rhiza as a metaphorical description of the Messiah three times (Ro 15:12-note, Rev 5:5-note, Rev 22:16-note).

A root - Most of our English translations place "root" later in the passage, whereas Paul placed it first in the Greek text for emphasis! The "root" is vitally important! One cannot help but think of weeds like crabgrass that begin to grow in our beautiful manicured lawns and which is extremely difficult to eradicate. Furthermore, the root is that part of the plant that is unseen, laying under the grown where it functions as the plant's organ of adsorption, aeration, food supply, anchorage and support! Remember that the root differs from the stem, the buds and the fruit, all of which are intimately dependent on the integrity of the root. Now parlay that picture into this passage by Paul for a powerful picture!

Rhiza - 17x in 16v in the NT and always translated "root" or "roots."

Matthew 3:10 "The axe is already laid at the root of the trees; therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

Matthew 13:6 "But when the sun had risen, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.

Comment: Used metaphorically of the seed that brings salvation. No root. No fruit. No salvation!

Matthew 13:21 yet he has no firm root in himself, but (contrast) is only temporary, and when affliction or persecution arises because of the word (Dearly reader, have you ever been persecuted because of your stand on the Word of God? Beloved of God, rejoice because [1] it is evidence of genuine salvation and [2] be glad [agalliao = jump for joy!] for your reward will be great [Mt 5:11, 12-note]), immediately he falls away (Ed: Compare "falls away" to "wandered away" here in 1Ti 6:10).

Mark 4:6 "And after the sun had risen, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away.

Mark 4:17 and they have no firm root in themselves, but are only temporary; then, when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately they fall away.

Mark 11:20 As they were passing by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots up.

Luke 3:9 "Indeed the axe is already laid at the root of the trees; so every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire."

Luke 8:13 "Those on the rocky soil are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no firm root; they believe for a while, and in time of temptation fall away.

Romans 11:16-note If the first piece of dough is holy, the lump is also; and if the root is holy, the branches are too. 17 But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive, were grafted in among them and became partaker with them of the rich root of the olive tree, 18 do not be arrogant toward the branches; but if you are arrogant, remember that it is not you who supports the root, but the root supports you. (For one of the best discussions of Romans 9-11 see Dr Anthony Garland's in depth answer to the question What Will Happen to Israel?)

Romans 15:12-note Again Isaiah says, "THERE SHALL COME THE ROOT OF JESSE, AND HE WHO ARISES TO RULE OVER THE GENTILES, IN HIM SHALL THE GENTILES HOPE."

Comment: Paul is quoting from Isaiah 11:1-note and Isaiah 11:10-note!

Lenski writes that: Rhiza refers to a live root that sends up a sprout, hence “the root-sprout,” the article designates the one person referred to. Jesse was David’s father; in Rev. 5:5, and 22:16 we have “root-sprout of David.” The royal house that sprang from Jesse was cut down; from the root Jesse (appositional genitive) only a tender young sprout would grow up, so tiny and apparently so weak compared with the old royal tree.

1 Timothy 6:10 For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

Hebrews 12:15-note See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled;

Revelation 5:5-note and one of the elders said to me, "Stop weeping; behold, the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome so as to open the book and its seven seals."

Revelation 22:16-note "I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the Root and the Descendant of David, the bright morning Star."

Rhiza - 38v in the non-apocryphal Septuagint (Lxx)- Deut 29:18; 2 Kgs 19:30; Job 5:3; 8:12; 13:27; 14:8; 18:16; 19:28; 28:9; 29:19; 30:4; 31:12; Ps 48:2; 80:9; Pr 12:3, 12; Isa 5:24; 11:1, 10; 37:31; 40:24; 53:2; Jer 17:8; Ezek 16:3; 17:6f, 9; 31:7; Dan 2:41; 4:15, 23, 26; 11:7, 20; Hos 9:16; 14:5; Amos 2:9; Mal 4:1. Here are a few representative uses…

2 Kings 19:30 'The surviving remnant (See Doctrine of the Remnant) of the house of Judah will again take root downward and bear fruit upward.

Proverbs 12:3 A man will not be established by wickedness, But the root of the righteous will not be moved. (Beloved, may this motivate all of us to be diligent to discipline ourselves for godliness, which is of great gain. 1Ti 4:7-note, 1Ti 4:8-note)

Proverbs 12:12 The wicked man desires the booty of evil men, But the root of the righteous yields fruit. (This proverb recalls Jesus' promise to His disciples past, present and future should He tarry =- John 15:16 cp John 15:7 for a "clue" as to whether one is truly His disciple. Cp Ps 92:13-15-note, Cp God's promise to the believing Remnant of Jacob - Isaiah 27:6, Hosea 14:5,6)

Isaiah 53:2 (Messianic Prophecy) For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot, And like a root out of parched ground; He has no stately form or majesty That we should look upon Him, Nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him. (Compare Isaiah 11:1-note and Isaiah 11:10-note both also prophecies perfectly fulfilled in the Messiah) (See Related Topic: Messianic Prophecies)

Jeremiah 17:8 "For (term of explanation - If you pause and ponder this one, you will discover some wonderful truths for personal application! Compare Jer 17:7. And be sure to contrast Jer 17:5-6) he (interrogate with the 5W/H'S) will be like a tree planted by the water, That extends its roots by a stream And will not fear when the heat comes; But its leaves will be green, And it will not be anxious in a year of drought Nor cease to yield fruit.

Love of money (5365)(philarguria from philos = friend, loving + arguros = silver, money) means loving silver, affection for silver, "money-loving" and the related adjective philoarguros is rendered "covetous" in the KJV (Lk 16:14KJV, 2Ti 3:2KJV).

Philarguria is used in the apocrypha…

4 Maccabees 1:26 In the soul it is boastfulness, covetousness, thirst for honor, rivalry, and malice;

As noted above, the root philos means "friend" and is a fitting word in view of Jesus' warning in the Sermon on the Mount…

No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love (agapao) the other, or he will hold to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and Mammon. (Mt 6:24)

Comment: You cannot be a friend of "gold" and a friend of God at the same time. Fill in the following blank - "My best friend is ________." (Cp Pr 18:24, Jn 15:14, 15! Is Jesus your best Friend? If He is, money won't be!)

John MacArthur rightly remarks that

The phrase the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, is the theme of this section. Everything else is an exposition of the significance of that statement. (1Timothy Commentary)

Vine writes that…

There are other passions which are productive of evil; yet there is no sort of evil which the craving for wealth may not induce. It has originated every sort of crime in the history of humanity. The love of money is one form of covetousness. As Trench points out, covetousness (pleonexia) is the genus of which philarguria is the species. (See Trench's extended comparison of these two words below).

Money is neutral is not the problem. The problem is when we covet money. That is the root problem so to speak and the plant produced is bad and brings forth bad fruit!

Roy Zuck

Money, like any other God-given resource, is to be used wisely and generously. Having money is a risk, for it can give a false sense of security and lessen one's dependence on God. Money can create an excessive attachment to the world and greed, both of which Jesus condemned (Luke 9:57-62; 12:13-21). (A Biblical Theology of the New Testament) (Bolding added)

Is (2076)(estin) is in the present tense indicating that avaricious love continually leads to evil. This truth reminds me of a road in which one comes to a sign in bold red lettering "Danger: The Bridge is Out." Continually traveling this road inevitably leads to a bad outcome! It is never too soon to repent (180 degree turn) from the love of money! Thomas Fuller phrased it this way "You cannot repent too soon, because you do not know how soon it may be too late." Thomas Watson adds that ""By delay of repentance, sin strengthens, and the heart hardens. The longer ice freezeth, the harder it is to be broken." If you have fallen into the sin of the love of money because of strong temptations, seek speedily for repentance for it, recovery out of it, revival from it.

All (3956)(pas) means that all without exception will reap a harvest of bad fruit!

MacArthur remarks that…

It is hard to imagine a sin that has not been committed for love of money. Such love causes people to indulge themselves, show off, distort justice, take advantage of the poor, lie, cheat, steal, and murder.

Holman Treasury of Key Bible Words notes that…

Jesus’ warnings against wealth are not, in fact, directed against “riches” in themselves. What He condemns is the wrong attitudes (Ed: Contrast His list of "be attitudes" that lead to true blessing and contentment in Mt 5:3-12!) many people have toward acquiring wealth and the wrong ways in which they use it. Longing for riches chokes the spiritual life like weeds in a field of grain (Mt. 13:22). The greedy desire to have more wealth doomed the unforgiving servant (Matt. 18:23-35). And the rich man’s selfishness, not his wealth, sealed his fate (Lk 16:19-26).

Bishop Trench's comparison of pleonexia and philarguria

Between these words the same distinction exists as between our ‘covetousness’ and ‘avarice,’ as between the German ‘Habsucht’ and ‘Geiz.’ Πλεονεξία, primarily the having more, and then in a secondary and more usual sense, the desire after the having more, is the more active sin, φιλαργυρία the more passive: the first, the ‘amor sceleratus habendi,’ seeks rather to grasp what it has not; the second, to retain, and, by accumulating, to multiply that which it already has. The first, in its methods of acquiring, will be often bold and aggressive; even as it may, and often will, be as free in scattering and squandering, as it was eager and unscrupulous in getting: the πλεονέκτης will be often ‘rapti largitor,’ as was Catiline; characterizing whom Cicero demands (Pro Cœl. 6): ‘Quis in rapacitate avarior? quis in largitione effusior?’ even as the same idea is very boldly conceived in the Sir Giles Overreach of Massinger. Consistently with this, we find πλεονέκτης joined with ἅρπαξ (1 Cor. 5:10); πλεονεξία with βαρύτης (Plutarch, Arist. 3); πλεονεξίαι with κλοπαί (Mark 7:22); with ἀδικίαι (Strabo, vii. 4. 6); with φιλονεικίαι (Plato, Legg. iii. 677 b); and the sin defined by Theodoret (in Ep. ad Rom. i. 30): ἡ τοῦ πλείονος ἒφεσις, καὶ τῶν οὐ προσηκόντων ἡ ἁρπαγή: with which compare the definition, whosesoever it may be, of ‘avaritia’ as ‘injuriosa appetitio alienorum’ (ad Herenn. iv. 25); and compare further Bengel’s note (on Mark 7:22): ‘πλεονεξία, comparativum involvens, denotat medium quiddam inter furtum et rapinam; ubi per varias artes id agitur ut alter per se, sed cum læsione sui, inscius vel invitus, offerat, concedat et tribuat, quod indigne accipias.’ It is therefore fitly joined with αἰσχροκερδεία (Polybius, vi. 46. 3). But, while it is thus with πλεονεξία, φιλαργυρία, on the other hand, the miser’s sin (it is joined with μικρολογία, Plutarch, Quom. Am. ab Adul. 36) will be often cautious and timid, and will not necessarily have cast off the outward shows of uprightness. The Pharisees, for example, were φιλάργυροι (Luke 16:14): this was not irreconcilable with the maintenance of a religious profession, which the πλεονεξία would have manifestly been.

Cowley, in the delightful prose which he has interspersed with his verse, draws this distinction strongly and well (Essay 7, Of Avarice), though Chaucer had done the same before him (see his Persones Tale; and his description severally of Covetise and Avarice in The Romaunt of the Rose, 183–246). ‘There are,’ Cowley says, ‘two sorts of avarice; the one is but of a bastard kind, and that is the rapacious appetite for gain; not for its own sake, but for the pleasure of refunding it immediately through all the channels of pride and luxury; the other is the true kind, and properly so called, which is a restless and unsatiable desire of riches, not for any further end or use, but only to hoard and preserve, and perpetually increase them. The covetous man of the first kind is like a greedy ostrich, which devours any metal, but it is with an intent to feed upon it, and, in effect, it makes a shift to digest and excern it. The second is like the foolish chough, which loves to steal money only to hide it.’

There is another point of view in which πλεονεξία may be regarded as the larger term, the genus, of which φιλαργυρία is the species; this last being the love of money, while πλεονεξία is the drawing and snatching by the sinner to himself of the creature in every form and kind, as it lies out of and beyond himself; the ‘indigentia’ of Cicero (‘indigentia est libido inexplebilis:’ Tusc. iv. 9. 21); compare Dio Chrysostom, De Avarit. Orat. 17; Augustine, Enarr. in Ps. cxviii. 35, 36; and Bengel’s profound explanation of the fact, that, in the enumeration of sins, St. Paul so often associates πλεονεξία with sins of the flesh; as at 1 Cor. 5:11; Ephes. 5:3, 5; Col. 3:5: ‘Solet autem jungere cum impuritate πλεονεξίαν, nam homo extra Deum quærit pabulum in creaturâ materiali, vel per voluptatem, vel per avaritiam: bonum alienum ad se redigit.’ But, expressing much, Bengel has not expressed all. The connection between these two provinces of sin is deeper and more intimate still; and this is witnessed in the fact, that not merely is πλεονεξία, as signifying covetousness, joined to sins of impurity, but the word is sometimes used, as at Ephes. 5:3 (see Jerome, in loc.), and often by the Greek Fathers (see Suicer. Thes. s. v.: and Hammond’s excellent note on Rom. 1:29), to designate these sins themselves; even as the root out of which they alike grow, namely, the fiercer and ever fiercer longing of the creature which has forsaken God, to fill itself with the lower objects of sense, is one and the same. The monsters of lust among the Roman emperors were monsters of covetousness as well (Suetonius, Calig. 38–41). Contemplated under this aspect, πλεονεξία has a much wider and deeper sense than φιλαργυρία. Plato (Gorg. 493), likening the desire of man to the sieve or pierced vessel of the Danaids, which they were ever filling, but might never fill, has implicitly a sublime commentary on the word; nor is it too much to say, that in it is summed up that ever defeated longing of the creature, as it has despised the children’s bread, to stay its hunger with the husks of the swine. (Synonyms of the New Testament Online)

Evil (2556)(kakos) conveys the basic meaning of a lack of something and thus it is not as it ought to be. Kakos is found in Greek writings from Homer on in a large variety of associations, but especially describes bad in sense of lacking something and always contrast to good. Kakos pertains to that which is socially or morally reprehensible (BDAG) or that which is harmful, injurious or dangerous. When used of people, kakos characterizes them as filled with godlessness (cp Mk 7:21). Although kakos is sometimes used of physical blemish or disease (Mark 1:32), the word normally refers to moral badness.

J C Ryle

The love of money is one of the greatest snares to a man's soul. The history of the Church abounds in illustrations of this truth. For money Joseph was sold by his brethren. For money Samson was betrayed to the Philistines. For money Gehazi deceived Naaman, and lied to Elisha. For money the Son of God was delivered into the hands of wicked men.

Let us all be on our guard against the love of money . The world is full of it in our days. The plague is abroad. Thousands who would abhor the idea of worshiping idols, are not ashamed to make an idol of gold. We are all liable to the infection, from the least to the greatest.

We may love money without having it, just as we may have money without loving it. It is an evil that works very deceitfully. It carries us captives before we are aware of our chains. Once let it get the mastery, and it will harden, paralyze, scorch, freeze, blight, and wither our souls. It overthrew an apostle of Christ. Let us take heed that it does not overthrow us. One leak may sink a ship. One unmortified sin may ruin a soul.

We ought frequently to call to mind the solemn words, "What shall it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and lose his own soul?" "We brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out." Our daily prayer should be, "Give me neither poverty nor riches. Feed me with the food that is needful for me."

Our constant aim should be to be rich in grace. Those who "will be rich" in worldly possessions often find at last that they have made the worst of bargains. Like Esau, they have bartered an eternal portion for a little temporary gratification. Like Judas Iscariot, they have sold themselves to everlasting perdition! (From J. C. Ryle, "The Gospel of Matthew" 1856)

Archibald Alexander remarks that money is…

An unfavorable soil for the growth of piety - Worldly prosperity has ever been found to be an unfavorable soil for the growth of piety. It… blinds the mind to spiritual and eternal things, dries up the spirit of prayer, fosters pride and ambition, furnishes the appropriate food to covetousness, leads to a sinful conformity to the spirit, maxims, and fashions of the world.

Very few have been enabled to pass this 'ordeal' without serious injury, and have come forth like the three children from Nebuchadnezzar's furnace--without the smell of fire on their garments; but this could not have been unless the Son of Man had been with them! Such people use all their health, influence, and wealth in promoting the kingdom of Christ.

But generally, God in mercy refuses to give worldly prosperity to His children. He has "chosen the poor of this world, to be rich in faith" (James 2:5)--that is, He has commonly chosen poverty as the safest condition for His children. His are "an afflicted and poor people--who trust in the name of the Lord." (Zephaniah 3:12) (Archibald Alexander, "The spiritual warfare")

J C Philpot

Money feeds the lusts of the flesh (1Jn 2:16-note) by giving its possessor the power to gratify them. Money nurses his pride by making its possessor, so to speak, independent of the providence of God. Money fosters the love of the world by giving its possessor a portion in it.

AND SOME BY LONGING FOR IT HAVE WANDERED AWAY FROM THE FAITH: en tines oregomenoi (PMPMPN) apeplanethesan (2PAPI) apo tes pisteos: (Longing:1Ti 6:21 2Ti 4:10 Jude 1:11 Rev 2:14,15)

Some (5100)(tis) speaks "Particularly and generally of some person or thing whom one cannot or does not wish to name or specify particularly." (Zodhiates) Some (tis) is used 7 times in this letter to describe a group who reject truth and pursue a crooked course. Read 1Ti 1:6 ("straying from these things [1Ti 1:5] have turned aside to fruitless discussion"), 1Ti 1:19 ("some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith"), 1Ti 4:1 ("will fall away from the faith"), 1Ti 5:15 ("turned aside to follow Satan"), 1Ti 5:24, 1Ti 6:10 ("wandered away from the faith"), 1Ti 6:21 ("gone astray from the faith"). Note the repeated association of the errant course of these souls with the truth of the faith (see discussion below on "the faith").

Longing (3713) (orego) means literally to stretch out or to reach out for especially with one's hands. The idea is to stretch one’s self out in order to touch or to grasp something, to reach after or desire something. We get a sense of the intensity of this verb in observing the derivative word orexis, a noun used only once in Ro 1:27-note to describe the intense desire (men "burned in their desire [orexis]") of men for other men! The idea of orexis is that of a deep, abiding, and profound degree of internal longing for the object of one's desire.

Longing for is a vivid verb picture of reaching or stretching out in order to grasp something. Kenneth Wuest nicely conveys this sense, rendering it "bending their every effort to grasp." Grasping for gold, instead the goal (of Php 3:14-note!)

All three NT uses of the verb orego (none in the Septuagint) are in the middle voice (oregomai) or the reflexive sense (directed or turned back on one's self) depicting the subject initiating and participating in the action, in this case the stretching out of one's self expressive of an intense desire. Paul says some are stretching themselves out for money. This reminds one of the futility of trying to grasp riches for as the proverb says…

When you set your eyes on it, it is gone. For wealth certainly makes itself wings, Like an eagle that flies toward the heavens. (Pr 23:5)

Vine writes that one who professes Christ and yet

who directs his every effort to obtain money cannot avoid the danger of apostasy from the faith, and the evil does not rest with such departure. Some of the converts at Ephesus had for the sake of gold lost their first love and their loyalty to the truth, and such delinquency cannot but have had a blighting effect upon the assembly and its testimony. The similar sin of Achan disastrously affected the entire company of the Israelites.

Orego metaphorically means to covet, to long after, to desire, to try to gain, to be ambitious. In the other two NT uses, orego is used in a positive sense.

1Timothy 3:1 It is a trustworthy statement: if any man aspires to the office of overseer, it is a fine work he desires to do.

Hebrews 11:16-note But as it is, they desire (present tense = continually reaching for) a better country, that is a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them.

Comment: The truth of this passage provides a great "antidote" for the love of money, which is an integral part of this temporal, passing, godless world (1Jn 2:17-note). What we are looking for always determines what we are living for. If we are looking for the riches this world has to offer, we will not at the same time be desiring the better country, the heavenly one! This passage begs the question of all of us… "Which country am I desiring? The answer will be obvious from how you spend your time, talents and money!"

It is interesting to note the overlap in meaning of orego with the another Greek word for greed, pleonexia, which literally means to have more, figuratively describing a strong desire to acquire more and more material possessions, especially that which is forbidden! It is a desire to have more irrespective of one's need and is always used in bad sense. Pleonexia describes an insatiable selfishness. Someone once asked one of the richest men in the world what it would take to make him happy, to which he replied (and I think in all sincerity) "One dollar more!" Greed is what you desire and what you desire more of becomes your ''god'' and you end up serving (latreuo) that ''god.'' To repeat, in God's sight, greed is worshipping the god mammon, and "you cannot serve God and mammon" (Mt 6:24-note)

Jesus said that greed or coveting originates

"from within out of the heart of men" and "defiles (profanes, causes to become unclean, polluted, unholy) the man" (Mk 7:21-23)

Comment: If follows that "love of money" is an issue that issues from the heart. It is "heart disease" far more dangerous than physical heart disease, for the former can take a man not just to temporal, but to eternal death. O Christian reader (and the writer includes himself) let us take heed, lest we fall into this subtle trap (1Ti 6:9).

Covetousness is the opposite of contentment. Attacking covetousness lays the ax to a root (PUN INTENDED) cause of all sorts of evil! When contentment replaces covetousness, the latter cannot give rise to the process that culminates in an act of sin. The believer's ultimate source of contentment is not in money or things, but in a person, the Person Christ Jesus "in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." As He himself commanded…

But (contrast Mt 6:31-32) seek (present imperative = command to continually seek. His Spirit gives us the desire and power to obey this command!) first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you. (Mt 6:33-note)

Jesus alluded to the antidote for avarice in His beatitudes ("be attitudes"!) declaring…

Blessed (makarios = fully satisfied independent of one's circumstances! This sounds very much like true "contentment!") are those who hunger and thirst (Notice how Jesus figuratively uses terms that are strong appropriate natural, physical desires) for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied (chortazo) (Notice how the "desire for God" in effect cancels out or at least counters the desire for Gold!)." (Mt 5:6-note)

Pastor Phil Newton had a poignant, pithy comment on Mt 5:6 noting that what one hungers for reveals the character of their heart (Woe!) We can all mask our outward performance (Jesus called this hypocrisy), but God looks at (and knows) our heart (1Samuel 16:7). Newton writes…

You can churn out Christian lingo, and put on a happy face, but you know what you really desire. Multitudes flock into churches each week with “Christian masks” that hide the reality that their appetite is not for Jesus Christ but for the things of the world. But Jesus tells us that only those who have the spiritual appetite to hunger and thirst for righteousness will find satisfaction… There is deep soul-searching in this Beatitude. We must be honest with ourselves. Forget the fact of what you profess. Forget for the moment that you attend church regularly and that you have Christian friends. What is it that means more to you than anything else? What is it that you must have—it drives your life, consumes your thoughts, directs your impulses? Is it for money or sex or fame or popularity or revenge? Then you are an idolater, for those things have become your god… Thomas Watson explained, “Desire is the best discovery of a Christian” [129]. What you desire explains your heart… We cultivate a healthy spiritual appetite by recognizing our own spiritual poverty, by mourning over our sins as we seek repentance, and by submitting ourselves to God. In this way we turn our appetite away from the husks of the world that cannot satisfy to hunger and thirst after the table of Christ. (The Blessing of Hungering & Thirsting)

Have wandered away (635) (apoplanao from apo = from + planao = to seduce, cause to wander or stray) in the active sense means to lead astray or to mislead, to seduce, to beguile, as do the false teachers in Mk 13:22 who will cause others to believe error. As an aside, false teachers always lead astray by teaching error, so it behooves all saints to saturate their minds continually with the only effective antidote, the Word of Truth (Ps 119:43-note, 2Cor 6:7, Col 1:5-note, 2Ti 2:15-note, James 1:18-note), the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27ESV). In a passive sense apoplanao means to go astray or to stray away from the truth. To be drawn aside from the right course.

The root verb planao illustrates dramatically the active and passive aspects of this word group…

But evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving (planao in the active voice) and being deceived (planao in the passive voice). (2Ti 3:13-note)

Comment: Note the fulfillment of the law of reaping and sowing, for these evil men and impostors sow deception but they themselves reap deception. What "goes around, comes around" as they say! In a similar way Paul uses the passive voice here in 1Ti 6:10 to describe some being led astray as a result of having allowed the poisonous root of covetousness to grow in the garden of their heart. What leads them astray? Their own sinful heart!

The only other use of apoplanao is in Mark…

for false Christs and false prophets will arise, and will show signs and wonders, in order, if possible, to lead the elect astray. (Mark 13:22)

Apoplanao - 3 uses in the non-apocryphal Septuagint..

2 Chronicles 21:11 Moreover, he made high places in the mountains of Judah, and caused the inhabitants of Jerusalem to play the harlot and led Judah astray.

Proverbs 7:21-note With her ("an adulteress" Pr 7:5) many persuasions she entices (Lxx = apoplanao = turns him aside) him; With her flattering lips she seduces him.

Jeremiah 50:6 "My people have become lost sheep. Their shepherds have led them astray. They have made them turn aside (Lxx = apoplanao = "caused them to wander") on the mountains; They have gone along from mountain to hill And have forgotten their resting place.

DEMAS: A MAN
WHO WANDERED AWAY

In his last letter Paul records the tragic tale of Demas who "loved (agapao = a love based on the decision of his will) this present world, (and)… deserted (Paul) and (went) to Thessalonica." (2Ti 4:10).

Matthew Henry wrote that "The love of this world, is often the cause of turning back from the truths and ways of Jesus Christ." Demas could not resist the attraction of the age in which he lived. He is give as a example of the danger of "toying" with the evil, anti-God world system headed by Satan himself (1Jn 5:19).

Demas is mentioned only three times in the New Testament…

THE TRAGIC DESERTION
OF DEMAS

SCRIPTURAL
CITATION
APPROXIMATE
DATE
SCRIPTURE
QUOTATION
Philemon 1:24 AD 60-62 Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, Luke, my fellow workers
Colossians 4:14 AD 60-62 Luke, the beloved physician, sends you his greetings, and also Demas
2 Timothy 4:10 AD 67 Demas, having loved this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica

Demas goes from "fellow worker" to simply "Demas" to lover of "this present world"! The first two mentions were during Paul's first imprisonment and the last mention in Second Timothy was during Paul's second imprisonment in Rome. The lure of the world became irresistible to Demas, and he abandoned both Paul and the ministry. Was Demas "saved"? I don't know for certain. Only God knows. The Scripture certainly suggests he was not regenerate, but it is silent on Demas' last years. Jesus does give us an axiom to aid assessing Demas declaring that "the one who endures to the end, he shall be saved." (Mt 24:13) A person's perseverance per se does not merit or earn their salvation, but is a strong, clear indicator that they are genuinely saved, because only a person who has a holy power within (the Spirit of Christ, cp Ro 8:9-note) could possibly persevere to the end. In short, perseverance is the fruit of faith that is saving!

We see in Demas' desertion a sad illustration of the basic principle taught by our Lord Jesus that…

No one (absolutely no one) can serve (douleuo in the present tense = as a lifestyle) two masters (kurios = absolute ownership and control); for (term of explanation - pause to ponder!) either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will hold to one and despise the other. You cannot (as a lifestyle or continually) serve God and mammon (mammonas = wealth, possessions)." (Mt 6:24-note)

The writer of Hebrews warned the little flock coming out of the legalism and bondage of Judaism to the freedom found only in faith in the Messiah…

But we (the writer places himself in this group) are not of those who shrink back (hupostole) to destruction (apoleia), but of those who have faith (pistis) to the preserving of the soul. (Heb 10:39-note), a repeated theme in this exhortational letter to the Hebrews - see Heb 3:6-note, Heb 3:14-note)

Jesus had His Judas, and Paul had his Demas. Anyone who has been in the ministry long enough has shared in this same heartbreaking experience. Isn't it interesting and somewhat comforting to note that even the two greatest leaders the world has ever known had those who failed them. In a similar manner, anyone who has been a Christian long enough has known the heartache and sense of loss when some mentor or leader who falls in love with the world and chooses to abandon the faith.

Every saint, be he pastor or pew member, needs to remember this passage, so he is aware of the potential for those who, while ostensibly steadfast and faithful, choose to forsake in the hour of need. If this has happened to you, beloved, remember that Jesus is able to sympathize, for in His hour of greatest need His disciples all left Him and fled. (Mark 14:50) and

since He Himself was tempted (and tested) in that which He has suffered, He is (continually ready and) able to come to the aid (upon hearing the cry for help) of those who are (continually being) tempted (and tested). (Heb 2:18-note)

From (575)(apo) is a marker of dissociation, implying a rupture from a former association. It means away from and speaks of separation, departure, cessation, reversal. It can describe any separation of one thing from another by which the union or fellowship of the two is destroyed (E.g., Ro 11:26 -note: "remove ungodliness FROM [apo] Jacob" [i.e., from Israel, specifically the believing remnant]. Thus Jacob will no longer be "in fellowship" with ungodliness when the Messiah the Deliverer returns and "all Israel will be saved" [i.e., "all" that believe in Messiah, not "all" that ever lived]).

Paul had previously warned Timothy of the dangerous spiritual reefs that lay before him as led the flock of believers at Ephesus…

This command I entrust to you, Timothy, my son, in accordance with the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you fight the good fight, keeping faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith. (1 Ti 1:18-19)

But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons (1 Ti 4:1).

The faith (tes pisteos) refers not to the subjective act of believing but to that which is the object of belief, in this case the Gospel (and all its ramifications not just in our initial salvation but our daily "salvation" from self, Satan and the sinful world! - See Three Tenses of Salvation) by which man is saved if he believes. The fact that "some" wandered away from the faith is "fruit" that demonstrates the "root" was not genuine faith unto salvation but the "soul poisoning root" of love of money which leads to destruction.

See related study: "the faith (pistis)"

It is worth noting that the phrase "the faith" is found only 38 times in the NT with a majority of uses in the Pastoral epistles (most used with the objective meaning) - Acts 3:16; 6:7; 13:8; 14:22; 16:5; Rom 4:11f, 16; 14:22; 1 Cor 16:13; 2 Cor 13:5; Gal 1:23; 3:23; 6:10; Eph 1:15; 4:13; Phil 1:25, 27; Col 1:23; 1Ti 1:2, 14; 3:9, 13; 4:1, 6; 5:8; 6:10, 21; 2Ti 1:13; 2:18; 3:8; 4:7; Titus 1:1, 13; 3:15; Philemon 1:5; Jude 1:3; Rev 13:10

Roy Zuck adds that the objective sense of "the faith" is best understood..

with a broad meaning… In the absence of limiting qualifiers in this context, "the faith" must be understood as the Christian faith, the body of truth Christians believe, the teaching passed on by the apostles as normative for Christian belief. The word has the same sense in Jude 20. (A Biblical Theology of the New Testament)

Puritan writer Thomas Watson describes covetousness as the cancer of the soul…

Covetousness is a key which opens the door to further wickedness (1 Timothy 6:10) And what is one the better for all his wealth—at death? "We brought nothing into the world—and it is certain that we can carry nothing out." When the rich miser dies—what scrambling is there! His friends are scrambling for his money! The worms are scrambling for his body! The devils are scrambling for his soul!

Chuck Smith's thoughts on the futility of friendship with money…

I often think of how rich I am. When I drive around all of the expensive homes in Newport Beach, and I think of how much they have to pay in taxes every year just to live in those houses, I think of how rich I am in that I do not have to live in a fancy estate. 3. Contentment is a rich asset. Paul said that he had learned that in whatever state he was in to be content…

Some of the richest people I ever knew, as far as worldly riches, were some of the most discontent people I ever knew…

I heard of a lady who loved her pink Cadillac so much that her dying wish was to be buried sitting at the seat of her Cadillac. As the crane was letting the Cadillac into the ground, a workman was heard to remark, "Now that's real living."…

"For we brought nothing into this world and it is certain, we will take nothing out." You have never seen a hearse pulling a U Haul trailer. Job said, "Naked I came into this world, naked I will go out." A wealthy farmer died, and someone asked his son, "How much did your old man leave?" "Everything" was the answer. You can't take it with you, but you can send it ahead. You can have treasures in heaven, Jesus encouraged that. The true riches are eternal. Godliness and contentment are great riches here, and they will be yours forever. (Chuck Smith - Sermon Notes)

Henry Morris - 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. (Defender's Study Bible Online Notes)

David Hocking-Love of Money

The Lord Jesus taught that our lives do not exist in the abundance of the things we possess, but money can quickly convince us otherwise. Money will affect our view of security. In 1 John 2:15-17 we are told to not love the world nor the things in it, for all that is in the world— the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and (literally) the boasting of one’s means of livelihood, which does involve money— is not of the Father but is of the world. It was money that kept a rich, young ruler from making a full commitment to Jesus Christ; he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.

THE DANGERS OF THE LOVE OF MONEY
1Ti 6:9-10

1B. We need to understand the ROOT of the problem – 1Ti 6:9

2B. We need to understand the RESULTS of the problem – 1Ti 6:9-10

1C. You will fall into temptation – 1Ti 6:9

2C. You will fall into a snare or a trap – 1Ti 6:9

3C. You will fall into many foolish and harmful lusts – 1Ti 6:9

4C. You will be drowned in destruction and perdition – 1Ti 6:9

5C. You will wander from the faith – 1Ti 6:10

Jesus said we cannot serve two masters; and many people, because of their love of affluence, decide to not serve their master Jesus Christ and instead serve money.

6C. You will experience tremendous grief, pain and unhappiness – 1Ti 6:10 (David Hocking Notes on 1 Timothy)

AND PIERCED THEMSELVES WITH MANY GRIEFS:kai heautous periepeiran (3PAAI) odunais pollais: (Pierced: Ge 29:14,26,31-35 2Ki 5:27 Ps 32:10 Pr 1:31 2Pe 2:7,8)

A few wise sayings on money and riches from Proverbs…

Pr 11:28 He who trusts in his riches will fall, But the righteous will flourish like the green leaf.

Pr 11:4 Riches do not profit in the day of wrath, But righteousness delivers from death.

Pr 28:20 A faithful man will abound with blessings, But he who makes haste to be rich will not go unpunished.

Pr 28:22 A man with an evil eye hastens after wealth, And does not know that want will come upon him.

Pr 22:1 A good name is to be more desired than great riches, Favor is better than silver and gold.

Pierced (4044) (peripeiro from peri = round about + peiro = pierce through) (Only NT use) literally means to penetrate entirely or pierce through. This is the only use in the Bible and figuratively means to undergo or experience something which is adverse and severe.

Although the verb is different (dierchomai) the idea is similar in Simeon's prophesy spoken to Mary that "a sword will pierce even your own soul." (Lk 2:33).

TWO PIERCINGS

One cannot help but think of the "piercing" of Judas Iscariot because of his love of money

John 12:4 But Judas Iscariot, one of His disciples, who was intending to betray Him, said 5 "Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii, and given to poor people?" 6 Now he said this, not because he was concerned about the poor, but because he was a thief, and as he had the money box, he used to pilfer what was put into it.

Mt 26:14 Then one of the twelve, named Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests, 15 and said, "What are you willing to give me to deliver Him up to you?" And they weighed out to him thirty pieces of silver. (See Zechariah's remarkable prophecy 500 years earlier - Zechariah 11:12-13) 16 And from then on he began looking for a good opportunity to betray Him.

Mt 26:23 And He answered and said, "He who dipped his hand with Me in the bowl is the one who will betray Me. 24 "The Son of Man is to go, just as it is written of Him; but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born." 25 And Judas, who was betraying Him, answered and said, "Surely it is not I, Rabbi?" He said to him, "You have said it yourself."

JUDAS PIERCING
BRINGS GRIEF

Mt 27:3 Then when Judas, who had betrayed Him, saw that He had been condemned, he felt remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, 4 saying, "I have sinned by betraying innocent blood." But they said, "What is that to us? See to that yourself!" 5 And he threw the pieces of silver into the sanctuary and departed; and he went away and hanged himself. 6 And the chief priests took the pieces of silver and said, "It is not lawful to put them into the temple treasury, since it is the price of blood." 7 And they counseled together and with the money bought the Potter's Field as a burial place for strangers.

Acts 1:18 (Now this man acquired a field with the price of his wickedness; and falling headlong, he burst open in the middle and all his bowels gushed out. 19 And it became known to all who were living in Jerusalem; so that in their own language that field was called Hakeldama, that is, Field of Blood.)

JESUS' PIERCING
BRINGS SALVATION

John 19:34 but one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately there came out blood and water… 37 And again another Scripture says, "THEY SHALL LOOK ON HIM WHOM THEY PIERCED."

Themselves (1438)(heautou) is "a reflexive pronoun referring action in a verb back to its own subject." (Friberg) In other words they pierced themselves and thus have no one else to blame! Heautou "in the plural, (is) a reflexive reference to any and all persons or things involved as subjects of the clause." (Louw-Nida).

Many (4183)(polus) refers to a large but indefinite number, in this case a large number of griefs! Notice this is one of those "promises" that we would rather not receive! However it is like a train for once the "locomotive" of desire for money begins to spring up and bear bad fruit, it is a "bumper" crop so to speak. Christians, let us all take heed, for none of us are immune to the sin of greed and covetousness! And it is interesting that the Bible equates covetousness with idolatry, of putting another "god" (a "worshipper of Mammon") before the one and only majestic God (Col 3:5) Paul issues a strong warning against greed in the life of believers writing

But do not let immorality (porneia - one of the deadliest and most inveterate temptations to which Gentile Christians were exposed then and now especially with internet access!) or any impurity or greed even be named (present imperative with a negative = stop something already occurring or don't let it begin) among you, as is proper among saints; and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. For (term of explanation) this you know with certainty (absolute knowledge, a truth which is not debatable), that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. (Eph 5:3-4-note, Eph 5:5-note)

Griefs (3601)(odune) literally describes physical pain, but is used only figuratively in the two NT occurrences to describe a state of severe emotional distress and/or intense anxiety. Odune implies severe anguish of one's heart as the result of deep sorrow.

Sorrow, torment, grief, pain, distress of body or mind

Ro 9:2; 1Ti 6:10;

Ge 35:18; Job 7:3; Je 8:18

Odune is used only one other time in the NT (Ro 9:2-note) and that also by Paul as he laments the general unbelief of his Jewish brethren writing

I am telling the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit, that I have great sorrow and unceasing grief in my heart. (Ro 9:1-2-note)

In light of the warning of the rotten fruit of the bitter root of avarice we do well to heed the writer of Hebrews exhortation…

Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake (Heb 13:5)

'To what cost do you drive mortal hearts—you accursed lust for gold!' - Thomas Watson

Illustration- This past week they had a lottery drawing in which the pay off was 195 million dollars. It is interesting to follow up on those who have won the lottery in the past, most of the people tell how the sudden riches have upset their lives. Some of the couples have gotten divorces after winning. We fantasize of how great it would be to have these sudden riches, but would it? Solomon the richest man who ever lived had a few things to say about riches. (Chuck Smith - Sermon Notes)

Devotionals

1 Timothy 6:10 Caught By The Current

1 Timothy 6:10 Money Talks

1 Timothy 6:10-11 Flee

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