1Timothy 6:17 Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. (NASB: Lockman)
Amplified: As for the rich in this world, charge them not to be proud and arrogant and contemptuous of others, nor to set their hopes on uncertain riches, but on God, Who richly and ceaselessly provides us with everything for [our] enjoyment. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
ESV: As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy.
KJV: Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;
Moffatt: Charge the rich of this world not to be supercilious, and not to fix their hopes on so uncertain a thing as riches but on the living God who richly provides us with all the enjoyments of life;
NET: Command those who are rich in this world’s goods not to be haughty or to set their hope on riches, which are uncertain, but on God who richly provides us with all things for our enjoyment.
NLT: Teach those who are rich in this world not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which is so unreliable. Their trust should be in God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment. (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: Tell those who are rich in this present world not to be contemptuous of others, and not to rest the weight of their confidence on the transitory power of wealth but on the living God, who generously gives us everything for our enjoyment. (Phillips: Touchstone)
TLB: Tell those who are rich not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which will soon be gone, but their pride and trust should be in the living God who always richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment.
Weymouth: Impress on those who are rich in the present age that they must not be haughty nor set their hopes on riches—that unstable foundation—but on God who provides us richly with all things for our enjoyment.
Wuest: To those who are wealthy in the present age, be giving a charge not to continue to be high-minded, neither to have their hope set upon the uncertainty of wealth, but upon God, the One who is constantly offering us all things in a rich manner to enjoy; (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: Those rich in the present age charge thou not to be high-minded, nor to hope in the uncertainty of riches, but in the living God, who is giving to us all things richly for enjoyment
INSTRUCT THOSE WHO ARE RICH IN THIS PRESENT WORLD NOT TO BE CONCEITED OR TO FIX THEIR HOPE ON THE UNCERTAINTY OF RICHES, BUT ON GOD, WHO RICHLY SUPPLIES US WITH ALL THINGS TO ENJOY: ()
1 Timothy 6:17 On Loan
Command those who are rich . . . to trust . . . in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. —1Timothy 6:17
I am surrounded every day by things that don't belong to me, yet I call them mine. For instance, I refer to the computer I am using to write this article as "my Mac." I talk about "my office," "my desk," and "my phone." But none of this equipment belongs to me. It's mine to use, but not mine to keep. When RBC Ministries "gave" it to me, we both knew what that meant: It was on loan.
This kind of situation is not unique to employer-employee relationships. That's the way it is with all of us and all of the things we call our own. When we speak of our family, our house, or our car, we are speaking of people and things God has allowed us to enjoy while here on earth, but they really belong to Him. Notice the psalmist's praise to God, "The heavens are Yours, the earth also is Yours" (Psalm 89:11).
Understanding who really holds the title to all we possess should change our thinking. Just as I am aware that RBC lets me use its equipment to help me do my work more efficiently, so also should we be aware that everything we have is given to us to serve the Lord.
Our time, talents, and possessions are all on loan from God so that we can do His work effectively. —Dave Branon (Copyright. Used by permission of Our Daily Bread)
God's grace sustains the gift of life,
All we own is really on loan—from God.
1 Timothy 6:17 - THE WRONG GOD
"Command those who are rich in this present age not...to trust in uncertain riches." - 1Timothy 6:17
A missionary had been witnessing faithfully to a certain man who was an idol worshiper. One day the man placed a small statue and a silver coin on the table in front of the missionary. Then he took two slips of paper and wrote something on each. On the note by the idol he wrote the words "heathen god." On the sheet next to the silver coin he wrote the words "Christian god."
From what that man had observed in the lives of some people from so-called Christian nations, he had concluded that money was the main object of their adoration and the source of their confidence.
Many people today choose to worship the god of money. They make it the object of their trust, love, and service. But how foolish! Jesus warned, "How hard it is for those who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God!" (Mk. 10:24).
Who or what is the object of your worship? The psalmist advised, "Put your 'trust' in the Lord" (Ps. 4:5). Moses commanded, "You shall 'love' the Lord" (Dt. 6:5), and Joshua told his people, "As for me and my house, we will 'serve' the Lord" (Josh. 24:15).
Be sure that your confidence is not in the wrong god. Place your trust in Christ.- R W De Haan (Copyright. Used by permission of Our Daily Bread)
Never let Gold become your god!
Nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God.
The contrast here is very beautiful. Men, for the most part, look to riches to supply them with all they need richly to enjoy; but the apostle says that it is beyond all comparison better to look away from dead coin to a living Person, who takes pleasure in giving liberally without upbraiding.
Here is a rebuke. — Suppose you had your cellars filled with gold coin, would you not think yourself secure against all possible need and care? Almost certainly you would. But you ought to be even more at rest, since you have neither silver nor gold, and only your Heavenly Father’s hand.
Here is a contrast. — Riches are uncertain at the best. A man in these difficult days finds it easier to gain money than to hold it. He who is rich today may awake to-morrow to find that some sudden turn of the market has made him poor. But God is not uncertain. He is the same yesterday, today, and for ever. His covenants are certainties.
Here is an appeal. — Trust in the living God with as much restfulness as others in their lands and revenues, and be almost glad if God takes away from you what you have clung to so tenaciously, that you may drop securely into his everlasting arms. You smile at the story of the lady who was told by the captain that he had done all he could for the vessel, and they must now look to the Almighty; and who replied, “O captain, has it come to that?” But you may be nearer akin to her spirit than you suppose!
Here is an assured destiny. — Those who trust in riches are pierced through with many sorrows, and are caught in the maelstrom, which drowns souls in perdition; they who trust in the Lord are as Mount Zion, which cannot be removed.
1Timothy 6:18 Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share (NASB: Lockman)
Amplified: [Charge them] to do good, to be rich in good works, to be liberal and generous of heart, ready to share [with others], (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
ESV: They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share,
KJV: That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate;
Moffatt: tell them to be bountiful, rich in good works, open-handed and generous,
NET: Tell them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, to be generous givers, sharing with others.
NLT: Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and generous to those in need, always being ready to share with others. (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: Tell them to do good, to be rich in kindly actions, to be ready to give to others and to sympathise with those in distress. (Phillips: Touchstone)
TLB: Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and should give happily to those in need, always being ready to share with others whatever God has given them.
Weymouth: They must be beneficent, rich in noble deeds, open-handed and liberal;
Wuest: to be doing good, to be wealthy in the sphere of good works, to be liberal, sharers with others, (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: to do good, to be rich in good works, to be ready to impart, willing to communicate,
INSTRUCT THEM TO DO GOOD, TO BE RICH IN GOOD WORKS, TO BE GENEROUS AND READY TO SHARE: ()
CHECKUP ON YOUR CHECKBOOK - SOME evening when you have a spare moment, get out your old checkbook registers and read the entries. You will be startled to learn how you spent your money. The entries will read like a family history book, chronicling every major event—births, deaths, and illnesses—and reflecting your tastes, habits, and interests.
They record vacations, travels, and other moves. They also tell much about how expensively you dress or how extravagantly you eat. The total spent in each category will pinpoint the things that make the greatest demands on your income—either due to need or choice.
This checkbook checkup might also gauge our spiritual temperature. Contributions given to the work of the Lord compared to expenditures for unnecessary things offer some clues. When we give nothing to church or to people in need but spend large sums on personal gratification, it's time to examine our values.
A healthy checkbook checkup will show that we've been "rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share" (1Timothy 6:18). —R W De Haan (Copyright. Used by permission of Our Daily Bread)
1 Timothy 6:18 Willing To Share
Be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share. —1Timothy 6:18
Followers of Jesus are to be "rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share" (1Timothy 6:18). This was demonstrated in the aftermath of the tsunami disaster in Southeast Asia. Christians quickly poured in money, materials, and manpower to bring relief to the suffering. That help has continued.
Believers show this generosity in their local communities as well. When a family lost their home and all their belongings in a fire, a flood of assistance-money, food, clothing, a temporary place to live-came from fellow believers all over the area to get them through the crisis.
When a husband walked out on his wife and three children after depleting the family's savings account and running up huge bills, the people of her church stepped in with the spiritual, emotional, and financial support she needed. And some of the women of the church faithfully encircled her with prayer and encouragement.
These believers are following the plan of God for the Christian life. There are needs all around you that you can have a vital part in meeting.
Are you "rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share"? —David C. Egner (Copyright. Used by permission of Our Daily Bread)
Love is giving for the world's needs,
If you really care, you'll want to share.
1 Timothy 6:18 Overcoming Greed
Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share. —1Timothy 6:18
Greed — it has toppled highly paid executives, brought down giant corporations, and cost thousands of workers their jobs and retirement funds. One columnist has written that unrestrained corporate greed is a greater threat than terrorism.
Greed whispers in our ear that we would be happier if we had more money, more things, and more power. It creates discontent and a growing desire to do whatever it takes to gain position and possessions. But the Bible commands us to trust in God, not in “uncertain riches”(1Timothy 6:17).
Paul told Timothy that the way to overcome greed is to flee from it and to “pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness”(1Timothy 6:11). And those “who are rich in this present age,” who have more than is needed, should “be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share”(1Ti 6:17, 18).
Contentment and generosity are the opposite of greed (vv.6-8). As we learn to thank God for what we have and freely share it with others, we stop trying to fill the spiritual vacuum in our heart with things. And when we love Jesus more than money and possessions, we find that He is the greatest treasure of our lives. We discover that knowing Him is the source of genuine satisfaction.—David C. McCasland (Copyright. Used by permission of Our Daily Bread)
God’s riches fill up our supply,
The best remedy for greed is generosity.
1 Timothy 6:18 People God Can Use
Be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share. —1 Timothy 6:18
Evangelist Franklin Graham wrote, "If we want to become the type of people that God can use anytime, anywhere, anyplace, we must offer ourselves, our homes, our kitchens, and our living rooms as outposts for the kingdom of God." People who practice these words are fulfilling Paul's challenge to "be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share" (1Timothy 6:18).
Years ago, our family sensed that the Lord was placing this same challenge before us. Believing that He desired greater access to our lives, our possessions, and our time, we prayerfully said yes to Him.
Soon we encountered a desperate drug addict and opened our home to him. Several families joined us in helping others who needed to come to Christ and come off drugs. Eventually we established a Christian rehabilitation center—a ministry that continues today. To equip us for this ministry, God used our own painful experiences. Our own troubles helped us identify with others, and enabled us to guide them to depend on Jesus for salvation and every daily need.
God also wants to use you, your possessions, and even your pain, to equip you for a life that's rich in giving and sharing. Have you said yes to Him? —Joanie Yoder (Copyright. Used by permission of Our Daily Bread)
Give me a heart sympathetic and tender,
Compassion is needed to heal the hurts of others.
1Timothy 6:19 storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed. (NASB: Lockman)
Amplified: In this way laying up for themselves [the riches that endure forever as] a good foundation for the future, so that they may grasp that which is life indeed. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
ESV: thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.
KJV: Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.
Moffatt: amassing right good treasure for themselves in the world to come, in order to secure the life which is life indeed.
NET: In this way they will save up a treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the future and so lay hold of what is truly life.
NLT: By doing this they will be storing up their treasure as a good foundation for the future so that they may experience true life. (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: Their security should be invested in the life to come so that they may be sure of holding a share in the life which is permanent. (Phillips: Touchstone)
TLB: By doing this they will be storing up real treasure for themselves in heaven—it is the only safe investment for eternity! And they will be living a fruitful Christian life down here as well.
Weymouth: storing up for themselves that which shall be a solid foundation for the future, that they may lay hold of the Life which is life indeed.
Wuest: laying away for themselves a good foundation with a view to the future, in order that they may lay hold of that which is truly life. (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: treasuring up to themselves a right foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on the life age-during.
STORING UP FOR THEMSELVES THE TREASURE OF A GOOD FOUNDATION FOR THE FUTURE, SO THAT THEY MAY TAKE HOLD OF THAT WHICH IS LIFE INDEED: ()
1Timothy 6:20 O Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you, avoiding worldly and empty chatter and the opposing arguments of what is falsely called "knowledge"— (NASB: Lockman)
Amplified: O Timothy, guard and keep the deposit entrusted [to you]! Turn away from the irreverent babble and godless chatter, with the vain and empty and worldly phrases, and the subtleties and the contradictions in what is falsely called knowledge and spiritual illumination. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
ESV: O Timothy, guard the deposit entrusted to you. Avoid the irreverent babble and contradictions of what is falsely called “knowledge,”
KJV: O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called:
Moffatt: O Timotheus, keep the securities of the faith intact: avoid the profane jargon and contradictions of what is falsely called 'Knowledge."
NET: O Timothy, protect what has been entrusted to you. Avoid the profane chatter and absurdities of so-called “knowledge.”
NLT: Timothy, guard what God has entrusted to you. Avoid godless, foolish discussions with those who oppose you with their so-called knowledge. (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: O Timothy, guard most carefully your divine commission. Avoid the Godless mixture of contradictory notions which is falsely known as "knowledge" (Phillips: Touchstone)
TLB: Oh, Timothy, don’t fail to do these things that God entrusted to you. Keep out of foolish arguments with those who boast of their "knowledge" and thus prove their lack of it.
Weymouth: O Timothy, guard the truths entrusted to you, shunning irreligious and frivolous talk, and controversy with what is falsely called 'knowledge';
Wuest: O, Timothy, that which was committed to you, guard, turning away from unhallowed and empty mouthings and oppositions of the falsely named knowledge, (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: O Timotheus, the thing entrusted guard thou, avoiding the profane vain-words and opposition of the falsely-named knowledge
O TIMOTHY, GUARD WHAT HAS BEEN ENTRUSTED TO YOU, AVOIDING WORLDLY AND EMPTY CHATTER AND THE OPPOSING ARGUMENTS OF WHAT IS FALSELY CALLED "KNOWLEDGE": ()
Fight the good fight with all thy might!
Christ is thy strength and Christ thy right;
Lay hold on life and it shall be
Thy joy and crown eternally.
(William Boyd, 1864)
1Timothy 6:21 which some have professed and thus gone astray from the faith. Grace be with you. (NASB: Lockman)
Amplified: [For] by making such profession some have erred (missed the mark) as regards the faith. Grace (divine favor and blessing) be with you all! Amen (so be it). (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
ESV: for by professing it some have swerved from the faith. Grace be with you.
KJV: Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with thee. Amen.
Moffatt: Certain individuals have failed in the faith by professing that. Grace be with you. [Amen.]
NET: By professing it, some have strayed from the faith. Grace be with you all.
NLT: Some people have wandered from the faith by following such foolishness. May God’s grace be with you all. (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: some have followed it and lost their faith. Grace be with you. (Phillips: Touchstone)
TLB: Some of these people have missed the most important thing in life—they don’t know God. May God’s mercy be upon you. Sincerely, Paul
Weymouth: of which some have spoken boastfully in connexion with the true faith, and have erred. Grace be with you all.
Wuest: which certain ones announcing, missed the mark concerning the Faith. The grace be with all of you. (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: which certain professing--concerning the faith did swerve; the grace is with you. Amen.
WHICH SOME HAVE PROFESSED AND THUS GONE ASTRAY FROM THE FAITH. GRACE BE WITH YOU : ()
1 Timothy 6:21 "SHIPWRECK"
Some have strayed concerning the faith. - 1Timothy 6:21
In the early part of this century, an American ship was wrecked off the Scilly Isles near the coast of England. The sea had been calm and the weather clear, but the vessel was caught in a treacherous current that slowly lured it off its course. Before the captain and the crew realized what had happened, the ship had crashed into the rocks.
In life too, powerful currents of compromise can catch the soul and carry it to shipwreck. Spiritual drifting is usually a slow and imperceptible process. We know it has occurred when we have lost the strong resistance to evil and the passionate desire for truth that we once knew.
The apostle Paul wanted to make sure this wouldn't happen to those to whom Timothy ministered. He encouraged him to be faithful in telling others what they needed to know so they wouldn't stray from their devotion to Christ and cause their faith to be shipwrecked.
In our day, for every professing believer who is lost to the Christian cause by a savage assault of evil, a hundred more slowly drift away from God's truth, regular worship, and a life of faith.
We must give careful attention to what we know about Christ so that we don't get caught in a drift. - HWR
Lord, help us from Your blessed Word
The compass of God's Word will keep you from spiritual shipwreck. (Copyright. Used by permission of Our Daily Bread)
1Timothy 6:16 Who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, Whom no man has seen or can see. To Him be honor and eternal dominion! Amen. (NASB: Lockman)
Amplified: Who alone has immortality [in the sense of exemption from every kind of death] and lives in unapproachable light, Whom no man has ever seen or can see. Unto Him be honor and everlasting power and dominion. Amen (so be it). (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
ESV: who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.
KJV: Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.
Moffatt: who alone has immortality, who dwells in light that none can approach, whom no man has ever seen or can see. To him be honour and eternal dominion: Amen.
NET: He alone possesses immortality and lives in unapproachable light, whom no human has ever seen or is able to see. To him be honor and eternal power! Amen.
NLT: He alone can never die, and he lives in light so brilliant that no human can approach him. No human eye has ever seen him, nor ever will. All honor and power to him forever! Amen. (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: the only source of immortality, the one who lives in unapproachable light, the one whom no mortal eye has ever seen or ever can see. To him be acknowledged all honour and power for ever, amen! (Phillips: Touchstone)
TLB: who alone can never die, who lives in light so terrible that no human being can approach him. No mere man has ever seen him nor ever will. Unto him be honor and everlasting power and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
Weymouth: who alone possesses immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, and whom no man has seen or can see. To Him be eternal honour and power! Amen.
Wuest: who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom not even one in the human race has seen nor even is able to see, to whom be honor and power forever. Amen. (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: who only is having immortality, dwelling in light unapproachable, whom no one of men did see, nor is able to see, to whom is honour and might age-during! Amen.
WHO ALONE POSSESSES IMMORTALITY AND DWELLS IN UNAPPROACHABLE LIGHT, WHOM NO MAN HAS SEEN OR CAN SEE: ho monos echon (PAPMSN) athanasian, phos oikon (PAPMSN) aprositon, on eiden (3SAAI) oudeis anthropon oude idein (AAN) dunatai; (3SPPI): (Who alone: 1Ti 1:17 Ex 3:14 Dt 32:40 Ps 90:2 Isa 57:15 Jn 8:58 Heb 13:8 Rev 1:8,17,18) (dwells: Ps 104:2 Hab 3:4 1Jn 1:5 Rev 1:16,17 21:3 22:5) (Whom: Ex 33:20 Jn 1:18 6:46 14:9 Col 1:15)
GOD IS WORTHY
Towner sums up this last section
Let's summarize the divine attributes in Paul's elegant portrayal of God in 1Ti 6:15-16...
Worship is derived from the Old English word "worthship", which in turn is from two words, worth or worthiness plus -ship denoting honor. Worship denotes the worthiness of the one receiving the special honor or devotion. For believers at the core of worship is an honoring or acknowledgment of the worth of our great God (See related study on Greek word for worship - proskuneo). Worship is an attitude of our heart which we should strive diligently to continually cultivate. Too often we restrict "worship" to Sunday "worship service", but God is worthy of our worship at all times! In the workplace, at school, jogging the trail, riding your bike, stuck in freeway traffic (yes, even there!), etc. And so it is fitting that Paul pauses once again to worship God even as he had done at the outset of this epistle...
Wallis observes that in this section (1Ti 6:15-16) God is...
Alone - The Greek has the definite article (Greek ho = English "the") preceding monos and thus is more accurately rendered "the only". Why is this significant you ask? Notice that in Jn 5:44 Jesus uses the phrase "the only God". Vincent makes the point that the text is "Not God only, which entirely overlooks the force of the definite article; but the only God." Paul's mention of God alone possessing immortality would be a clear countering of the cult of emperor worship which taught that the emperors (who they deified) were considered immortal (despite the fact that they all died as mere men!)
Alone (3441) (monos) means only, sole or single; by themselves. To be sure both angels (good and demonic) and human beings (both saved and unsaved alike) are now immortal and will live forever in either heaven or hell. The difference of course is that the immortality of these created beings is derived from God Who alone possesses inherent immortality. Have you ever considered that your unsaved friends and relatives are "immortal?" This sobering truth ought to motivate in each of our hearts a Spirit enabled desire (and reliance on His power - Acts 1:8) to speak forth the Gospel with our lives and with our lips! Without trying to put a "guilt trip" on you dear brother or sister in Christ, let me ask you when was the last time you shared the Good News of your salvation, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, with an unbeliever? Yes, it can be intimidating (even after walking with Jesus 25 years, speaking from my experience), and yet I know of nothing that gives me more excitement and fulfillment then when God opens the door of opportunity to share my Best Friend with another individual who will live forever!
Possesses (2192) (echo) means to have or possess and in the present tense describes this as God's continual possession. The idea is to possess in the sense of having as one’s own. Paul proceeds to list God's unique Personal possessions!
Immortality (110) (athanasia from a [Alpha prefixed to a word negates its meaning] = without + thanatos = death) literally means without death, "deathless", no death. It describes the state of not being subject to death, that which will never die, that which is incapable of dying.
The 1828 Webster's Dictionary says immortality is "The quality of never ceasing to live or exist; exemption from death and annihilation; life destined to endure without end; exemption from oblivion."
The only other uses in the NT are in Paul's description of the believer's glorified, resurrection body as immortal. Hallelujah!
In 1Timothy 1:17, Paul used the adjective aphthartos (word study) for immortal, which signifies that which is not subject to decay and death. In the introductory description of the Gospel (specifically describing every man's lost state and desperate need for the Gospel), Paul accused humankind of exchanging "the glory of the incorruptible (aphthartos) God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures." (Ro 1:23-note) In the context of the resurrection body which every saint will receive, Paul wrote that this eternal "acquisition" will occur "in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable (aphthartos), and we will be changed" (1Cor 15:52) and as Peter says will also "obtain an inheritance with is imperishable (aphthartos)" (1Peter 1:4-note) because we have been "born again not of seed (the Word of God, the Gospel of our salvation) which is perishable but imperishable (aphthartos), that is, through the living and enduring word of God." (1Pe 1:23-note)
God is uniquely living, exhibiting life without a beginning or an ending! As such He is the source of all life.
John Gill reminds us that...
Jamieson comments that God's immortality is unique for it is...
John MacArthur applies these truths to Timothy and by extension to all believers writing that...
AND DWELLS IN UNAPPROACHABLE LIGHT, WHOM NO MAN HAS SEEN OR CAN SEE: phos oikon (PAPMSN) aprositon, on eiden (3SAAI) oudeis anthropon oude idein (AAN) dunatai; (3SPPI): (dwells: Ps 104:2 Hab 3:4 1Jn 1:5 Rev 1:16,17 21:3 22:5) (Whom: Ex 33:20 Jn 1:18 6:46 14:9 Col 1:15)
One of my favorite hymns by Walter C Smith (1876) sings forth the glories of His immortality and His dwelling in inaccessible light, light so radiant and splendorous that Smith rightly wrote "Thine angels adore Thee, all veiling their sight"....
Immortal, invisible, God only wise,
Unresting, unhasting, and silent as light,
To all, life Thou givest, to both great and small;
Great Father of glory, pure Father of light,
All laud we would render; O help us to see
Unapproachable light - This phrase describes the glory of God's dwelling place and emphasizes the vast gulf between the holy God and sinful mankind. In the book of Exodus we see light used to symbolize God's presence among His people, as manifest by the continually burning oil lamp (Ex 27:20; 35:14; 39:23; Lev 24:2). On Mt Sinai Moses encounters the Angel of the LORD () in "a blazing fire" in the midst of a bush which was not consumed (Ex 3:2).
Jamieson aptly notes that after alluding to life (immortality), Paul now turns to light...
In regard to God dwelling in unapproachable light, Chrysostom asks...
Dwells (3611)(oikeo) means to reside in a place (to live, to dwell), to abide, to inhabit a place. Used of the Spirit dwelling in believers (1Cor 3:16). Of dwelling together or living together as husband and wife (marriage). Here in Timothy oikeo means to dwell in something (light).
God is at home (present tense = continually) in light which is inaccessible.
Habakkuk gives us an overwhelming description of God...
James describes God as "the Father of lights" (James 1:17-note)
Unapproachable (676) (aprositos from a = without + pros = toward + eimi = to be) describes that which cannot be approached. Inaccessible. This is the only use of this word in Scripture
Light (5457)(phos from pháo = to shine) is defined by many lexicons as that which contrasts with darkness. Light is the medium of illumination that makes sight possible or makes things visible. In Scripture phos can refer to literal, physical light (Ge 1:3), but often is used metaphorically or symbolically, the greatest metaphorical use being used to symbolize Jesus as "the Light of the world." (Jn 8:12).
Webster's 1828 says light is "That ethereal agent or matter which makes objects perceptible to the sense of seeing, but the particles of which are separately invisible."
Nelson's New Illustrated Bible Dictionary says "The Bible also speaks of light as the symbol of God’s presence and righteous activity. Light has been associated with the presence, truth, and redemptive activity of God since creation....Misguided fascination with light caused some cultures of the ancient world to worship the sun and moon."
ISBE adds that light "is used throughout the Scriptures as the symbol and synonym of all that is luminous and radiant in the mental, moral and spiritual life of men and angels; while the eternal God, because of His holiness and moral perfection, is pictured as "dwelling in light unapproachable" (1Ti 6:16)."
God, the One Who dwells in unapproachable light choose to reveal Himself to us in "the light of the Gospel of the glory of Christ, Who is the image of God" (2Cor 4:4), having called us out of darkness into His marvelous light (1Pe 2:9) to be sons of light (Lk 16:8), children of light (Eph 5:8), saints who have an inheritance in light (Col 1:12), lights in the (spiritually) dark world (Php 2:15), those who come to the light (Jn 3:21), we are the light of the world (Mt 5:14), lights that are to shine and thereby bring glory to God (Bring glory ~ give those in darkness a proper opinion of God by the way we, His children of light, live! What "opinion" of God are others deriving from your life in their midst?) (Mt 5:16).
The Psalmist alludes to this characteristic of God dwelling in unapproachable light writing...
MacArthur comments that...
Vine summarizes the uses of light in Scripture (apart from it's uses to describe natural illumination)...
Spurgeon commenting on 1Jn 1:5 says that God is...
Not a light, nor the light, though he is both, but that He is light. Scripture uses the term light for knowledge, for purity, for prosperity, for happiness, and for truth. God is light, and then in his usual style, John, who not only tells you a truth but always guards it, adds-” in Whom is no darkness at all.”
The possibility of danger implicit in human contact with God is reflected throughout Scripture (Ex 3:2, 19:21-24; 24:11; 33:20-23; Ge 32:30; Jdg 13:20-23; Isa 6:5; Acts 9:3-9; 1Ti 6:15-16; Rev 19:11-21).
Which no man has seen or can see (oudeis anthropon oude idein dunatai) - Note that Paul twice uses the strongest negatives possible (absolute negatives = ou in oudeis and oude) to emphasize the fact that man has not and cannot see the essence of God.
C an (1410)(dunamai) conveys the basic meaning of that which has the inherent ability to do something or accomplish some end. Thus dunamai means to be able or capable of or having the ability to see God. Human beings do not possess the capability for seeing God in unapproachable light.
Knight comments that...
Moses made a bold request to see God...
God Himself tells us...
Ge 32:30 So Jacob named the place Peniel (face of God), for he said, "I have seen God face to face, yet my life has been preserved."
John explains that...
1 Peter 2:9 But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God's OWN POSSESSION, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;
John 12:45 And he who beholds Me beholds the One who sent Me.
John 14:9 Jesus said to him, "Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how do you say, 'Show us the Father'? 10 "Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works.
John 15:24 "If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would not have sin; but now they have both seen and hated Me and My Father as well.
2Cor 4:4 in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving, that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God....6 For God, who said, "Light shall shine out of darkness," is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.
Col 1:15 And He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation
Heb 1:3 And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high;
1Jn 5:20 And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding, in order that we might know Him (God the Father) Who is true, and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.
Acts 7:55 But being full of the Holy Spirit, he gazed intently into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God; 56 and he said, "Behold, I see the heavens opened up and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God."
Wiersbe - Timothy lived in the godless city of Ephesus, but God dwells in glorious light. "And the sight of the glory of the Lord was like devouring fire" (Ex. 24:17). "Who coverest Thyself with light as with a garment" (Ps. 104:2). John's description of heaven emphasized the glory of God that gives light to the city (Rev. 21:11, 23-24; 22:5). Of course, light is a symbol of holiness (1 John 1:5-7). God dwells apart from sin, and God is glorious in His holiness. It is impossible for a sinful human to approach the holy God. It is only through Jesus Christ that we can be accepted into His presence. Jacob saw God in one of His Old Testament appearances on earth (Gen. 32:30); and God allowed Moses to see some of His glory (Ex. 33:18-23). "No man hath seen God at any time" (John 1:18) refers to seeing God in His essence, His spiritual nature. We can only see manifestations of this essence, as in the person of Jesus Christ.
TO HIM BE HONOR AND ETERNAL DOMINION! AMEN: o time kai kratos aionion; amen: (To Him: 1Ti 1:17 Ro 16:25-27 Eph 3:21 Php 4:20 Jude 1:25 Rev 1:6 4:11 7:12)
To Him be honor and eternal dominion - Verb "be" is added by translators. Paul prayerfully desires the reverence and respect that is due God.
Honor (5092)(time from tio = to pay honor or respect) is the worth or value ascribed to a person or thing. That which is paid in token of worth or value. Richards writes that time "refers predominantly to "honor" that is given in recognition of one's service or rank. It can also refer to the "price" or "value" of a person or thing."
The NT uses time in primarily 4 ways - (1) Honor, respect, status (2) Price, proceeds, cost; (3) Value, worth or merit of something or someone (1Co 12:23) (4) Honorarium (1Ti 5:17).
The following section summarizes the 41 uses of time into categories (See also Vines entry for similar "descriptive definition"):
Here is another way some lexicons have chosen to categorize time...
Time - 41x in 40v in the NAS and is rendered in NAS by following words - honor(28), honorable use(1), marks of respect(1), precious value(1), price(7), proceeds(1), sum(1), value(1).
Note that time is used to give honor to God and Christ in the NT in these passages - 1Ti 1:17; Heb 2:9; 1Pe 1:7; 2Pe 1:17; Rev 4:9, 11; 5:12, 13; 7:12; 21:26.
Time is used about 57x in the non-apocryphal Septuagint (Lxx) - Gen 20:16; 44:2; Exod 28:2, 40; 34:20; Lev 5:15, 18; 6:6; 27:2f, 5ff, 13, 15ff, 19, 23, 25, 27; Num 20:19; 2 Chr 1:16; 32:33; Esther 1:20; Job 31:39; 34:19; 37:22; 40:10; Ps 8:5; 29:1; 44:12; 45:9; 49:8, 12, 20; 62:4; 96:7; 99:4; Pr 6:26; 12:9; 22:9; 26:1; Isa 10:16; 11:10; 14:18; 35:2; 55:1; Ezek 22:25; Dan 1:9; 2:6, 37; 4:30, 36; 5:18, 20; 7:14
Eternal (166)(aionios from aion) means existing at all times, perpetual, pertaining to an unlimited duration of time (Ro 1:20 - God's power, Mt 18:8 - God's place of judgment, Ro 16:26 - God's attribute). Aionios (eternal) is the exact antithesis of proskairos (temporal).
Dominion (2904)(kratos) means strength or might, especially manifested power, the power to rule or control or dominion where our English word dominion describes the power to rule, supreme authority, sovereignty, the right to govern or rule or determine.
Kratos denotes the presence and significance of force or strength rather than its exercise. It is the ability to exhibit or express resident strength.
Kratos is used in doxologies in 1Pe 4:11; 5:11; Jude 1:25; Rev. 1:6; Rev 5:13. Most of the NT uses (10/12) are in references to God Almighty, and make the point that ultimate dominion belongs to God Alone.
Kratos - 12 uses - Lk. 1:51; Acts 19:20; Eph. 1:19; 6:10; Col. 1:11; 1Ti 6:16; Heb. 2:14; 1Pe 4:11; 5:11; Jude 1:25; Rev. 1:6; 5:13, translated in the NAS as dominion, 6; might, 1; mightily, 1; mighty deeds, 1; power, 1; strength, 2.
Amen (281) (amen) is transliterated from the Hebrew word "amen" (See study of the Hebrew use of amen) and primarily has the idea of "firm". Amen "came to be used as an adverb by which something is asserted or confirmed." (Thayer). At the beginning of a sentence amen conveys the sense of "truly" or "surely". Only Jesus uses "amen" at the beginning of a sentence.
Zodhiates writes that...
The NAS renders "amen" 30x as "amen" and 99x as "truly."
Amen is a Paul's confirmatory punctuation of what has just been said about God. And all God's people (I pray) add their "Amen!"
Single Focus - Pam Sneddon was taking a class in photography. For one assignment, she chose her 6-year-old daughter as her subject and asked her to sit on a serene hillside. Close by was an apple tree in full bloom. Pam just couldn't resist. She gave the tree a prominent place in the picture.
Pam was surprised when her instructor pointed out a problem with the photo. The apple tree distracted from her primary focus, the little girl.
"See how it catches the eye," the instructor said. "It competes with your subject. You need to choose one subject and leave the other out."
This observation applies to more than good photography skills. As disciples of Jesus Christ, we must center our attention only on Him. Like amateur photographers, we are often attracted to the "apple trees in full bloom." We pay more attention to our hobbies, friends, family, or work.
Christ commands our attention because He is "the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality" (1Ti 6:15, 16). That may mean relegating something we deem to be important to the background--or cropping it out of the picture altogether.
Whatever distracts us from Jesus has to go. As the preeminent One, He must be the single focus of our lives. --D C Egner (Copyright. Used by permission of Our Daily Bread)
In Christ alone the earth shall find its answer,
If Christ is the center of your life,
Our Eternal God - Late one afternoon I stood at the stern of a ferry boat churning its way from New York City across the Hudson River to New Jersey. As the towering structures of Manhattan receded from sight, my mind suddenly recalled these words from a poem: “These all shall perish stone on stone, but not Thy kingdom nor Thy throne.”
A few years later the devastating terrorist attack on the World Trade Center left an ugly gap in that soaring skyline. Everything in the world around us is subject to decline. Beautiful flowers wither and die. Even California’s towering sequoias, hardy survivors for long centuries, are gradually being eaten away by the gnawing tooth of time.
As for our bodies, we grow older daily and lose the vitality of our younger years. God alone possesses immortality in Himself, which means that He abides forever (1 Timothy 6:16). The simple truth must be faced that nothing is permanent-only God is everlasting.
Yet by faith in Jesus Christ, we can receive life that will never end. He promised us, “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. . . . and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand” (John 10:28-29). by Vernon C. Grounds
Immortal, invisible, God only wise,
To give your life to Christ now