1 Timothy 6:3-10
3 “If anyone advocates a different doctrine and does not agree with sound words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the doctrine conforming to godliness, 4 he is conceited and understands nothing; but he has a sick craving for controversial questions and disputes about words, from which come envy, strife, abusive language, evil suspicions, 5 and constant friction between people of depraved mind and deprived of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. 6 But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment. 7 For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it, either. 8 If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content. 9 But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap, and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge people into ruin and destruction. 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.”
He is conceited: Those who violate the loving and peaceful behavior Paul is prescribing are not expressing the fruit of the Spirit and ought to be held suspect. The fruit of such conceited people is division and derision. Instead, we are to fix our eyes on Jesus and not be distracted by the ways of the world.
Godliness is a means of gain: Paul was against those preachers who taught false theology for financial gain. In modern times such a concept is all-too-common especially in the health and wealth movement. Becoming a Christian is not about gaining earthly wealth through good works or faith in Christ. The Gospel is about spiritual blessings in Christ not earthly blessings (See Ephesians 1). Anything that contradicts this creates friction and division in the church.
Godliness…contentment: We are to rest in our identity in Christ and be content in His love for us. This is the answer to any form of financial prosperity theology. After all, we have brought nothing into this world and take nothing out of it when we die.
For the love of money: Paul is not saying that money is bad. He is saying that money is fine as long as we are not addicted to it and focused on it. We are not to live purely to gain money. We are to know Jesus and live from Him in all things. Whenever we deviate from this, we will experience grief and disappointment because earthly treasures never bring fulfillment.