I Timothy

Chapter 5

"Instructions and Discipline, for Women [2-16]."
"Instructions and Discipline, for Men [17-25]."

 This Bible Study is written by Roger Christopherson, and made available with written permission by http://www.theseason.org

This chapter is also part of a doctrinal book and it is telling us what we should get out of our church. It doesn't matter what the sign over the door is, this is the example set forth by the Father, through Paul to Timothy. However, it is to be the example to all that would consider the ministry. Timothy was a young minister, and Paul is guiding Timothy in his understanding as to how a church body is to function. As we saw in the prior chapter, the key to being the head of a church is to use common sense, stick to the Word of God, and teach God's Word in the House of God. Not somebody else's word, but God's Word in the house of God.

This fifth chapter deals with how elders are to be treated, not just the elders of the church, but elderly people within the church in general. He discusses the treatment of the senior citizens by the youth, and how the youth should respect one another.

I Timothy 5:1 "Rebuke not an elder, but intreat him as a father, and the younger men as brethren,"

Don't be harsh with an elder, but give him the respect that you would your own father. This is good advice, for the senior citizens have maturity about them, and they should be treated with dignity. This is directed to people within Christianity, and what Christ expects of men and women within the body of Christ. Remember in the prior chapter Paul warned Timothy, don't let people take advantage of your young age, and this shows us that a young man in the ministry must use some psychology along with common sense, when it is necessary to correct an elder. It should be done gently because most elderly are pretty much set in their ways.

I Timothy 5:2 "The elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters, with all purity."

All women, old and young must be treated with dignity and it is important. Everyone, whether they are Christian or not has a right to be treated with dignity. They should be given the benefit of any doubt at least in the beginning, and in when teaching the Word it should be done with dignity. This does not have anything to do with firmness, for the pastor should be very firm, and show discipline when administering the Word of God. Anytime you hold firm and stick to the Word of God, you are right with what you do or say. Paul is telling Timothy to simply treat the elder women as you would elder members of your family.

I Timothy 5:3 "Honour widows that are widows indeed"

First lets identify what a "widow indeed" is. A "widow indeed" is a senior person that has lost her mate, and has no family, yet she is a member of the body of Christ, and a member of the local church house. She has no family members to look after her needs, and she is relying on fellow Christians in the church for her support in both physical and spiritual needs.

I Timothy 5:4 "But if any widow have children or nephews, let them learn first to shew piety at home, and to requite their parents: for that is good and acceptable before God."

Here we are talking about a widow that has family by her, and they are in the church also, and Paul is addressing this widows family members to show piety or respect for her at home, just as they would at church. "Requite" means "recompense". Your parents put up with a lot while you were growing up, they saw to your needs from the time of your birth, to the time you matured and went out on your own. Paul is telling us to use that as the standard for our treating of the widows of our family, and the widows in the church. This is like returning the many favors that were done for you to get you through difficult times.

When you do those things that are acceptable to God, such as being kind to your parent and in-laws, and there are times when it becomes difficult. There are parents that have abused children, but your parents are the ones that brought you into the world, and as Christians it is expected by God that we can be more forgiving than other people. When you do that which is acceptable to God, He is going to bless you for your efforts. It is important that you pay attention to the little things that need to be done, in returning the good that has been done to you.

When there has been great abuse, such as sexual abuse as a child, then that has to be dealt with on a one on one basis, but you still must act with dignity, for in doing so, you are serving God.

I Timothy 5:5 "Now she that is a widow indeed, and desolate, trusteth in God, and continueth in supplications and prayers night and day."

Here again we are talking about the widow that has no relatives to care for her, and she trusts God in all areas of her life and knows that God is real. She is committed in her service and prayers for the whole body of Christ continually. It doesn't mean that the has become as a nun, but she lives her life with the well being of the body of Christ focused in her mind. Many times widows physically are unable to render any service because of extreme age or illness, and this respect and dignity with love is still required by God for her.

When a widow indeed is respected and loved by the church body, there is no problem of having that love shown in return.

I Timothy 5:6 "But she that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth."

The word "pleasure" as used here is "spatalao" in the Greek and it means "self-indulgence". It is a real temptation for the woman that is a "widow indeed", who has shared and had companionship and fellowship with a mate for many years, to go off the deep end when her mate passes on. The two have virtually become one over the many years, and to miss that one it is easy to go overboard. To center your life on self, because there is no one else in your family. It is easy to fall in self indulgence and cut everyone else out of your life. That is not the way that a Christian thinks or operates their life. The Christian always protects the family of God. That is God's law and God's way.

God created us to where within each of us there is a natural instinct within our physical body to where if one part of our body suffers, the whole body centers on the harm to that part that is hurt. If a toe is stubbed, or a speck gets in the eye, then there is a reaction to the hurt within all of our body. This is as it should be within the body of Christ, if a child screams, or an elderly person is in need the entire body will feel the pain and come to the side of those that have been hurt. That is the natural way that the body of Christ functions, and that is why it is wrong for the "widow indeed" to step out on her own and separate herself from the rest of the church.

A foot or a hand can't function with out the whole body, nether can a heart function on its own without the rest of the body. Though she may feel that she is not wanted, it is the church members duty to make her feel wanted, and her duty to give her support to where it is needed. The church body needs her smile, and words of encouragement, as well as her faithful prayers.

Remember that the subject here is how we are to react in church, or in God's house. It is the body that you are in charge of teaching, and that you are a part of. This is addressing the pastor of that congregation and giving him or her the instruction of what is to be done with this widow indeed. It is saying that if this widow indeed that has lost her husband and neglecting the church body, and she is tying her time and efforts up in worldly thing, you as the pastor are not to assign her to any duties within the church. This is because you just can't depend on those things getting done. She wouldn't be there to do what needs to be done.

I Timothy 5:7 "And these things give in charge, that they may be blameless."

Paul is saying to add these things to the rest of the things that I have said, so that they are comforted in their time of great loss. To be left alone without any relatives, then certainly the family members within the body of Christ become very important. So when you see a person that is alone in the world, then give them a word of encouragement. This applies equally to both the man and the woman that has lost the mate.

I Timothy 5:8 "But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel."

If any person does not give the care and attention that is needed to his own family, or blood relative, he is not a Christian. To be a Christian you have to have the faith in Jesus Christ and follow the instructions that Christ has given to us. When you turn your back on the instructions Christ has given to you in His Word, you are not a believer, but even worse than a infidel. An "infidel" doesn't know the Word of God, and if you as a member of a church that knows what is written in God's Word refuses to do what is written, you become worse that an infidel, an unbeliever.

God expects more out of you than he does a non-believer, because He gives you more insight and understanding that the non-believer has. He gives you more common sense and wisdom through His Word than what a person can receive through the world. We are to have more patience when dealing with others, and God will give you that patience. If you don't take care of your own family, you are worse than an infidel.

Sometimes through sickness or age, a family member must have twenty four hour medical care for one of their loved ones that can not be provided at home. God does not expect you to do something that you are not able to do, but He does require us to use common sense. Many times the right thing to do is to place that person in someone else's care, such as a nursing home, or self-help care home where the family member will receive the care needed. This does not go against the will of God, and you are showing your love for that family member when you are considering what is best for that family member's needs. Don't get on a gilt trip when you can't give a service that is beyond your abilities. When you know the best is done for your loved one that can be done, then be at peace in your mind with the results and rest assured that God will take care of those unforeseeable things.

I Timothy 5:9 "Let not a widow be taken into the number under threescore (60) years old, having been the wife of one man,"

This is instructing the pastor that the widow is not to be taken into the church for the purpose of dedicating the rest of her life to the duties of that church, when she is under sixty (60) years of age. God created our bodies with natural functions and desires, and if a person is still young enough, those natural desires still exist and there is a possibility that this elderly person may desire another mate. She or he may desire to be fulfilled in that natural way, and need the companionship of another mate. The church is not to tie them down to a contract or obligation either verbal or written that would interfere with the obtaining another mate.

I Timothy 5:10 "Well reported of for good works; if she have brought up children, if she have lodged strangers, if she have washed the saints' feet, if she have relieved the afflicted, if she have diligently followed every good work."

This is talking about a very good woman here, she has done all the work that is required in bring up her children, and tended to the needs of the guests that are in her home. She has tended to what was required of here at church, and to the needs of those outside her family where she was able to help, and she was faithful in all that she has done. She is the type of person that every man is looking for in a wife. I hope every man can look at her husband and say, "that's my wife!" She is a woman of compassion.

I Timothy 5:11 "But the younger widows refuse: for when they have begun to wax wanton against Christ, they will marry;"

This again is a contract for full time service within the church, and today it is like that of a nun in the Catholic church, or as a lady minister within a congregation. It is a contract for full time service with an outside influence in service to the church or congregation. For when these ladies grow physically restless, they will become less focused on their responsibilities of the church, and they will want to marry. Of course there is nothing wrong with this, it is human nature and it goes right along with the natural instincts that God has built into our minds and bodies. It is nature itself, and any time you go against something that is natural, it is going against common sense.

Paul is giving us a set of rules that we can not judge all people by. All people do not set the mode of these rules, and they are able to focus the rest of their lives in service to the church under this age of sixty, and still many are not ready until years after sixty. Some will never be able to give full service to anything for they simply do not have the ability to focus on anything, and remain faith to their duty. But this is a rule of thumb to go by, as Paul is saying it out to the young pastor, Timothy.

It is saying, do not demand more of a person than they are able to give. It is not talking about money, but self, and full time service to the work of the Lord.

I Timothy 5:12 "Having damnation, because they have cast off their first faith."

"Damnation" as used here is "judgment". Paul is telling Timothy that if they did enter into a contract with the church for full service, they would in time break that agreement and leave the service. The physical drive within them would cause them to seek a mate to fulfill their physical needs.

I Timothy 5:13 "And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not."

This verse goes back to I Timothy 4:3, where God said let no man forbid you to marriage. God created us the way that we are, and there need not be any apology for the urges that are within us. God expects this person to remarry in their time, for they are still in the time of their life that these natural feelings and emotions are alive. It is written in I Corinthians 7:9; "But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn." This is talking about burning with passion.

Paul said you would be a lot better off if you could handle it the way I do, but if you can't, then you should marry.

I Timothy 5:14 "I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully."

Satan knows the physical weakness of flesh man and woman at the younger times of our lives. He knows the temptations that we go through, not only in sex, but in all avenues of our lives. Satan will take advantage of the young people, more so than at any other time, especially to those that are tied by a church contract and are forbidden to marry. It is like a divorce contract in a marriage, and is treated as such. This is not an unforgivable sin to break one of these contracts, but there is a hard time for the one that has gone through it. It is a sin that is forgivable when we confess it to the Father in Jesus name, for Christ paid the price to forgive all sin except the one that is against the Holy Spirit of God.

When you confess it before the Father it is forgiven, and removed from the records in heaven, and you then become able to marry with a clear conscience before God. God forgives divorce, and a young person is better married than becoming restless. However as a young Christian, the mate that is chosen should be compatible with your beliefs in Christ and His ways.

I Timothy 5:15 "For some are already turned aside after Satan."

We are still talking about the widow or widower contracting for service within the church. Many under sixty simply could not handle giving their full time to the work of the church, their physical desires would cause them to go chasing after the things of the world, and following the temptations of Satan. This is why Paul is giving this sound advice.

I Timothy 5:16 "If any man or woman that believeth have widows, let them relieve them, and let not the church be charged; that it may relieve them that are widows indeed."

This is addressing the widows and the widowers that are not alone, it is drawing attention that they should be charged with the visitation of the "widows indeed" those that have no family. They should see to it that the widow left alone has someone to talk with and share their ideas and help in their needs. Advising them naturally according to their need for advice and their physical condition.

I Timothy 5:17 "Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine."

Whether it be a widow indeed or a widower indeed, ones without any family members, if they have labored well in the congregation, they should receive a double honor, not only esteem but in money also. The are part of the first fruits, and the inheritance of the first fruits is double.

The honor is # 5092 in the Strong's Greek dictionary; "Time, tee-,ay'; value, i.e., money paid, or the dignity itself, honor, price, some." This is the double portion of the elderly widow or widower that works in a full time manner within the church.

I Timothy 5:18 "For the Scripture saith, "Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn." And, "the labourer is worthy of his reward." "

This is quoting from Deuteronomy 25:4 "Thou shalt not muzzle the ox when he treadeth out the corn." The old ox is the one that pulls the plow, that grinds the corn, that makes the meal, that you make your bread with. When the ox is doing the work to feed your family, don't deny the ox the food that he has deserved.

It may be hard to understand this in our generation where we don't rely on the ox anymore, but have gone over to the tractor. Even in using the tractor, you have to put the gas and oil in it to make it run.

Paul is saying that just as you would do it for animals, you must also do it for those that do the service and work in the Lord's house. A pastor is worthy of his hire, and the person that is expected to give their service on a full time basis to the work of the Lord are also worthy of their hire. This applies to the church missionaries, and teachers that give of themselves on a full time basis. Some ministers do not take a salary, and it is of their own choosing, but those that need it are deserving of their wage.

I Timothy 5:19 "Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witness."

Paul is telling anyone in the church, make sure of your accusation before you accuse an elder of the Church. There must be two or three witness to the accusation before any charge may be brought against an elder. First of all it is by law, and secondly if a man holds fast to the teaching of the Word of God, he will offend some, and there may be a bitter attitude in the mind of the one offended.

Remember that there is no man or woman living today that is perfect, we all make mistakes at times. This is why it is important that any person make certain what they are talking about in the accusations, and that there is a definite violation, premeditated on the part of the one accused. God is going to judge you very harshly if you go accusing his elders without a cause.

I Timothy 5:20 "Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear."

This one verse is pulled so far out of context many times, and causes a great deal of shame that just doesn't need to be. The elders of a church will pull a young person or an elder out of the congregation and hold them up for ridicule before the people. They embarrass them before the church body, and that is not what this verse is talking about.

This is not talking about any lay person of the congregation, but remember it is addressed to those in full time service to the congregation, one receiving a wage, and assigned the duties of the church. If the minister in your church sins, that minister should be taken before the other ministers over congregations of your church body, that those other ministers might see and fear the same things happening to them. They try to turn the table on their congregation, and that is not what Paul is addressing. To put it more bluntly, when a pastor of one church denomination commits an act of sin, then it is for that denomination to rebuke that pastor before all the other pastors under that church conference so that the other ministers of that conference will see and learn from the error of the sinning pastor.

This is directed to the more serious acts that are committed against the church body, that affect the entire body. It is not directed to the all the little sins that may be committed daily in innocence, or that affects one individual. Those matters are individual and must be dealt with on an individual basis. We are not speaking of things that adds to the gossip that goes on within churches, but to matters that concern the entire body and reputation of the church.

I Timothy 5:21 "I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality."

Paul is charging, which in the Greek is "Diamarturomai", which is to put an oath before Timothy and all that accept the duties of a pastor, or priest, that they swear before The Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels [Gabriel, Michael and so on], that they will follow these instructions as leaders of their congregations. God picks His leaders, and men do not pick their leaders. The minister is then charged by the whole heavenly host, that they observe these things that Paul has been instructed by God to write unto Timothy.

God gives the gifts to the ones that are able to lead, and the understanding and wisdom from His Word to were they have the ability to teach with understanding. No man can suppress the gifts that God places in a person, and what Paul is saying is that if you are the chief elder, it will fall upon you to ordain certain people, and place them under an oath to their duties at certain times. This is a very heavy responsibility, and when you are in the position of doing the selecting, don't you ever show partiality in the selecting process. The selecting of a person to be ordained is a matter to be based on Biblical principles only, and not on personal favorites. Judge a man or woman on the gifts that God has placed in each person, which determines whether they will be able to do the job. The one with the gifts of the Holy Spirit teach and other things, is the one to receive the ordination.

If you bring someone into the ministry and they are not fit for the ministry, then the ones that brought them into the ministry are to answer to Almighty God for the sins of that one they had ordained. This is why there should be a considerable amount of thought before placing one over a congregation, and the duties of the church. This has nothing to do with a lay person, but is directed to the officers in charge of a church body. No one pays for someone else's sins, with the exception of the group that ordains that particular one that is not fit for the ministry. The only eyes that matter here are the eyes of our Lord, and the responsibility of the failure of a minister falls back to the one that did the ordination.

I Timothy 5:22 "Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men's sins: keep thyself pure."

This is not talking about laying hands on someone like a child to correct them. The subject is still the ordination of ministers, and the laying on of hands to ordain them to the ministry. To charge them with the oath that must be taken before the Hosts of heaven, to be faithful with the gifts that God has placed within them. If the one doing the ordination is a partaker of the sins of the one being ordained, then you had better take the time necessary to review the qualification of the one he is ordaining.

If the man or woman is not proven and able to carry out those duties, if he or she does not have the gifts to teach and administer a congregation, it better become known ahead of time. Paul is putting a heavy hand on the liturgical heads of the church, and making them responsible for their decisions.

I Timothy 5:23 "Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach's sake and thine often infirmities."

First of all this word for "wine" in the Greek is # 3631; "oynos, oy'-nos; a prime word, from Hebrew #3196, lit. "wine". " In the Strong's Hebrew dictionary 3196; "yayin, yah'-yin; from an unused root meaning to effervesce; wine (as fermented); intoxicating."

Pure fermented wine is the substance with all the impurities taken removed from it. In the test it reads, "drink no longer only water, but do take a LITTLE wine for your stomach's sake". A lot of tea tattlers, even as far as communion is concerned, try to say this is in reference to grape juice. If in someone's conscious mind believes this way then let it be. However, this same group will think nothing of going to their doctor and getting a medical prescription their stomach that has the same ingredience as they would get with an ounce of wine. The drugs that exist in most prescriptions are far more harmful than the ounce or little wine before bedtime. Remember that Timothy was becoming the head of a church, with all the responsibilities of the office; and Paul is telling Timothy how to relieve some of the pressures of the day, and prepare for the night's rest.

I Timothy 5:24 "Some men's sins are open beforehand, going before to judgment; and some men they follow after."

Some men will be free and easy to tell you everything that you want to know about that person. They just find pleasure in telling all about themselves, what they have done and said, and what they would do if they became a minister. There also others that just don't talk about anything, and it is hard to even understand what they are thinking. This type you never really know where they stand until they have been around you, and many times what comes out of their mouth and through their deeds is just the opposite as what you thought of them.

Again this is directed to the mission of the ordaining of ministers. This is the reason that Timothy or any person in the position of appointing another for service in the church should not be hasty in the selection process. Calm down, and think the matter through completely. Know the person you are laying the hands on, and be sure of your selection before the ordination takes place. Be slow to move, but when the iron is hot, strike. Before you make a move to brand the person for life as a minister, take your time, but when you do the branding be sure and back him in all matters. When the moment is right God will let you know.

I Timothy 5:25 "Likewise also the good works of some are manifest beforehand; and they that are otherwise cannot be hid."

Sometimes a person's good works are obvious and you can see them very plainly, while other people hide the things that they do for people and the works that are done for God. What they do for the Lord, God knows, and that is all that is important to them. However, anyone that does good works in time it will catch up with them. Just like you can't hide bad works, you also can't hide good works. Though good works are hidden for a while to men, God knows all of those good works the moment that they are formed in their mind, and the deed is done.


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