1 Timothy 5
1 Timothy 5
Shawn Bumpers / General
1 Timothy / Church at Ephesus; Church: Leadership; Church: Fellowship and Unity; A Widow; Elders
Paul instructing Timothy
Jude 3–4 ESV
Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.
Jude wanted to write about the wonderful things of salvation.
It’s often insinuated these days that sound doctrine and theology are actually detrimental to faith.
Matthew 7:13–14 NKJV
“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.
Romans 1:16 NKJV
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.
2 Corinthians 5:7 NKJV
For we walk by faith, not by sight.
Doctrine is absolutely critical to the expression of faith.
If we go back even further in church history to the very first church, we find their very first problem (outside of persecution, of course.)
Acts 2:44–45 NKJV
Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.
Acts 2:42 NKJV
And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.
So, in the very first days of the church, apostasy was not an issue … they continued in the apostles doctrine.
But … the church was made up of sinners saved by grace, from various walks of life … and as such, needs arose.
He now moves on to give Timothy practical advice on how church members of different walks of life should be treated.
So, Paul will focus on several important social relationships in this chapter … and also in the first part of chapter 6.
The Greek word for rebuke that is used here is ἐπιπλήσσω Epiplēssō (ehpee-play-soh), the root of which is plēssō, meaning “Strike” … add Epi and it means “Strike at.”
1 Timothy 5:1–2 NIV
Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were your father. Treat younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity.
παρακαλέω Parakaleō and it means “Urge, implore, and exhort.”
Timothy was a relatively young man, and it was probably difficult for him to reprimand someone older than himself.
Some have read this and concluded that Paul is not necessarily speaking of age, but rather speaking of people in leadership positions.
πρεσύτερος Presbyteros (prez-BEE-ter-ohs).
‘Rebuke is in its own nature offensive particularly when it is addressed to an old man; and when it proceeds from a young man too, there is a threefold show of forwardness. By the manner and mildness of it, therefore, he would soften it. For it is possible to reprove without offence, if one will only make a point of this; it requires great discretion, but it may be done.’ – John Chrysostom
Proverbs 12:18 NKJV
There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword, But the tongue of the wise promotes health.
Paul says to exhort elders in such a way as to honor them, and exhort younger men and women as family.
Jesus in Matthew 18 called for similar actions when confronting another who has offended you.
χήρα Chēra Widow – and refers to a woman who has lost her husband and has not remarried.
The word τιμάω Timaō (tee-MAH-oh) “honor” in v. 3 means “to fix the value,” as in our word “honorarium,” an amount paid to a speaker for services.
But if her own children were dead, then her grandchildren should accept the responsibility.
Paul says in verse 8 that, “He … is worse than an unbeliever!”
Luke 6:32 NKJV
“But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them.
A Christian who refuses to care for his widowed mother or grandmother falls beneath what even unbelievers do naturally.
And that is a shame, since the Christian has a Lord and Savior Who is the supreme example of love.
Luke 2:37 NKJV
and this woman was a widow of about eighty-four years, who did not depart from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.
Not every widow should be helped by the church.
I think the bigger question is the phrase, “Taken into the number.”
The Greek word is καταλέγω Katalegō which means “enrolled.”
Titus 2:3–5 ESV
Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.
Those widows who were enrolled into the support of the church must not only be true widows … they must also have godly character.
Paul is reminding Timothy that is is good to consider what kind of person the widow has been in the past.
And the godly example of ladies in the church, married, widowed, or unmarried, has a huge impact on the testimony of the church.
Matthew 5:16 NKJV
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
Verse 10 says, “If she has brought up children.”
Hospitality is another factor.
So, in regards to the widow being considered for enrollment for help and ministry, is she willing to serve?
It’s not about a handout … it’s about providing care.
Next we have “Relieved the afflicted.”
That could cover many kinds of ministry to the needy: feeding the hungry, caring for the sick, encouraging the sorrowful, and so forth.
So that’s the older widows.
Next Paul deals with younger widows.
In the church today we tend to think of signing up to serve as being a matter of convenience.
If I’ve got something better to do, that’s okay.
Let’s not forget that here we are talking about “enrollment” or “signing up” yes to receive care from the church but also to render service.
Younger widows, if cared for by the church, would have time on their hands and get involved in sinful activities.
In verse 14, Paul lists positive things he wanted the younger widows to do.
He says that the younger widows should marry and have families.
1 Corinthians 7:39 NKJV
A wife is bound by law as long as her husband lives; but if her husband dies, she is at liberty to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord.
Speaking of her role in the house, “Manage the house” in verse 14 literally means “rule the house.”
The wife should manage all the affairs of the household, and her husband should trust her to do so.
How Christian wives and mothers manage their homes can be a testimony to those outside the church.
Here Paul summarizes the principle of each family caring for the needs of its own members.
Paul did not tell them how these widows should be relieved—giving them a regular dole, taking them into a home, giving them employment, etc.
The important thing is that believers show love and concern and do all they can to help each other.
Men who devoted themselves full-time to the work of the Lord deserved some kind of compensation.
honor is τιμή Timē and speaks of value.
Deuteronomy 25:4 NKJV
“You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain.
1 Corinthians 9:9–12 NKJV
For it is written in the law of Moses, “You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain.” Is it oxen God is concerned about? Or does He say it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written, that he who plows should plow in hope, and he who threshes in hope should be partaker of his hope. If we have sown spiritual things for you, is it a great thing if we reap your material things? If others are partakers of this right over you, are we not even more? Nevertheless we have not used this right, but endure all things lest we hinder the gospel of Christ.
Luke 10:7 NKJV
And remain in the same house, eating and drinking such things as they give, for the laborer is worthy of his wages. Do not go from house to house.
If pastors are faithful in feeding the people “The Word and Doctrine,” then the church ought to be faithful and pay them adequately.
If a congregation is not faithful in this, and its pastor’s needs are not met, it is a poor testimony; … and God has ways of dealing with the situation.
Pastors have a pretty big target on their backs.
Especially those who, “Labor in Word and Doctrine.”
ἐλέγχω Elenchō, meaning “Expose.”
Galatians 6:1 NKJV
Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.
The verb restore that Paul used in Galatians 6:1 describes setting a broken bone.
Paul’s first caution to Timothy was to be sure of his facts, and the way to do that is to have witnesses.
This is a principle stated several places in scripture, such as Deuteronomy 19:15; Matthew 18:16; and 2 Corinthians 13:1.
It is sad when churches disobey the Word and listen to rumors, lies, and gossip.
The final caution of this chapter was that Timothy do these things without prejudgement or playing favorites and that nobody should be ordained without first being tested.