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 (Thessalonians, Timothy, and Titus)
Lesson 17 Pastoral Duties to Various Groups (1Tim 5:1-6:2a)
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Lesson 17

I.       Observation

A.     Outline

The Older and the Younger (5:1-2)

Widows (5:3-16)

Elders (5:17-25)

Bondservants (6:1-2)

B.     Key Words/Phrases

Exhort, older man…as a father, younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, with all purity, widows, command, this is good and acceptable before God, good work, elders, double honor, sinning/sins, without prejudice, doing nothing with partiality, bondservants, teach.

II.    Segment Analysis

1a. Exhort older men as fathers, older women as mothers, younger men as brothers, younger women as sisters.

1b.These instructions teach us to regard all believers like members of our own family, treating the elders with respect and the younger with love out of a pure heart (cf. 1:5)

2a.The instructions in this paragraph pertain to the church’s responsibility of providing for the widows. It appears that some widows and families have abused the church’s practice of giving support to widows. Certain families who are capable of supporting their widow may have refused to do so but expect the church to provide the support (8,16). Some young widows, relying on the church’s generous support, may have forsaken their vow to Christ and become idle gossips and busybodies (11-13).

2b. Paul makes a clear distinction between widows “who are really widows” (3) and the other widows. True widows are to be honored (3) and provided for by the church (cf. Jas 1:27). Widows with children or grandchildren ought to be provided for by their families (5:4, 8). Young widows and widows who live in pleasure do not qualify for church support.

  Identifying who are eligible for support allows the church to support true widows who have a genuine need. It also ensures that those who are not true widows would not become a burden to the church.

3a.      1.Those who are left alone, that is, with no one to rely on, no children or grandchildren (5).

          2.`Those who trust in God and continue in supplications and prayers night and day instead of living a life of indulgence and pleasure (5-6)

          3. Those above sixty years old and who had been the wife of one man (9)

          4. Those well respected for good works, that is, if they have brought up children, lodged strangers, washed the feet of saints, relieved the afflicted, and diligently followed every good work (10)

3b. Anna the prophetess (Lk 2:36-38). She did not depart from the temple and served God with fasting and prayer night and day.

4a. She is dead while she lives. In other words, she has lost her fervor to serve the Lord and has become useless in God’s eyes (cf. Rev 3:1-3).

4b. Some of them hade made a commitment to remain single and devote their lives to Christ but would later change their minds and desired to marry. Some learned to be idle, wandering from house to house as busybodies and gossips (11-13). Worse still, some had already turned aside after Satan (15).

To prevent falling into such decadence, young widows are encouraged to marry, bear children, and manage the house so as to not give opportunity to the adversary to speak reproachfully.

5. They have denied the faith and are worse than unbelievers (8).

6.       1. Whenever possible, the family of the needy ought to provide for them. If they do not have families or if their families are unable to provide for them, then the church may take up the responsibility.

          2. The church should take into consideration whether the needy have godly conduct and refuse those who would become idle and indulgent as a result of the church’s support.

7. Those who rule well, especially those who labor in word and doctrine (17). In other words, they administer the church well and teach and uphold the truth (cf. 3:2,9). “Double honor” may possibly mean giving ample living allowance as well as paying the highest respect.

8. This verse teaches that we must render to others what is due them. That is, a laborer is worthy of his wages, just as an ox needs to eat while working (treading the grain). In the same way, good elders who serve diligently are worthy of double honor. If they serve on a full-time basis, the church ought to provide for their livelihood. This principle is also applicable to all full-time workers who have dedicated their time to serve God. They are also worthy of honor and living allowance rendered by the church.

9. Only if there are two or three witnesses can an accusation be brought against an elder (19). Following this guideline would minimize false accusations and defamatory charges against elders.

10. They are to be rebuked in the presence of all (20). This serves to warn those who are sinning and teaches others not to fall to sin.

11. Timothy needs to fulfill his duties without prejudice or partiality (21). This is an important reminder because it is easy to make unfair judgments based on personal preference and prejudice. In caring for the flock of God, we have to ensure fairness and consistency, just as God Himself is without partiality (Rom 2:11)

12a. Paul reminds Timothy not to lay hands on anyone hastily (5:22). “Laying on of hands” may mean either ordination or blessing in prayer. Before selecting a church worker or vindicating the accused, we must thoroughly examine the person in question, lest we share the sins of someone who is guilty.

12b. It is not wise to make hasty judgments because doing so may result in mistakes. When the sins or the good works of a person are not immediately evident, it may take time for the truth to be revealed. Since the works of a person, whether good or bad, cannot be hidden forever, it would be prudent to handle such matters with patience and care while letting the truth surface with time.

13. Honor them (1). Serve them (2).

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