1 Timothy 5
preliminaries see chapter 1
5 Synopsis: The leader ought to be aware of the different
needs of the congregation, especially widows and ensure they are
looked after. Leaders deserve honour and respect. Watch out for
that which is hidden]
Caring for Widows
Caring for Widows
Synopsis: the need for the pastor to recognise the position of
different widows and teach caring accordingly]
(be careful how you treat
different age groups etc.) 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.
who are genuine widows) Give
proper recognition to those widows who are really in need.
(if they have younger
family, they are the ones who should care for them) But
if a widow has children or grandchildren, these should learn first
of all to put their religion into practice by caring for their
own family and so repaying their parents and grandparents, for
this is pleasing to God.
(the widow on her
own has to simply trust God) The
widow who is really in need and left all alone puts her hope in
God and continues night and day to pray and to ask God for help.
(a widow who is pleasure-orientate
is in trouble) But
the widow who lives for pleasure is dead even while she lives.
(adequately teach them
the people these instructions, so that no one may be open to blame.
(those who don't
care for their family in need come under severe censure)
does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their
own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
(criteria for widows
who can be cared for by the church) No
widow may be put on the list of widows unless she is over sixty,
has been faithful to her husband, and is well known for her good
deeds, such as bringing up children, showing hospitality, washing
the feet of the Lord's people, helping those in trouble and devoting
herself to all kinds of good deeds.
(this doesn't include
younger widows who may yet marry again) As
for younger widows, do not put them on such a list. For when their
sensual desires overcome their dedication to Christ, they want
(often giving up on their
they bring judgment on themselves, because they have broken their
(they can become lazy)
get into the habit of being idle and going about from house to
house. And not only do they become idlers, but also busybodies
who talk nonsense, saying things they ought not to.
(so I recommend younger
widows to remarry where possible) So
I counsel younger widows to marry, to have children, to manage
their homes and to give the enemy no opportunity for slander.
(because some have already
abandoned the faith in pursing their desires) Some
have in fact already turned away to follow Satan.
(women with widows in
their family are best suited in caring for them) If
any woman who is a believer has widows in her care, she should
continue to help them and not let the church be burdened with
them, so that the church can help those widows who are really
Synopsis: being careful how you treat elders]
(senior leading leaders
who preach and teach deserve double honour) The
elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of
double honour, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching.
(according to the scriptures)
says, ‘Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain,'
[Deut 25:4] and
‘The worker deserves his wages.' [Luke
(don't be casual about
accusing them of anything) Do
not entertain an accusation against an elder unless it is brought
by two or three witnesses.
(but if they do sin and
need correcting do it publicly) But
those elders who are sinning you are to reprove before everyone,
so that the others may take warning.
Synopsis: beware the not-so-obvious]
impartial in obedience) I
charge you, in the sight of God and Christ Jesus and the elect
angels, to keep these instructions without partiality, and to
do nothing out of favouritism.
(careful who you bless)
Do not be hasty
in the laying on of hands, and do not share in the sins of others.
Keep yourself pure.
(look after your health)
only water, and use a little wine because of your stomach and
your frequent illnesses.
(watch for the effects
of different sins which will eventually come to light) The
sins of some are obvious, reaching the place of judgment ahead
of them; the sins of others trail behind them.
(similarly acts of good)
In the same
way, good deeds are obvious, and even those that are not obvious
cannot remain hidden for ever.
to CHAPTER 6)