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FRAMEWORKS: Paul's FIRST letter to Timothy

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Frameworks: 1 Timothy 5


v.1-16   Caring for Widows

v.17-20 Honouring Elders

v.21-25 Misc. Instructions


[Chapter 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.]



v.1-16 Caring for Widows


[Passage Synopsis: The need for the pastor to recognise the position of different widows and teach caring accordingly.]


v.1,2 (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.

v.3  (recognise those who are genuine widows) Give proper recognition to those widows who are really in need.

v.4 (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.

v.5  (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.

v.6 (a widow who is pleasure-orientate is in trouble) But the widow who lives for pleasure is dead even while she lives.

v.7 (adequately teach them all) Give the people these instructions, so that no one may be open to blame.

v.8  (those who don't care for their family in need come under severe censure) Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

v.9,10 (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.

v.11 (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 to marry.

v.12 (often giving up on their faith) Thus they bring judgment on themselves, because they have broken their first pledge.

v.13 (they can become lazy) Besides, they 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.

v.14 (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.

v.15 (because some have already abandoned the faith in pursing their desires) Some have in fact already turned away to follow Satan.

v.16 (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 in need.



v.17-20 Honouring Elders


[Passage Synopsis: Be careful how you treat elders.]


v.17 (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.

v.18 (according to the scriptures) For Scripture says, ‘Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain,' [Deut 25:4] and ‘The worker deserves his wages.' [Luke 10:7]

v.19 (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.

v.20 (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.



v.21-25 Misc. Instructions


[Passage Synopsis: Beware the not-so-obvious.]


v.21 (be 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.

v.22 (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.

v.23 (look after your health) Stop drinking only water, and use a little wine because of your stomach and your frequent illnesses.

v.24 (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.

v.25 (similarly acts of good) In the same way, good deeds are obvious, and even those that are not obvious cannot remain hidden for ever.



Continue to Chapter 6