"THE FIRST EPISTLE TO TIMOTHY" Chapter Five OBJECTIVES IN STUDYING THIS CHAPTER 1) To appreciate the responsibility we have toward our families, especially widows 2) To consider under what circumstances widows may be "taken into the number" 3) To note the distinction between the work of the church and the responsibility of individual Christians 4) To review our responsibilities toward those who serve as elders SUMMARY This chapter contains Paul's instructions to Timothy regarding various members of the congregation. He starts with the members in general, counseling Timothy to consider them as family, and exhorting them accordingly (1-2). A major section is then devoted to the care of widows, in which some may be "taken into the number". What this phrase refers to is unclear, but it may involve congregational support on a long-term basis. Only those who are truly widows (as defined in verse 5) and who meet certain qualifications (listed in verse 9-10) are to be so honored. Younger widows are expected to remarry and have children, while widows with children and grandchildren are to be supported by their own family rather than burden the church (3-16). Several remarks are then made regarding elders (not just older Christians, but those serving as overseers). Elders who rule well are to be worthy of financial support, especially if they are laboring in the word and doctrine. Accusations against an elder are not to be taken seriously unless there be two or three witnesses. Those elders who are sinning need to be publicly rebuked so that the rest may fear (17-20). Paul then gives Timothy a solemn charge to be free from prejudice and partiality as he goes about his duties. He is also to be cautious about those he may commend, being careful to keep himself pure from others' sins. The chapter concludes with advice for treating Timothy's stomach ailment, and a reminder that both sins and good works will eventually become evident (21-25). OUTLINE I. INSTRUCTIONS CONCERNING THE MEMBERS (1-20) A. EXHORTING THE MEMBERS (1-2) 1. Older men as fathers, younger men as brothers (1) 2. Older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, with all purity (2) B. HONORING WIDOWS (3-16) 1. Honor those who are truly widows (3) 2. Widows with children or grandchildren should be taken care of by them (4) a. That they may learn to show piety at home and repay their parents b. This is good and acceptable before God 3. Contrast between a true widow and one who is not (5-6) a. A true widow (5) 1) One who is left alone (5a) 2) One who trusts in God (5b) 3) One who continues in supplications night and day (5c) b. The one who lives in pleasure is dead while she lives (6) 4. Command these things that people may be blameless (7) 5. One who does not provide for his own, especially his household... (8) a. Has denied the faith b. Is worse than an unbeliever 6. Regarding the church support of widows (9-16) a. Qualifications for those who can be taken into the number (9-10) 1) Not under sixty years of age 2) The wife of one man 3) Well reported for good works 4) Has brought up children 5) Has lodged strangers 6) Has washed the saints' feet 7) Has relieved the afflicted 8) Has diligently followed every good work b. Reasons to reject younger widows (11-13) 1) When they begin to grow wanton against Christ, they desire to marry 2) Casting off their first faith, they have condemnation 3) They learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house as busybodies and gossips c. Counsel for younger widows (14-15) 1) To marry, bear children, manage the house 2) To give no opportunity for the adversary to speak reproachfully 3) For some already have turned aside after Satan d. Those widows with believing children (16) 1) The children should relieve them 2) Do not burden the church, that it may relieve those who are truly widows C. TREATMENT OF ELDERS (17-20) 1. Those who rule well (17-18) a. They are counted worthy of double honor b. Especially those who labor in the word and doctrine c. Scriptural basis for supporting elders: 1) "You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain" 2) "The laborer is worthy of his wages" 2. Those who don't rule well (19-20) a. Don't receive an accusation against an elder except from two or three witnesses (19) b. Elders who are sinning (20) 1) Should be rebuked in the presence of all 2) So that the rest may fear II. FURTHER INSTRUCTIONS RELATED TO TIMOTHY (21-25) A. THE CHARGE GIVEN HIM BY PAUL (21) 1. Given before God, the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels 2. To observe these things without prejudice, doing nothing with partiality B. WARNINGS AGAINST HASTY RECOMMENDATIONS (22) 1. Don't lay hands hastily on anyone 2. Don't share in other people's sins 3. Keep yourself pure C. COUNSEL FOR ALLEVIATING HIS STOMACH PROBLEMS (23) 1. No longer drink only water 2. Use a little wine for the sake of his stomach and frequent infirmities D. REMINDER CONCERNING SIN AND GOOD WORKS (24-25) 1. Some sins are clearly evident; others we learn after the judgment (24) 2. The same is true regarding good works (25)
REVIEW QUESTIONS FOR THE CHAPTER Move your mouse pointer underneath each question to see the answer.
1) What are the main points of this chapter? 2) How was Timothy to exhort the members of the congregation? (1-2) 3) Why are widows with children or grandchildren to be taken care of by them? (4) 4) Who is truly a widow? (5) 5) What is said of one who will not provide for his own family? (8) 6) List the qualifications for a widow to be "taken into the number" (9-10) 7) What are the younger widows to do? Why? (14) 8) What two groups of widows are NOT to be "taken into the number"? (14,16) 9) How should elders who rule well be considered, especially if they labor in word and doctrine? (17) 10) What basis does Paul give for compensating elders? (18) 11) What is necessary to receive an accusation against an elder? (19) 12) What should be done with elders who are sinning? (20) 13) What serious charge was given to Timothy before God, the Lord, and the elect angels? (21) 14) What words of caution does Paul give Timothy? (22) 15) What advice does Paul give Timothy for his stomach ailments? (23) 16) What is true in regards to both sin and good works? (24-25)