1 Timothy Chapter 5

Paul commends righteous behaviour in fellowship to Timothy's keeping as follows, to respect those well edified in the faith, approaching such in request (or to their edifiying) as to a father, as to the younger men as to brothers, no matter their faith, (v1) the older women as to mothers and the younger as sisters. (No such distinction as regards correction - Timothy being in authority as a man.) In all purity, without any improper behaviour. (v2) Paul commands him to honour widows who are genuinely widows and whom are kept by the fellowship. (v3) Though if any widow have children, or young relatives, let them learn to display godly behaviour amongst their own family and to honour their parents, for that is good behaviour for them. (v4)

Now, true widows are those who are poor, and have devoted their whole life to their requests by prayer to God at all times. (v5) But a woman who lives in pleasure, not concerned with the things of God is dead while she is alive. (v6) These things Paul tells Timothy to straitly charge all such women with, that they may be blameless. (v7) - If any man does not provide for his own household, he has neglected the faith, worse so than an unbeliever - (How much more so should their fellowship care for the downtrodden and oppressed amongst them!) (v8)

So, Paul instructs Timothy to not accept as a widow under the keeping of the fellowship's expense any woman under sixty years old, that has been the wife of only one man. Accept those however that are well known for good works, lodging strangers out of the gospel; having washed the saints feet with acceptance on their travels, if she has helped the afflicted, if she has followed after every good manner of deed. (v10) But refuse the younger widows, because when they are at ease they will remarry. (v11) The implication is that the keeping by the fellowship's purse is permanent, there is no second decision to sever them as an unwarranted expense when the decision was made before God.

Such young widows who are kept by the purse might grow careless for the gospel and "marry" casting off their first faith - (Paul's use of the term relates to sexual intercourse, as a previous epistle has shown.) having previously agreed to be as dedicated as the above description of a worthy widow shows. Thereby abusing the purse. (v12) They would learn to be idle, going from house to house whilst being both kept as an expense, and being meddlesome busibodies interfering in the allowances of respect offered them by others. (v13)

So, Paul confers judgement to Timothy that the younger women marry and have children, guide the household of their husband and give no occasion to the opposition of satan to speak in such a manner as to bring the gospel into disrepute. (v14) For some young women as widows have already turned away from Christ as the above has related. (v15) So, If any man have the care of a widow, let the man pay for them rather than letting the expense be that of the fellowship, so that real support can be given those entirely in need. (v16)

Paul also recommends that a double payment be given to those elders in the faith that have laboured in the teaching of the gospel full time, not sparing theirselves for normal employment. (v17) They that preach the gospel to edify all, they are worthy of carnal repayment by lodging and purse - for the scripture says as much, (God does not care for oxen) (v17,v18)

Paul commands Timothy not to hear an accusation against any elder unless brought by two or more witnesses - to rebuke those that have sinned before all so that others may fear to become overseers. (If they are not worthy of that good work.) (v19,v20) Paul expressly commands Timothy to show impartiality in all of the things contained in this chapter, not showing preference or respect of persons one over another - that he appears just. (v21) (The principal requirement of a bishop over his own household, Timothy being young, doesnt have one as yet except for his commission.)

Paul expressly tells him not to seize upon a man suddenly, neither be used despitefully as an instrument of malice, but to keep himself above reproach. (v22) Paul offers Timothy a little advice. He must appear sober, but Paul suggests some wine (v23) to steady Timothy's stomach and stop any trembling, so he appears calm and in control as he inwardly should be, approaching every situation carefully and evenly. Paul states some men's sins are openly displayed, but other's are hidden. Caution is recommended in just judgement, (v24) but the good works of men are known beforehand, or else can not be hid on enquiring. (v25.) Thus caution is a sensible approach. Timothy should be calm and take his time.

Continue To Next Page

Return To Section Start

Return To Previous Page