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Bible Commentaries

Bell's Commentary on the Bible

1 Timothy 5

Verses 1-25

  1. Intro:
    1. The church is not a corporation…it’s a family!
      1. One thing we’ve observe in the last 200 years of church history…If a church has people, that church has problems!
      2. We are a Fallible Flock of Flawed saints!
    2. Outline: Church Members; Church Widows; Church Leaders.
    3. Q: How should we treat people w/in the church?
      1. What if an elderly man steps out of line & needs rebuked?
      2. What if a young lady is after every guy in the church?
      3. How do you counsel the Don Juan flirt of the fellowship?
      4. What if an older lady is complaining? How do we handle her complaints?
      5. What about benevolence? “I once heard about a person/couple that the church didn’t help, they just sent them away?”
  2. ALL IN THE FAMILY! (1-25)
    1. CHURCH MEMBERS! (1,2)
    2. Basic Principles?
      1. Treat other people, the way we would treat members of our own family. [church is just a family “extension”]
      2. Having various groups in the church seems to be normal!
        1. Some churches today are trying to gear towards reachingone age group. Is this healthy? What does a family look like with only sisters, or all fathers? What dynamics would be lacking?
      3. The body of Christ contains people of all ages, abilities, & levels of maturity.
        1. Being aware of this diversity will help us respect, & when necessary, rebuke the saints in a way that glorifies God & strengthens the church. (Chuck Swindoll; pg.98)
    3. Older men – Treat them as respected Fathers.
      1. Rebuke – (only occurrence) it describes a severe verbal pounding!
        1. Treat them w/love, respect, & gentleness…rather than w/harsh rebuke. – Preserve their dignity & worth.
        2. So, is it ever right to rebuke? 2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.
        3. It’s not whether we should; it’s when & howgently!
    4. Younger men – Treat them as appreciated brothers.
      1. Don’t “talk down to” younger men. Remember back older men…what was important to us in our 20’s?
      2. We wanted respect! - We wanted to be treated as equals!
    5. Older women – Treat them as esteemed mothers.
      1. With respect, love & honor that we would show our own mothers.
    6. Younger women - Treat them w/protection, like your little sister.
      1. Maintain a purity that would banish all evil in thought & deed.
      2. Protect her, respect her, set a example for her, don’t compromise her integrity.
    7. The church is not a corporation…it’s a family!
    8. CHURCH WIDOWS! (3-16)
    9. Basic Principles?
    10. Not everyone who asks for help should receive it.
    11. Charity begins at home.
    12. Church leaders must exercise discernment lest they create more problems than they solve.
    13. 2 kinds of Widows: (3-8)
      1. [1] Those that had family to care for them
      2. [2] Those that didn’t.
    14. (8) See the seriousness of taking care of your own family.
      1. Perhaps some in the Ephesus church were avoiding their obligation to support their widow mothers & grandmothers.
      2. Relatives should assume the responsibility for their widows in their family & free the churches to use their resources for the widows who were left alone.
      3. Some have family…but their family won’t help out!
      4. Some are financially taken care of…but would love your friendship. Love to be involved in your family(if their’s isn’t around). - Love to be spiritually encouraged. - Love accountability. – Ministering to the whole person!
    15. The Real Widow! (5)
      1. The real widow is one who is really in need!
      2. [1] She’s left alone – no relatives to support her. And no source of income, or encouragement.
        1. Remember, women didn’t have the choice of careers that they have today. No pension plan. No Social Security for them to depend on. [The church needed a plan to care for them]
      3. Our problem today seems to be more in regards to divorced moms trying their best to get by. [or maybe it’s the poor, the helpless, the jobless, elderly, convicts, or ex-cons]
        1. We must take care of all the needy in Gods family.
        2. It’s not optional; it’s essential!
        3. And as we do, we imitate the One who is a father to the fatherless, a husband to the widow, & a provider for the poor! [we are His channel of compassion!]
      4. [2] She puts her trust in God – she has a continuous confidence in God. She “has fixed her hope on God” (Williams Translation)
      5. [3] She prays night & day – a metaphor describing a person who prays continually.
      6. [4] She is 60 or older (9a)
      7. [5] She was faithful to her husband. (9b)
      8. [6] She is well known for her good deeds[NIV] (10a)
        1. Which would include: raising her kids & given to hospitality.
        2. Note: they start at home & move outward from there!
    16. (6) Pleasure – i.e. abandonment to pleasure.
      1. This person is described in detail in vs.11-16.
      2. She is in contrast to the praying women of vs.5.
    17. Younger Widows (11-16)
      1. (12) cast off their 1st faith – or their pledge of service(i.e. to Christ)
      2. (13) Probably the result of financially taken care of?
      3. (14) The solution for them? Urged to remarry & assume the responsible behavior appropriate to married women.
      4. “If idle hands are the devils workshop, then busy hands are God’s tool kit.”
      5. (16) Families, not the church are the 1st line of support for widows.
        1. Parents, carrying for their children is a very serious responsibility. But there comes a day when the tables are turned, & carrying for parents is our responsibility!
        2. Again, many times families are not available to help!
    18. CCM’s Benevolence:
      1. ​​​​​​​We draw many principles from this text.
      2. Simply tossing money at every problem would have been poor stewardship.
        1. “We are not to abandon wisdom & discernment in order to exercise compassion!!!” (Ibid; pg.109)
      3. Don’t get upset if we have to ask questions.
        1. We’ve had some that are seeking for financial help that had a few homes, boats, etc.
        2. We try to impart Basic Financial Planning. {i.e. basic cable?}
      4. Our goals must be: Respect; Compassion; & Responsibility!
      5. If we have handled you wrong please come & make it right with us.
      6. I’ve done well with some of you…I’ve done terrible with others!
    19. CHURCH LEADERS! (17-25)
    20. (17,18) Story: Three small boys were bragging about their dads. The 1st boy said: "My dad writes a few short lines on paper, calls it a poem, sends away, and gets $100 for it.""My dad," said the second, "makes dots on paper, calls it a song, sends it away, and gets $200 for it.""That's nothing," declared the third boy. "My father writes a sermon on a sheet of paper, gets up in the pulpit and reads it, and it takes four men to bring in the money!"
    21. Some merit recognition(17,18) & some merit correction!(19,20).
      1. (17) The double honor means pay or financial remuneration.
        1. Again we see the highest responsibility is around the “preaching & teaching”.
    22. Problems come:
      1. When we believe reports that can’t be verified (19,20)
        1. This wasn’t urging special treatment for the elder, just fair protection from any impulsive accusations. (Shepherds Notes; pg.32)
          1. Sometimes a pastor is unpopular for speaking the truth in a counseling situation.
          2. Those who continue in sin after being warned in private should be rebuked before the entire congregation.
            1. This is obviously not step one. Jesus laid the stepsout in Mt.18:15-17.
          3. “Church discipline is God’s prescription for restoring wayward sheep, maintaining holiness in the flock, & warning the church of sin’s destructive power!” (Chuck Swindoll; pg.102)
      2. When we observe things w/prejudice or partiality (21)
        1. Hear the charge!
      3. When we make decisions before getting the facts (22)
        1. Both hasty accusations & hasty decisions are dangerous!
      4. When we get duped by someone’s clean reputation, & can’t discern their true character (24,25)
    23. (22) Keep yourself pure –
      1. One day a young minister was being escorted through a coal mine. At the entrance of one of the dim passageways, he spied a beautiful white flower growing out of the black earth. "How can it blossom in such purity and radiance in this dirty mine?" the preacher asked. "Throw some coal dust on it and see for yourself," his guide replied. When he did, he was surprised that the fine, sooty particles slid right off the snowy petals, leaving the plant just as lovely and unstained as before. Its surface was so smooth that the grit and grime could not adhere to it.
      2. Our hearts should have the same characteristic. Just as that flower could not control its habitat, so we cannot help it that we have to live in a world filled with evil. But God's grace can keep us so clean and unspotted that though we touch every side, it will not cling to us.
    24. (23) Some have used this verse to justify habitual drinking, like W.C. Fields who said, “I only keep a bottle around incase of snakebites. I also keep a small snake.”
    25. We dare not neglect the body, for often spiritual dullness and dryness come from the simple fact that the body is tired and neglected. No machine will run well unless it is cared for; and neither will the body. Mens sana in corpore sano, a healthy mind in a healthy body, was the old Roman ideal, and it is the Christian ideal too.E. F. Brown has well stated: “The verse shows that while total abstinence may be recommended as a wise counsel, it is never to be enforced as areligious obligation.” Paul is simply saying that there is no virtue in an asceticism which does the body more harm than good. (The letters to Timothy, Titus, and Philemon. 2000, c1975 (W. Barclay, lecturer in the University of Glasgow, Ed.). The Daily study Bible series, Rev. ed. Philadelphia: The Westminster Press.)
      1. It was “a little” & it was “medicinal”.
      2. Timothy, don’t neglect your own health. Apply whatever remedy is necessary for your own physical ailment.
        1. Medicine is not the enemy of faith.
    26. (25) How do you view your pastor(s)?
      1. Q: What expectations do you place on them? Are they realistic?
      2. Q: Do you take into account the different pastors schedules, their abilities, their gifts, & the priorities of scripture?
      3. Q: How do you respond when one of your pastors does something you think is wrong?
      4. Q: Do you allow the pastor room to grow?
      5. Q: Have you ever approached the pastor personally about some of your concerns? (or, is talking to a friend about him more of your style?)
      6. Q: What can you do this week to show one of your pastors, elders, or leaders that you honor them?
      7. Pray: that we wouldn’t be defensive; that we would stay away from moral compromise; that we would be accountable; & keep integrity.
    27. According to legend the angels of heaven, observing the beauty of a noted bishop's life, offered him the power to heal the sick and to perform miracles. The old bishop declined, saying, "The thing I most desire is that God would bestow upon me the gift of doing a great deal of good without even knowing it myself." Consequently, as the bishop walked upon the earth wherever his shadow fell the hearts of men cheered, little children laughed and tired men rested. J
      1. Humble goodness brings the gift of joy to others.
Copyright Statement
These files are the property of Brian Bell.
Text Courtesy of Calvary Chapel of Murrieta. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 5". "Bell's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/1-timothy-5.html. 2017.