How to Treat All People
Verse 1 – Do not rebuke an older man, but exhort him as a father, the younger men as brothers,
Verse 2 – the older women as mothers, the younger as sisters, with all purity.
As the leader of this church, Timothy was to correct the older men as he would his own father, with respect. Same respect for the older women, as if they were his mother. He was to do this when necessary anytime he saw error in their belief or conduct, with a loving caring heart.
Verse 3 – Honor widows who are really widows.
Verse 4 – But if any widow has children or grandchildren, let them first bear to show piety at home and to repay their parents; for this is good and acceptable before God.
If a woman who is widowed has children or grandchildren, it is the children’s responsibility to see that her needs are met. It is not the responsibility of the church or government to support her. However, when children or grandchildren neglect the true widow, the church should be the first responder. Does your church that you attend take care of your widows?
Verse 5 – Now she who is really a widow, and left alone, trusts in God and continues in supplications and prayers night and day.
She has no one to look to but God and relies on Him for all her needs. And He in turn will use the people and the resources of His church to take care of her.
Verse 6 – But she who lives in pleasure is dead while she lives.
Paul is talking about the widow who is well-off. One who seeks their own pleasures instead of helping others, she gains nothing.
Verse 7 – And these things command, that they may be blameless.
Paul meant for Timothy to announce these things so that the children knew their responsibility to their parents.
Verse 8 – But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
Even though Paul is addressing the widow, this statement also applies to the man of the house, husband or father. If a child or grandchild is in the home and the head of household doe not provide for their well-being, Paul says they are worse than an unbeliever. One can’t profess their love of Christ and neglect their family.
Verse 9 – Do not let a widow under sixty years old be taken into the number, and not unless she has been the wife of one man,
Verse 10 – well reported for good works; if she has brought up children, if she has lodged strangers, if she has washed the saints feet, if she has relieved the afflicted, if she has diligently followed every good work.
These are some pretty strong characteristics of a true widow, which is a good guideline for churches to follow. No widow in any given church, in this day and time, should be in need!
Verse 11 – But refuse the younger widows; for when they have begun to grow wanton against Christ, they desire to marry,
Verse 12 – having condemnation because they have cast off their first faith.
As best as I can understand this verse: Paul may have been talking about the young widows that had been dependent on the church for their needs, and then remarried with an unbeliever. They disregarded their faith just to have another husband.
Verse 13 – And besides they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house, and not only idle but also gossips and busybodies, saying things which they ought not.
Verse 14 – Therefore I desire that the younger widows marry, bear children, manage the house, give no opportunity to the adversary to speak reproachfully.
Verse 15 – For some have already turned aside after Satan.
“Turned away to follow Satan,” refers to the immoral conduct that identifies these women with their pagan neighbors.
Verse 16 – If a believing man or woman has widows, let hem relieve them, and do not let the church be burdened, that it may relieve those who are really widows.
Meaning: Any believers that have mothers or grandmothers, whose support would fall on them, then take care of every need they might have and don’t let it be someone else’s burden.
How to Treat Elders
Verse 17 – Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine.
The word used – “elder” or “presbyter” – refers to those who are officers in the church. They take care of the affairs of the church. But Paul gives a distinction that they should have knowledge of the word and know Christian doctrine.
Verse 18 – For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain,” and, “The laborer is worthy of his wages.”
When an elder of the church is called on to assist, preach, or help the church in any way, they should be allowed, and be paid.
Verse 19 – Do not receive an accusation against an elder except from two or three witnesses.
This should be done with any and all accusations against another. Too many times one person starts a rumor and they are never called-out on to prove it. These elders are to be respected and paid, according to these verses.
Verse 20 – Those who are sinning rebuke in the presence of all that the rest may fear.
Paul is still talking about elders. If they are proven by two or three witnesses, they are to be rebuked in front of the entire congregation. That way, others will know it could happen to them also.
Too many times in today’s churches, the whole congregation is aware of wrong doings being done by those who hold office or on the praise teams and nothing is done about it. That’s because not many churches believe in the higher standards that Paul set in place for the church. They are lacking in this area, just as they are lacking in preaching repentance and don’t bother with those who openly sin.
Observe These Things Without Prejudice
Verse 21 – I charge you before God and the Lord Jesus Christ and the elect angels that you observe these things without prejudice, doing nothing with partiality.
The “elect” angels are all the angels that did not rebel against God. Just as the believers are called the “elect. There is to not be any favoritism when one needs to be rebuked for sinning, but there usually is when they are friends with the pastor of the church.
Verse 22 – Do not lay hands on anyone hastily, nor share in other people’s sins; keep yourself pure.
So many have misunderstood this verse, but don’t take it out of context. You have to read the entire verse: Don’t lay hands on someone, without knowing well of the person that the elders are about to ordain. Don’t place people in authority that you don’t know. They need to know their life-style; how they treat their wives, children, and others in general.
By taking part in another’s sins, would be if Timothy laid hands on a man and that man was sinning and not fit for an office of the church.
Verse 23 – No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for your stomach’s sake and your frequent infirmities.
Paul was talking directly to Timothy. Perhaps Timothy had drunk some tainted water and had stomach aliments. We have a lot more medicine now for upset stomachs than to think this verse gives an open invitation to drink alcohol.
Verse 24 – Some men’s sins are clearly evident, preceding them to judgment, but those of some men follow later.
Verse 25 – Likewise, the good works of some are clearly evident, and those that are otherwise cannot be hidden.
Paul instructs Timothy to take care and caution when selecting ministers because sometimes their sin is not out in the open.