It is good to come back to studying the Scriptures. I enjoyed time with family. I hope you felt the presence of God during this past week as He faithfully walked with you. We will continue studying 1 Timothy. Paul has been teaching Timothy how to live out God’s ways every day. We have been learning the practical side to living out our faith. Go ahead and read 1 Timothy 5 for today’s study lesson. Paul is going to help us to understand how to treat people at church.
In the first two verses, Paul teaches how to treat others. How are you to speak to older men? How about young men, older women and younger women? You can see by these verses that God wants you and I to treat others like family with respect and dignity.
Verses 3-16 talks about widows in the church. Widows, along with orphans, are to be cared for by the congregation. Read James 1:27 for added insight. You read about a true widow in verse 5. This refers to a woman who is alone with no family. The church is called by God to tend to the needs of a woman who is truly alone. What does Paul say in verse 4 about a widow who has children and grandchildren? What is their role towards her? When a woman’s family takes care of her, this pleases God.
What is the attitude of a true widow’s heart in verse 5? Who is she relying on?
In verse 6, you get a different picture of a widow. Who does she rely on? She loves what the world has to offer more than God. Because there are two kinds of people, believers and unbelievers, Paul tells you in verse 7 to have instructions put in place so reproach doesn’t come upon the church. It is good to remember that believers need to keep themselves pure from worldly idolatry.
You read a stark warning in verse 8. What is the warning? Taking care of your family is very important to God.
Verses 9-10 refers to a widow who is older. For her to receive support, she must walk in the ways of the Lord. What are the traits of a true widow?
Paul says in verses 11-15 that younger widows should not receive the same kind of support. Why would that be? What does Paul advise her to do so she doesn’t get lazy and allow worldly distractions to overpower her devotion to God?
According to verses 14-15, what is the warning for young widows that is the same for any believer? You and I need to walk in step with Christ every day, for if we don’t, we will find ourselves going astray with the enemy.
Finally, Paul reiterates in verse 16 what he has been saying all along, if a woman has a relative who is a widow, she is to take care of her. This gives room for the church to help care for the widows who are truly alone. It is biblical that relatives care for one another.
In verses 17-18, Paul talks about another group within the church. Elders are men who help in making sure the church runs effectively and remains godly. They oversee the congregation in teaching and preaching. Paul refers to Old Testament scripture, Deuteronomy 25:4, in how elders deserve to be paid for the work they do. In verse 17, elders are to be respected and paid well.
In verses 19-23, Paul teaches about believers conduct within the church. What is the first lesson Paul gives, see verse 19? How should sin be dealt with according to verse 20? While this is harsh and no one would want to experience that, why do you think God has it this way? Don’t be quick to judge, see verse 21. God does not show favoritism, so we are not to either.
What are three things believers are called to do, see verse 22? What is Paul wanting you to understand?
Verse 23 is an odd statement from Paul. Commentary says it may have to do with purity from verse 22. Timothy may have struggled with a stomach ailment. The reference to drinking a little wine is for medical purposes, not for self-indulgence.
Paul ends his teaching reminding you that while everyone sins, some sins will be obvious while others are not. Regardless of what you see, God knows your sins and they will get revealed at some point. It is the same with good deeds.
It is good to remember that God is in control, and He knows your heart better than you do. You are called to live in unity with others as you love others like Christ loves you. You will leave judging others to God knowing He will take care of everything in the end.
You are to be found caring for others with the same love that God bestows on you.