Wednesday, January 4, 2012

1 Timothy 5:1-2 Treatment of Church Members

"Do not rebuke an older man, but exhort him as a father, younger men as brothers, 2 older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, with all purity. "

Brief Commentary
Vs. 1-2 The Apostle Paul’s command to Timothy here is to respect those entrusted to his care. Therefore Timothy must not to rebuke an older man but exhort him as a father, elder woman as a mother; younger men as brothers; and younger woman as sisters, in all purity.
Now word used here to describe elders is also used in 4:14; 5:17; 19 to describe elder men in church governance. Here the context dictates what the Apostle Paul has in mind is elder men and woman in the church who by rank of their age; not just their positions in the church; should be treated with respect, as ones own parents (Eph. 6:1-3). Thus its not just church leadership that should be treated with deference, but all the churches seniors. Since God places great emphasis on respect for the elderly (Lev. 19:32). Timothy then as church Pastor or in any other capacity must not rebuke, lit. chastise with words the churches seniors or anyone else in the congregation. Therefore Timothy must not be abusive with his words when correcting those on whom correction must come. Same with the younger men, though Timothy was in a prominant position of church oversight he should not think of himself as anything other then a brother to all the young men and woman in the church. Therefore he should conduct himself accordingly towards them, for elitism (Matt. 23:8) or immorality should have no place amongst brethren (Matt. 5:28-30). Now the word translated rebuke in verse one is to be distinguished from the word used in verse twenty, which is also, translated rebuke. The word used in verse one appears only here in the N.T. and is a word that means to inflict injury or insult. While the word used in verse twenty is given in a context of the Apostle Paul commanding Timothy as the church’s Pastor to expose and rebuke those that are sinning in the presence of all that the rest may fear (See Lev. 19:17 for a principal related to the Apostle’s command).

Scripture Quotations
The New King James Version. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1982

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