In his Notes on the First Letter of Paul to Timothy, Kevin Gue, a deacon at Grace Heritage Church, begins by giving some insight into his method of studying through books of the Bible. Gue writes,
I begin always by reading the book several times to get the main themes and structure. I then construct an outline of the entire book, beginning with some brief research on its background. I beg my children [Gue’s book of notes is primarily addressed to his own children] not to skip the discipline of outlining- it is difficult work, but well worth it! God has given me many riches during this simple exercise.
Several years ago, I had the opportunity to substitute for Dr. Gue in leading the teaching at a Thursday night Bible study for GHC. I taught from 1 Timothy 5. In preparing to teach this chapter, I attempted to follow Kevin Gue’s model by first reading through the chapter carefully “to get the main themes and structure” and then constructed an outline of the chapter. The following outline comes from my reading with the aid of Gue’s notes:
1 Timothy 5: Instructions for Church Conduct
I. Introduction: The Guiding Principle
A. Appropriate Interaction of the Overseer with the Men of the Church (v. 1)
1. Older men are not to be rebuked, but encouraged as fathers (v. 1a.).
2. Younger men are to be treated as brothers (v. 1b.).
B. Appropriate Interaction of the Overseer with the Women of the Church (v. 2)
1. Older women are to be treated as mothers (v. 2a.).
2. Younger women are to be treated as sisters, in all purity (v. 2b.).
A. Care for Widows Primarily the Duty of the Widows’ Households (vv. 3-4, 8, 16)
1. Children or grandchildren of widows should be the first to care for the older widows in their family. (v. 3-4)
a. Caring for the older widows in our families is a way to demonstrate godliness.
b. Caring for the older widows in our families is a way to honor our parents.
c. Caring for the older widows (demonstrating godliness and obeying the Fifth Commandment) is pleasing in the sight of God.
2. Those in the Church who do not provide for their households are worse than unbelievers. (v. 8) [The following are two points on how this statement should be understood, first in light of the whole teaching of I Timothy, and second, in light of I Timothy 5.]
a. Those in the Church who do not provide for their households are worse than unbelievers in that they damage the testimony of the Church. (This is drawn out from previous discussion about I Timothy on the testimony of the Church before an unbelieving world.)
b. Those in the Church who do not provide for their households are worse than unbelievers in that they place an undue burden upon the Church. (v. 16)
B. Duties of Widows Receiving Church Support (vv. 5-7)
1. Widows receiving Church support are expected to dedicate themselves to God is a similar way that wives and mothers are dedicated to their families, serving Him and His Church through “supplications and prayers night and day” (v. 5).
2. Widows who are not going to remarry, and thus serve their families, and who are not truly serving the Church may as well be dead already (v. 6).
3. Elders are commanded to preach duties and warnings such as those above so that the widows will be without reproach (v. 7).
C. Qualifications for Enrollment of Widows for Church Support (vv. 9-10, 14a.)
1. Over 60 years old (v. 9a.).
2. A one-husband wife (v. 9b.). (This would not preclude widows who have previously been widowed and remarried; otherwise this requirement would tend to undermine v. 14a. following.)
3. Having a reputation for good works (v. 10a.), such as:
a. Bringing up children (v. 10b.).
b. Showing hospitality (v. 10c.).
c. Serving the saints (v. 10d.).
d. Caring for the afflicted (v. 10e.).
e. Miscellaneous (v. 10f.).
D. Command Against Enrolling Younger Widows (vv. 11-13, 14b.-15)
1. The negative aspect of the prohibition: Younger widows will NOT fulfill the duties mentioned above (vv. 11-12).
2. The positive aspect of the prohibition: They will become idlers, gossips, and busybodies, giving the adversary occasion for slander, and straying after Satan (vv. 13, 14b.-15).
A. Monetary Support of Elders (vv. 17-18)
1. Elders who rule well are to be considered worthy of double honor (v. 17).
2. Further Scriptural proof for this admonition (v. 18): Deut. 25:4 and Lk. 10:7.
B. Dealing With Charges Brought Against an Elder (vv. 19-21)
1. Charges must not be admitted “against an elder except on the evidence of two or three witnesses” (v. 19).
2. Elders who persist in sin should (as other Church members) be rebuked in front of the whole congregation (v. 20).
3. The rules of Church discipline are to be kept without prejudice or partiality (v. 21).
C. Maintaining the Purity of Church Leadership (vv. 22-25)
1. Purity is maintained through a sensible use of caution
a. Elders should not be hastily ordained (v. 22a.).
b. Existing elders must take care to keep themselves pure in this matter, especially by not hastily giving their approval to a “minister”, thus implicating themselves in any misdeeds that may result (v. 22b.).
c. The desire for purity should not result in elders being placed under extra-biblical demands, which could actually cause them physical harm (v. 23).
2. A principle underlying the command to use caution in waiting before ordaining an elder:
a. The negative aspect of the principle: We must wait to see if there are any disqualifying sins in the potential elder’s life- either obvious sins which precede the potential elder in automatically disqualifying him, or hidden or habitual sins, which could also disqualify the potential elder (v. 24).
b. The positive aspect of this principle: We must wait to see any qualifying marks in the potential elder’s life- some potential elders may be gifted in doing conspicuous good works, while some may have a quiet lifestyle of encouragement and godliness, which would also qualify them as an elder. (v. 25).
Labels: Bible study