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Honouring One Another -1 Timothy 5:1-16

30/05/2015

Honouring One Another

Text: 1 Timothy 5:1-16

How is everyday life in the church, the body of Christ different from that in any other social institution?

There is:-

1. Respect for Men! V1

Sometimes we have to rebuke people. When we rebuke someone who is older than us, we should do it with a soft voice, and an arm around the shoulder! So what about Timothy, when he had to give a warning or some serious advice to men…

  1. Treat older men like you would treat your father. Do not rebuke an older man, but exhort him as a father,.
  2. Treat younger men as you would treat your brother. younger men as brothers.

The only way to treat the men is as fathers and brothers – people who are your equals and who, when correction is needed, have to be corrected with love and with brotherly affection.

2. Respect for Women! V2

This is such an essential lesson for pastors today. How do you treat women in the congregation? Paul told Timothy to:-

  1. Treat older women as you would treat your mother. older women as mothers
  2. Treat younger women as you would treat your sister. younger women as sisters, with all purity

Now, you will notice that in both of those cases, the attitude of the pastor towards female members of his congregation must be loving but platonic.

Paul saw this Ephesian church in terms of a family who care deeply about each other.

3. Respect for Widows! Honour widows who are really widows

  1. Widows are to be provided for. Paul stresses that this is firstly the responsibility of the family, and if there is no family, then the church must care. Three times he returns to this subject, in verse 4, 8, 16.
  2. Widows are to live Godly lives. 5 She has time to devote herself to being a ‘housewife-theologian’. She has time to pray, to intercede for others. She won’t waste this time seeking worldly pleasure, but seeking the Lord and serving Him and her neighbour.
  3. Widows have a unique ministry in the church. 9&10 The ‘office of widow.’ It seems that there was an unofficial ‘Order of Widows’ in the early church, whose task it was to serve others, a little like deaconesses. There are conditions for admission to this group of ministering widows, and each of them would prove useful in their ministry.
    1. Doing ‘good works’. ‘Good works’ is more than just practical help for others though, her attitude in the home and in the church is a good work, worship, and the assembling of the saints is a good work. Her prayer life and attention to the word is a good work. She is an all round Christian.
    2. Children’s ministry. She will have had children, and will have been a Christian influence on their lives. 2 Timothy 2:5 2 Timothy 3:14 All of that experience can be put to work in the church.
    3. Hospitality. There were Inns in those days, often little more than brothels. How would a godly man or woman stay in such a place? The traveller needs an open door and a safe place to stay.
    4. Humble Compassion. if she has washed the saintsfeet, What compassion, – to love people so much, that you would do anything for them, no task too small or to lowly.
    5. Ministering to the sick. She will have brought relief to the afflicted. – a desire to draw alongside those who are afflicted, and to bring them comfort, even just by her presence and their prayers.
  4. We must beware of the dangers of idleness. 11  The best thing for the younger widows is that they should remarry, to keep them from temptation.

The Christian Church was different from the rest of society, for women were valued and cared for, children were loved and placed into the care of loving women, and men were regarded with respect, as fathers and brothers.

Sunday Lunch Menu

Starter: Talk with your family about how we fit in – how our family is part of our church family. How can we show respect for our brothers and sisters, and how can WE serve THEM? Ask, “What can I do to help and bless my brothers and sisters?”

Main Course: Talk about the dignity and respect that Christianity brought for women and children, and strongly impress upon your friends and family that it was Christianity that brought about such respect and equality in general society. Learn about William Wilberforce and the abolition of slavery and use his story to teach children about the sanctity of human life. Compare all of that with Islam, (and other religions) where woman and children have a much lower social status than men.

Desserts: Look up:

  • Proverbs 22:2. What have all men and women got in common?
  • Are people with different colours of skin less worthy than others? See Acts 17:26 for the answer.
  • Can a Christian ever hold a grudge? See Lev. 19:18

VERSE OF THE WEEK

And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:32

PRAY TOGETHER – That God will help us all, as members of His family – love and care for each other.

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