Chapter # 5 Paragraph # 1 Study # 1
1 Rebuke not an elder, but intreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren;
2 The elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters, with all purity.
1901 ASV Translation:
1 Rebuke not an elder, but exhort him as a father; the younger men as brethren:
2 the elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters, in all purity.
September 25, 2005
- I. Paul's Change of Focus in His Instruction to Timothy.
- A. He switches from the focus upon Timothy and his own personal needs to a focus upon dealing with people within the Church.
- B. The switch is to generalities -- the entire Church within four categories: male, female, old, and young.
- II. The Principles.
- A. The "principles" are aligned under one assumption: there will be a need for addressing the flawed behavior of people (there is no need to caution Timothy about the way to address folks unless there will be a reason to do so).
- B. Elderly men are to be handled with respect (this is not "elders" as leaders of the church, whose sins are to be addressed publicly as Paul says in 5:20).
- 1. They are not to be beaten down.
- a. The word was used of "chastising with words".
- b. It seems to be likened unto our "brow-beating".
- 2. They are to be "summoned".
- 3. They are to be treated as a "father".
- a. This automatically calls for "honor": the fundamental instruction for the treatment of "fathers" is "to honor".
- b. This calls for careful consideration when an older man is out of line.
- C. Young men are to be treated as "brothers".
- D. Elderly women are to be treated as "mothers".
- E. Young women are to be treated as "sisters" with a special focus upon "purity".
- 1. Taking advantage of women who are already out of line is, apparently, not a difficult thing to accomplish.
- 2. "Purity" requires a specific focus upon a genuine attempt to "summons" one to a true life of faith and love.
- III. The Implications.
- A. The very idea that one might "beat" someone with words implies the reality that people very often do not walk in the humility of faith.
- 1. This is the reality of human beings: we are far more prone to selfish disbelief than we are to loving fidelity.
- a. This is true both ways -- those who are not living properly need to be addressed; and those who would do the "addressing" must be very careful that they are doing what they expect others to do.
- b. The very idea that one might be tempted to "brow-beat" someone else indicates that it is easier to see the problems in others than it is to see them in oneself.
- 2. The reality of "ministry" is, therefore, the reality of attempting to get people to cease focusing upon themselves and to begin to focus upon the Lord and His Christ.
- B. The idea addresses a "method" of dealing with others...
- 1. Generally, the "method" needs to be "appealing".
- 2. It is only after that "method" has failed that other, more conflict-ladened, methods are to be used.
- a. There is such a thing as a legitimate "severe rebuke" both illustrated by Jesus in His tirade against the hypocrits and commanded by Paul of Titus in Crete.
- b. The issue is whether one has been confronted with gentleness and resisted it altogether.