by Darrel Cline (darrelcline biblical-thinking.org)
Chapter # 5 Paragraph # 1 Study # 1 Lincolnton, NC September 25, 2005
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.
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 willbe 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.