In our communities we hear about the people of God, and the respect they show, or the lack of it. We will do well to practice what the text teaches, as we seek to constantly improve in the manner we show respect.
1. Showing Respect Generally to the . . Family of God.
1 Do not rebuke an older man, but exhort him as a father, younger men as brothers, 2 older women as mothers, and with all propriety, the younger women as sisters.
A. Showing Respect Generally to the . . Men in
the Family of God. v 1
1. Older Men. v 1a
2. Younger Men. v 1b
B. Showing Respect Generally to the . . Women in the Family of God.
1. Older Women. v 2a
2. Younger Women. v 2b
Paul encourages us to show respect generally in the
church. He begins with the elder Christians. This week I heard of a rather
prominent church (not Baptist) where the pastor supposedly said "we don't
want senior adults in our church." The text tells us to treat the older
men as fathers, and the older women as mothers. We are to treat the younger
men as brothers, and the younger ladies as sisters. Of course, Paul had
in mind godly families.
2. Showing Respect Specifically to the . . Widows of God.
A. The . . Portrayal of Support to Widows. v 3,
3 Support widows who are genuinely widows. . . . 5 The real widow, left all alone, has put her hope in God and continues night and day in her petitions and prayers; . . . 9 No widow should be placed on the official support list unless she is at least 60 years old, has been the wife of one husband, 10 and is well known for good works--that is, if she has brought up children, shown hospitality, washed the saints' feet, helped the afflicted, and devoted herself to every good work.
1. The . . Genuine Widows. v 3
2. The . . Real Widow. v 5
B. The . . Practice of Support to Widows. v 4,&
4 But if any widow has children or grandchildren, they should learn to practice their religion toward their own family first and to repay their parents, for this pleases God.. . . 8 Now if anyone does not provide for his own relatives, and especially for his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. . . .
C. The . . Perversion of Support to Widows. v 6
6 however, she who is self-indulgent is dead even while she lives. 7 Command this, so that they won't be blamed.
Many first century Christian
men were killed because of their faith. This caused many women to be widows.
The church wanted to take care of these ladies, but needed some basic guidelines.
Paul begins by giving a portrait of the genuine widow. She will have displayed
the finest kind of Christian service, married only once, and be at least
sixty years of age. A further portrait displays this woman as a person
of prayer. However in actual practice of care for the widows, her children
or grandchildren should take care of her needs rather than burden the church.
Paul says if they will not do this they are worse than an unbeliever, they
deny the faith. A widow might pervert the ministry of the church if she
"is self-indulgent" rather than seeking to advance the church's ministry.
3. Showing Respect Specifically to the . . Minister of God.
A. Be . . Generous in Respecting the Office of
Minister. v 17-18
17 The elders who are good leaders should be considered worthy of an ample honorarium,
especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching. 18 For the Scripture says: You
must not muzzle an ox that is threshing grain, and, The laborer is worthy of his wages.
B. Be . . Gentle in Respecting the Office of Minister.
19 Don't accept an accusation against an elder unless it is supported by two or three
C. Be . . Gallant in Respecting the Office of Minister.
20 Publicly rebuke those who sin, so that the rest will also be afraid.
D. B e . . Genuine in Respecting the Office of
Minister. v 21
21 I solemnly charge you, before God and Christ Jesus and the elect angels, to observe these
things without prejudice, doing nothing out of favoritism.
Today if a husband tells his wife I believe God is calling me to the ministry she may cringe and say "oh no." If a youth comes home and announces he/she has been called to some kind of ministry the parents may cringe. Why? Because so many have had "Roast Preacher" for lunch for years. I have seen several surrender to the ministry (two in the past 18 months), and I am pleased to report they treated the call with joy and obedience. How would you treat the call of God to leave your present life and pursue training for the ministry?
Paul urges a generous respect
for the minister. If he works hard at preaching and teaching his salary
should be double that of a minister who does not study and work hard. We
should be gentle in hearing an accusation against a minister, and then
only when we have two are three witnesses. We are to be gallant in rebuking
a minister who will not abide by the teachings of scripture. He is to be
rebuked publicly. Then respect must be shown to the office of pastor as
we do not play favorites, but stand up to any who do not preach and teach
the word of God. Let's show respect. Amen? Amen!