Pure and Undefiled Religion.

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Honor Widows

1 Timothy 5
1 Do not sharply rebuke an older man, but rather appeal to him as a father, to the younger men as brothers, 2 the older women as mothers, and the younger women as sisters, in all purity.
3 Honor widows who are widows indeed; 4 but if any widow has children or grandchildren, they must first learn to practice piety in regard to their own family and to make some return to their parents; for this is acceptable in the sight of God. 5 Now she who is a widow indeed and who has been left alone, has fixed her hope on God and continues in entreaties and prayers night and day. 6 But she who gives herself to wanton pleasure is dead even while she lives. 7 Prescribe these things as well, so that they may be above reproach. 8 But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
9 A widow is to be put on the list only if she is not less than sixty years old, having been the wife of one man, 10 having a reputation for good works; and if she has brought up children, if she has shown hospitality to strangers, if she has washed the fnsaints’ feet, if she has assisted those in distress, and if she has devoted herself to every good work. 11 But refuse to put younger widows on the list, for when they feel sensual desires in disregard of Christ, they want to get married, 12 thus incurring condemnation, because they have set aside their previous pledge. 13 At the same time they also learn to be idle, as they go around from house to house; and not merely idle, but also gossips and busybodies, talking about things not proper to mention. 14 Therefore, I want younger widows to get married, bear children, keep house, and give the enemy no occasion for reproach; 15 for some have already turned aside to follow Satan. 16 If any woman who is a believer has dependent widows, she must assist them and the church must not be burdened, so that it may assist those who are widows indeed. NASB

Paul is a spiritual father to Timothy, Timothy’s mentor. He looks upon him his true son in the faith; Timothy had been left in Ephesus to oversee the church that Paul established there and he seeks to instruct Timothy in the affairs of the church. In Theological seminaries this subject is known as Ecclesiology (Theological study of the church) and the Epistles Paul wrote to the Thessalonians and to Timothy are used as course material.
Paul wants to instruct Timothy in the treatment of the flock of God, the people in a church is the Church.  A Church is not a building. The Church is the believers which assemble together wether it be in a building or out in the open. The people are the Bride Church of Christ.
V .”1 Do not sharply rebuke an older man, but rather appeal to him as a father, to the younger men as brothers, 2 the older women as mothers, and the younger women as sisters, in all purity.”
So clear and true. How we treat people is so important. Nobody especially an older man wants to be reproved by a young man. So we are to treat them as fathers with all respect as we entreat him to come alongside and talk to him privately.
“the older women as mothers, and the younger women as sisters, in all purity.”
Treat them with love and respect, but from a pure heart with purity which means sinlessness of life.
V 3-4. “Honor widows who are widows indeed; but if any widow has children or grandchildren, they must first learn to practice piety in regard to their own family and to make some return to their parents; for this is acceptable in the sight of God.”
The early church provided for true widows (See Acts 6) and Paul is going to instruct Timothy on true widows. An elderly widowed woman who had no son to support her was in distress in the first century. But if she had descendants who were believers it was their primary responsibility to provide for her basic needs. Our Lord’s half-brother who was a pillar of the early church in Jerusalem said, “Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.” James 1:27
V 5. “Now she who is a widow indeed and who has been left alone, has fixed her hope on God and continues in entreaties and prayers night and day.”
These are the widows that the church is supposed to take care of, “the ones who have been left alone.” These prayer warriors are the backbone of every congregation and we may just be surprised to see just Who is the greatest in the Kingdom when we get there. It will not be the overpaid hirelings who devour widows houses, but make long prayers in pretense. Jesus the Christ warned us of such hypocrites.
Sadly today organized religion spends very little on the care of widows and what care is provided is done by the true Church, the people in their benevolence. Sadly today many children turn their backs on their elderly parents, but it should not be so among us. They are our primary responsibility and it is pleasing to God our Father who sees the real motivations of our hearts.
V 6. “But she who gives herself to wanton pleasure is dead even while she lives.”
This is directed at the wealthy widow who lives only for her own pleasure. It was not uncommon for wealthy widows in the first century to have young handsome salves and to use them for immoral purposes. So Cougars who prey on young men and give themselves over to pleasure is nothing new and just like a dirty old man these women are spiritually dead even though they are alive.
V 7. “Prescribe these things as well, so that they may be above reproach.”
Command these things, give these instructions, Paul is going today down the Law of Love and it is not just lip service.
V 8. “But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”
Again you can’t make it anymore clear than this. Turn your back on your family and you are turning away from God.
V 9-10. “A widow is to be put on the list only if she is not less than sixty years old, having been the wife of one man, having a reputation for good works; and if she has brought up children, if she has shown hospitality to strangers, if she has washed the saints’ feet, if she has assisted those in distress, and if she has devoted herself to every good work.”
These are the qualifications of those widows that the church should provide for. Although feet washing is no longer practiced it can be thought of as being willing to do the most menial task. When I was growing up the Mother in law of my childhood Pastor would come down to the church to clean it. Man she cleaned the toilets and everything. Her Grandson would call me up and we’d go down there and help her to clean. For many years I thought of that service to The Lord as the greatest service I had ever rendered. And many an assistant Pastor at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa started the same way. They’d come on into the office and say, “Pastor Chuck, God spoke to me that I was to be a minister here.” Pastor Chuck would say, “Great.” He’d make a call and in a short time the janitor would show up and lead the young bewildered man away. Some of the best Pastors in Calvary Chapels around the nation started just that way.
V 11-13. “But refuse to put younger widows on the list, for when they feel sensual desires in disregard of Christ, they want to get married, thus incurring condemnation, because they have set aside their previous pledge. At the same time they also learn to be idle, as they go around from house to house; and not merely idle, but also gossips and busybodies, talking about things not proper to mention.”
“Younger widows” the Greek word used here is νέος neos meaning new, young, youthful and it is the same word used in verse 2 for younger women to be treated as sisters. Well a young person needs to be active and make something out of their lives for if they don’t they learn to be idle. Also to serve in this special ministry of widows they need the maturity and dedication to serve.
“…for when they feel sensual desires in disregard of Christ, they want to get married, thus incurring condemnation, because they have set aside their previous pledge.” In Judaism there were these women who were called to serve at the door of the Tabernacle of meeting.

Exd 38:8
He made the laver of bronze and its base of bronze, from the bronze mirrors of the serving women who assembled at the door of the tabernacle of meeting.

1Sa 2:22
Now Eli was very old; and he heard all that his sons were doing to all Israel, and how they lay with the women who served at the doorway of the tent of meeting.
It would not be the first time that young women would be seduced and break their pledge nor would it be the last, but Paul is trying to establish a clear boundary by not allowing young women to be entered on the list of widows and he has a solution.
V 14-15. “Therefore, I want younger widows to get married, bear children, keep house, and give the enemy no occasion for reproach; for some have already turned aside to follow Satan.” Turning aside to follow Satan puts then in a worse condition than if they had never been saved.
V 16. “If any woman who is a believer has dependent widows, she must assist them and the church must not be burdened, so that it may assist those who are widows indeed.”
Now that Paul has established which widows in distress could be eligible to be cared for by the church he makes one final appeal to the widows family to take care of her. This call goes out to any woman who is a believer and has dependent widows, she must assist them. This was a common custom of many people all around the Mediterranean world and it would become a true Christian value for centuries to come.
Dear Lord give us clear eyes to see the needs in our own family and to not turn a blind eye to the widows in distress. I pray that every one who is called by His name will open their eyes and see what they can do to help their widows in distress. In Jesus name. Amen.
Agape,
Norm
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About didaskologos

Hi, my name is Norm Robinson and I'm a grateful believer. I have been on a quest to discover authentic Christianity and essential theology for over forty years and I invite all who are called by His name to join me. You see, we are not like the many hucksters who preach for personal profit. We preach the word of God with sincerity and with Christ's authority, knowing that God is watching us. 2 Corinthians 2:17 NLT.
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