Summary: This message is designed to help us understand how God expects us to maintain relationships within the family of God.


1 Tim 5:1-21


A. Maintenance can be a hard thing to do.

1. It is easier to buy something new, but eventually you have to do maintenance on it.

2. There are basically two types of maintenance:

a. Preventive – this maintenance is do to preclude a problem, to keep this up and in good working order

b. Repair maintenance - when things break

3. Usually it is less expensive and labor intensive to do the preventive maintenance than to fix things once they are broke.

4. Illustration: water pump on baptistery

a. The preventive maintenance is easy and quick, oil it once a quarter and blow any excess dirt and dust off of it. Cost: $1.00 for oil, five minutes of time.

b. If you have to replace the pump: 510.00 for the pump plus 70.00 labor = 580.00

B. By the same token it is much easier to maintain church relationships than it is to repair them once they are broken.

1. In 1 Timothy 5, Paul instructs Timothy how certain relationships in the church are to be handled – maintained, if you would.

2. Though there are many types of relationships within the body of Christ that need to be maintained, Paul focuses on three

a. Maintaining Family Relationships

b. Maintaining Widow Relationships

c. Maintaining Elder relationships

C. This morning I want us to realize it is easier to keep our relationships in good order than to try and fix them when they get broke.

D. May God bless us and His church here at First Baptist Church of Mascoutah as we do things his way for His glory.


Let’s begin this morning by taking a look at how we are to be

I. MAINTAINING FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS, 1 Tim. 5:1-2 Rebuke not an elder, but intreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren; The elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters, with all purity.

A. This seems to be pretty straight forward but for some reason it does not happen in the church family

1. A number of relationships are used to explain how we are to relate within the church context

a. Elder men are to be treated as a father

b. Younger men are to be treated as brothers

c. Older women are to be looked upon as one would a mother

d. Younger women are to be treated as sisters with purity!

2. We need to make sure we treat each other as Paul told young Timothy to treat those under his pastoral ministry.

B. You and I would do well to keep this in mind as we relate to one another

1. For instance, a young man has no place to defy authority of his father or mother and therefore should not be in defiance in relation to an elder man or woman in the congregation.

2. A young lady would probably not sit around the youth room hugging on their brother or sitting in his lap

- A key word in connection with younger women (all women really) is purity!

C. One last word on this relational area – keep things cleared up.

1. When there is a problem between people, of any age, God’s word makes it plain on what we are to do.

2. Matthew 18:15-17 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.

3. To this Paul would add, do not let the sun go down on your wrath!

4. One last word, Matthew 5:23-24 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.

D. Folks, it is easier to maintain our relationships than it is to fix them once they go bad, so keep them in good shape.

We now come to a rather lengthy passage that deals with

II. MAINTAINING WIDOW RELATIONSHIPS, 1 Tim. 5:3-16 Honour widows that are widows indeed. But if any widow have children or nephews, let them learn first to shew piety at home, and to requite their parents: for that is good and acceptable before God. Now she that is a widow indeed, and desolate, trusteth in God, and continueth in supplications and prayers night and day. But she that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth. And these things give in charge, that they may be blameless. But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel. Let not a widow be taken into the number under threescore years old, having been the wife of one man, Well reported of for good works; if she have brought up children, if she have lodged strangers, if she have washed the saints' feet, if she have relieved the afflicted, if she have diligently followed every good work. But the younger widows refuse: for when they have begun to wax wanton against Christ, they will marry; Having damnation, because they have cast off their first faith. And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not. I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully. For some are already turned aside after Satan. If any man or woman that believeth have widows, let them relieve them, and let not the church be charged; that it may relieve them that are widows indeed.

A. We do not have the time to go into all the details concerning widows this morning but let me give you the highlights

1. There are three possible groups of widows mentioned in these verses

a. Young widows, those under 60 as inferred from verse 9

b. Older widows who have family

c. Older widows who have no family

2. One of the main thrusts of this passage is the care of widows – it is not the governments responsibility to care for them!

a. For the younger ones Paul states that they should marry

b. The older widows who have family are to have their needs met by family members

c. And those who have no family, are the responsibility of the church.

B. Now I know many would say, Paul was speaking in a different era and cultural setting.

1. I will agree but we must remember two things

a. First, God’s word is ageless

b. Secondly, families were more likely to take care of aging members then than now – so that makes it even more relevant today!

2. One of the main reason we don’t like to care for our aging parents is that they cramp our life styles and they are a bother – shame on us!

3. Please note

a. Verse 8 is an admonishment, But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.

b. And verse 16 an exhortation, If any man or woman that believeth have widows, let them relieve them, and let not the church be charged; that it may relieve them that are widows indeed.

C. We ought to seriously consider what the Lord is telling us in these passages and make sure we are maintaining our widows in accordance with God’s word.

We now come to the final area of maintenance I want us to look at this morning

III. MAINTAINING ELDER RELATIONSHIPS, 1 Tim. 5:17-20 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine. For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward. Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses. Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.

A. This passage of scripture does not get much attention because pastors are afraid some may think he is tooting their own horn, so to speak. But we must preach it, if we are to preach the full counsel of God and so we will this morning.

B. We begin with Elders Who Rule Well

1. As we saw in verse one elders are to be honored but those who “rule” or lead well are to be given double honor – especially those who labor in the word and doctrine.

a. This means we are to honor those who lead God’s flock , especially those who teach and preach

b. This speaks to those who are pastors – the church is to give them honor – double honor

c. Heb 13:17 is a pretty clear passage that expands upon our present one. It states, Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

d. Pastors are not some lackey that you order around or pay lip service to, they are God’s ordained leaders of His church!

2. They should be shown respect.

a. There are many ways this could be done, but perhaps one of the simplest is to address them with a title of respect – pastor is such a title: Pastor Duane, Pastor Matt, Pastor Vincent

b. Parents, this is especially needful for your children to see you show respect – If they see you not showing respect they will not respect the office of the pastor, and probably not your position as a parent.

C. What about those who don’t do so well - 1 Tim. 5:19-21 Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses. Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.

1. With any position of honor comes reasonability, if an elder has gross sin in his life he is to be confronted by two or more witness.

2. If the charge is substantiated he is to be rebuked before the congregation a. I did not say lynched, abused, or belittled.

b. If the situation warrants it, proceedings should begin to remove him from his position, even if it is just temporarily.

3. The purpose of rebuke is not to destroy but to bring about repentance and reconciliation.

4. It being done in public has a purpose as well, that others also may fear.

- Other elders and the congregants.

D. One last thing: Paul writes to Timothy, I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality. 1 Tim. 5:21

1. This verse may refer to the instructions concerning elders or it could refer to the entire list of instructions we have gone over this morning.

2. Which ever it is, it demands fair and equal treatment for all who are subject to his dealings

CONCLUSION: So there you have it

A. With God’s word brought forth this morning I would ask you to consider your relationships our (as a church) relationships:

1. As a family – are they right?

2. For widows, are we loving them as we should?

3. For elders, do we show them the respect God tells us to show?

B. Do we treat each other fairly: whether church family members, widows or elders?

C. Remember, it is easier to maintain relationships than to fix them once they are broke, but that does not mean they can not be fixed – this is where God’s grace follows abundantly - Confront, confess, forgive and rejoice!

Let’s do some Church Maintenance!