Summary: Respecting & Rebuking the Saints - 1 Timothy chapter 5 verses 1-24 - sermon by Gordon Curley. PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email:

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• Good advice to older members (vs 1-2)

• Good advice to widows (vs 3-16)

• Good advice to church leaders (vs 17-25)


Quote: G.K. Chesterton (the influential English writer of the early 20th century):

“I owe my success to having listened respectfully to the very best advice,

and then going away and doing the exact opposite.”

• Many of us have that rebellious or proud spirit within us;

• We don’t like to be told what to do!


“We could all save ourselves a lot of words if we'd only remember that people rarely take advice unless they have to pay for it.”

• One of the signs that you are getting older is when;

• The things that your parents said to you start making sense!

Quote: Samuel Coleridge (19th-century English poet.).

“Advice is like snow; the softer it falls the longer it dwells upon, and the deeper it sinks into, the mind.”

(1). Good Advice to Older Members (vs 1-2)

“Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were your father. Treat younger men as brothers, 2 older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity.”

• I guess we don’t like to admit that we are in the ‘old’ bracket;

• Commentators suggest that this age group would be anyone fifty and over.

• To this age group that the apostle called ‘older men’:


• Advantages of being over 50

• In a hostage situation you are likely to be released first.

• No one expects you to run into a burning building.

• People no longer view you as a hypochondriac.

• There's nothing left to learn the hard way.

• Things you buy now won't wear out.

• You enjoy hearing about other people's operations.

• You get into a heated argument about pension plans.

• You quit trying to hold your stomach in, no matter who walks into the room.

• Your eyes won't get much worse.

• Your joints are more accurate meteorologists than those guys on the TV.

• Your secrets are safe with your friends because they can't remember them either.

• TRANSITION: The ‘older men’ here is those who are over 50.

• And the apostle Paul warns Timothy to be careful in his relationships with older folk.

• His job as a leader was to exhort and encourage them;

• Rather than rebuke and groan and whine about them.

The Church is a family not a business or an entertainment centre:

• It should recognise the needs and problems of the older believers;

• And seek to help them.

• While younger men and women can be rebuked;

• But rebuked as ‘brothers’ or ‘sisters’

• In other words, Timothy could rebuke them a little more directly and a bit less gently.

• The apostle says that older folk need dealing with in a more gentle way;

• Timothy was not to be abrasive or needlessly offensive to them.

(2). Good Advice to Widows (vs 3-16)

“Give proper recognition to those widows who are really in need. 4 But if a widow has children or grandchildren, these should learn first of all to put their religion into practice by caring for their own family and so repaying their parents and grandparents, for this is pleasing to God.5 The widow who is really in need and left all alone puts her hope in God and continues night and day to pray and to ask God for help. 6 But the widow who lives for pleasure is dead even while she lives. 7 Give the people these instructions, so that no one may be open to blame.8 Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

9 No widow may be put on the list of widows unless she is over sixty, has been faithful to her husband, 10 and is well known for her good deeds, such as bringing up children, showing hospitality, washing the feet of the Lord’s people, helping those in trouble and devoting herself to all kinds of good deeds.

11 As for younger widows, do not put them on such a list. For when their sensual desires overcome their dedication to Christ, they want to marry.12 Thus they bring judgment on themselves, because they have broken their first pledge. 13 Besides, they get into the habit of being idle and going about from house to house. And not only do they become idlers, but also busybodies who talk nonsense, saying things they ought not to.14 So I counsel younger widows to marry, to have children, to manage their homes and to give the enemy no opportunity for slander. 15 Some have in fact already turned away to follow Satan.

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