Southern Christian University

The Pastoral Epistles #1

James A. Turner


Please read all the references. They will help to gain a better understanding.


I Timothy

Now, let us turn to I Timothy.  Please read and think about the handout on the epistles of Paul.  I think you will do well to try to remember them in the order that I have listed them:  The epistles before the first Roman imprisonment, and then the epistles during the first Roman imprisonment, and then the epistles between the first Roman imprisonment and the second Roman imprisonment, and then that last and final epistle, II Timothy, during his second Roman imprisonment. 


We are now ready to begin with that second group consisting of two books, I Timothy and Titus.  I Timothy, Titus, and II Timothy have been down through the years referred to as the Pastoral Epistles.  And I guess one reason for that is the fact that the qualifications are given in chapter three of I Timothy for elders, and also in Titus chapter one, qualifications are set forth for elders, because these books, even though they are written to Timothy and Titus, they actually have to do with the instruction that has to do with problems in the churches.  Titus and I Timothy show definitely that Paul was released, as he expected to be released, when he wrote the Philippian letter, and that he was very busy revisiting the churches and doing further evangelistic work.  The book of Titus shows that he and Titus had done evangelistic work on the island of Crete during this period of time, and I Timothy shows that he had visited again the church at Ephesus, which he had not expected to do when he was on the way to Jerusalem (Acts 20:37).  He told the elders of the church that he did not expect to see their faces again, but he must have been speaking on the basis of his own thinking rather than by inspiration when he told them that; and so he does see their faces again, or at least he goes to Ephesus again.  In the address that he made to the Ephesian elders, he told them to “take heed unto yourselves and all the flock over which the Holy Spirit has made you bishops (or overseers) to feed the church of God which he purchased with his own blood.  For I know this, that after my departing, grievous wolves shall enter in among you, and of your own selves shall men arise and draw the disciples after them (Acts 20:28-30).” 


I Timothy shows that that time had already come, at least the beginning stages of a falling away.  Church history shows that the falling away, which culminated in the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church, began with the eldership. One eldership elected a chairman elder, and that became the pattern, and then from that, more than one church under an eldership and a chairman of that, and that continued to mushroom, until finally it grew into the hierarchy, including the Papacy of the Roman Catholic Church.  The fact that Paul left Timothy at Ephesus, when he was going into Macedonia, to “charge certain men not to teach a different doctrine,” shows that there were those teaching a different doctrine.  Evidently, a part of the eldership and the fact that he gives qualifications for elders in chapter three shows that something had happened in regard to the eldership, or at least appears to be that way. 


We will now begin the reading and study of I Timothy. "Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ according to the commandment of God our Savior, and Christ Jesus, our hope; unto Timothy, my true child in faith."  Paul had converted Timothy at Lystra on that first missionary journey with Barnabas, and took him then as companion on his journeys on that second missionary journey (Acts 16:1-4); and Timothy had been very closely associated with Paul ever since.  "Unto Timothy, my true child in faith."  And he surely was a true child as we read from his comments in Philippians.  "Grace, mercy, peace, from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. As I exhorted thee to tarry at Ephesus, when I was going into Macedonia."  Well, you see Paul was at Ephesus for him to exhort Timothy to stay there, and there is no record of this in the book of Acts.   Evidently, Timothy wanted to go on with him, and revisit those churches in Macedonia, but Paul saw that he was needed at Ephesus and Timothy stayed at Ephesus to do the work that needed to be done in that church.  "As I charged thee to tarry at Ephesus, when I was going into Macedonia, that thou mightiest charge certain men not to teach a different doctrine, neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than a dispensation of God."  Dispensation of God, a footnote in my Bible says, or stewardship of God. Those who were engaging in Jewish fables, and endless genealogies were doing the wrong kind of teaching. Such teaching ministered questioning rather than edification. Teachers have real responsibility (James 3:1-2).  If you just turn things wide open, sometimes the discussion will get to things of no profit whatever, like some things that the Bible does not mention, and it is a waste of time, and will probably cause confusion.  And so Paul is saying, these men need to be charged not to do these things.  If it ministers questioning rather than faith, leave it alone!  "Rather than a dispensation, (or stewardship) of God, which is in faith:  So do I now.  But the end of the charge is love out of a pure heart, and a good conscience, and faith unfeigned."  Faith unfeigned is faith that is unpretended, but real.  Real faith produces love, and a pure heart, and a good conscience. "From which things some have swerved have turned aside.  (from the Lord's way)  Unto vain talking; desiring to be teachers of the law." (Old Testament).  Though they understand neither what they say, nor whereof they confidently affirm."  In other words they do not even know what they are talking about.  "But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully; knowing this, that the law is not made for righteous man, but for the lawless and unruly." 


When you think about how strict the Old Testament law was, it needed to be strict because the people were so unrighteous and lawless during that day.  "For the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, for fornicators, for abusers of themselves with men,  (homosexuals) for men stealers, for liars, for false swearers, and if there be any other thing contrary to the sound doctrine; according to the gospel of the glory of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust.  I thank him that enabled me, even Christ Jesus our Lord, for that he counted me faithful appointing me to his service.  Though I was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious:  Howbeit I obtain mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief."  Although Paul was doing terrible wrong when he persecuted the church (Acts 8:3-4, 22:4-8, 22:19-20, 26:11) he was still living by a good conscience (Acts 24:16).


Verse fourteen, "And the grace of our Lord abounded exceedingly with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.  Faithful is the saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.  Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me as chief might Jesus Christ show forth all of his longsuffering, for an example of them that should thereafter believe on him unto eternal life."  So Paul is saying that I was the chiefest of sinners, because I persecuted the church of God and tried to destroy it, but the Lord chose me because he knew I was sincere, and through me he shows that God can save the chiefest of sinners.  And so there is no sinner that God cannot save if the sinner is willing to be saved.  If he is willing to submit and turn to the Lord, in true repentance and obey the Lord, the Lord can save him, but God cannot save a rebellious sinner, because that would be contrary to his nature. If God saved one rebellious sinner, he would have to save all rebels, or he would be an unrighteous God. .  "Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever.  Amen. 


Verse eighteen, “This charge I commit unto thee, my child Timothy, according to the prophecies which led the way to thee, that by them thou mayest war the good warfare.” When Paul laid hands on Timothy and gave him a miraculous gift (II Timothy 1:6) the elders laid their hands on him and made prophecies concerning the good work that he would do, that he would be a vessel of honor in the kingdom of God (I Timothy 4:14).  "Holding faith, and a good conscience."  Those two go together.  If a man does not follow a good conscience, he is not going to have that kind of faith that he should have.  From Romans chapter fourteen, we learned that if a man went contrary to his conscience, and ate when he did not think it was right for him to eat, that he would be sinning.  So the conscience is very important.  Conscience by itself is not a perfect guide, but it must be instructed.  But if a man goes contrary to his conscience, he is doing wrong.  "Holding faith in good conscience; which some having thrust from them make shipwreck concerning the faith:  Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I delivered unto Satan, that they might be taught not to blaspheme."  So Paul withdrew from those two men because they were making shipwreck of their faith.  He was hoping that his withdrawing of fellowship would cause them to repent, that they might be taught not to blaspheme, and that would happen if they repented.


Chapter Two

"I exhort therefore, that, first of all, that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgiving, be made to all men; for kings and for all that are in high place; that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and gravity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our savior; who would have all men to be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth."   It may be that we are not praying for the leaders of our government enough, and praying that they will do the right thing.  Paul wanted the brethren at Ephesus to pray for all those in authority.  Verse four is parallel to II Peter 3:9, “God is not slack concerning his promises, as some man count slackness, but is longsuffering to us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”  But the point is that God in his holiness and justice cannot save a rebellious sinner.  God wants all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth, and his longsuffering is for that purpose, (Romans 2:4-5; II Peter 3:9).  "For there is one God, one mediator also between God and man, himself man Christ Jesus; who gave himself a ransom for all."  And that would parallel Hebrews 2:9 that by “the grace of God he tasted of death for every man.”  "The testimony to be born in it's own times. Whereunto I was appointed a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth, I lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth."  The Lord had appointed him for that great work as an apostle, to be a preacher and a teacher. 


Verse eight, "I desire therefore that the men in every place, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and disputing."  Notice that the emphasis is that in public worship it is men and not women, and let them lift up holy hands with the right spirit and the right attitude.  "In like manner, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with braided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array."  This parallels I Peter chapter three, and the emphasis, is that a Christian woman is to adorn herself in a modest way, and not with a lot of costly things.  Back there some of the women braided silver and gold in their hair, and Paul is saying that Christian women do not need to be decked out with a lot of gold and pearls in the way of the things that she wears, or very expensive clothing like some of the movie stars of Hollywood do.  "But (which becometh women professing godliness) through good works."  I Peter 3:3-4 is just a parallel to this passage. The inward adorning of “a meek and quiet spirit” is far more important than the outward adorning.


"Let a woman learn in quietness with all subjection.  But I permit not a woman to teach, nor to have dominion over a man, but to be in quietness."  This is instruction about the public service of the church that women are not to get up and preach in the public service to the church.  I permit not a woman to teach,” Well, we have already talked about how Priscilla and Aquilla took Apollos aside and taught him. It looks like Priscilla was the one who must have led in the teaching; but this is talking about the assembly of the church, on the first day of the week, that they are not to be in charge of the assembly of the church, that they are not to have dominion over the men in the church. In the assembly they are to be in quietness. Why?  "For Adam was first formed, then Eve.  Adam was not beguiled, but the woman being beguiled hath fallen into transgression.  So he gives two reasons, God made Adam first, and Eve was made as his helpmate. Well, it looks like in one sense that the fact that Adam followed with his eyes open would be even worse, but the point is that the woman was deceived when Adam was not.  Don’t you think that the over all rule is that women are easier deceived than men, but there are exceptions to the overriding rule.


Verse fifteen "But she shall be saved through her childbearing, if they continue in faith and love and sanctification and sobriety."  I have wondered now for years why somebody, say a polygamist, has not really capitalized on verse fifteen and say, “I have all of these wives because I want to make sure that they will be saved.  They will be saved by childbearing.”  Many people have come with, saved by the faith only, or saved by grace only, or by grace and faith only.  That has been the process down through the years that somebody was saved by this and by this only.  So why not take hold of this one, and say saved by childbearing only.  I hope you see how ridiculous it is when anyone says saved by one thing only. Again let me encourage you to read the handout Things By Which We Are Saved.  She shall be saved through her childbearing”.  But notice there is a condition stated, “If they continue in faith and love and sanctification and sobriety.” 


Chapter Three

In the first thirteen verses of this chapter Paul gives the qualification for elders.  I can remember in days gone by when there were those that would reason, that we do not need any elders in this church, because we do not have any person who is blameless.  Well, as we have already stated, every child of God should be in a blameless condition in that he is walking in the light.  And when he sees that he has done wrong and he repents and asks God to forgive him; then he is blameless (I John 1:7-9).  And so surely elders of the church are indeed to be blameless.  Actually, there are only four qualifications here that apply to the elders that would not necessarily apply to others.  The first one ‑‑ you will do well to highlight these.  In verse two, “the husband of one wife”.  Well, a man can be a faithful Christian, be a bachelor all of his life, and say I am not going to marry.  And the second one is in the latter part of that verse, “apt to teach”, which means qualified to teach. And there are those that may be lacking in the ability to the extent that they cannot meet that qualification.  And then in verse four, “one that ruleth well his own house having his children in subjection with all gravity.”  Well, again a man can be a faithful child of God without even having what we would call his own house, whether his house was from the standpoint of wife and children, or a business house; he can still be a faithful Christian. He certainly does not have to have a wife and children to be faithful Christian.  But an elder of the church does, and he must have children.  And then one negative qualification is verse six, “not a novice”, which means a beginner in the faith, a new convert, and he tells the reason why. 


Now let us read.  "Faithful is the saying if a man seeketh the office of a bishop."  A bishop is an overseer, and the two words are used interchangeably, the footnote says overseer.  "He desires a good work.  The bishop therefore must be without reproach,  (blameless, KJV, self controlled CEV) the husband of one wife, tempera, sober minded, orderly, given to hospitality. (Ephesians 4:28; Hebrews 13:2;III John 5:8). Well, every child of God is to be self controlled, sober minded, orderly, given to hospitality.


Verse three, “no brawler, no striker, but gentle, not contentious, no lover of money;” These are all characteristics that should be true of all members of the church. One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity.” Titus 1:6 reads, “the husband of one wife, having children that believe, who are not accused of riot or unruly.

Apt to teach;I have heard it said, “that some elders are apt to teach most anything,” but “apt to teach” means qualified to teach and qualified to the point that they can “convict the gainsayers” (Titus 1:9-11).   "And one that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity."  An elder in the home and in the church is to rule primarily by good leadership and example. He needs to be an example and his children need to be well-behaved and believing children. Verse five "But if a man knoweth not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?"  In substance Paul is saying that if a man has not done a good job in ruling his own house he is surely not qualified to “take care of the church of God.” And this is one of the reasons given, and rightly so, as to why an elder is to have a wife and children.  If he does not know how to manage his own household, how can he manage the household of God? Members need to have confidence that the elders have experience and that they can help them with family problems, and etc.


Verse six, "Not a novice, lest being puffed up he fall into the condemnation of the devil."  This indicates that Satan was once a faithful angel, but he became puffed up with pride and was cast down; he exalted himself against God and was cast down (II Peter 2:4; Jude 6). And thus do not appoint a new convert, or one new in the faith to be an elder lest he become “puffed up” and do more harm than good. "Moreover he must have good testimony from them that are without."  Well, should not every child of God have good testimony of them that are without?  Surely so, but sometimes non-church members may know more about him than members know. He may put on a show at church. 


Verse eight, “Deacons in like manner must be grave, not double tongued; not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre:  Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.  And let these also first be proved.  Then let them serve as deacons, if they be blameless."  And so we have blameless for deacons here in the American Standard Version, and let them “first be proved, which means that they are to have a record as good workers, and when given things to do that they do them. "Women in like manner must be grave, not slanderous, temperate, faithful in all things."  Verse eleven must be talking about the wives of the deacons.   "Let deacons be the husbands of one wife."  Now, some from this passage and from Titus chapter one, they want to have deaconesses in the church.  Well, think of this passage. Verse twelve, “Let deacons be husbands of one wife”, surely, Paul is not talking about a lesbian relation ship!  "Ruling their children and their own house well.  For they that have served well as deacons gain to themselves a good standing, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus. 


Verse fourteen, “These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly, but if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how men ought to behave themselves in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and the ground of truth. Verse sixteen, “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness, He who was manifested in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached among the nations, believed on in the world, received up in glory." 


Chapter Four,

"But the Spirit saith expressly, that in later times some shall fall away from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; through the hypocrisy of men that speak lies branded in their own conscience as with a hot iron."  What does that mean?  Branded in their own conscience as with a hot iron” Well, when you brand the flesh there is no feeling.  Brand an animal, and there is not much feeling in that particular spot.  In the days of the village blacksmith, the blacksmith could pick up hot irons that would just throw the rest of us into great pain, but it would not be very hot to them because they had handled them to the point that layers of skin were seared.  And so branded in their own conscience means that they no longer have a conscience.  They had gone contrary to their conscience until they no longer have a conscience, it does not speak to them any longer.  And then what resulted.  "For bidding to marry."  And you think of the Catholic Church, that church did what said would be done. And even today that church teaches that the Pope has the right to determine whether or not the clergy, as they speak of it, can marry or not.  Actually the Pope is putting himself up as God, and giving and supporting laws contrary to God’s law. The very idea of such a thing, "For bidding to marry."  The Lord has not forbidden any man to marry, if he has a scriptural right to marry, and anybody who comes with such a doctrine, is coming with false doctrine.  "Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God created to be received with thanks giving by them that believe and know the truth."  And you know that the Catholic Church teaches contrary here also in respect to meats. "For every creature of God is good."  And this parallels with what we read in Romans fourteen.  "For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be rejected, if it be received with thanks giving:  For it is sanctified through the word of God in prayer."  So under the New Testament, if a man decides to eat a turkey buzzard, it is all right according to this reading. "If thou put the brethren in mind of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Christ Jesus, nourished in the words of faith and of the good doctrine, which thou has followed unto now."  So a big part of good teaching is putting the brethren in mind.  As Peter said, that he felt it his responsibility, as long as I am in this tabernacle to put you in remembrance.  And that in the main is what faithful teaching consists of.  "But refuse profane and old wives' fables." Boy, I bet they had them, but, Timothy, do not pay any attention to such things.  "And exercise thyself unto godliness.  For bodily exercise profiteth little."  Bodily exercise will help strengthen the old physical body for sure, but there is something more important than that.  "But godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life which now is."  If a man lives a good life, according to the Lord's command, that aids in his physical health, but far more than that, "Having promise of life which now is and of that which is to come."  Bodily exercise by itself is not going to give promise of the life that is to come.  "Faithful is the saying and worthy of all acceptation.” 


Verse ten, “For to this end we labor and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of them that believe."  How is God the savior of all men? God is the savior of all men in that he supplies our needs?  When Paul spoke to the people at Lystra he said, “he left himself not without witness, in that he did good and gave from heaven rain and fruitful seasons filling our hearts with joy and gladness.” (Acts 14:17)  God is the savior of all men in the fact that he makes his sun to rise on the evil and on the good and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.  In that physical sense, God is the savior of all men, but he is especially a savior to them that believe; he will give them eternal life.  "These things command and teach.  Let no man despise thy youth:  but be thy an example to them that believe in word, in manner of life, in love, in faith and purity."  Timothy must have been about thirty-five to forty years old at this time, but they counted him in the youth group back there.  I am getting to the point that I like that youth group counting of that period!  Well, Paul wanted Timothy to be an example for all believers to imitate, “in word, in manner of life, in love, in faith and purity.” Such is the way of a full grown Christian, and from what we read, Timothy must have been an example to all that believed in regard to all of these things, and all of us need to be an example to others in all of these good things. Timothy had for a number of years had had a good example to follow in the faithful apostle.  "Till I come, give heed to reading, to exhortation, to teaching." He is talking about what he is to do in the church at Ephesus in particular.  He needed to be reading the word of God, and teaching and exhorting brethren to make spiritual progress in the church. Do you think that we are having enough public reading of the scriptures today?  I think there is a great lack of it in our churches today. When a good reader reads the scriptures in the assembly, it is effective teaching, and we need to train our young men to be good public readers.                


Verse fourteen "Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery."  Now, if you remove verse fourteen from what he has to say in II Timothy1: 6, you might conclude that the miraculous gift that Timothy had was given to him by the laying on of the hands of the presbytery or elders, Presbytery is another term for the eldership, but when you put it with II Timothy1: 6, “stir up the gift of God, which is in thee, which was given thee by the laying on of my hands;” so the gift was given by the laying on of Paul's hands, and evidently the presbytery, showed their approval of Timothy and the work that he would be doing; and either one of the elders, or some one else who had the gift of prophecy, made prophecies concerning the good work that Timothy would do, that he would be a great worker in the church.  And so Paul is emphasizing that you do not neglect that miraculous gift that you have. This shows that the gifts did not work with the desire of the person who had the gift. “Be diligent in these things, give thyself wholly to them; that thy progress may be manifest unto all."  So a preacher needs to be making it manifest that he is growing spiritually, that he is continuing to study and learning, and living according to what he learns, and thereby being an example to the whole church.  And again if a preacher continues to study, as he ought, he ought not to be always running out of sermons or lessons to teach.  There is plenty of instruction in the Bible, so much that he should not give out of something that needs to be taught.  "Take heed to thyself and to thy teaching; continue in these things:  For in doing this thou shalt save both thyself, and them that hear thee."  Well, if a man does not take heed to himself, and to his teaching, he is not going to be saved, but if he does continue that course, taking heed to himself, and in the Lord's teaching, he will be able to save others as well, “thou shalt save both thyself and them that hear thee”. Please consider the wonderful promise! 


Chapter Five

In the first part of this chapter he tells about how that Timothy is to treat the different age groups.  In verse one he is not necessarily talking about an elder in the church, but an older person, and it is important that these rules set forth here be followed.  I know very definitely they are important, because I have violated them, and I know something about the bad results that it can bring.  "Rebuke not an elder, but exhort him as a father."  There is a different relationship between you talking to an older person, and talking to a younger person, or one in your own age group, and that is what this instruction is about.  Now, you can run contrary and lambaste that aged fellow twenty or thirty years older than you are, but he is not likely to have proper respect for you if you do.  You are to exhort him as you would your father.  Any son who has proper respect for his father treats him with respect, and recognizes that he is older, and very probably a little wiser than he is.  "The younger men as brethren, the elder women as mothers."  So treat all of the elder women in the church as you would treat your own mother.  And again that ought to be the right kind of treatment.  "The younger as sisters in all purity."  Would you want some man to violate your own sister?  Surely not, and so the younger sisters are to be treated “in all purity.”


Verse three, "Honor widows that are widows indeed."  And it goes ahead and tells about those who are “widows indeed.”  Those who are above sixty years of age and have lived a good Christian life and do not have children to support them, and such widows the church was to enroll them, and take care of them.  But notice verse eight, "But if any provided not for his own, and   especially his own household, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an unbeliever."  The King James Version says, “worse than an infidel.”  So the man who will not work to make a living, not only for his own immediate household, but even including   the widows in the household, or in his family, is far from being the person that he ought to be. Paul says, “He hath denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”  "Let none be enrolled as a widow under threescore years, having been the wife of one man, well reported of for good works; if she   hath brought up children, if she hath used hospitality to strangers, if she hath washed the saint's feet, if she relieved the afflicted, if she hath diligently followed every good work."  Please remember there were no pensions back there, and no welfare programs, and so when women got old and not able to work, they were dependant on somebody.  And evidently there were a lot of widows who did not have anybody to depend on ‑‑ no children, or no help in any way.  And, if so, they were to be enrolled by the church, and the church would take care of them, but they were to be above sixty years of age.


The younger widows were not to be enrolled even if they had been faithful Christians.  "But younger widow refuse."  Refuse to enroll them. Why?  "For when they have wax wanton against Christ, they decide to marry."  In other words they would think that they were going to remain as widows, and then be stirred by sexual passion and want to marry, and then go contrary to their pledge.  "Having condemnation because they have rejected their first pledge.  And withal they learn to be idle, going about from house to house; not only Idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not."  When a person is not busy with proper things, they usually get their nose into the business of others; and that is what this is talking about "I desire therefore that the younger widows marry, bear children, rule the household. Give no occasion to the adversary for reviling. For already some have turned aside after Satan.”  In other words if she has a husband and she is faithful to her husband there is no way that the devil's crowd can talk about her and get by with it.  So a wife and mother has a right to rule the household, that is one area where she is to rule; and a woman that lets her husband get by with just any kind of conduct in the household is not doing the proper thing.  He has no right to put his dirty shoes down in the living room floor, and throw one sock here and one sock there; and the woman who is doing well in ruling the household, if necessary she should do a little ruling there with him, and much more with the children. Surely she needs to have proper rule and respect of the children, but this includes teaching them to do their proper share in keeping the house in good order. My mother told me that my wife would not want to have to pick up after me, and that I was going to learn to hang up my clothes and do other things at an early age; and surprise, surprise, it worked! I want you to know that I still profit from that early experience that my mother was very determined to give me. I can wear suits from about nineteen to thirty nine years, and they still look pretty good!


I heard about one woman whose husband would leave his dirty under wear where he pulled them off, and he expected her to pick up and wash them, and put them very neatly in the proper drawer. She finally started taking her hammer and nailed them to the floor where he left them, and I think he finally learned that he could at least pick them up, and put them in the dirty clothesbasket!


Verse sixteen, “If any woman that believeth hath widows let her relieve them."  So even a woman has responsibility.  If she is still able to work and provide, then she is to relieve them that are widows in family.  "Let not the church be burdened that it may relieve them that are widows indeed.  It must have been a big job for the church in that day to take care of the widows who were “widows indeed”


Verse seventeen, “Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honor."  And what is that double honor?  Financial support  "Especially those who labor in the word and in the teaching."  Do you remember how that Paul quoted Deuteronomy 25:4, "For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox when he treadeth out the corn," and the application of the purpose of the command in I Corinthians 9:9-11.  "And the laborer is worthy of his hire."  And that is quoted from what Jesus said when he sent forth those twelve apostles under the limited commission, that they were not to carry a purse with them, and they were not to carry two changes of raiment.  They had miraculous power, and they were to heal the sick, and to raise the dead, and cleanse the lepers, and so on.  They were going from city to city, and they were to look for the house that was worthy and they would stay there until they left that place.  And, of course, the fact that they were healing the sick and making the blind to see and the lame to walk and so on, you can imagine how the news would carry so rapidly, and so people were to give them support. And Jesus said, “The laborer is worthy of his hire.”  And so Paul put both of them together and further said, “Even so did the Lord ordain that they that proclaim the gospel should live of the gospel.”


Verse nineteen, "Against an elder receive not an accusation, except at the mouths of two or three witnesses."  Well, I think that pretty well should be the case in regard to receiving an accusation against any Christian, but especially to an elder, why?  Because when people want to go the wrong way, they are going to try to find fault with the preacher and with the elders.   Paul tells him do not receive an accusation, except at the mouth of two or three witnesses.  "Them that sin reprove in the sight of all."  Elders can sin in such a way that they need to be reproved before the church if they do not repent, “reprove in the sight of all.  "I charge thee in the sight of God and Christ Jesus, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without prejudice doing nothing, by partiality."  And we are prone to be somewhat prejudice and do things by partiality. Sometimes some families are judged when other families would not be judged for the same thing, but this violates the instruction of this passage. "Lay hands hastily on no man, neither be partakers of other men's sins:  Keep thyself pure."  And I guess this would have to do with men being made elders in the church? 


Verse twenty-three, "Be no longer a drinker of water, but use a little wine for thy stomach's sake and for thine often infirmities."  Some use this to support the drinking of alcoholic beverages, but Timothy was refraining when he needed a little for his health. Paul recognized that he needed a little for his stomach's sake and for his often infirmities.  And, of course, a little wine for the stomach's sake would be proper use of wine, and was proper use back there.  I would not say that it is necessarily improper today, but we have other things that a man can take for his stomach's sake today that would probably be wiser, but if it is for his stomach's sake, rather than for his wanting to be sociable, it was all right.  Please remember that we are also to consider our influence on others even in things that are right (I Corinthians 8:9-13; Romans 14:19-23)."Some men's sins are evident, going before unto judgment."  In other words they are open.  People know about it.  "But some men also they follow after."  They cover them up, and then maybe years after they are dead and gone, people learn about how bad they were.  "In like manner also there are good works that are evident:  And such as are otherwise cannot be hid." 


Chapter Six

"Let as many as are servants under the yoke (of slavery) count their own masters worthy of all honor, that the name of God and the doctrine be not blasphemed.  And they that have believing masters, let them not despise them, because they are brethren; but let them serve them the rather, because they are partakers of the benefit are believing and beloved."  Now, we said that the principles set forth from the relationship between the slaves and the masters are principles that should make for proper relationship between employees and employers, and that is true.  Here is a relationship that is violated sometimes by brethren.  They get employment from a brother, and sometimes they will take all kinds of advantages because he is a brother that they would not take if their employer were an unbeliever, or even an infidel.  They reason that he is supposed to understand, and they just take one advantage after another.  This passage forbids that.  If anything, you are to be more faithful in his service, because he is a brother, and because they that partake of the benefit are believing and beloved.  "If any man teacheth a different doctrine, and consent not to sound words, even the words of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the doctrine which is according to godliness; he is puffed up, knowing nothing."  The more he thinks he knows, Paul says he does not know anything, because he does not hold onto the sound words of the Lord.  "But doting."  The footnote in my Bible says sick.  "Sick about questionings and disputes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmising, wranglings of men corrupted in mind, and bereft of the truth, supposing that godliness is a way of gain."  And there are those today that think that godliness is supposed to be a way of gain, but that does not necessarily follow, sometimes it may be the way of loss for now, but Romans 8:28.  Paul said it was the way of loss for him. “I suffered the loss of all things.  (Philippians 3:7-10) But godliness with contentment is great gain.  For we brought nothing into the world, and neither can we carry anything out."  Remember   how he said to the Philippians, “I have learned that in whatsoever state I am in therein to be content.”  We do not see trailers behind hearses. They do not try to carry his possessions to the cemetery.  "For we brought nothing into this world, neither can we carry anything out."  And remember when Satan was permitted to take everything away from Job.  Satan said, “he will curse you, if you take everything away from him”.  But Job said, “naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither.  The Lord gave and the Lord taketh away.  Blessed be the name of the Lord.” 


Verse eight, “And having food and covering, we shall be there with content."  In other words having those necessities, as long as we have the necessities, we are to be content.  "But they that are minded to be rich."  Those whose primary goal is to be rich for the here and now, fall into a temptation and a snare, and many foolish and hurtful lusts, such as down men in destruction and perdition."  Perdition would be eternal destruction from the present of the Lord from the glory of his power.  And why do they fall into the temptations and snares, because of their strong desire, that covetous spirit to be rich.  "For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil."  Now, there is a different reading of the King James and the American Standard Version.  The King James Version reads, “Money is the root of all evil.”  Well, money is not the root of all evil.  There are those who have sex not for money, but because they want to have sex.  There are not many sins that somebody is ready to do it not for the money, but because they want to participate in it.  But there is not a wrong thing that somebody will not do for money and that includes sex. "For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil, which some reaching after, have been led astray from the faith, and have pierced themselves through with many sorrows.  But thou, O man of God, flee these things; follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.” 


Verse twelve, “Fight the good fight of faith."  We are engaged in a warfare.  "Lay hold on the life, eternal, whereunto thou was also called, and did confess a good confession in the sight of many witnesses."  Don't you think that is referring to that good confession, that Timothy made when he obeyed the gospel, that he made a confession like the Ethiopian eunuch did?  "I charge thee in the sight of God, who giveth life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession."  And again the fact that Jesus acknowledged that he was the one that had come to show the way of truth and righteousness, and that his kingdom is not of this world (John 18:36).  "That thou keep the commandment without spot, without reproach, until the appearing of Lord Jesus Christ."  Now, again back to the brethren who want to make the Lord coming in power in the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.  The New Testament does not speak of but a second coming (Hebrews 9:27‑28).  The New Testament does not say anything about a third coming, and this passage does not read that way.  "That thou keep the commandment without spot, without reproach, until the appearing."  And if there is more than one appearance in the future then this reference should read until the appearances, instead of the appearing.  "Which in his own times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of Lords; who only hath immortality, dwelling in light unapproachable; whom no man hath seen, nor can see:  To whom be honor and power eternal.  Amen."  It looks like to me that would be a reference, especially to God the Father. 

Verse seventeen "Charge them that are rich in this present world, that they may not be high-minded."  Don’t be puffed up because they are rich, and evidently there were a number of rich brethren in the church at Ephesus.  "Nor having their hope set on the uncertainty of riches."  There is nothing certain about the riches of this world.  What good was confederate money after the South was defeated.  When the stock market crashed back in the thirties, there were several men, who had been rich until then that committed suicide.  There is nothing certain about worldly riches, and so put their trust in true riches. (Romans 8:16-18)  "But on God who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; that they do good."  With what?  With their money, and with their riches.  "That they be rich in good works, that they be ready to distribute."  And anytime you participate in good works, there is usually some money involved. "That they be ready to distribute."  Distribute their riches to the needs of others.  "Willing to communicate."  Sharing with others, and this passage shows the meaning of the word communicate, even in the King James and American Standard Versions.  "Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come."  That parallels Matthew 6:19‑20.  Don’t try to lay up your treasures on the earth, but lay up your treasures in heaven.  "That they may lay hold on the life which is life indeed."  In other words by using their riches correctly, they would be laying up for themselves treasures in heaven and have “life, which is life indeed”.  "O Timothy, guard that which is committed unto thee, turning away from the profane babblings, and oppositions of the knowledge which is falsely so called:  Which some professing have erred concerning the faith.  Grace be with you.  Amen."  There are a lot of things falsely called great knowledge and scientific proof in out American society today. So Timothy, you guard the Lord’s truth that has been committed to you, and do not err by listening to those who think that they are so wise in going contrary to the Lord’s instruction.