Pursuing Godliness – 1 Timothy 5:11-25 Living Above Reproach

Materials: Bible, scrap paper or spiral notebook, colored pencils (optional); The Bible Knowledge Commentary by Zuck

All of the Pursuing Godliness quotes from Elizabeth George come from this study unless noted otherwise.

1) Please read 1 Timothy 5:11-25 . If you would like to mark the key words and phrases in your Bible here is a list: teach, faith, doctrine, godliness, money/riches, all references to the devil, all references to prayer.

2) What advice does Paul give Timothy about younger widows? Timothy must have been having trouble with this group of women. Paul even states that some had “turned aside to follow Satan.” Remember back to the earlier verses in chapter 5 where Paul speaks about “widows in need” and the requirements for those who are to be served by the church. The older widows were to take an oath to serve Christ in the church all the rest of their days. This makes me think of nuns who dedicate their lives to service. But these young widows still had sensual desires and they were young enough to still have a family. So Paul is encouraging these younger ladies to not make the vow and then break it. That’s a horrible thing to do! Instead, they are to go get married, have a family, and enjoy life in service to the Lord. Evidently these ladies had too much time on their hands and had become gossips and busybodies. “Too much time with not enough to do is dangerous for anyone except those too old to get into trouble.” ~ Zuck  Women are to have good reputations of doing good works. See last week’s lesson HERE.

3) Paul definitely wants church leaders to know what is expected of them. He also wants lay people to know how to choose good leaders. What are the responsibilities of the elders and what recognition do they deserve? Congregational people are to appreciate their church leaders and reward them, not just monetarily, but by honor. I’ve always heard that the most horrible day of the week for a pastor is Monday. Church! It should not be that way!! We should esteem our leaders in love, live in peace with those around us, don’t cause strife, imitate their faith, and obey their leadership. This behavior will give our leaders joy and allow them to lead the church as they should.

4) What must happen to accuse a church leader of a wrong doing?  A good reputation can be ruined in minutes. This is why we must be so careful of accusing church leaders, or anyone for that matter, of wrong doing. But Paul not only warns to be careful of accusing church leaders, but he encourages lay people to not be hasty in deciding who those leaders should be. We MUST keep ourselves pure and not share in the sins of others. Your sin will find you out. Deal with your sin. I have to deal with my sin. And if people know we are working on the battles of sin, then that should build up the good reputation through our works and struggles. Not tear it down.

5) Sin is a fact, a reality! Read the following verses: 1 John 1:8, Psalm 139:23-24, Proverbs 28:13, Proverbs 27:2, Matthew 6:1-4. Church, we cannot deceive ourselves. We ALL have sin and it is a battle that must be fought through confession and sacrifice. We must battle sins of the flesh and sins of the heart. In the end, the secret rewards of heaven will be so worth it!

Conclusion: We can either carry our sins or carry our good works. We can’t have it both ways. Sin will burn up in the judgement, as will any good works without proper motive. But God blesses the person with rich rewards when the precious jewels of good works in Jesus’ name make it through the fire of judgement. We need to examine our lives, pursue godliness, pray for the purity of our church leaders, and trust God with the lives of others. And we must make up our minds to NOT cause trouble in the church or be a part of gossip and the tearing down of others.

Homework for next week: Read 1 Timothy 6:1-10 and mark any key words that you see.

What can you do today to encourage your church leadership?

Thoughts? Feel free to share.

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