Rev. Sam Wirgau, pastor at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Ossian, IN, joins host Rev. Timothy Appel to study 1 Timothy 5:1-16.
Paul begins to instruct Timothy concerning the lives of Christians in the Church within their various vocations. The overarching reality of the interactions of pastors and parishioners within the Church is the fact that Christians have been united within the family of God. They are not to treat each other as enemies or strangers, but as fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters. Paul first applies this larger truth to the matter of Christian widows. A widow is one whose vocation has changed in a tragic way, yet this does not change the Lord’s faithfulness. He cares particularly for widows, and He commands His Church to do the same. A widow’s family must be first to step up to give the needed care. Where no family members are left, the family of God is quick to care for the widow in practical, physical ways. The widow herself continues in prayer and supplication because her hope continues to remain in God.
“The Word is Trustworthy” is a mini-series on Sharper Iron that goes through the three pastoral epistles: 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, and Titus. These three letters are named after their recipients, two young pastors in the Christian Church. St. Paul gives instruction to these two men concerning the doctrine and life of the congregations where they are given to serve. In these epistles, the Apostle teaches both pastors and congregations of all times and places that the sound doctrine from God’s Word is faithful to save sinners in Christ Jesus.
Sharper Iron, hosted by Rev. Timothy Appel, looks at the text of Holy Scripture both in its broad context and its narrow detail, all for the sake of proclaiming Christ crucified and risen for sinners. Two pastors engage with God’s Word to sharpen not only their own faith and knowledge, but the faith and knowledge of all who listen.
Sharper Iron is underwritten by Lutheran Church Extension Fund, where your investments help support the work of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Visit lcef.org.
1 Timothy 5:1-16
Instructions for the Church
5 Do not rebuke an older man but encourage him as you would a father, younger men as brothers, 2 older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, in all purity.
3 Honor widows who are truly widows. 4 But if a widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show godliness to their own household and to make some return to their parents, for this is pleasing in the sight of God. 5 She who is truly a widow, left all alone, has set her hope on God and continues in supplications and prayers night and day, 6 but she who is self-indulgent is dead even while she lives. 7 Command these things as well, so that they may be without reproach. 8 But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
9 Let a widow be enrolled if she is not less than sixty years of age, having been the wife of one husband,[a] 10 and having a reputation for good works: if she has brought up children, has shown hospitality, has washed the feet of the saints, has cared for the afflicted, and has devoted herself to every good work. 11 But refuse to enroll younger widows, for when their passions draw them away from Christ, they desire to marry 12 and so incur condemnation for having abandoned their former faith. 13 Besides that, they learn to be idlers, going about from house to house, and not only idlers, but also gossips and busybodies, saying what they should not. 14 So I would have younger widows marry, bear children, manage their households, and give the adversary no occasion for slander. 15 For some have already strayed after Satan. 16 If any believing woman has relatives who are widows, let her care for them. Let the church not be burdened, so that it may care for those who are truly widows.
- 1 Timothy 5:9 Or a woman of one man
English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.