Elders and the Church
Scripture reading for January 8th: 1st Timothy 5
Key Scriptures: 1st Timothy 5:17-22 “Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching. For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain,” and, “The laborer deserves his wages.” Do not admit a charge against an elder except on the evidence of two or three witnesses. As for those who persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all, so that the rest may stand in fear. In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of the elect angels I charge you to keep these rules without prejudicing, doing nothing from partiality. Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands, nor take part in the sins of others; keep yourself pure.”
Paul gave instructions to the Church concerning the care and discipline of their elders. Elders were charged with teaching and preaching God’s Word and prayer. Those who labored–worked hard and consistently–were to be taken care of financially from the offerings brought in. If there was any charge of sin in an elder’s life, it must be brought by two or three witnesses and all facts established. The offender was to be publicly rebuked if they persisted in sin. Those who repented would humbly ask for forgiveness and mercy. These things were to be done without respect for persons or any partiality. A warning was given to be careful in ordaining elders or laying hands on them prematurely. Careful inquiry and purity of life must be ascertained before setting them in leadership.
Deuteronomy 19:15 “A single witness shall not suffice against a person for any crime or for any wrong in connection with any offense that he has committed. Only on the evidence of two witnesses or of three witnesses shall a charge be established.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for clearly giving care to elders through instructions to Your people. Thank you for financial care and spiritual care and discipline. Help Your Church to do these things without partiality or prejudice.
Matthew 10:9-10 “Acquire no gold or silver or copper for your belts, no bag for your journey, or two tunics or sandals or a staff, for the laborer deserves his food.”