Honoring and rebuking elders
Scripture reading for September 15th: 1st Timothy 5, Psalm 35, Proverbs 30
1st Timothy 5: 17-21 “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 prejudging, doing nothing from partiality.”
Paul taught Timothy about how to deal with elders in the church with integrity. First, elders who ruled well and labored faithfully in teaching and preaching were worthy of double honor. They should be held in high esteem and given an offering for their support. This is God’s plan. If there is a charge of sinful behavior against an elder, it must be confirmed by two or more witnesses. Care must be given not to prejudge the person before all facts are established. If true, the elder is to be confronted and if he refuses to repent but continues in the sin, the rebuke is to be in the presence of the congregation. There is to be no partiality or preferential treatment! This is to instruct all in the congregation to fear the Lord Who is just and without partiality.
Psalm 35:1-3 “Contend, O Lord, with those who contend against me! Take hold of shield and buckler and rise to my help! Draw spear and javelin against my pursuers! Say to my soul, “I am your salvation!””
Prayer: Father God, I thank You that You are just and without partiality. I thank You that You desire mercy for each person. Thank You for these instructions on honoring elders who rule well and for disciplining those who are caught in sin. I trust You to lead the elders in Your church in Your ways of Truth and integrity, with no prejudging or partiality. Forgive those who have not faithfully followed these rules.
Proverbs 30:10 “Do not slander a servant to his master, lest he curse you, and you be held guilty.”