Rebuke not an elder, but intreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren;
1 Timothy 5:4
Piety at Home.
I. The home must be safe. It must be a sanctuary, where there is nothing to hurt or destroy. It is a great and lifelong benefit when life's outset is passed in an atmosphere of truth and openness, and nothing is more disastrous than that system of false threatening and coercion which makes its little victims both incredulous and superstitious, both cowardly and cunning. Be yourself fair, candid, evenly-minded, making it easy to others to tell the truth, listening to both sides of the story, and careful to judge righteous judgment. And keep out all that has the opposite tendency.
II. Make home attractive. The Australian bower-bird has its playing-place, a curious tunnel of twigs adorned with shells and pebbles and glittering potsherds, through which it has unwearied delight with its companions in whisking to and fro. And man himself is a bower-bird; merry movement, gay music, light objects; every child has the love of them—every home should be full of them. He is the good God who gives the gaiety, and he would be a gloomy demon who would drive it away.
III. Make home instructive. Be yourself intelligent; to surrounding minds a kindly, high-toned presence gives something they can grasp and which keeps them from cleaving to the dust.
IV. Make the home a preparation for life, and also a preparation for heaven. The only commodity which we can count on carrying through life is character; and by character we mean all those elements which enter into our moral and spiritual composition—faith in God, reverence, submission to His will, love to Christ, a sweet and gracious disposition, practical beneficence, a readiness for praise and thanksgiving. Keep the home near heaven. Let it face towards the Father's house.
J. Hamilton, Works, vol. vi., p. 503.
References: 1 Timothy 5:4.—G. D. Macgregor, Christian World Pulpit, vol. viii., p. 198; E. W. Shalders, Ibid., vol. xiii., p. 157; Homiletic Quarterly, vol. xi., p. 277. 1 Timothy 5:6.—Clergyman's Magazine, vol. iii., p. 208; Forsyth and Hamilton, Pulpit Parables, p. 137. 1 Timothy 5:8.—J. H. Thom, Laws of Life, 2nd series, p. 210. 1 Timothy 5:10.—J. T. Stannard, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xi., p. 154. 1 Timothy 5:17-25.—Expositor, 1st series, vol. iv., p. 47; Christian World Pulpit, vol. xxxii., p. 186. 1 Timothy 5:22.—E. Cooper, Practical Sermons, vol. iii., p. 198.
1 Timothy 5:24The Sins that follow Us.
The visible Church holds still within its outward pale thousands whose lives are their own condemnation. These are they whose sins are "open beforehand"; they need no penetrating scrutiny, no process of conviction. Their sins go before to judgment, sent forward to prepare a place on the left hand of the Judge in that great day. "And some men they follow after." That is to say, there are men all fair without, but within full of disguised and deadly evil. Let us see what the words mean.
I. They mean that all sins have their proper chastisement; which, however long delayed and seemingly averted, will as a general law, sooner or later, overtake the sinner. I say all sins, because chastisement follows often even upon sins that are repented of, as in the case of David; and I say also as a general law, because it seems sometimes that God, in His tender compassion to individual cases, does hold back the chastisement of His rod, and by ways of peculiar lovingkindness make perfect the humiliation of particular penitents. Our sins follow us by the rod of chastisement.
II. Again, past sins follow after sinners in the active power by which they still keep a hold on their present state of heart. It is one of the worst effects of sin, that after commission, it clings to the soul. Every sin leaves some deposit in the spiritual nature. It quickens the original root of evil; it multiplies and unfolds its manifold corruption. And, worst of all, it brings on a deadness and insensibility of the spiritual nature. Our present falls, infirmities, spiritual struggles, afflictions, and dangerous inclinations, are, for the most part, the sins of our past life, following us in chastisement, and cleaving as diseases and temptations.
III. And further, whether or no sins follow in chastisement now, they will surely overtake us in the judgment. The long quest of sin pursuing the guilty shall be ended before the great white throne. All masks shall be torn off from all faces there, and we shall be seen, not as we show ourselves, but as we are. It will be a fearful meeting between a sinner and his very self, when his true self shall confront his false, and the multitude of his sins shall clamour on every side. Such must some day be the doom of the most successful hypocrite, of the fairest and least suspected sinner.
H. E. Manning, Sermons, vol. iii., p. 73.
References: 1 Timothy 5:24.—T. T. Munger, The Freedom of Faith, p. 317, J. Vaughan, Fifty Sermons, 1874, p. 109; J. Baines, Sermons, p. 15; Homilist, vol. vi., p. 115. 1 Timothy 6:1-21.—Expositor, 1st series, vol. iv., p. 191. 1 Timothy 6:4, 1 Timothy 6:5.—Homilist, vol. vi., p. 1. 1 Timothy 6:6-13.—Homiletic Magazine, vol. x., p. 321. 1 Timothy 6:7.—A. F. Joscelyne, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xvi., p. 323; O. Morris, Ibid., vol. xxviii., p. 132. 1 Timothy 6:7, 1 Timothy 6:8.—Plain Sermons by Contributors to "Tracts for the Times," vol. v., p. 38. 1 Timothy 6:9.—A. Davies, Ibid., vol. xiii., p. 245. 1 Timothy 6:9, 1 Timothy 6:10.—H. W. Beecher, Ibid., vol. xxvi., p. 227; Plain Sermons, vol. x., p. 195. 1 Timothy 6:11-16.—E. White, Ibid., vol. xxxiii., pp. 113, 129.
The elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters, with all purity.
Honour widows that are widows indeed.
But if any widow have children or nephews, let them learn first to shew piety at home, and to requite their parents: for that is good and acceptable before God.
Now she that is a widow indeed, and desolate, trusteth in God, and continueth in supplications and prayers night and day.
But she that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth.
And these things give in charge, that they may be blameless.
But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.
Let not a widow be taken into the number under threescore years old, having been the wife of one man,
Well reported of for good works; if she have brought up children, if she have lodged strangers, if she have washed the saints' feet, if she have relieved the afflicted, if she have diligently followed every good work.
But the younger widows refuse: for when they have begun to wax wanton against Christ, they will marry;
Having damnation, because they have cast off their first faith.
And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not.
I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.
For some are already turned aside after Satan.
If any man or woman that believeth have widows, let them relieve them, and let not the church be charged; that it may relieve them that are widows indeed.
Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.
For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward.
Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses.
Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.
I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality.
Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men's sins: keep thyself pure.
Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach's sake and thine often infirmities.
Some men's sins are open beforehand, going before to judgment; and some men they follow after.
Likewise also the good works of some are manifest beforehand; and they that are otherwise cannot be hid.