One of our favorite sayings around the Summit is that we see our church as a family. This week we'll see how Paul explores this concept in 1 Timothy, as well as one of the major implications of the church being a family - that we take care of each other well.
Here are some questions to think through in anticipation of Sunday:
- how have your impressions of the church growing up affected what you believe the church is today?
- how do you think the church being a family should impact your daily life? How could this be good news to you if you grew up in an unhealthy environment or have strained relationships with your biological family?
- why do you think just after describing the church as a family (1 Tim. 5:1-2), Paul describes how to take care of those in need in the family? Do you think those in the church have a responsibility to care for one another?
1 Timothy 5:1-16
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, 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 really widows.