Instructions for the Church
1 # [Lev. 19:32] Do not rebuke an older man but encourage him as you would a father, #Titus 2:6younger men as brothers, 2older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, in all purity.
3Honor widows #ver. 5, 16who are truly widows. 4But if a widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn #Matt. 15:4-6; Mark 7:10-13; Eph. 6:1, 2; [Gen. 45:9-11] to show godliness to their own household and to make some return to their parents, for #ch. 2:3this is pleasing in the sight of God. 5She #ver. 3, 16 who is truly a widow, left all alone, has set her hope on God and #[Luke 2:37; 18:1-5]continues in supplications and prayers night and day, 6but #James 5:5; [Ezek. 16:49] she who is self-indulgent is #Rev. 3:1dead even while she lives. 7#ch. 4:11; 6:2Command these things as well, so that they may be without reproach. 8But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for #See Gal. 6:10 members of his household, he has #Rev. 2:13; [2 Tim. 3:5; Titus 1:16; 2 Pet. 2:1; Rev. 3:8]denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
9Let a widow be enrolled if she is not less than sixty years of age, having been #[ch. 3:2]the wife of one husband,#5:9 Or a woman of one man 10and having a reputation for good works: if she has brought up children, has #[See ver. 9 above] shown hospitality, #See Gen. 18:4 has washed the feet of the saints, has #ver. 16 cared for the afflicted, and has #[ch. 6:18]devoted herself to every good work. 11But refuse to enroll younger widows, for when #[Rev. 18:3, 7, 9]their passions draw them away from Christ, they desire to marry 12and so incur condemnation for having abandoned their former faith. 13Besides that, they learn to be idlers, going about from house to house, and not only idlers, but also #3 John 10 (Gk.) gossips and #2 Thess. 3:11; 1 Pet. 4:15busybodies, saying what they should not. 14So I would have #[1 Cor. 7:9] younger widows marry, bear children, #[Titus 2:5] manage their households, and #ch. 6:1; Titus 2:5, 8give the adversary no occasion for slander. 15#[ch. 1:20]For some have already strayed after Satan. 16If 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 #ver. 3, 5who are truly widows.
17Let the elders #Rom. 12:8; 1 Thess. 5:12; [1 Cor. 12:28] who rule well be considered worthy of #Deut. 21:17double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching. 18For the Scripture says, #1 Cor. 9:9; Cited from Deut. 25:4 “You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain,” and, #Matt. 10:10; Luke 10:7; [Lev. 19:13; Deut. 24:15; 1 Cor. 9:4, 7-14]“The laborer deserves his wages.” 19Do not admit a charge against an elder except #See Deut. 19:15on the evidence of two or three witnesses. 20As for those who persist in sin, #Titus 1:13; 2:15 rebuke them in the presence of all, #Deut. 13:11so that the rest may stand in fear. 21In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of the elect angels #ch. 6:13; 2 Tim. 2:14; 4:1 I charge you to keep these rules without prejudging, #See 2 Cor. 5:16doing nothing from partiality. 22#[ch. 3:10] Do not be hasty in the #See Acts 6:6 laying on of hands, nor #[2 John 11]take part in the sins of others; keep yourself pure. 23(No longer drink only water, but #[ch. 3:8] use a little wine #Ps. 104:15for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments.) 24The sins of some people are conspicuous, going before them to judgment, but the sins of others appear later. 25So also good works are conspicuous, and #[Ps. 37:6; Prov. 10:9]even those that are not cannot remain hidden.