Treatment of Church Members
1Do not rebuke an older man, but exhort him as a father, younger men as brothers, 2older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, with all purity.
Honor True Widows
3Honor widows who are really widows. 4But if any widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show piety at home and #Gen. 45:10to repay their parents; for this is good and acceptable before God. 5Now she who is really a widow, and left alone, trusts in God and continues in supplications and prayers #Acts 26:7night and day. 6But she who lives in pleasure is dead while she lives. 7And these things command, that they may be blameless. 8But if anyone does not provide for his own, #Is. 58:72 Cor. 12:14and especially for those of his household, #2 Tim. 3:5he has denied the faith #Matt. 18:17and is worse than an unbeliever.
9Do not let a widow under sixty years old be taken into the number, and not unless she has been the wife of one man, 10well reported for good works: if she has brought up children, if she has lodged strangers, if she has washed the saints’ feet, if she has relieved the afflicted, if she has diligently followed every good work.
11But refuse the younger widows; for when they have begun to grow wanton against Christ, they desire to marry, 12having condemnation because they have cast off their first faith. 13And besides they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house, and not only idle but also gossips and busybodies, saying things which they ought not. 14Therefore I desire that the younger widows marry, bear children, manage the house, give no opportunity to the adversary to speak reproachfully. 15For some have already turned aside after Satan. 16If any believing man or woman has widows, let them relieve them, and do not let the church be burdened, that it may relieve those who are really widows.
Honor the Elders
17Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine. 18For the Scripture says, #Deut. 25:41 Cor. 9:7–9“You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain,” and, #Lev. 19:13Deut. 24:15Matt. 10:10Luke 10:71 Cor. 9:14“The laborer is worthy of his wages.” 19Do not receive an accusation against an elder except #Deut. 17:6De 19:15Matt. 18:16from two or three witnesses. 20Those who are sinning rebuke in the presence of all, that the rest also may fear.
21I charge you before God and the Lord Jesus Christ and the elect angels that you observe these things without #Deut. 1:17prejudice, doing nothing with partiality. 22Do not lay hands on anyone hastily, nor #Eph. 5:672 John 11share in other people’s sins; keep yourself pure.
23No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for your stomach’s sake and your frequent infirmities.
24Some men’s sins are #Gal. 5:19–21clearly evident, preceding them to judgment, but those of some men follow later. 25Likewise, the good works of some are clearly evident, and those that are otherwise cannot be hidden.