What does it mean to be given "double honor?”

After a long dry sermon, the minister announced that there would be a brief meeting of the board immediately after the benediction. Following the services, a stranger was the first to meet the minister up front. “You must have misunderstood the announcement,” said the m … More

Church Administration

In this passage the Apostle Paul turns to admonitions and instructions concerning the elders of a church. To get a church operating as it ought to is more important than maintaining good schools, or electing strong officials to office, or building a sound economic base in this country; it is far more important than developing our natural resources or controlling crime. All of those things are very important but they are less important than getting a church functioning the way it ought to. History confirms that, if a church functions the way it ought, all of the things above will begin to occur.

The apostle says that, “those who labor at preaching and teaching,” are to be given “double honor (vv. 17-18). “Honor” (respect) is to be given to all elders and pastors - that is the first honor. “Remuneration” (financial) is the second honor. Their needs, their expenses, their salaries are to be paid in order to free them to do the work of preaching and teaching. The apostle lists some Scriptural evidence in support of this. He goes back to the Law, to the book of Deuteronomy, and quotes what Moses said: “You shall not muzzle an ox when it is treading out the grain,” (cf, Deut 25:4).

Today any concerned individual who sees from the Scriptures that things are out of line is responsible to call these things to the attention of the leaders of the church, and press for action if need be (vv. 19-20). First, there must be no partiality shown (v. 21). Paul tells Timothy to be careful, to not give people leadership roles in the Church too hastily (v. 22). Look for the qualifications that other Scriptures have told us to look for. If you are sick take a little wine for healing (v. 23). Paul tells Timothy not to ignore sins and weaknesses he may find in men and let good deeds show (vv. 24-25).

Application

What am I doing to help my church to be the kind of influence it should be in my community. It is so easy to just be a spectator and not be a part of the team that reaches out into the community.

I Timothy 5:17-25 (English Standard Version)

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. Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands, nor take part in the sins of others; keep yourself pure. (No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments.) The sins of some men are conspicuous, going before them to judgment, but the sins of others appear later. So also good works are conspicuous, and even those that are not cannot remain hidden.

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