"THE FIRST EPISTLE TO TIMOTHY" Family Matters (5:1-2) INTRODUCTION 1. In his instructions to Timothy as a minister of the gospel, Paul counsels him on how to treat the members of the congregation - cf. 1Ti 5:1-2 2. The figures used in this passage presuppose that we... a. Are indeed a family b. Should act accordingly [In this lesson, I would like to expound upon that thought. First, as Christians and members of the body of Christ...] I. WE ARE INDEED THE FAMILY OF GOD A. THAT WE ARE THE FAMILY OF GOD... 1. Was alluded to earlier in this epistle - 1Ti 3:14-15 2. Was taught by Jesus during His ministry - Mt 12:46-50 B. WE BECAME MEMBERS OF THIS FAMILY... 1. By doing the will of the Father - Mt 12:50 2. By faith and baptism - Ga 3:26-27 3. By being "born again" of water and the Spirit - Jn 3:3-5 4. By being "adopted" (to use a different figure) - Ep 1:3-5 C. WHEN WE BECAME MEMBERS OF THIS FAMILY... 1. Some might have been cut off by our physical family - Mt 10: 34-39 2. Yet we gained a much larger family - Mk 10:28-30 3. Included in this family are: a. God as our Father in heaven b. Jesus as our "elder brother" - He 2:11-12 c. All Christians as our brothers and sisters [This is a wonderful blessing we can enjoy now in Christ, if fully utilized. Yet with blessings come responsibilities; this is especially true when it comes to the family of God...] II. WE SHOULD TREAT ONE ANOTHER AS FAMILY A. OUR TEXT DEMONSTRATES HOW... 1. From a young person's point of view, they should treat: a. Older men as fathers b. Older women as mothers c. Younger men as brothers d. Younger women as sisters 2. From an older person's point of view, they should treat: a. Older men as brothers b. Older women as sisters c. Younger men as sons d. Younger women as daughters B. PAUL PROVIDES EXAMPLES... 1. As a father to a son (Timothy) - 1Ti 1:2,18; 2Ti 1:2; 2:1; Ph 2:19-22 2. As one brother to another (Epaphroditus) - Php 2:25 3. As a son to a mother (the mother of Rufus) - Ro 16:13 4. In teaching on family duties - Ep 6:1-4 a. Like obedient children, we should show honor to our older brethren b. Like loving fathers, tender treatment should be shown to younger brethren C. ESPECIALLY WHERE CORRECTION IS NEEDED... 1. In our text, Paul instructs Timothy on how to exhort a. When instructive criticism was necessary b. When there is to be caution against "rebuke" (an otherwise natural inclination) 1) Lit., to strike upon, beat upon - Thayer 2) To chastise with words, to chide, upbraid, rebuke - ibid. 2. This can make quite a difference in handling differences a. We would be gentle with one another - cf. Ga 6:1 b. As David wanted for his son Absalom - cf. 2Sa 18:5 [Not only is being the family of God a blessing in the best of times, it can also help when things are not going well; it can smooth the rough times in our relationships! Finally, a few thoughts on how...] III. WE CAN DEVELOP A STRONG SENSE OF FAMILY A. LEARNING BY EXAMPLE... 1. Children of loving families are more likely to produce loving families 2. As children of God, we can learn "family values" from our Father and Elder Brother a. From God we learn what love is - 1Jn 4:9 b. From Jesus we learn how to love one another -
1Jn 3:16; Jn 13:34 3. Thus we are better prepared to love another a. When we meditate upon the love of God b. When we dwell in the love of the Father and the Son -
Jn 14:21; 15:9-10 B. THROUGH SHARED EXPERIENCES... 1. For a relationship to exist requires shared experiences 2. It was shared experiences that bonded Paul and his brethren at Philippi - Php 1:3-8 3. Take advantage of opportunities to be with your brethren, and the sense of family will grow! C. THROUGH PURITY OF CONDUCT... 1. Nothing destroys a sense of family like sin a. Impure conduct caused Amnon to hate his sister Tamar - cf. 2Sa 13:15 b. Impure conduct caused Absalom to hate his brother Amnon - cf. 2Sa 13:22 2. In our text, Paul cautioned Timothy about his conduct toward younger sisters a. "younger as sisters, with all purity" - 1Ti 5:2 b. He "was to indulge in no word, or look, or action, which could by any possibility be construed as manifesting an improper state of feeling." - Barnes 3. Improper conduct between brothers and sisters in Christ: a. Has devastated many congregations b. Destroys any sense of family 4. Thus all would do well to heed a later admonition by Paul - cf. 2Ti 2:22 a. "Flee also youthful lusts" b. "Pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart" CONCLUSION 1. One of the greatest blessings of being a Christian is being in the family of God... a. To have God as your Father, Jesus as your Elder Brother b. To have an unlimited supply of mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters 2. But to fully experience this blessing, we must treat one another like family... a. In our love for one another b. In our correction of one another May we reap the fullest benefit of membership in the family of God, by heeding Paul's admonition to Timothy...!