Looking Ahead: Friday: May 18th - Communion Sundays: May 6th & 13th - Teaching on Communion - Teaching on Communion
Widow: a woman whose husband has died and has not married. - Category reserved for woman - Category reserved for woman - One of the most neglected areas of ministry (along w/orphans) - One of the most neglected areas of ministry (along w/orphans) - Spiritual Allusions - Spiritual Allusions
The Mosaic Law provided for the care of widows: 1) Glean from fields, orchards, and vineyards. 1) Glean from fields, orchards, and vineyards. 2) Shared third-year tithe with the Levites (also, orphans and foreigners) 2) Shared third-year tithe with the Levites (also, orphans and foreigners)
“Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” – James 1:27 (KJV) Visit - to look upon or after, to inspect, examine with the eyes. (Thayer’s Greek Definitions)
“Honour widows that are widows indeed.” – 1 st Timothy 5:3 (KJV) Three Categories of Widows: 1) An Ordinary Widow 1) An Ordinary Widow 2) A Destitute Widow 2) A Destitute Widow 3) A Presbytery Widow 3) A Presbytery Widow
1) An Ordinary Widow 1) An Ordinary Widow “But if any widow have children or nephews, let them learn first to shew piety at home, and to requite their parents: for that is good and acceptable before God.” – 1 st Timothy 5:4 (KJV) – 1 st Timothy 5:4 (KJV)
1) An Ordinary Widow 1) An Ordinary Widow - If the “ordinary widow” had family available, they were to live with those family members. - If the “ordinary widow” had family available, they were to live with those family members. *Culture: Responsibility fell on the first born.
“But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.” – 1 st Timothy 5:8 (KJV) - Admonishment to the children - Admonishment to the children - “house” = kindred, family, blood - “house” = kindred, family, blood
“If any man or woman that believeth have widows, let them relieve them, and let not the church be charged; that it may relieve them that are widows indeed.” – 1 st Timothy 5:16 (KJV) - This allowed the church to focus charity on widows in need. - This allowed the church to focus charity on widows in need.
2) A Widow Indeed 2) A Widow Indeed “Now she that is a widow indeed, and desolate, trusteth in God, and continueth in supplications and prayers night and day.” – 1 st Timothy 5:5 (KJV)
“But she that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth.” – 1 st Timothy 5:6 (KJV) Pleasure - to live luxuriously, lead a voluptuous life, (give one’s self to pleasure) (Thayer’s Greek Definitions) - Her lifestyle testifies for her (v. 5) or condemns her (v. 6) - Her lifestyle testifies for her (v. 5) or condemns her (v. 6)
3) A Presbytery Widow 3) A Presbytery Widow “Let not a widow be taken into the number under threescore years (60) old, having been the wife of one man.” – 1 st Timothy 5:9 (KJV) – 1 st Timothy 5:9 (KJV)
Presbytery – an assembly of elders - Not a “minister” or even a deaconess - Not a “minister” or even a deaconess - Compare with Anna the prophetess (Luke 2:36-38) - Compare with Anna the prophetess (Luke 2:36-38) *Debate over “prophetess:” - Not the strict definition - “Ecclesiastical Widowhood”
“Ecclesiastical Widowhood” - Mentioned by early Christian writers: - Mentioned by early Christian writers: a) The Shepherd of Hermas (approx. 85 A.D.) b) Tertullian (160-225 A.D.) c) Chrysostom (347-407 A.D.) - Qualifications in 1 st Timothy 5:10 - Qualifications in 1 st Timothy 5:10
“…resembling the presbyters in the respect paid to them, and in some of their duties; they ministered with sympathizing counsel to other widows and to orphans, a ministry to which their own experimental knowledge of the feelings and sufferings of the bereaved adapted them, and had a general supervision of their sex.” - Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary - Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary
“But the younger widows refuse: for when they have begun to wax wanton against Christ, they will marry; Having damnation, because they have cast off their first faith.” – 1 st Timothy 5:11-12 (KJV) – 1 st Timothy 5:11-12 (KJV)
*Thayer’s - to feel the impulses of sexual desire Adam Clarke – “…a metaphor taken from a pampered horse, from whose mouth the rein has been removed, so that there is nothing to check or confine him.”
“The first reason why younger widows are not to be admitted to this ministry, that is, because of the unsteadiness of their age they will at length shake off the burden that Christ has laid upon them, and think rather upon marrying again: and so will forsake the ministry to which they had bound themselves.” – Geneva Bible – Geneva Bible
“I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.” – 1 st Timothy 5:14 (KJV) – 1 st Timothy 5:14 (KJV)
“We are not to suppose that he gives this as an absolute and universal command, for it might not always be at the option of the widow to marry again, and it cannot be doubted that there may be cases where it would be unadvisable. But he speaks of this as a general rule. 1) that second marriages are not improper or unlawful, but that in some circumstances they may be preferable to widowhood.” 1) that second marriages are not improper or unlawful, but that in some circumstances they may be preferable to widowhood.” - Albert Barnes’ Notes on the Bible - Albert Barnes’ Notes on the Bible
“Meaning some of those younger widows, whom the apostle knew, and had observed to have departed from the faith they first professed, and turned their backs on Christ, and gave themselves up to carnal lusts and pleasures, and an idle and impure life and conversation…”
“…so everyone that apostatizes from a profession of Christ, and follows either false teachers, and their doctrines, as the Gnostics, that condemned marriage, or any sinful and impure way of life, may be said to turn aside after Satan.” – John Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible – John Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible
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