1 Timothy 5:17-25

Talks for Growing Christians

The Subject of Elders or Overseers

1 Timothy 5:17-25

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Lesson Number 12

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. Elders who rule well should receive double honor.
  2. Elders who do not rule well should be rebuked publicly.

Practical Application

  1. Don’t judge a book by its cover.


  1. What medical advice is given in this section?
  2. What is meant by “double honor” for elders?
  3. Cite at least one other Scripture that supports the principle of honoring an elder.
  4. What are the steps for rebuking an elder who does not do his job?
  5. Why should an elder who rules poorly be publicly rebuked?
  6. Who does the disciplining in such a case? Why?
  7. How might you prevent a situation where you need to discipline and elder?


  1. Paul told Timothy to drink a little wine for his stomach’s sake. Timothy was still expected to do his job in spite of his stomach problems and frequent infirmities.
  2. The double honor is for elders who rule well. They should receive both respect and financial gifts.
  3. Deuteronomy 25:4 and Luke 10:7.
  4. a. make sure he is really guilty of the accusation b. discipline him publicly if the sin continues c. do not rejudge the situation or play favorites.
  5. It acts as a deterrent to other elders, and the rest of the congregation.
  6. The other elders. This is one of many reasons for having a plurality of elders.
  7. By not recognizing elders too quickly. A man should be given time to prove himself before being recognized as an elder.


  1. Elders are to rule like shepherds. When an elder rules well he should receive double honor. Do you respect the elders of your church? Do you help support your full time workers?
  2. Review the disciplinary steps for an elder who does not rule well. The need for disciplining an elder should be a somber moment for all elders and the congregation.


  1. Be sure that you give your potential elders time to prove themselves before recognizing them as elders. This could save a lot of trouble and heartache. Avoid pre-judging, either for good or bad. Encourage Christians who are serving well at any level within the church.

Key Verses

  • “ Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor. ” - 1 Timothy 5:17 “ Do not receive an accusation against an elder except from two or three witnesses. Those who are sinning rebuke in the presence of all, that the rest also may fear. Observe these things without prejudice, doing nothing with partiality. ” - 1 Timothy 5:19-21 “ Do not lay hands on anyone hastily, nor share in other people’s sins; keep yourself pure. ” - 1 Timothy 5:22 “ Some men’s sins are clearly evident...but those of some men follow later. Likewise, the good works of some are clearly evident, and those that are otherwise cannot be hidden. ” - 1 Timothy 5:24-25

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