Summary: Respect for Elders (Church Leaders) & Masters (Employers), (Powerpoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email:


Respect for Elders (5:17-25):

• Financial Support (vs 17-18)

• Fair Treatment (vs 19-21)

• Faithful & Honest (vs 22-25)

Respect for Masters (6:1-2):

• Slaves with believing masters

• Slaves with unbelieving masters



• The African Bishop, Desmond Tutu, was once asked why he became an Anglican minister;

• Rather than joining some other denomination.

• He replied that in the days of apartheid,

• When a black person and a white person met while walking on a footpath,

• The black person was expected to step into the gutter to allow the white person to pass by.

• Desmond Tutu says,

• "When I was just a little boy, my mother and I were walking down the street;

• When a tall white man, dressed in a black suit, came toward us.

• Before my mother and I could step off the sidewalk, as was expected of us,

• This man stepped off the sidewalk and,

• As my mother and I passed, tipped his hat in a gesture of respect to her!

• I was more than surprised at what had happened and I asked my mother,

• ‘Why did that white man do that?’

• My mother explained, ‘He’s an Anglican priest. He’s a man of God, that’s why he did it.’

• When she told me that he was an Anglican priest;

• I decided there and then that I wanted to be an Anglican priest too.

• And what is more, I wanted to be a man of God."

Respect is a theme that runs all the way though the Bible:

• In fact you can summarise the 10 commandments in two ways:

• First: Respect for God (commandments 1 to 4)

• Second: Respect for other people (Commandments 5-10)

• We are also called to show respect to a whole variety of other people;

• i.e. The previous 16 verses in chapter 5’s theme is honour/respect to widows;

• And in these verses in 1 Timothy chapter 5 verses 17-25;

• The focus is on respect for ‘Elders’ (Leaders) in the Church.

• Then the beginning of chapter 6 verses 1-2:

• Instructs us to respect ‘Masters’ or today we would say our employers.

In this passage (chapter 5 verses 17-25) we are given three ways to honour/respect ‘Elders’ (Leaders) in the local Church.

(1). FINANCIAL SUPPORT (vs 17-18)

“The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honour, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching. 18 For Scripture says, “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain,” and “The worker deserves his wages.”

• ‘Elders’ is the name given to Church leaders in the New Testament;

• Each local church had a group of elders – we follow this leadership pattern here at DRC.

• The elders calling is to look after the congregation.

• i.e. to teach people the Bible, to empower church members to serve,

• i.e. to help the congregation stay focused on God’s plan,

• i.e. and to protect the congregation against doctrinal error and false teaching.

• We have already looked in a previous study (1 Timothy chapter 3);

• On the qualifications for an elder;

• And how somebody becomes an elder in a local assembly.

• When we studied 1 Timothy chapter 3;

• We noted that most of the biblical standards for becoming an elder;

• Focus on a person’s character rather than abilities.

• Leadership skills are important to eldership,

• But not nearly as important as integrity.

• And no amount of leadership ability can compensate for a lack of integrity.

In these verses we learn that there were two kinds of elders in the New Testament church:

(a). Lay Elders.

• There were some elders who were volunteer,

• Or what we might call "lay elders",

• In most of our type of Churches the majority of elders tend to be "lay elders,"

• Men who work full-time jobs during the week;

• To earn the money which allows them to financially support themselves;

• And their families etc.

• These men then give a large amount of their spare time;

• To overseeing the church;

• And all this is done in a volunteer capacity with no financial remuneration.

• If I were to ask Martin, Paul & Alistair (Lay elders at DRC);

• How much they got paid for the years of service DRC;

• The answer would be a big fat ‘0’ – they get no financial remuneration for their time & sacrifice.

(b). Paid Elders.

• There were some elders who were called and gifted to lead the church full-time.

• For these elders, their primary calling was and is not pastoral work,

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