Instructions for the Church

bDo not rebuke an older man but encourage him as you would a father, cyounger men as brothers,  older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, in all purity.

 Honor widows dwho are truly widows.  But if a widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn eto show godliness to their own household and to make some return to their parents, for fthis is pleasing in the sight of God.  She gwho is truly a widow, left all alone, has set her hope on God and hcontinues in supplications and prayers night and day,  but ishe who is self-indulgent is jdead even while she lives.  kCommand these things as well, so that they may be without reproach.  But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for lmembers of his household, he has mdenied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

 Let a widow be enrolled if she is not less than sixty years of age, having been nthe wife of one husband,1  10 and having a reputation for good works: if she has brought up children, has nshown hospitality, ohas washed the feet of the saints, has pcared for the afflicted, and has qdevoted herself to every good work.  11 But refuse to enroll younger widows, for when rtheir passions draw them away from Christ, they desire to marry  12 and so incur condemnation for having abandoned their former faith.  13 Besides that, they learn to be idlers, going about from house to house, and not only idlers, but also sgossips and tbusybodies, saying what they should not.  14 So I would have uyounger widows marry, bear children, vmanage their households, and wgive the adversary no occasion for slander.  15 xFor some have already strayed after Satan.  16 If any believing woman has relatives who are widows, let her care for them. Let the church not be burdened, so that it may care for those ywho are truly widows.

 17 Let the elders zwho rule well be considered worthy of adouble honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching.  18 For the Scripture says, b“You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain,” and, cThe laborer deserves his wages.”  19 Do not admit a charge against an elder except don the evidence of two or three witnesses.  20 As for those who persist in sin, erebuke them in the presence of all, fso that the rest may stand in fear.  21 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of the elect angels gI charge you to keep these rules without prejudging, hdoing nothing from partiality.  22 iDo not be hasty in the jlaying on of hands, nor ktake part in the sins of others; keep yourself pure.  23 (No longer drink only water, but luse a little wine mfor the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments.)  24 The sins of some people are conspicuous, going before them to judgment, but the sins of others appear later.  25 So also good works are conspicuous, and neven those that are not cannot remain hidden.

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