Hello everybody and welcome in to episode #257 of the Bible 2021 podcast. We are reading 1 Timothy 5 today and our focus is on How Should Christian Men Treat Women? + Should Christians Drink Alcohol at all? We are a daily 10 minute podcast, where we will dig in to the truth of the Word of God by reading one Bible chapter a day and discussing it. Welcome to new listeners in Our goal is to encourage DAILY Bible reading, so you can jump in at any time and join with us. We want to invite as many people as possible to join us in daily Bible reading, so help spread the word and share the podcast! Don’t forget about our web-page, Bible2021.com – contact page, show notes, transcript and more– Click here for our Bible 2021 reading plan\
As a reminder since we are a slightly over ten minute podcast, that means we can’t take deep dives into topics that deserve more than a mere ten minutes – so treat these episodes as introductions and not the complete word on any particular topic. That goes especially for tonight’s two topics – they each deserve more than a few minutes, but we can certainly offer some introductory thoughts and Scriptures. How should Christian men treat women? This is a question that is addressed in the Bible, but maybe not taught on quite enough. Based on the way some men in the church treat women, it would seem that we need to focus on this truth more. How should men in the church treat women? Paul gives us some surprising and practical commands on that question in today’s chapter:
Don’t rebuke an older man, but exhort him as a father, younger men as brothers, 2 older women as mothers, and the younger women as sisters with all purity. 1 Timothy 5:1-2
Several truths to unpack here. First – show respect to those older – don’t rebuke older people, but treat them as you would your father or mother. Younger guys should be treated as brothers and younger women like sisters – WITH ALL PURITY. I take from this that men in the church should treat women with a great deal of respect – older women as mothers, remembering that we are commanded to honor our father and mother. So, older women in the church must be treated with honor, deference and respect. Women our age and younger should be treated as sisters, and Paul adds a modifier there – with all purity. Women in the church should not be treated as objects, nor harassed in any way, and in particular ANY form of sexual harassment is an abomination and forbidden. One other command comes to mind here:
Husbands, in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with a weaker partner, showing them honor as coheirs of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered. 1 Peter 3:7
First, let me say that “weaker,” is not meant in any way to be pejorative or insulting. It is a general statement that is generally true, and was especially so in the first century, where women were in a weaker position from a societal perspective. This might also refer to being physically less strong. I’m 6’1 225, my wife is 5’4, and at least 100 pounds less than me. I think I’m physically stronger than her, even though mentioning her weight in even a vague way might be enough to get me knocked out. Physical and societal strength is likely what Peter is referring to. It is not a universal 100% principle. There are most certainly wives who are physically stronger, or sociatally stronger than their husbands, but most of the time it is the other way around, and because of that husbands must UNDERSTAND their wives and show them HONOR. That means a husband must give forth real effort and thought to ‘get’ his wife – to know what she likes and dislikes – and to understand her and to learn to live with her in a way that honors and uplifts her, and not in a way that embarrasses, or annoys, or agitates, or harms her in any way. To do otherwise means that God WILL NOT HEAR OUR PRAYERS. Be a bad husband, men, and your prayers will be hindered. That sounds important, huh?
Next topic: Should Christians drink? I might have mentioned this before, my first study Bible was an excellent gift from my girlfriend, who would become my wife the year after giving me that Bible. I’ll never forget how passionately anti-drinking the author of the study notes in that Bible were – the commentary on various verses. He made the case over and over again that “wine” as mentioned in the New Testament, specifically the kind of wine that Paul urges Timothy to drink in today’s passages, was “sweet wine,” meaning it did not have alcohol in it. His point was to dissuade Christians away from addiction, alcoholism and drunkenness, but was he right? Was the wine that Jesus made at Cana in John 2 and the wine that Paul tells Timothy to drink in 1 Timothy 5 actually non-alcoholic? In a word…no, and we can prove that pretty easily. Consider our passage today:
23 Don’t continue drinking only water, but use a little wine because of your stomach and your frequent illnesses. 1 Timothy 5:23
The Greek word used there is the word “οἶνος oînos,” which means, “wine.” It is the exact same Greek word that Paul uses in Ephesian 5:18, “18 And don’t get drunk with wine, which leads to reckless living, but be filled by the Spirit:”
And, it should be noted, according to John 2, Jesus made, “οἶνος oînos.” So, in one passage, Paul tells Timothy to drink a LITTLE “οἶνος oînos,” and in another passage, Paul commands the Ephesians not to be DRUNK on “οἶνος oînos.” This tells us that one can get drunk on “οἶνος oînos,” and thus it can’t be that this word simply means grape juice. So, there is some nuance here – the Bible very clearly forbids getting drunk (which would include being buzzed, or high, or whatever…) but allows for the drinking of a little wine. These are NOT the only passages on drinking – for instance, in Romans 14, Paul says:
21 It is a good thing not to eat meat, or drink wine, or do anything that makes your brother or sister stumble. 22 Whatever you believe about these things, keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who does not condemn himself by what he approves. Romans 14:21-22
So, I take from these passages that the Bible does NOT forbid drinking wine. (Strong drink is an entirely different discussion that we won’t cover here.) and the Bible FORBIDS getting drunk or buzzed, and the Bible also forbids causing a person to stumble, or have issues, by your drinking. You can’t be a cause for stumbling for somebody else – as Paul says, it is better to not drink wine or eat meat, than to cause another believer to have difficulties with you. One more verse:
12 “Everything is permissible for me,” but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible for me,” but I will not be mastered by anything. 1 Corinthians 6:12
This tells us that not everything that is allowed – i.e. drinking wine – is actually beneficial for us. If you have the propensity to be mastered by wine – i.e. to become addicted to it – then Paul seems to be telling us in this passage to avoid wine altogether.
Again, this isn’t the depth that these issues demand, but hopefully it will put you on the right track biblically. Let’s read our passage.
Bible Memory verses for the month of September: 16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. 2nd Timothy 3:16-17
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