Timothy Study – Part 11. As Christians, we have the responsibility daily to provide encouragement by sharing the love of God. The lesson on May 6, 2007 provides a review of the lesson regarding widows but then picks up to study the passages on Elders in verse 17. 1 Timothy 5:17 says “Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.” Elders are particularly qualified to teach the word of God and that’s why it is important that the qualifications that God established when selecting an elder in the church are followed. Elders are individuals that have ruled well showing they are faithful individuals especially when they receive a double honor by laboring in the word and doctrine. Elders are wise, able, and are faithful because they have spent time in the word of God. We are reminded of the qualifications of the elder listed in 1 Timothy 3:1-13. Timothy is being told what the work of a good minister is in the church. We see however that elders are not perfect. In verse 19 there are instructions on how to handle rebuking an elder properly. The offense spoken about in verse 19 is a criminal accusation similar to the type of accusation the Jewish leaders attempted to put on Jesus in Luke 6:6-7 or John 18:33-38 which never were proven. As Pilate said “I find in him no fault at all”. The same is true when handling accusations against an elder because you need to have two or three witnesses to be sure. We need to be careful about the individuals we choose to be elders as Paul expressed in Titus 1:5-6 “For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee: If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly.” Paul the charges Timothy with a serious charge in 1 Tim 5:21 “I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality.” The lesson comments on the statement found in verse 18 “For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn…” which is taken from Deuteronomy 25:4 when there are stories about handing out judgment. The elders are in need of our prayer and support.