Vs. 14 "I encourage younger women to marry." The apostle is still on the subject of caring for widows, so we assume that he especially means young widows. God ordained marriage for the holiness and happiness of the race (Gen. 2:18:25; I Cor. 7:2-5; Heb. 13:4).
It is difficult for a young widow to live with such caution that people will not find some pretext for slandering her or questioning her purity. It is better, if possible, for her to marry, but only in the Lord! (I Cor. 7:39).
Vs. 15. Unfortunately, there are some widows who have been drawn away from the rule of Christ and the fellowship of believers to walk in their own ways, which means actually they are under the rule of Satan.
Vs. 16. If there are believers in the church who have widows and needy persons in their household, let them supply the needs of these widows and not burden the church with them, that the church funds may be used to relieve those who have no one to care for them.
Vs. 17. Paul had instructed the church to 'honour widows that are widows indeed', that is, to support and provide for them, but elders, pastors, missionaries, preachers and all who labour in the preaching and teaching of the Word are doubly worthy of this support and care by the church. He does not encourage the support of lazy, indifferent, professional pulpiteers, but the full support of those who perform the duties of their office well and who labour faithfully in preaching and teaching! This honour is to be understood as that outward respect shown by words and attitude and a sufficient maintenance materially.
Vs. 18. This illustration comes from Deuteronomy 25:4. Whereas the ox was not muzzled when he trod out the corn, but was allowed to feed upon it, so those who labour in the gospel ought to be allowed to partake of the fruits of their labour (I Cor. 9:13, 14). A man who labours in your service and for your benefit is worthy of your generous support (I Cor. 9:11).
Vs. 19,20. Do not allow your ministers, pastors and teachers to be assailed, criticized and slandered (either privately or publicly) by individuals who do not like them or what they preach. Indifferent and careless professors generally like to excuse their sins by finding fault with the preacher. If there is a legitimate complaint, either doctrinally or morally, against an elder, established by sufficient witnesses, let it be dealt with in a scriptural and brotherly way before the church, that all may walk in fear of sin and false doctrine.
Vs. 21. 'I charge you to observe all these things that I have written without partiality or prejudice.' One is not to be preferred before another, but every member of the church family loved alike. Let no judgment or action be carried out in haste or disrespect, but let our dealings with one another be in love and affection.
Vs. 22. Men are not to be set apart as preachers, teachers, elders or deacons in a hasty and hurried manner. Let them first be proved and let it plainly appear that they have the grace of God in them and gifts for public service bestowed upon them. Do not join with others in the ordination of unfit persons. If you cannot prevent them from these errors through serious warnings, at least keep yourself pure.
Vs. 23. Take care of your body! Use a little wine to help digestion and other disorders. It may be, as in many countries that the water was not always healthy and pure. Nevertheless, Paul says a little wine in order to discourage intemperance.
Vs. 24, 25. In the matter of discerning sin, hypocrisy, true faith, godliness and spirituality in professing Christians we are vastly handicapped, for we can only look on the outward man and our human judgment is confined to what we hear and see.
Some men's sins and faults are so open and evident that they are clearly understood by all before that great Day of Judgment, but the sin and hypocrisy of some are so well hidden that we must wait for God to expose them.
The same is true of good works! We are well aware of the good works of most, but there are many works of righteousness and love that are so secret and unrecognized by men that they will not be known until Christ comes. In that day all shall be revealed in its true light.