OceanSide church of Christ

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Victor M. Eskew




A.   Some of the best questions that individuals ask come from the Biblical text.

1.     What does this verse mean?

2.    How does this verse harmonize with another verse?

3.     Does this verse apply to us today?


B.   Tonight both questions come from verses of the Bible.


C.   The only frustrating part of giving the answer to a verse from the Bible is my curiosity as to whether the individual has first tried to secure the answer for himself.

1.     Many people to not want to dig for answers.  They just want someone to tell them the answer.  This is why so many have their faith based in the wisdom of man and not in the wisdom of God.

2.    After we give an answer tonight, I hope you will be as the noble Bereans (Acts 17:11).


These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the Scriptures daily, whether those things were so.


a.    Don’t just take my word for things.

b.    Don’t leave with a Victor faith.

c.    We want everyone to possess a Biblical faith, a faith that comes by hearing the word of God (Rom. 10:17; Rom. 1:17).


I.          QUESTION #1


A.   Stated:  Please give us your interpretation of I Timothy 5:1.  What does it mean to “rebuke” an elder?  Does this have reference to an elder in the church or an elderly man?


B.   Answer to I Timothy 5:1.


Rebuke not an elder, but entreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren.


1.     This passage is especially interesting in light of I Timothy 5:19-20.


Against an elder received not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses.  Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.


a.    Both passages use the word “elder.”

b.    One passage says, “rebuke not an elder,” and the other says:  “…them (elders) that sin rebuke before all.”



2.    Let’s look first at the word “elder.”

a.    In I Timothy 5:1, it is the Greek word “presbuteros” (4245).  In I Timothy 5:19, the Greek word is “presbuteros” (4245).  The two words are identical.

b.    When studying a passage, one should always keep the passage in it context.  If we just lifted these two verses out of their contexts, we would believe that there is a contradiction in God’s Word.

c.    The context of I Timothy 5:1.

1)     The author is dividing the members of the church into four different categories.

2)    In I Timothy 5:1, he divided the men into two groups, the older men and the younger men.

3)     In I Timothy 5:2, he divided the women into two groups.


The older women as mothers; the younger women as sisters, with all purity.


4)    This text has to do with the treatment of all members of the body of Christ.  With regard to our question, the verse has to do with how one is to treat all the aged men of the church.

d.    The context of I Timothy 5:19-20

1)     The context of this passage goes back to I Timothy 5:17.


Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially they who labor in the word and doctrine.


2)    Paul refers to elders that “rule” well.

a)    These elders are over something.  They have an authoritative position.

b)    These are the men who meet the qualifications of I Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9 and who are the overseers of the church.

c)    In Acts 20:28 and I Peter 5:2, their oversight capacity is taught.


Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof.


3.     Let’s examine the word “rebuke” as it applies to both sets of men.

a.    In I Timothy 5:1, Paul is teaching Timothy how to deal with all members of the church:  elderly men as fathers, younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sister.

1)     Older men are to be treated with reverence and respect. 

2)    They are never to be “chastised” ((1969) as one would a child. 

3)     A minister should never assume a harsh, dictatorial, and denunciating manner toward an older man.

b.    In I Timothy 5:19-20, Paul is dealing with an overseer of the church whose sin has been proven by two or three witnesses.

1)     This man’s sin needs to be confuted and admonished ((1651).

2)    NOTE:  It is to be a public rebuke, “rebuke before all.”

3)     Elders who sin are not above the law.  Just because one is an elder does not mean that he is beyond accountability.

4)    The minister has been given the weighty responsibility of rebuking an elder in sin.

5)    NOTE:  Such rebukes can be done sternly, but also with respect for the elderly man who is serving in the presbytery.


II.        QUESTION #2


A.   Stated:  One of your first sermons after coming to OceanSide was a sermon entitled:  “Fools of the Bible” (preached on April 1, 2012).  You outlined three types of “fools,” one says there is no God, one trusts in his own heart, he is wise in his own eyes, and one trusts in his riches and wealth, causing him to feel powerful, leading to an arrogant, haughty, and proud spirit.


Question #1 – How are you able to use the word “fool” and give examples of those who were/are “fools” in your sermon without being in violation of Matthew 5:22?

Question #2 – Are the “fools” spoken of in Psalms and Proverbs different from the “fool” spoken of in Matthew 5:22?


B.   Question Answered:

1.     Preliminary Considerations:

a.    All of us need to learn to eliminate “you statements’ from our conversa-tion.

1)     This question begins with the words:  “How are YOU able to use…”

2)    Many of us use these statements in our daily conversations with others which lead to conflicts in our relationships.

3)     These statements do two things:

a)    They accuse.

b)    They immediately put the hearer on the defensive.

4)    Better expressed:  I have heard some men use the word “fool” in sermons to describe certain people.  How does this harmonize with Matthew 5:22?

b.    This person, because of Matthew 5:22, has difficulty asking the question.

1)     The individual seems to think that Matthew 5:22 teaches that it is wrong to call anyone a fool.

2)    Thus, he/she puts quotation marks around the words “fool” and “foolish” indicating that he/she is not really saying the word.

2.    Two passages of Scripture.


Psalm 14:1                                                                   Matthew 5:22                                   

            The fool hath said in his heart,                              But I say unto you, That whosoever is

            There is no God.                                                       angry with his brother without a cause                                                                                                        shall be in danger of the judgment:  and                                                                                                        whosoever shall say to his brother,                                                                                                            Raca, shall be in danger of the council:                                                                                                    but whosoever shall say, Thou fool,                                                                                                          shall be in danger of hell fire.


a.    The Bible teaches that some men are fools because of their beliefs and


1)     Atheists are one example.

2)    Any man the Bible refers to as a fool because of ideology or actions can be called a fool without involving one in sin.

b.    The Bible teaches that we are to never call a person a fool out of an angry, evil heart.

1)     Any words, not just “Raca” and “fool” that spring from an angry, evil heart that are slanderous and intended to inflict pain on another are wrong.

2)    Two Scriptures:

a)    Proverbs 15:28


The heart of the righteous studieth to answer:  but the mouth of the wicked poureth out evil things.


b)    Ephesians 4:29


Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.


3.     The Bible mentions numerous fools in the Psalms and Proverbs.  These are not derogatory words that spring from an evil heart.  These are individuals who are true fools (simple and ignorant) because of their beliefs and actions.

a.    Proverbs 10:18


He that hideth hatred with lying lips, and he that uttereth a slander, is a fool.


b.    Proverbs 10:23a


It is as sport to a fool to do mischief…


c.    Proverbs 15:5


A fool despiseth his father’s instruction:  but he that regardeth reproof is prudent.


d.    Proverbs 26:11


As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly.




A.   The Bible is an interesting book.  Sometimes it presents us with challenges that must be conquered through diligent study.

1.     Remember:  The Bible never contradicts itself.

2.    Remember:  Keep all passages in their original context.



B.   Proverbs 10:8


The wise in heart will receive commandments:  but a prating fool shall fall.


1.     A prating fool is one who babbles with excessive words.

2.    This passage can be used in connection with James 1:19.


Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.


3.     A wise man hears the Word of God and receives the commands God issues.

4.    Tonight, don’t be a fool, but BE WISE!