1 Timothy 5:21-25
1 Tim 5:21 (KJB)
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.
Observe - Obey or follow
Preferring - Prejudgment or prejudice
This verse should be one that is observed in every church because partiality runs rampant in many churches. Here Paul is charging Timothy before God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ that he does nothing out of prejudgment or partiality. (John 7:24 KJV) Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment. If any judgments are to be made, they must be made with full knowledge of the incident and full knowledge of the participants. This is where firsthand information is crucial to a proper verdict. Then on the other side of this principle, in most churches today, the Pastor may fill the board of elders with his friends for a rubber stamp board. This is also done in para-church ministries where the leader may fill his board of directors with rubber stamp, yes men. Anytime leadership positions are to be filled, they must be filled with those who are qualified to do the job, not those who are just friends or family of the leader. In this verse is also a very interesting phrase, “elect angels.” When Satan led the rebellion of angels against God, there were those angels who were elect of God not to fall. It is akin to the Elect of God who were chosen for salvation out of this sin cursed world. Many angels were chosen by God not to rebel and not to be placed under eternal damnation. Even the angels did not have free will as those who rebelled against God could never be reconciled to Him, just as unbelievers who are not written in the Lamb’s Book of Life cannot be saved. God’s entire plan for the ages is orderly and not random as free will dictates.
1 Tim 5:22 (KJB)
Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men's sins: keep thyself pure.
Here Paul gives three commands to Timothy in this one verse. Lay, partaker, and keep are all in the Imperative Mood in the Greek making them commands and not options. The first command is when considering a church leader, that a quick appointment is to be shunned. They are to be investigated not only in their church life, but a testimony of their home life, their work life, and their relations with their neighbors should be considered. The word “suddenly” can also be understood as quickly or hastily. Church office is too important a position for just anyone to take it. The second command to Timothy is that he should not be a partaker of anyone else’s sin. This can happen in two ways. Timothy can actually partake in the sin or he can show that he condones it by looking the other way. Either way there is culpability on Timothy’s part. Some churches allow elders to get away with certain things because they are friends of the pastor or the board of elders is a closely knit clique, such as the Pharisees in the Temple and Synagogues. The third command is that he is to keep himself pure. He is not to get involved with worldly things nor is he to look the other way when a person sins. He is to have honorable and upright conduct, not only in the presence of others, but when he is alone also.
1 Tim 5:23 (KJB)
Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach's sake and thine often infirmities.
This is another one of those verses that Christians, with the help of Satan’s hermeneutics, like to interpret to mean that it is biblically permissible to buy a keg of beer and drink all kinds of alcohol when the football game is on. This is one of those testing verses. Two thousand years ago there was no such thing as water filtration. They would drink water from streams and wells, and maybe much of the water was good but some was not, especially town wells where many buckets daily were placed into the water introducing contaminants. Apparently Timothy had some stomach problems and probably wine helped it a lot. Wine from the grape had much nutrients. Today we know them as Grape Seed Extract which has a tremendous amount of health benefits for the body. Paul was not telling Timothy to go out and get drunk because the wine in view would have been non-fermented. Paul was making a suggestion for Timothy to deal with his stomach problem and the other sicknesses he had encountered. Paul cared for Timothy and wanted to help him in all areas of his life, including the physical.
1 Tim 5:24 (KJB)
Some men's sins are open beforehand, going before to judgment; and some men they follow after.
Open - Clear or evident
Going before - Lead the way, escort, or lead forward
Paul speaks about some people who are so reprobate in their lives that the sins they are partaking in are obvious. It would be easy to make a judgment about these men by just looking at their lifestyles. A deep investigation into their lives need not take place. If a person is a drunk or on drugs, it is obvious which god they are serving and would be totally disqualified from any type of church office. The way the verse puts it that a man is overtaken or driven by his particular sin. Let us say a man is a gambler, he is going to gamble every chance he gets, even if he wins big, he will be bankrupt in a small amount of time because he will continue to gamble until he loses everything, then the drive to continue to gamble will destroy him and his family. Then the second phrase in this verse concerns the sins that follow after. These are the ones who are not yet fully consumed or driven by their sins but the promise is that soon they will be fully driven as the drunk or the gambler is.
1 Tim 5:25 (KJB)
Likewise also the good works of some are manifest beforehand; and they that are otherwise cannot be hid.
Here Paul makes a major contrast between two types of people. In the previous verse, he spoke about sinners who are fully enveloped by their sin and those who are in the process of full degeneration. In this verse Paul is contrasting the true believers in the church who are given to doing good works which are being made manifest. Some of these types of work could be helping to do repairs on a person’s house, doing evangelism, and just doing things which advance the kingdom of God. Then there are those who do good works behind the scenes but their works eventually are seen or made known. (Prov 27:2 KJV) Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips. When someone does something nice for someone, it normally is not kept secret and is told to others. The verse states that it “cannot” be hid. Cannot is a word of ability and means “to be unable to do otherwise.” Therefore, in this particular situation, if a church leader is to be chosen, then those who do good works and those who do evil works will both be known and the choice becomes much easier.