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  • William T. Howe Ph.D.

March 23, 2023

The Bible Edge

Everyone needs an Edge, Believers can have the Bible Edge

I Timothy 5:17

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

This is one of those teachings that most pastors shy away from talking much about. It’s one that few evangelists preach on when visiting the various churches, but it’s one that is in the Bible so give it a try we will.

First of all, know this. No pastor who is worth his salt as pastor would ever want the individuals that he serves to think that he thinks he is worthy of double honor, but God does. The Lord God in Heaven teaches all, in all churches and the community in general, to bestow double honor upon those who do their jobs well, especially the ones who labor in the Word and doctrine. God gave this teaching to Paul, who gave it to Timothy, who no doubt gave it to others and I give it to you today.

Double honor. Think about that for a moment. Whatever honor is given to others, double that for a pastor. Or rather a pastor who does well laboring in the ministry of the Word and doctrine. In context the very next verse of the Bible adds further information about the treatment of a pastor. That verse says: For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward. I Timothy 5:18 That is a quote taken from Deuteronomy 25:4 and is used by Paul in I Corinthians 9:9. This means, in part, that the person who labors in anything should be allowed to partake of that as much feed as they eat. Evidently there was a practice of owners of the ox muzzling it so that while treading out the corn so they would not eat the product (the corn). First in the law of Moses then through instruction to the church of Corinth, then as used in I Timothy extends to multiple churches this principle is to be taught and observed.

Double honor means different things to different people and churches, but it can be said universally that whatever honor is given to anyone, according to this teaching, should be doubled for the one who carries out their job of ministering the Word and doctrine in a good fashion. Perhaps this is one of the reasons that churches, when they have the ability to do so, give a parsonage to the pastor, take care of their yards, provide and routinely service their vehicles, and try to take care of all other physical needs so that they can be free to devote all their energies toward overseeing the church and ministering the Word and doctrines of the faith. This is one manner of double honor.

On and on we could go with examples, but suffice it to say; God desires for those who benefit from a well-managed church, constantly enjoy receiving fresh and relevant messages from their pulpit, and are instructed in the great doctrines of the faith to treat the one responsible to those things that which is equal to a “double honor”.

William Howe, Ph.D.

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