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Publick Rebuke (1 Timothy 5:20)

Introductory Thoughts

Far too few preachers and teachers have taken the time to consider the context of today’s passage. Paul admonished that a rebuke is sometimes unavoidable, but the context reveals that the individual receiving the rebuke is an elder (1 Timothy 5:17-19). It also appears that the rebuke only takes place under specific conditions. Paul informed Timothy that there are times a rebuke must be given in the presence of others. The purpose served to bring fear upon those who witnessed the rebuke so that they too would not repeat the errors of the elder receiving the rebuke. Though a publick rebuke is not a pleasant sight, Proverbs 27:5 says, “Open rebuke is better than secret love.”

Devotional Thoughts

  • (For children): Some of Gods people would travel great distances to the temple at Jerusalem to give an offering to the Lord. Their money had to be changed into Hebrew money, but the moneychangers were greedy and charged far too much for this service. Jesus publickly rebuked their greed (Matthew 21:12-13).
  • (For everyone): Why should Gods people be careful about hastily rebuking others in publick? What should we take into consideration before rebuking someone publickly?
  • Do some sins call for a private rebuke, while others call for a publick rebuke? If so, what would be the distinguishing circumstances for each?

Prayer Thoughts

  • Ask the Lord to give you wisdom as to how to rebuke others.
  • Ask the Lord to keep you from sins that would demand rebuke.