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1 Timothy 5:17-18 “Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching. For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain,” and, “The laborer deserves his wages.”

Notice right away that this text gives evidence that the church government should be made up of a plurality of elders. There are elders who labor in preaching and teaching, and there are elders who do not. All of these elders are worthy of honor, yet special honor should be given to the ones who labor intensively in the preaching and teaching of God’s Word.

Also notice that Pastors deserve to be paid for their labor. I think it is similar to the way that Joseph gave his brother Benjamin a double portion of food as a way a showing honor to him. The Pastor who labors in the Word is worthy of being honored by seeing that all of his physical and spiritual needs are met. When you yolk up an ox and have him labor at walking hour upon hour over grain to crush it, you do not muzzle him. If you do he will not retain the strength he needs to keep treading. In a similar way if you keep the pastor on such a tight budget that he barely has enough income to eat, this is wrong. Also if the man is laboring over the Word, you want him to be able to purchase enough resources to keep the intake of information growing. You do not want to muzzle his mouth so that he does not have enough food to eat, or muzzle his mouth so that he does not have enough information in his head to speak.

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