Friday, August 26, 2011

1 Timothy 2:8-15

8 I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting; 9 in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, 10 but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works. 11 Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. 12 And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. 15 Nevertheless she will be saved in childbearing if they continue in faith, love, and holiness, with self-control.

Introductory note
In looking at these passages we must be careful not to annul the glorious liberty and equality that all believers share. Whether male or female, rich or poor, there is an essential oneness and interdependence that is the Body of Christ. Therefore though the male is given headship responsibilities in the family and the church. Any notions that lesson the woman’s equality, dignity and importance to the family and church and her positive and necessary impact there, as well as in the world, cannot be Biblically substantiated.

Vs. 8 The Apostle Paul’s desire is that men pray everywhere in faith. This does not mean that women do not pray and prophesy (1 Cor. 11:5) but it is the male’s responsibility to take leadership for this in the church and home (1 Peter 3:7).

Vs. 9 Women are asked to be modest in dress. This does not mean suppressing ones natural beauty, it means exemplifying beauty that is primarily inward. For if the heart is right then a woman’s beauty will flow naturally from both personality and adornment. Like a flower that enriches the landscape without over powering it, so a godly women’s adornment is likewise non intrusive. Similarly the Apostle Peter exhorts woman of faith to “rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.” 1 Peter 3:4 NKJ

Vs. 10 Hence a woman professing godliness with good works should primarily be concerned about being adorned with the inner beauty of a meek and quite spirit. Since it is her outstanding character and good works that make her noteworthy in the congregation.
As Proverbs says:
30Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing,
But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.
31Give her of the fruit of her hands,
And let her own works praise her in the gates. Prov. 31:30-31

Vs. 11 In the church, women are to learn in silence with all submission. This commandment is seen in principal in 1 Cor. 14:34-37.

Vs. 12 Women then are not to teach or hold authority over the man but to be in silence. The word-translated authority appears only here in the N.T. The word means to have or exercise dominion over a man, which would be contrary to Scripture since man is the head of woman (1 Cor. 11:3). Yet church leadership must always be defined and enacted by how Christ led others. Men then must not lord authority over woman (or each other) for we are first commended by the Lord Jesus as equal brethren (Matt. 23:8-10), then we are commanded in Christ to be mutually submissive to each other in the fear of the Lord (Eph. 5:21; 1 Peter 5:5). Since even Jesus Christ was subject to the Father though He is equal in Nature with Him and He is the Head of the church (Matthew 8:5-13).
Therefore believing women should develop and exercise their Spirit gifts for the church’s edification within the framework of the Lord Jesus Christ’s commandments respecting the headship of Christ for her through the male (1 Cor. 11:3, 7-10, 14:34). For woman by God’s design are man’s helper (Gen. 2:18); having authority delegated to her (Prov. 31:10-31). Therefore Holy Spirit gifted women who are mature in their faith should instruct woman and children whether individually or collectively for the building up of the church body in love (Titus 2:3-5) not men. That is the Lord Jesus commandments given for the Body of Christ (1 Cor. 11:5; 14:34-35, 37). Yet the execution of all such authority must as the new creation demonstrates take on the new relationship dynamic that does not enact or sustain relationship barriers but as Jesus uniquely demonstrated treats all women as unique person's, yet equal with their male counterparts (Rom. 16:3-16). Hence not lordship as Jesus cautions us all against, rather mutual love, respect, submission and service (Luke 22:24-27; John 13:1-17; 34-35; Gal. 5:13-14; Eph. 5:21) to which all believing men and woman are called. Thus differing roles in life, and in the church, yet equality of person is how one must understand these kinds of passages (Gal. 3:26-29).

Vs. 13 The first reason given is the order of creation. Though both man and woman are created in the image of God (Gen. 1:27), God created the male first to rule over His creation, then He created woman from man's rib as a helpmate for him and placed her in subjection to him. The man (or the husband) then has the Divine calling and responsibility to love and care for her with understanding as the weaker vessel (Eph. 5:25-33; 1 Tim. 5:8; 1 Peter 3:7). While the women has the Divine calling and responsibility to build her home and encourage and support her husband in his endeavors for their mutual well being (Prov. 31:10-31; Eph. 5:33; Titus 2:3-5; 1 Peter 3:1-6). Their marriage then is an outworking of both loving each other while not neglecting their God given responsibilities towards Him and each other. Both then are charged throughout the Scriptures to love their children and to raise them in the faith (Deut. 4:9, 6:7; 11:19; Isaiah 30:18; ps. 78:3-4; Prov. 22:6; Matt. 5:19; Eph. 6:4 etc.).

Vs. 14 The second reason given is that the woman was deceived by Satan and fell into transgression. Because of this woman is disqualified from teaching or holding authority over man; since she first yielded to Satan then became his agent to tempt Adam. Yet for whatever reason’s Adam willfully disobeyed God’s command and ate the fruit Eve gave him. Thus not until Adam, Eve’s head, rebels against God’s command and they both have eaten of the fruit do they both spiritually die (Gen. 3:6-7). Yet just as sin entered the world through one man’s sin (Adam, Eve’s head) so life comes through One Man Jesus Christ (Rom. 5:12-21), Adam’s head, (1 Cor. 11:3) to restore what Adam forfeited when he willingly obeyed his wife rather then God. That is why Adam is charged with humanities fall not Eve and Christ became flesh as a man not as a woman. For to restore fallen humanity Christ would have to be incarnated as a man and take the place of Adam as head of the human race and die for all humanity who since Adam are born into his sin.

Vs. 15 This verse is not advocating childbirth or any other works as a means to salvation but by maintaining God’s created designs for her a woman shall be saved in child bearing if she continues in faith; love; holiness and self-control (Consider 1 Tim. 5:5-15).

[i]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

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