We are in our fourth week of our series on 1 Timothy. We are going through the book verse by verse. Today we are in a passage that Paul addresses men and women with things particular to men and women. This passage would not have been on the top message to do in my first year of replanting, but that is the great thing about going verse by verse through a book. You are forced to think through and address topics that you might not normally choose. This passage teaches differences in men and women and is one that many in our society would not appreciate. But I think it helps us bring our lives into conformity with how God created us. It teaches how men and women have a common need to be sold out to God and yet express it in different ways.
I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling; 9 likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, 10 but with what is proper for women who profess godliness--with good works. 11 Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve; 14 and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. 15 Yet she will be saved through childbearing--if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control. (1 Timothy 2:8-15 ESV)
A exhortation to pray began in 2:1. The content of prayer was given there and now the manner of prayer is given. These directions are given to men and women in the church assembly. In the exhortation to the men and the exhortation to the women there are things that correspond to all Christians, so as we are talking about men you women don’t tune it out. Men, when we are talking about women don’t tune it out.
● Men are to Worship
Specifically men are to pray, He desires that in men pray in every place. Pray at church. Pray at home. Pray on your computer. Pray on your business call. Pray when you are tempted. Pray when you rejoice. Be men of prayer. I went to breakfast this week with a guy and he asked me to bless the food. Then the waiter came by to fill our water, and my friend welcomed the guy over and said, “Keith, pray for... ” I had no idea what to say but I loved that he did that. Let’s be men who pray. Pray for your waiters, patients, pray for your customers, pray for you installation and other projects.
You do this and as you pray you are leading others. Every place. Pray bc you know it’s not about what you can do. Pray because you are confident in God. Pray because you want other to know Christ. Pray because you care for others. Pray because you want to serve people. Pray because you need help. Pray because you want God to get the glory in the end.
Pray with uplifted hands. Lifting. Men should be expressive. Expressive about their relationship with God. The psalms instruct all people to lift their hands Psalm 134:1-2 “A Song of Ascents. Come, bless the LORD, all you servants of the LORD, who stand by night in the house of the LORD! 2 Lift up your hands to the holy place and bless the LORD!” (Psa 134:1 ESV) Also 28:2, 141:2
This has been the practice of the Christian church. Roman catacombs depict believers raising their hands in praise. Raising hands is an expression of worship, can be a sign of submission, can be a sign of amazement and awe. The good news of the gospel should work in our minds, flow through our hearts and out of our mouths, and set our hands in motion.
There is a to be an expressiveness from you guys. Standing unmoved is not a proper position for one who professes to worship God.
You say your not expressive until, “Touchdown Falcons.” Suddenly you are an expressive kind of guy! You should be most excited about God and what he has done for you. This verse means no football for you! No, but while we do get excited about other things, we should be most excited about what God has done for us, and that should move our hearts. If we are not moved to sing, dance or lift hands, perhaps we need more time to let the truths of Scripture penetrate our hearts.
It represents a posture of the heart and that posture of heart should be seen in every act. Holy hands. generally, of what is sanctioned by the supreme law of God; live right before God, devout, dedicated (Tim 1.8); synecdoche where a part of person is used for the whole. Holy hands means holy life.
Isaiah 1:15 rebuked people for lifting up bloody hands. “When you spread out your hands, I will hide my eyes from you; even though you make many prayers, I will not listen; your hands are full of blood. 16 Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes; cease to do evil, 17 learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow's cause.” (Isaiah 1:15-17 ESV). The people there were going through life unconcerned about those around them. Our concern for God makes us concerned for others. We come to pray with holy hands.
We are to pray... without anger or quarreling; Sins of anger and argument have a particular relevance for men. The church probably gives more time speaking against gossiping, and that is often a greater issue with women, but men are more likely to agitate the church by driving the points too far and dividing churches. Men are often the ones who in arguments and anger over doctrine, people, ministries cause more trouble and splits than anything else. Titus 1:7 says, “For an overseer, as God's steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain”
Men are to pray, seek God with holy hands. Full submission to him. Full engagement of heart, head and hands.
I unashamedly am going to preach that men should be leading. They should be leading in the church. They should be leading in the home. They should be leading their wives. They should be leading their kids. They should be leading in the community. And it all begins with them taking their relationship with God seriously. If you fail there you will fail everywhere else.
2. Women are to Worship
Verse 9 starts out with “likewise” and connects to directions on prayer. Probably that women are to pray everywhere. Men pray and so do women. There are some specific things that women are to do in the church and in their worship of God.
1 Timothy 2:9 also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire,
Skeleton of the sentence is “I want women to... adorn themselves. There is a positive desire before there is a negative. He wants them adorning themselves with things that women of faith should adorn themselves with.
Not saying it’s wrong to adorn themselves. The same word adorn is used in Revelation 21 “And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” (Rev 21:2 ESV). God did the adorning here, so he is not opposed to adorning or to beauty. These words seem to be correcting an ostentatious display of beauty that seeks beauty above service to God.
He doesn’t forbid highlights in your hair He forbids. braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire. Hurley, “elaborate hair-styles which were then fashionable among the wealthy. Enormously elaborate arrangements with braids and curls interwoven, or piled high like towers and decorated with gems, numerous small pendant braids with gold droplets or pearls or gems every inch or so, making a shimmering screen of their locks.”
Excessive adornment was a sign of money and it was also the practice of prostitutes. Some of the adornment could have had a provocative nature. Fault is excessive concern and eagerness about dress should be moderated by modesty and moderation. “for luxury and extravagance come from a desire for vanity or wantonness.”
Godly women adorn themselves “with decency and propriety.” It is not possible to distinguish these terms from one another in a clear cut way. It is clear that these words are taken together and mean that they are not to wear any garment that is deliberately suggestive or seductive.
They are to adorn themselves with good deeds appropriate for women who profess faith. Women, don’t buy the lies of Hollywood that your life is dependent on your looks. It is not true and there are qualities much more enduring than your outward appearance. Men, you do well to recognize this too. And celebrate it with your wife or daughter or friends. Encourage them what true beauty is so the ladies are encouraged to pursue that rather than the other. Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the LORD will be praised. (Pro 31:30 CSB). Consider Tabitha who was know doing good deeds and giving acts of charity (Acts 9:39). Worship God by adorning yourself with good deeds and acts of faith.
Most people today are good what that part of the passage but get very troubled by the next. V 11 says “Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness.”
First, Women are to Learn. Ladies, worship God by learning in church. Learning is what disciples do. The church learned. Even Jesus, “learned” (Heb 5:8 ESV)
Paul telling women to learn shattered ancient stereotypes. Women were not allowed to learn in many places. Jerusalem Talmud said, “It would be better for the words of Torah to be burned than that they should be entrusted to a woman.” Before making any prohibitions he says let the women learn!
But Learning with all submissiveness is offensive today. However, all submissiveness is really the only kind of submission there is. Think about when you are at work, how do you submit to other coworkers? Not partly, not sometimes, but in all things.
Phillip Ryken says, “When these two words are put together--” quietly” and “submissive” they do not describe an unusual style of learning that is unique to women. Rather they describe the only way a person can learn at all.”
A great example of this learning is Mary who listened quietly and submissively at the feet of Jesus while her sister Martha is busying herself with many things. Mary is an example to all, women and all men. (Luke 10:39)
We are to quietly and submissively receive the teaching of the Lord. we all have to resist the urge to say, “Well that’s not how I would have handled that passage.” Or well he should have said ... ”
That should help us all, but the that point is often missed because v 12 states directly there are things forbidden for women to do in the church. 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet.
How do you take this? What are women not allowed to do? The best thing to do is to let Scripture interpret Scripture.
First,we know that all Christians are to make disciples. Thats the commission given to the church. We know all Christians are to share the gospel. We know that in Colossians 3:16 the whole church is to let the word dwell in them, they are to admonish each other and teach each other, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” (Col 3:16 ESV). That is to a whole church, men and women. Women are to sing, express thankfulness, and teach. Paul explicitly tells women to teach younger women. So the prohibition in v12 can’t be a categorical prohibition. Also in Acts a couple name “Priscilla and Aquila” heard Apollos teach, they took him and explained to him the way of God more accurately. (Act 18:26 ESV). Priscilla is always mentioned first, which goes against the customs of the time and have led many to believe she was the better teacher of the two.
So what does it mean to forbid to teach? John Stott said “Teach” in the pastorals letters means to instruct as in the exposition of Scripture, and the official teaching of sound doctrine. Teaching is what Paul did and what elders were ordered to do. Most men are forbidden from the same thing. Women are to submit to the teaching of their pastors. They are not to submit to all men nor does it mean all men should teach women. Women are no different than Christian laymen.” Beyond this one restriction women are at liberty and encouraged to use their spiritual gifts to the fullest extent in the church. They should teach Bible classes, small groups, deaconal work, praying, and sharing.
The three societal spheres of human responsibility: family, church, civil. You relate differently to people in these spheres. You are closer with those in family, then church, then larger society. In the home
Lets just talk about this for a minute. How can it say a man can do this but not a woman. Well there are things in life that women can do that men can’ t! And this is where the Bible has a powerful message for our society today. People are created male and female, and there are differences in that. And it is part of God’s good design.
Being equal but different shouldn’t surprise anyone. It is demonstrated in the very being of the Trinity: Each person of the Trinity is fully God and yet differs from each other. The Father is not the Son and the Son is not the Father. The Spirit is not the Father and the Father is not the Spirit. They have different roles. The Son is sent into the world to save the World. The Father is the one who sent. The Father knows all things. The Spirit proceeds from the Son and testifies to truth. The Son is obedient to the Father, even lays down his own will. They are all equal and yet they too are different in function.
Often the cries for equality seek an equality that only concerns money. In the Bible equality is much more than just money. Its obedience to God. It values humanity above money.
There are clear difference, and I think some of the pushback is because society created a black and white understanding of the roles. Perhaps it’s the 1950’s and 60’s portrayal of husband and wives, the Ward Cleaver who comes home to a perfectly cooked meal by his dashing wife whose hair is perfectly, she is in heals, sporting pearl earrings; obviously parents four kids is no challenge at all for her!
People have always had a tendency to distort who they are and what it means to be created in God’s image. There seems to be more confusion on that one point today than ever in the history of the world.
The Bible teaches men should lead their families in love and that wives should help their husbands. But the Bible also applauds men who play harps like David did and women who drive tent pegs through the heads of male generals.
Lastly, the reasoning for for the differences is rooted in creation. The man was created first , and in Bible the is a privilege or priority given to the first. First born received certain rights so too here. Does not mean better than, but entailed responsibility. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve;
15 Yet she will be saved through childbearing--if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control. (1 Timothy 2:8-15 ESV)
If any rights are denied then have to look to the ultimate reason to worship. Paul clearly states that we are saved by faith and not by works. But here it appears women are saved through childbearing. There is no hope for the women who is not married or the one who is unable to have kids. That would contradict other Scriptures like Gal 2:16. To me it seems to be pointing to Christ, which is what happens over and over again. People are pointed back to Christ for what he has accomplished and what he will accomplish.
The Greek has a definite article for childbearing. It is saved through “the childbearing.” It’s a reference to Eve. she will be saved through childbearing. It looks to the promise God gave to Eve, that through her would come a seed that would reverse all. It looks to a particular event and that event is the birth of the Savior of the world. It points to Christ, but also to the unique role that women had in it.
A woman is not saved by being more like a man, not saved through the money that she earns, nor the children that she has, but she is saved through the seed that was promised to Eve, that came despite her and Adam’s disobedience. She can rest secure in that. It is what men are to rest secure in. They are saved by faith. They are to find their identity in him. They are to worship appropriately.
The teaching of this passage offend many today. It challenges men and women. Men are not careless cavaliers who go out doing whatever they want. They worship God in all they do, submit to him and his ways, with all their heart. Women also are not to find their identity in their looks, their dress, their hair, the appeal, but their relationship with their creator and maker.
But for those who see the work of Christ is define all they do. Those who see that there is something bigger than themselves, something bigger than their own hobbies, something bigger than their own ambitions, something bigger than even their gender, they will find salvation and something worth worshipping and giving their lives for. Something that says it’s OK to not get or have the things of the world because I have something better, deeper, more profound and fulfilling. I am living for the purpose I was created.
If you are concerned with this teaching I want to invite you to stick around and talk with others here. Some here were offended by this teaching at one point in their lives, but as they came to embrace it they found life. Their journey was a process and they only came to believe the Bible after trying everything else. Don’t write it off so quickly. Give a little tolerance and seek to understand it.