1 Timothy 2

1 Timothy 2 … The Apostle Paul is giving instruction to the young Timothy, his newly appointed senior pastor at Ephesus. The instructions before us concern first, prayer and then, women in the church. First, as to prayer, there is a call to seek God’s guidance and protection for all and particularly for those in authority over nations and communities, so that peace will be preserved and meaningful lives can be pursued. That’s important because God’s purpose is that everyone will come to a knowledge of Him and choose life through Him (v.4). He also points out that Jesus is our Great Mediator (v.5) who has ransomed all from the penalty of sin.

Beginning in verse 9, perhaps because of excesses in the church, Paul provides instruction to women with respect to appearance, teaching and responsibility. Appearance is important; certainly all would agree to that – at the same time, we’d probably agree that the most attractive women are those who radiate with God’s love toward others. That’s what Paul is saying on appearance. Then, as to teaching, Paul indicates that men should humbly be responsible for teaching. (No need to go into it here … but most men should sense chastisement on this account.) Women ought to respect and encourage that role for men. Verses 13 and 14 seem to indicate that it’s God’s order of things that men should seek spiritual leadership.

A quick review of Genesis 3 will reveal Eve’s role in the fall of man, but Genesis 3 also reveals Adam’s disgraceful shrinking from responsibility and shifting blame. This is not the full teaching on gender roles, but it is a contributory passage that men and women ought to understand.

Typically our attitude is for men to discover what women should be doing and vice versa. That would be the dead wrong approach. Men should seek what they should be doing according to the passage and women should seek their own guidance here as well. 1 Timothy 2:15 is a challenging verse and there are several interpretations of it. Most clearly, we should see that women and men alike are saved by faith alone in Christ alone. Child bearing is a God ordained role for women alone but salvation comes through faith.

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