1 Timothy 2:8-15
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.
- Introduction – Well, there you have it. God is misogynistic. He hates women. Or at least Paul was a misogynist and hated women. The Bible is a 2,000 year old work of men and by men who wanted to keep women down and maintain the status quo of subjugating half the race under a tyrannical, hierarchical society that is completely out of step with 21st century values and all the progress and liberation we’ve established, especially since the 1960’s.
This book (The Bible as a whole, but passages like this specifically) is a danger to our society. Therefore, places like this, where this book is taught, are a danger to society. It then follows that people like me, who teach this dangerous Book, in this dangerous setting, are a danger to society. People like me (i.e. pastors) are public enemy number one in some segments of society.
- There’s no question, this is a difficult passage to preach. Especially in light of our current cultural context. I’m tempted to simply refer you to the commentaries and jump to chapter 3. But chapter 3 is really the continuation of what we havehere in chapter 2. The two go together as a whole. So it is true that the teaching of chapter three is not complete without the preface of chapter 2:8-15. But also, chapter 2:8-15 needs to be understood in the context of Chapter 3.
- 21st century, progressive, western culture does not like this passage. Which is interesting to me.
- Why is it that our culture wants to be angry at the Bible for its position on women.
- Our culture wants to hate the Bible because they say that the Bible and it’s position and teaching on women is the reason for inequities between genders.
- On this point I want to object.
- If you look at the world under animistic tribalism in Africa, you will see severe inequities and subjugation of women.
- If you look at the Arab world of the Middle East, primarily under Islam and the Koran, you will see extreme inequities and subjugation.
- If you move into India and Hinduism, you will see the same. Another male dominated culture where women are objectified to the point that the Capital of India (New Delhi) has also been called the “Rape Capital” of the world.
- If you move into East Asia and Buddhism, you’ll find that “An appropriate aim (in Buddhism) is for women to aspire to be reborn as male. They can become a male by moral actions and sincere aspiration to maleness. Being born a female is a result of bad karma.”
- The effect of this in the “secularized” Chinese culture has been despising of women to the point that under one child policies in China, abortion and infanticide have been the commonplace if you are pregnant or give birth to a girl.
- Clearly, the Bible is not to blame. But the Bible does tell us why the world is as it is.
- The world is broken because of sin. That’s why there are inequities and indignities the world over for many women. If you want to know where these problems come from, read Genesis 3.
- We live in a broken and fallen world and the inequities and indignities that women have (and do) suffer in many places in the world, and throughout history, are due to the fall.
- Might I also be so bold as to point out that when western women, in the 21st century, complain about inequities and indignities, it’s like a San Diegan complaining about the rain. Sure, there are about as many inequities and indignities in 21st Century America as there are rainy days in San Diego.
- There are inequities and indignities. We live in a broken fallen world … That being the case, the Bible, the Gospel and the teachings of the church should address these inequities and indignities with good outcomes. So what do we find?
- In reality, where do we find the biggest push for gender equality and fair dignity? It’s in places where the Bible has had an influence; Europe and North America.
- The Bible’s influence has meant more equality, dignity and value for women than anything else.
- And truly, our modern, progressive culture objectifies women way more than the Bible. Take for instance the advertisement that came up this week when I clicked on a YouTube video. “bikini airlines had more come to America.” From where? The Buddhist influenced Far East.
- So how do we approach this hard text?
- First we acknowledge that it is a hard text. And…
- Point 1 — Hard sayings are hard for a reason.
- Big problems never have easy solutions. And there is a big problem in the world in regard to gender equality, as a result of sinful brokenness of the world.
- Certainly there are many ways to approach hard texts like this. But there are at least 4 primary ways to approach it…
- I think the Bible is good and therefore any disagreement I have with it is probably an area of misunderstanding or misuse
- I think the Bible is mostly good, but there are places that it’s overly influenced by it’s native, historical cultural context and therefore can’t be trusted
- I think the Bible is just an example of an ancient understanding and it’s mostly not helpful for our day.
- I think the Bible is wrong and it’s teachings are dangerous. We’ve progressed far beyond any need for it.
- There are probably dozens of little steps and places to stop between these 4 approaches, maybe you find yourself somewhere between one of these 4. But these are the four approaches.
- Of course, I believe the Bible is good, and that any disagreement I have with it is probably an area of misunderstanding and misuse.
- And lets be very clear. Some people have misused passages like this. Many people have misused passages like this. Whether out of misunderstanding or intentional misapplication, it doesn’t really matter.
- If you give something good to someone who has a bad heart, they’ll use it for bad.
- If you give something good to someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing, they’ll break it and potentially hurt people in the process.
- So we’ll approach this delicately, seeking proper understanding so that we can properly apply and live it. Which means we have to approach it in context.
- If you take a text out of it’s context, you’re just left with a con. So what’s the context?
- 1 Timothy 3:14-15 ~ These things I write to you, though I hope to come to you shortly;
15 but if I am delayed, I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
- This section of Scripture is dealing with proper conduct for the people of God in the house of God. Proper conduct of the Christian in the Church.
- So Chapter 1 was about the proper place of preaching (sound doctrine) in the church.
- Chapter 2 opened with the proper place and priority of prayer in the church
- Now we move to the proper place and role of men and women in the church.
- Point 2 — God determines what is proper for His people.
- So we should seek to understand properly and align ourselves correctly with what God determines and directs for His church.
- 1 Timothy 2:8 ~ I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting;
- We opened the chapter previously with the exhortations toward prayer within the church. But the place of prayer within the church has larger implications for men.
- Yes, this passage has something to say to men, before we get to the teaching for women.
- Point 3 — Godly men do godly things in every place.
- That’s right guys. If you’re a Christian, you’re not just a Christian at church.
- Though this passage is dealing with proper conduct of the Christian in the church, the proper place of prayer in the church should influence men to be men of prayer, not just in the church but in every place— ·ºêν παντ·Ω∂ τœåπ·ø≥ (en panti topo).
- Christian men are to be exuberant pray-ers in every place.
- And might I suggest that Christian women will be more likely to adhere to the exhortations given in the next verses, if they see Christian men adhering to the exhortations of this verse.
- And if they do not see Christian men seeking to fulfill this exhortation, you can be sure that women will move into the places of leadership and authority described as a place and role of men, until there are men who are fulfilling these exhortations.
- Therefore, though you thought I’d be talking to the women today. I’m going to be talking to you guys… In fact, maybe you came today thinking, “Well now he’s going to finally set her straight.” Sorry dude … not sorry.
- The engaged and exuberant praying Christian man should offer prayer of a distinct quality. Or the one praying should seek to have a distinctive life. A life characterized by…
- Holy Hands
- Though we ended our service last week praying, lifting our hands, and though there are ancient illustrations and depictions of Christians with hands raised. This isn’t necessarily speaking of a physical posture.
- The Christian man should have a life that is inwardly and outwardly holy.
- If you’re a Christian today, then your inward life is holy by the grace and mercy of Jesus. God makes you holy, by imparting His righteousness to you.
- 2 Corinthians 5:21 ~ For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
- But it’s your work as a Christian man, taking responsibility for the salvation and righteousness given to you by Christ, to…
- Philippians 2:12 ~ Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling;
- Christ made you holy by grace through faith. Now it’s your work, in your daily life, to work that holiness out into your life, by God’s grace and enabling power.
- Philippians 2:13 ~ for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.
- God is working it in you … it’s time for you to work it out.
- The godly, Christian, praying man should be known for the distinctive quality of holiness among his peers, in all places.
- Furthermore, he should live and pray…
- Without wrath
- I don’t think it’s too far off to say that the natural disposition of fallen men is characterized by temperamental anger.
- But, by God’s grace, the Christian man has a new nature. Therefore if Christian women are to do that “which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works” (v. 10), then Christian men should also do that which is proper for those who profess godliness with good works that are void of wrath.
- Man, if you are a Christian, then you have the self-control of the Spirit of God residing in you enabling you to live without wrath.
- Illustration — It may not be evident to you now, but I once had a terribly bad temper and an issue with anger. And I allowed myself (as a young man) the liberty, though I was a Christian, to lose my temper. Until I realized one day (at 15 years old) that I didn’t want to live like that and that it wasn’t becoming of a Christian man. And then I discovered the resident self-control, already given to me by the Spirit of God.
- Galatians 5:19-25 ~ Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness,
20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies,
21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
- If you’ve been made alive by the Spirit (that is you’ve been saved … you’re a Christian) then let us walk by the Spirit, men!
- Point 4 — Godly men walk in the Spirit, and it shows.
- The praying Christian man should seek to have a distinctive life characterized by holiness, without wrath, and…
- Without doubting
- Or rather, without disputing
- Philippians 2:12-14 ~ Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling;
13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.
14 Do all things without complaining and disputing,
- Same Greek word … διαλογισμœåς dialogismos
- This can be an inward disputing and doubting, or an inward faithlessness. So we should pray in faith
- But this also is without disputing in a practical sense.
- Is your life characterized by disputes and defensiveness toward people (leading to temperamental anger)? As a man professing godliness, it shouldn’t be.
- Illustration — I was driving the other day … I wasn’t driving slow. But the guy behind me sure thought I was. He’s up on my 6; all over me. And even though we were on a two lane road with no passing lane, he’s pushing closer and has that angry red face thing going on. Finally he flew around me. He looked totally serene and at peace … or not. That’s the natural man.
- Guys, if your life is characterized by disputing defensiveness, then don’t expect the quiet submission exhorted of women (i.e. your spouse) in the next section.
- Effective prayer from Christian men then “demands that I be in right relationship with God (“holy hands”) and with my follower believers (“without murmurings and disputing”).” (Wiersbe). But since this is “in all places,” it’s not only with fellow believers, but…
- Romans 12:18 ~ If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.
- Point 5 — Godly men seek peace and pursue it.
- 1 Peter 3:10-12 ~ For “He who would love life
And see good days,
Let him refrain his tongue from evil,
And his lips from speaking deceit.
11 Let him turn away from evil and do good;
Let him seek peace and pursue it.
12 For the eyes of the LORD are on the righteous,
And His ears are open to their prayers;
But the face of the LORD is against those who do evil.”
- Well of course this was not the message you expected today, was it? But don’t fret, you at least know where we’re headed in our next study in this book.
- As I said previously though. The section ahead of us cannot be understood or applied out of context. And this, men, is the context.
- If we desire proper order in God’s church, then we must exercise proper conduct as Godly men.