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"Yes, I am coming quickly." Amen.
Revelation 22:20

This is a Home Bible study. It exists to promote the Word of God as it's written, which means nothing added or taken away, and minus opinions.

The Bible is the only source of Divine Truth in the world today. Although it is helpful and informative in many ways, the Bible might not tell us everything we want to know but the Bible does tell us everything we need to know.

My role is to guide you through the Scriptures; to explain what this book says and in some cases what it does not say because this is just as important.

Ultimately, you have a decision to make concerning your salvation - no one can make it for you. The Lord Jesus Christ, the Creator God, has given everyone the ability to make choices - this is is called "Free Will." I pray you consider your choice wisely.

II Timothy 2:15

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.


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Friday, May 28, 2021

1 Timothy 3:1-7 (L 13)

 

Home Bible Study©

Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth (2 Timothy 2:15)

WWW. 2Tim215.Net 

Established November 2008                                             Published: May 28, 2021 

For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:3-4).

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Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.  Be not ye therefore partakers with them.  For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as  children of light: For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord” (Ephesians 5:6-10).

We looked at some teachings (church doctrines) from our apostle last week that many people, even Christians, find objectionable if not down-right insulting.  These doctrines concern the God-given responsibilities of both “the men” and “the women” in the Church, in the home, and in one’s life (Ephesians 5; 1 Timothy 2:8-15; Titus 2).

Let’s be clear, anything that is of God, for God, or mirrors God is going to attract the negative attention of Satan and that includes the Church of God, the marriage covenant between the man and the woman, and the family model for these institutions were established by the Creator God (Genesis 2:18-25).  But in a sea of changing opinion on sexual practices and/or ideals and the definition of marriage and family itself, going back to the beginning in Genesis provides a foundation for biblical teaching concerning marriage and the family that is sadly lacking today.  Even the seasoned Believer needs to continue to go back to God’s Word to ensure that he or she is on the right path, “walking as children of light,” in accord with God’s precepts.

Although women have traditionally fulfilled supportive roles in serving the church and some have gained their greatest joy and sense of accomplishment from being wives and mothers, the feminist movement has successfully influenced many women to abandon their God-ordained roles.  Unfortunately, this movement has made headway in the Church and in the home resulting in chaos and confusion regarding the role of the sexes both in the grace ministry and in the home.  But only in Scripture can God’s design for the sexes be found, of course after that it’s then your responsibility to “walk circumspectly” in God’s Truths (Ephesians 5:8-16).

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Welcome back to HBS.  Please open your Bible at 1 Timothy 3:1-7.     

Leadership In The Local Church

The Office Of A Bishop

This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.  Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.”

There’s a lot to cover in that section of Scripture and I don’t think we can get it done in just one Bible lesson.  We’ll do the best we can.  But, after dealing with the God-ordained roles of “the men” and “the women” in the grace Church and in society in general, Paul proceeds to deal with the subject of leadership in the local assembly.  A while ago we looked at the subject of authority and rank in the churches, but here Paul deals with the offices of the “bishop/elder/pastor” and the “deacon.

When I see the word “bishop” I’m reminded of my 20 some years in Catholicism.  As I recall he’s the superintendent in his appointed diocese and the priests and the people therein are subject to him for he is the voice of the Vatican in Rome.  I mention this because some folks might be turned-off by the idea of “bishops” being in the church. However, because we’re ultimately dealing with God’s Word we need to consider this “office,” not in light of the ongoing ritualistic misuse of it, but in light of its true meaning, which is simply “overseer. 

The “bishops/elders,” in Scripture, were given general, and especially moral and spiritual, oversight in the church, with one of their number recognized as their leader.  Here I point out the leading overseer is not given any special title in Scripture, such as archbishop, cardinal, or pope and he was not overly venerated.  I say this because it was a common occurrence for the parish priests to acknowledge the bishop and his high office by kissing his ring.  I don’t find this information anywhere in Scripture, but again, based on what we do know, the leading overseer did not wield arbitrary authority.  He was a “workman” who worked closely with the other overseers in the local church. 

As Paul begins to give Timothy instructions as to the qualifications for this church office, please bear in mind he is nearing the end of his life on earth.  What’s more, the supernatural gift of prophecy has “passed away” (1 Corinthians 13:6-13).  Soon there will be no further instructions or revelations directly from heaven, not even through Paul.  Therefore all those who say, “Thus saith the Lord” will have to base their words on the written Word of God alone. 

The Biblical Terms: Elder/Overseer/Pastor And The Deacon

Before we consider Paul’s words re: “the office of a bishop,” in the local church, it would be prudent to define the terms and address an unwarranted tradition.  The term “bishop” is the Greek word episkopos, pronounced: ep-is'-kop-os, Strong’s Greek #1985, and means: overseer.  Whereas its corresponding part is the Greek word presbuteros, pronounced: pres-boo'-ter-os, Strong’s Greek #4245, meaning: “elder,” or one who is older and more mature.  These two terms are interchangeable and refer to the same individual.  For example, I present Paul’s words to pastor Titus:

For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders (presbuteros) in every city, as I had appointed thee: if any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly.  For a bishop (episkopos) must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;  (Titus 1:5-7).

As for the aforementioned unwarranted tradition re: this office, some denominations point to Paul’s usage of “the office of a bishop” to establish a hierarchy over their churches but this instruction does not appear anywhere in Paul’s epistles.  I take the time to point this out because denominationalists essentially believe that a bishop presides over other ministers and has a superior rank in the administrative affairs of their assemblies.  But, again, the terms “bishop” and “elder” are synonymous, but the “bishop” was the "office" or the position of authority, whereas the "elder" was the man.  Thus, “the office of a bishop” simply refers to the function of overseeing the affairs of the local church and/or assembly:

Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God” (Acts 20:28).

Notice that the Holy Spirit refers to the “overseers” (plural) as ones who were jointly working together to manage the assembly at Ephesus.  The responsibility of those who hold this church office, especially those who labor in the Word of God and its related Church doctrines, is “to feed the church of God” (the Believers) a steady diet of God’s Truths, rightly divided (1 Timothy 5:17; 2 Timothy 2:15).  Therefore, the elder/overseer is one who provides spiritual leadership for the assembly.

The Pastor

To help us understand the term pastor let’s first take note, again, of Acts 20:28 above and then the three Bible passages below:

And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church” (Acts 20:17).

The elders (plural) which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;” (1 Peter 5:1-2).

And he (Christ) gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;” (Ephesians 4:11).

In Paul’s epistles he only mentions two offices in the local church: elder/overseer/ pastor and the deacon (1 Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-10; Philippians 1:1).  It wasn’t until early in the 2nd century that the church began to adopt a hierarchy of bishops, deacons, and presbyters.  But, the term “pastor,” Paul used in the Ephesian passage is the Koine Greek word poimen and only occurs once in the N.T.   It’s a noun and refers to a church officer (one man).  We note in the above passage the Apostle Peter identified himself as “an elder.”  The verb form of this word is used more commonly to describe the function of pastoring or shepherding the local church.  Thus when Paul affirms that the man who aspires to the office of overseerdesires a good work,” he is referring to the one office of leadership within the local church and that is the elder/overseer/pastor.  Although it might appear that he’s donning three hats, as it were, it is but one church office. 

The Deacon

Likewise must the deacons (diakonos) be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre;” (1 Timothy 3:8).

The “deacons” are those leaders who attend to the physical needs of the local assembly.

Joseph Henry Thayer (November 7, 1828—November 26, 1901), an American biblical scholar, described those who hold this office as “one who executes the commands of another…a servant, or attendant.  One who, by virtue of the office assigned to him by the church, cares for the poor and has charge of and distributes the money collected for their use.”

Under the direction of the pastor (overseers) the deacons (helpers) are responsible to attend to the offerings, distributions to the needy, building and grounds, etc.  They too are to be spiritually-minded as they carry out the duties of their office to the glory of God (Acts 6:1-7; 1 Timothy 3:9, 13).

Administratively, the positions of elder/overseer/ pastor and deacon are the only two offices found in the divine revelation given to Paul and we see this in Philippians 1:1:

Paul and Timotheus (Timothy), the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.” (See also Acts 20:17)

Keeping all the above in mind, I believe we’re now ready for verses 3:1-2.

This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.  A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;

Based on all we’ve learned so far it ought to go without saying Godly leadership in the local church is essential to its spiritual life and its spiritual growth.  But one must not assume that the “desire” to be a “bishop” is necessarily “a good work.”  For Paul implied almost the opposite by cautioning the men not to desire this office unless they are ready to meet all of its qualifications.  That’s because those who hold this offices are given the moral and spiritual oversight of the church, which is something that should never be taken lightly.  Many men of God with notable abilities have failed in this endeavor because they lacked one or more of the moral standards which Paul outlines in this epistle.  I could name a few names in that regard, but that’s not what we’re about here.  Instead of dragging people through the proverbial mud, we prefer to enlighten them with “the truth.”    

Paul underscores the biblical truth above in verse 3:15, so let’s consider his words to pastor Timothy: “But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave (conduct) thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar (support) and ground (foundation) of the truth.”  In other words, if the Church and it’s affairs do not conform to the standards set forth in the Word of God, rightly divided, the bulwark of “the truth” will be seriously undermined, if not lost and forgotten, such as during the 900 years of intellectual darkness in Europe that has been labeled the “Dark Age.”

Now let’s look at the phrase, “a good work” because that which is considered good must be determined by the nature of the thing being identified as good.  For example, a good foundation is a solid foundation, a good soldier is a brave soldier and one who willingly endures hardship, a good steward is a faithful steward, a good hamburger is one that has been prepared per your instructions, and good works are those works which are morally right in the eyes of God.  Knowing this should help us understand Paul’s use of the word “then” in verse 3:2.  We now know the office of a bishop is a sacred trust, involving high moral standards and spiritual responsibilities.  So Paul cautions his readers against casually “desiring” this position without careful and( prayerful consideration. 

A man must “desire” to be a spiritual leader (pastor), which is what the word “bishop” signifies.  One of the problems with saying God calls some men to the ministry and not others is that most pastors don’t know or won’t recognize the revelation of the mystery Paul refers to over and over again in his epistles.  Does it make sense then that God called them to be pastors?  The short answer is, “No.”  What God does is use His Word to instill a “desire” in men to be a pastor, and if he doesn’t know about “the revelation of the mystery” along with its significance for this dispensation before he enters the ministry, it is God’s will that he come to a knowledge of the truth soon thereafter (1 Timothy 2:4).

Paul called the ministry an “office” (3:1), i.e., a position of authority.  The priesthood was an office (Exodus 28:1), and Israel also had officers who ruled in civil matters (Deuteronomy 16:18).  Being an apostle was considered an office (Romans 11:13), but Peter called Judas’ office a “bishoprick” (Acts 1:20).  But Paul can’t be talking about desiring the office of an apostle, for apostles were chosen by the Lord Himself (Luke 6:12-13; Acts 9).  From the rest of what Paul says in this passage it is obvious that the “bishops” he had in mind were pastors. 

Paul proceeds to list the qualifications of this church office saying, “If one should desire the office of a bishop, …then, they must be…”  

Blameless” (3:2) – the very first qualification Paul cites is that of an unimpeachable character and conduct.   The individual being considered for this office must be above reproach lest the name of Christ and His ministry be tarnished.  

the husband of one wife” (3:2) – here I point out Paul means to say, “the husband of one wifeat a time.  This doesn’t mean a pastor can’t be divorced and remarried.

Wife of one man” (1 Timothy 5:9) can’t disallow women who were widowed and remarried, it must mean she had to have been the wife of one man - at a time.  In the O.T., when a woman slept with a man she became his wife (Genesis 16:3), so Paul is saying the church should help widows who weren’t married with a man on the side.  And “husband of one wife” must mean the same thing.  In saying this, Paul was announcing a dispensational change from the days of old when spiritual leaders often had a wife and a woman on the side, a concubine, or even many wives.  That doesn’t mean a pastor has to be married any more than verse 3:4 means he has to have children.  It means if he has children he must “ruleth” them well and if he is married it must be to one wife – at a time.  In short, those who hold the position of pastor must not be a womanizer.  He is to be the husband of one wife, forsaking all others. 

While we’re here let’s address a concern of some who believe Paul’s statement means only a married man can be a pastor.  While it is preferable, per Paul, I don’t believe this is a prerequisite and I base this on Scripture.  As far as we know, Paul was unmarried during the entirety of his apostolic ministry (I Corinthians 7:7-8).  It also appears that both pastor Timothy and pastor Titus were unmarried, yet we note both were greatly used of the Lord.  The other thing worth mentioning is this Bible passage, and others, utterly obliterates the Roman Catholic tradition re: the celibacy of their priests.

A pastor must be “…vigilant, sober, of good behavior” – the term “vigilant” conveys the idea of being alert and watchful of danger (See 1 Peter 5:8-9).  In that passage Peter is talking about the danger of the Antichrist in the Tribulation.  Today Satan poses as “an angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14), but pastors must be “vigilant” of him in this lest men stray from the mysteries of God.  Being “sober” helps with this (3:2), a word that just means a pastor must be serious about dispensing God’s mysteries, and not think too highly of themselves in doing so (Romans 12:3; 2 Corinthians 12:3).

Pastors must also be “of good behavior,” (i.e., orderly in life, habits, and work) but not all are “given to hospitality.”  This suggests that in the measure a man has these things, in that measure God can use him.  For instance, God blesses all faithful teaching of His Word, but He can bless and use those who are “apt to teach” more (3:2).  When spiritual gifts were given, some were given a gift of teaching (Romans 12:6-7), but since these gifts were gone (passed away) by this time Paul said pastors must have an aptitude for teaching, an ability to give men joy by helping them understand God’s Word, rightly divided (2 Corinthians 1:24).

Verse 3:3.

Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;”

“Not given to wine” – the battle has longed raged between those who believe it is wrong to partake of an intoxicating beverage except for medicinal purposes and those who hold that drinking alcohol in moderation is sanctioned in Scripture.  The former base their stance on Bible passages such as Proverbs 20:1, which is a strong statement on the subject, while the latter argue from passages which appear at least, to imply that drinking of wine was an accepted custom in Paul’s day, which it probably was in lands where uncontaminated water was in short supply.  

The following important Scripture on this subject is often overlooked, however: “It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; Nor for princes strong drink: Lest they drink, and forget the law, And pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted” (Proverbs 31:4-5).

That Scripture says what it means and means what is says.  If drinking of strong drink is to be indulged in, at least let kings and princes refrain from it lest they fail to act “soberly” i.e., responsibly.  Does this not apply with greater force to those who occupy places of leadership in the local Church?  This most likely is the reason why Paul prescribed “a little wine” for pastor Timothy’s “often infirmities” (1 Timothy 5:23).  The implication is that Timothy would have refrained from using any wine at all in spite of his ailments.  Knowing all this, Paul’s injunction in verse 3:3 becomes clear.  The bishop should not be “given to wine,” that is, addicted to wine. 

no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;” (3:3). 

A “striker” is, of course, one who physically strikes another, and a “brawler” is one who is abusive and quarrelsome.  Adding Paul’s concern re: the drinking of wine to this charge, we understand this to mean: refrain from drunken brawling.  Why is this concern necessary?  Paul knew from experience that many a man of God came from a backdrop of paganism which is anything but conducive to godly conduct.  In times of anger a bishop, being human, might revert to his old ways.  Clearly, settling things with one’s fists is to be avoided lest the gospel of Christ, and one’s reputation be sullied.

not greedy of filthy lucre” – many people will tell you this means money, and “filthy lucre” means ill-gotten gains (Proverbs 10:2).  But that’s not what Paul’s saying. “Lucre” is simply gain and any lucrative enterprise is a gainful one.  Thus, Paul’s warning the prospective bishops against taking any course of action for base personal gain.  This command was largely ignored in Paul’s day, as it is today, and Paul’s comment in verse 6:5-6 underscores this truth: “Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.  But godliness with contentment is great gain. 

Although some will say evidence of financial gain in one’s ministry is proof-positive that God is blessing their ministry, Paul clearly disagrees with that attitude.   He could say for himself and pastor Titus in writing to the Corinthian saints: “Did I make a gain of you by any of them whom I sent unto you?  I desired Titus, and with him I sent a brother.  Did Titus make a gain of you? walked we not in the same spirit? walked we not in the same steps…” (2 Corinthians 12:17-18). 

The Corinthians knew for a fact that Paul worked with his own hands as a tentmaker when he was with them.  That's when he met and partnered with Priscilla and Aquila in tent-making and in the ministry of leading others to Christ (Acts 18:1–5; 18, 20:34; 2 Thessalonians 3:8).  And he did this so that the gospel of Christ would not be hindered or slandered (1 Corinthians 9).  You see, back then, people knew there was money (lucre) to be made in the religion business and that could be said for today as well. 

I mention the above because the idea of “money” is found in this verse for “covetous,” here, is literally, “loving money.”  In 1 Timothy 6:5-11, where our apostle deals at length with this subject, he counseled pastor Timothy saying, “But thou, O man of God, flee these things;” (6:11a).  It’s a sad thing indeed for a pastor (spiritual leader) who has become wealthy through the financial offerings of those whom he has taught them not only to give (tithe) but to give sacrificially to support their ministry.  Truly, the “love of money” is a “root” that is “all evil.”  It produces no good whatsoever.

Paul’s exhortation to be “patient” is in a way the most important of all the qualifications in this verse, for “patience” speaks of the denial or abasement of oneself, and overall this is what this verse is all about.  The overseer in the work of the Lord, whose care is not for himself but for others, will be blessed of God and loved and respected by those in his care.   

We’ve run out of time, just as I suspected earlier, so, per the usual we’ll pick this lesson up from where it left off next week.  I pray y’all remain in good health, both physically and spiritually, and that you’ll share the gospel of Jesus Christ with at least one person this week to the glory of God. 

© Copyright 2011/GJ Heitzman’s Ministry/All Rights Reserved

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday, May 21, 2021

1 Timothy 2:8-15 (L 12)

Home Bible Study©

Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth (2 Timothy 2:15)

WWW. 2Tim215.Net 

Established November 2008                                             Published: May 21, 2021 

For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:3-4).

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Welcome back to HBS everyone.  I pray last week’s study of God’s Word, rightly divided, helped you understand in the present dispensation of the grace of God there is no unpardonable sin.  Why?  The Lord Jesus Christ’s shed blood paid the penalty (ransom) for “all our sin” past, present, and future (2 Corinthians 5:19; Romans 5:8-11; Colossians 2:13).  That particular teaching was meant for the nation of Israel including her religious leaders because they had rejected the overtures of the Godhead in totality, i.e., God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit (See 1 Samuel 8:7; Luke 19:14, 23:34; Acts 3:14-15; 1 Corinthians 2:6-8; and Acts 7).

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Please open your Bible at 1 Timothy 2:8-15 and we’ll try to wrap-up chapter 2 today.

God’s Divine Order Of Men And Women

I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.  In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.  Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.  But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.  For Adam was first formed, then Eve.  And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.  Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.”

Here our Apostle Paul instructed Timothy re: God’s divine order for the sexes or more to the point how they how they are to conduct themselves in the Church, in the home, and in their daily conduct.  But this is where things go awry for many saved people have no trouble expressing joy and thanksgiving for “the  grace of God” where their salvation and blessings in the heavenlies are concerned.  But then quickly become disillusioned, if not distraught, after reading commands such as those in the Bible passage above.  They can’t or won’t come to terms with Paul’s remarks about how they’re to walk (live their lives) “in the grace of God. This is the norm in spite of the fact that Paul’s epistles consistently begin by introducing doctrine before deportment, calling before conduct, wealth before walk, position before practice, and revelation before responsibility or how the Believer is to walk “in the grace of God” wherever and with whomever they happen to be with (1 Timothy 2:1-4).     

Verses 2:8-9.

I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.  In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;

It might not be obvious to the casual Bible reader but this Scripture passage deals with the Believer’s ministry for the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17-21).  In verse 2:8 Paul refers to the “men,” and in verse 2:9 the “women.”  In verse 2:9 the phrase, “In like manner also” clearly shows us he is comparing the conduct and responsibilities of the “men” with those of the “women. When he wrote in verse 2:8a, “I will therefore that men (or the men) pray every where,” he’s referring to public prayer, and not one’s quiet time at home with the Lord for believing women as well as men are encouraged to pray “without ceasing,” that is, don’t stop praying or pray repeatedly and often elsewhere in his writings (Ephesians 6:18; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18; 1 Timothy 2:1, etc.).  

That being clearly expressed, is it not odd that several modern faith denominations which claim to uphold apostolic doctrine and practice in their assemblies ignore this important apostolic command?  I say this because they appoint women as their leaders.  Though this is consistent with the world’s outcry for women’s rights, it is not consistent with what the Scriptures say, especially the epistles of Paul, for Paul, more than any other N.T. writer, insists upon the subordination of the woman to the man.  Anyone who doubts this teaching (doctrine) need only search his epistles for the truth. 

While we’re here I should point out I do not overlook the fact that there are exceptional cases where a woman might be called to lead because men fail to take the lead.  For example, Deborah in the O.T. was used of the LORD to deliver Israel because of the weakness and irresponsibility of the men at that time, especially Barak (Judges 4:4-8, 5:7).  Other exceptions occur also, but the divine (God-given) rule is that the man, as God’s appointed head over the woman, should take the lead, and the woman should serve in her God-given capacity willingly accepting her subordinate position.  Thus, it is God’s will, for the Church today, that the “men” lead in prayer “every where.” 

After Paul commanded  that men pray every where,” he added an additional command saying: “…pray every wherewithout wrath and doubting” (2:8b).  We’re going to look at these commands separately, so let’s turn our attention to verse 2:8a. 

Is Paul saying “men” should literally lift up their hands in prayer?  Some say “Yes,” while others say, “Not so much.”  Though some question this spiritual activity, and others, by their actions and comments, show their disapproval for those who pray in this manner.  However, I point out this is how David, “a man after God’s own heart,” prayed (1 Samuel 13:14; Psalm 141:2; Acts 13:22), so there’s nothing wrong it.  Here’s the thing though, Paul’s saying those hands you lift up to God in prayer must be “holy.”  

To help us understand Paul’s meaning let’s look at an O.T. scripture passage.  Please turn to Isaiah 1:15.  This is the LORD God of Israel communicating an important message re: their prayers: “And when ye spread forth your hands, I (the LORD God – Jehovah) will hide mine eyes from you: Yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: Your hands are full of blood (Isaiah 1:15; Psalm 66:18).

This was true for the nation of Israel under the Law, but this cannot be what Paul had in mind for us for “we are not under the law, but under grace” (Romans 6:15).  Sin might hinder one’s prayer life due to one’s sense of guilt and shame, but sin does not block the Believer’s access to God in the dispensation of grace for Paul wrote: “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God” (Romans 5:1-2).

Being justified… we have peace with God… By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand…”  This is but one of many priceless blessings the Believer has in Christ Jesus.  But, as with other things, many people of faith take this blessing for granted.  They fail to appreciate what it means to be able to wake up every day, go about their business, and at day’s end go to bed always assured that through the Lord’s redemptive work the true Believer has “peace with God” and their eternal state is secure, “For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3; Ephesians 1:13-14).  Surely, then, this knowledge ought to overwhelm one’s heart with continuous gratitude and have a profound effect upon their conduct. 

The companion blessing to “peace with God” is our full and free “access” into God’s presence: another blessing of grace that is not appreciated fully.  Think about what this means.  God Almighty invites the Believer to come confidently before His “throne of grace” at their convenience:  Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrew 4:16).

We should never forget that this great privilege was purchased for us by the precious blood of Christ, and that having thus been purchased, it is God’s will that we Believers avail ourselves of this grace wherein we now stand: “Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; And having an high priest over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water” (Hebrew 10:19-22).

Romans chapter 6 explains the power in the saved Believer to live apart from the sins of the unbelieving world listed for our edification in Romans 1:18-32 and elsewhere in Paul’s epistles.  In that passage of Scripture we learn about the sins of ingratitude, wickedness, perversion, covetousness, envy, deceit, backbiting, pride, disobedience to parental authority, cursing, bitterness, etc.  Because the Believer still has an old nature, they are still capable of committing sin so it’s possible that the Believer might continue to live an ungodly life after being saved.  But Paul teaches us in Romans 6 the cross of Christ broke the power of sin, and the Believer can live righteously (this speaks of one’s practical sanctification) by the grace of God. 

Based on all that there must be some other reason Paul speaks of lifting up holy hands, and there is.  Keeping this command between the lines, or in context, Paul just finished instructing Timothy (and us) to pray “…for kings, and for all that are in authority” (1 Timothy 2:1-2).  So Paul is actually saying the hands we lift in prayer to pray for any and all governmental authorities must not be involved in any unholy (subversive) activities against those same authorities for whom you are praying, those to whom God said we should be subject (Titus 3:1) without resisting (Romans 13:1-7).

This is also why Paul said men should pray “without wrath and doubting” (2:8b).  Some folks try to connect his words here to God’s Kingdom Program, under the Law (See Matthew 15:24 and Romans 15:8), where the Lord told the Jews to whom He ministered: “And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.  But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses” (Mark 11:25).

Clearly, there’s no room for “wrath” in an instruction as that.  The Jews were also told:

For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.  Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them” (Mark 11:23-24).

But every Believer who has ever prayed without doubting, only to not receive whatsoever they earnestly prayed for, knows that we are not under God’s Kingdom Program for Israel any more than we are under the Law that God gave to them.  So these references to wrath and doubting under the Kingdom Program cannot be what Paul had in mind when he said to pray “without wrath and doubting.”  Thus, based on the context, Paul is instructing Timothy and the men to pray for those in authority minus the wrath directed toward them that was so common among God’s people back in Paul’s day that he had to address it by issuing this command. 

Fast forward to today and it most likely goes without saying Believers are concerned while others are continuously angry with their elected officials and always doubting their ability to govern them.  So Paul’s instruction that we should pray for them “without wrath and doubting” is as needful today as it was when this epistle was penned.  This flows naturally from God our Savior’s view of humanity as a whole in which He sees “all men” equally loved and equally in need of “the knowledge of the truth” leading to salvation (2:3-6).  So, bearing this in mind, instead of criticizing and condemning those we elect to serve us let’s all pray for them for it is God’s will.

I reiterate for emphasis, God is “all in,” as some say, about the salvation of the lost.  So, after telling Timothy to pray “For kings, and for all that are in authority that we might lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty” (2:1-2); and so the gospel of grace can reach “all men” (2:3-4), Paul said it is “his will” that the men pray “every where,” since unsaved people are found “every where.”

Verse 2:9.

In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;

Here our Apostle Paul proceeds to deal with the subject of the woman’s responsibility and testimony as to reflecting “the grace of God” in her life.  Contrary to what some people believe, we note in this very first sentence Paul does not consider the woman as a “step-and fetch;” an item of tangible property meant for the man’s use as he sees fit.  Far from it!  Paul holds that the woman should be someone deemed very special in the family, one for whom the man will gladly show honor, love, and respect; and if necessary willingly give up his life in exchange for hers.  Paul implied this truth in Ephesians 5:25 saying: “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

Here we carefully note Paul isn’t changing the subject when he begins speaking about the responsibility of the “women” (2:9).  Married women also have a God-given leader whose leadership they are tempted to question and second-guess, thinking they could do a better job at leading the marriage and their household than their husband.  This is something they should pray about “in like manner” instead of being bitter about it.

Paul said the first way a woman accepts the leadership role of her husband is by dressing “modestly” (2:8; Proverbs 7:10) “with shamefacedness,” i.e., a lack of being restrained by shame.  Sobriety” means making sound decisions while dressing, unlike the bad decisions women might make when they are under the influence of strong drink. 

Broided” or braided hair was associated with immodesty back then but it isn’t today.  But if there’s nothing wrong with wearing “gold” (Genesis 24:53) or “pearls or costly array” (Ezekiel 16:10-13), why is Paul saying there is?  Well, the Apostle Peter couldn’t have been saying he was against the “putting on of apparel” (2 Peter 3:3) in general, so he must have been against excesses in putting on apparel and gold.  The Greek word for “adorning” he used (3:3) is elsewhere always translated “world,” so he’s saying if a woman’s whole world revolves around her adorning that’s a problem.  By the way, the Greek word is kosmos (cosmos) from which we get the word cosmetics.  A woman’s’ cosmetics should be “a meek and quiet spirit” and “good works” (2:9; Ephesians 2:10), especially the “good works” women excel at: “But (which becometh women professing (what?) godliness) with good works” (1 Timothy 5:10).

Verses 2:11-15.

Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.  But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.  For Adam was first formed, then Eve.  And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.  Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.”

Speaking from experience, this is where many people tune God (not me) out, if not before.  So, instead of being, “transformed by the renewing of their mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:1-2), they demonstrate their disdain for God’s wise counsel by dismissing His commands for many reasons.  Thus, they choose worldliness over godliness in spite of the fact that Scripture instructs them to resist being “conformed” to the world’s thinking, value systems, and conduct (Romans 12:1; 1 Peter 1:13-14). 

That lead-in takes us to verses 2:11-12:

Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.  But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.

While we’re here let’s look at similar commands from Paul to the carnal church at Corinth, Greece: “Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law.  And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church” (1 Corinthians 14:34-35).

We’ll start by looking at the term, “silence” for on the surface it appears to be rather harsh.  Older versions of the King James Bible render this word “quietness,” and in Acts 22:2, we read, “they kept the more silence.”  Thus, the thought expressed here is the women “quieted down.”  To illustrate I draw upon a personal experience.  When I attended high school myself and others entered the classroom, and if no teacher was present we proceeded to meet up and talk with our classmates and friends.  Those conversations were many so one often had to talk over their neighbor to be heard.  The noise created by all this activity could be heard out in the corridor, but when the teacher entered we all “quieted down” out of respect and because it was the right thing to do. 

When studying your Bible remember context is king, i.e., context is crucial for understanding any passage of Scripture.  This is especially true when the verse, taken out of its context, is easily misunderstood.  Verses 2:11-12 are but one of many Bible passages that are prone to misinterpretation and controversy so it needs to be carefully considered or interpreted.  To that I add some people would rather skip over troubling verses as these and that need not be.  For this provocative statement actually begins with an assumption about women which was foreign to ancient culture, specifically, encouraging the teaching of women.  This idea and practice ran afoul of most cultural and religious traditions of Paul’s day.  In traditional Judaism, for example, women were not allowed to study the Law.  Paul's words here, then, start by following the pattern of Jesus of Nazareth, who taught women as part of His ministry: “And upon this came his disciples, and marvelled that he talked with the woman: yet no man said, What seekest thou? or, Why talkest thou with her?  The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men, Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?  Then they went out of the city, and came unto him” (John 4:27–30, 11:28–30, 19:25).

The truly controversial part of the passage has served as the basis for much debate among Christians.  Considering the context, Paul’s prior comments, and the culture of the time, it is clear that Paul does not mean that women are to remain "silent," or soundless.  For the same Greek term (hesuchios) is used in several places where total silence is clearly not implied (1 Timothy 2:2; 1 Thessalonians 4:11; 1 Peter 3:4).  Knowing this, the term means a peacefulness, stillness, or calmness of spirit.  One must also bear in mind in Paul’s day religious expressions in the house churches could be loud, showy, and at times rather hysterical.  This is what Paul’s trying to avoid because these unchallenged, noisy displays are counterproductive, serving little to no good purpose. 

The term “subjection” in verse 2:11 conveys the idea of “submissiveness” of the women to men, and in particular of the wife to her husband.  This is another sensitive matter.  I say this because it’s no secret that many women, even Christian women, are contending for equal rights with men.  Anything or anyone who tries to hinder that campaign will come under fire, including our apostle.  So then, instead of “shooting first, and asking questions later,” let’s consider this injunction in light of the Word of God itself.  For we are “light” (Ephesians 5:8-10) and those who walk in “the light” of God’s Word often show the unsaved the way to the Light through their daily walk or manner of life.

In 1 Timothy we note Paul based his argument on both the order of creation and the fall of “the man,” a.k.a. Adam: “For Adam was first formed, then Eve.  And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression” (2:13-14).

The Creator God (Jehovah in the O.T. and the Lord Jesus Christ in the N.T.) could have created “the woman” (Eve) first or He could have created both “the man” and “the woman” simultaneously, but He didn’t.  Thus, it has always been His intention for men to lead and the women to follow.  In addition to the divine order of creation: first “the man” and then “the woman,” Paul points out another significant detail.  It was not “the man,” but “the woman” who was “deceived” in Eden and transgressed.  The greater fault falls to “the man,” however, because he sinned with both eyes wide open. Opinions vary as to why, but if you’ve ever truly loved someone then you know why.  Adam loved Eve.  The serpent (Satan) knew the difference in their natures.  This is why he approached “the woman” when she was off to herself, and caused “the man” to sin indirectly through the “the woman,” i.e., he chose to sin whereas “the woman” was “deceived.”  There’s a significant difference. 

These facts, of course, place the greater blame on “the man.”  Paul speaks of this in Romans 5:12 saying, “ Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:”

So then, it’s on these facts that God created “the man,” then “the woman” as an “help meet for him,” and that “the woman” was the more susceptible to deception, that Paul bases his argument for the relationship of the woman to the man.  The former of these arguments is expanded in 1 Corinthians 11:8-9, “For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man.  Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man” (See Genesis 2:18).

Verse 2:12.

But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence (quietness).

That being understood she could teach the younger women, and indeed, Paul urged them to do so (Titus 2:1-5).  They could also teach children, and Timothy is an example of this for he was taught the Scriptures from his youth by his mother and grandmother (2 Timothy 1:5, 3:14-17) so these things do not “usurp authority over the man.”

Verse 2:15.

Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.

I think it will help y’all understand this Bible verse if we look at Genesis 3:16 and the curse Jehovah, i.e., the LORD God, placed upon the woman for her role in the transgression: “Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.”

How can the woman “be saved in childbearing” and from what?  Since opinions vary as to what Paul means to say here, I will point out what he’s not saying.  Some believe the woman will be saved from death in childbearing, if she and her husband continue in “faith, love, and holiness, with sobriety.”  But this cannot be true for in many cases where these qualifications were fulfilled the wife passed away in childbearing, while in many other cases godless women have survived childbearing.

The Roman Catholics teach the woman’s soul will be saved; that her childbearing will earn for her “merits” which God will accept.  But the problem with this notion is her salvation, and others, is after works or by human merit, and in Romans 4:5 along with Ephesians 2:8-9, and other Scripture passages say otherwise.  Salvation is neither by human works, or merit, “lest any man should boast” in their achievements.

It’s much easier to mention what this Bible verse is not saying than to say with all certainty what it does mean.  But, in light of the context, Paul seems to be teaching Timothy (and us) in motherhood, i.e., in assuming her God-given role in the home, with her husband “in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety” the woman will be “saved” (spared) from the pitfalls that have wrecked the lives of many women who ignore sound Pauline doctrine.  Therefore, this Bible guide believes the word “saved” here is used in its broader sense, as in 1 Timothy 4:16: “Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.” Paul’s teaching one of the woman’s primary ministries is “childbearing” and the rearing of her children who will become godly adults and leaders themselves one day for “The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.” 

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