Men, women and church (1 Timothy 2 v 8-15)
Men, women and church 1 Timothy 2 v 8-15)
These verses are not easy! They are tricky to understand, can be tricky to accept, and are often tricky to apply.
Thank God that “the words of the LORD are flawless” (Psalm 12 v 6). Ask Him to help you to understand what He’s saying; to accept it; and to see how it applies in your life and your church.
• What does 1 v 27 tell us about both men and women?
Verse 27 shows that men and women are equal, and valuable, to God. But men and women are different. Man needs woman (2 v 18): woman is made for man (v 21). Man is made to rule (so he has authority to name the animals, v 19-20); woman is made to help and support him as he does.
Read 1 Timothy 2:8
• What are men to do (v 8)?
All too often men rely on themselves, not God; or they speak to God while failing to be at peace with those around them. Men need to pray, and pray properly.
• What are women to do (v 9)?
• What is “beauty” in God’s eyes (v 10)?
Christian women shouldn’t dress to impress (otherwise instead of focusing on prayer, men will focus on them!). Equally, Christian men need to notice a girl’s good deeds more than they notice her figure. A challenge for both sexes!
• What should women do (v 11)? What shouldn’t they do (v 12)?
In v 13-14, Paul gives two reasons for what he says. The first (v 13) refers to the created pattern we saw in Genesis 1–2.
The second (v 14) is a Genesis 3 reason. In listening to the serpent, the woman acted as ruler rather than helper, making the decision to sin without even referring to her husband. When we step out of the pattern God created us to live in, we reject God.
There are two ways of reading verse 15:
• A woman who had the unique privilege
of giving birth to our Saviour, Jesus.
• Women get to continue the human race
through childbirth, and to bring their
children up knowing God.
• Looking over verses 11-12, how do you think these verses should apply in your church?
The principles here are clear: women are not to teach with authority over men. But in practice, Christians who love God’s word will have a variety of ways of applying these truths in their church settings. We need to pray that men take up
their responsibility to lead; and that women support them as they do.
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