Let’s turn now in our Bibles to 1 Timothy chapter two, as we continue our study through the Word of God.
Paul said, I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; Supplication, the word in the Greek, indicates a petition, but it can be to God or to another individual. You can go to a friend and make a petition of the friend, as well as petitioning God.
The word, “prayers”, is a word that is used only of God. So petitions and then prayers, where I am coming to God and seeking God. And then intercessions, that goes one step deeper into really, pleading to God. Then the giving of thanks. So these are aspects of prayer. The moving into prayer from petition to a more intense request to intercession and then the giving of thanks.
Here’s the stickler though, 2For kings, and for all that are in authority; Have you prayed for President Clinton lately? That is what it is asking you to do. Someone was being taken through a visit through the Senate. The person said to him, knowing that he was a Christian, do you pray for the Senate or for the senators? He said, I look at the senators and I pray for the nation. But we are to pray for the kings and all that are in authority.
The purpose is that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. I think that it is important for us, as Christians, to pray for those that are in authority. We are commanded to do so. It really doesn’t matter as far as party is concerned, Democrat or Republican or whatsoever, if they are in a position of authority, then we need to hold them up in prayer. Surely they need the help of God. They need the guidance of God. Everyone who is in the position of authority needs the help and guidance of God.
You say, well, you know, in those days…wait a minute. When Paul wrote this to Timothy, it so happened that Nero was the emperor of Rome. So Paul is exhorting them to pray for the king, even Nero, all that are in authority, the Roman Senate, that we might live quiet and peaceable lives in all godliness and honesty.
Now, I believe that the day is coming, if the Lord doesn’t come earlier, that we who believe in the Bible in a literal sense. We believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God and that it is inerrant and that it is to be followed by us. I believe that we will experience persecution. You see we are living in an age in which men do not want to acknowledge guilt.
We’re in what is being called by the academists, the post-modern society. We’ve gone beyond the modern age into the post-modern age. And in the post-modern age there is no guilt. There is no wrong. Everybody does what they feel like they should do.
Of course, we are seeing now the effects of this teaching. It will be interesting to find out how long before we really wake up. Just this past week, once again a young man going to a school dance with a gun, begins to fire away at the crowd of students, killing one of the teachers and all. And how many of these incidents do we need before we realize that this philosophy that we have been inculcating in the minds of our children, doesn’t work? That it leads to anarchy?
So we need to pray for those who are in authority, that we might live quiet, godly, peaceable lives, in all godliness and honesty, that we will have laws that will protect children from the predators on the Internet. That we will have laws that will protect the children from the violence that they are being exposed to, afternoon after afternoon, as they are watching television. This cry of censorship that comes up, is a cry from hell. We need to protect the children from a lot of the filth that is being fed to them today and we are seeing, of course, the tragic consequences.
3For this is good (It’s good that you pray for the leadership.) It is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; This is what God wants us to do. Now, I have to confess that I have been remiss in this. That I am more prone to criticize the failings and the weaknesses of government than I am to pray for them. But as I was reading this, the Spirit convicted me and I was determined that Bill Clinton goes on my prayer list. He has been appointed as the head over the nation. And he needs prayer, the prayers of God’s people, that God will help him, strengthen him and that he will be guided by God in the decisions that he has to make. It’s good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour.
4Who will have all men to be saved, This is God’s desire. Now, that doesn’t mean that all men are going to be saved, but God is not willing that any should perish. God provided salvation for all. Christ died for the sins of the world, that whosoever believes in Him. But God has given to each of us this capacity of choice. So though God is not willing that any should perish, He will not save anybody against their will.
It would be meaningless for God to give us the capacity of choice if He didn’t respect the choices that we make.
It would be meaningless for God to give us the capacity of choice if there wasn’t an alternative to choose. And so though God is not willing that any should perish, there are many who do perish, though it is the will of God that all men are saved, not all are saved because, God, having given us the capacity of choice, respects the choices that we make.
So He would have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. Wouldn’t it be glorious if all men were saved and came to the knowledge of truth and walked in that truth?
What is the truth? 5For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; All roads do not lead to God! The Scripture says there is a way that seems right unto man, but the end thereof is the way of death.
Jesus said (Matthew 7:14), straight is the gate, narrow is the way, that leads to eternal life and few there are that find it. But broad is the gate and broad is the way or the path of destruction. And there are many who are going that path.
All roads do not lead to God. All religions are not good. There is only one road that leads to God and that is Jesus Christ! He said (John 14:6), I am the way, the truth and the life, and no man cometh to the Father but by Me!
Someone heard my message this morning and this afternoon sent me this afternoon a very sickening e-mail. They were upset and they objected to the narrow bigotry of saying there is only one way. I did not say that. Jesus said that! Greater authority than mine! There is one God and one mediator, that is one true God! There are many false gods. And there is only one way to reach Him and that is through Jesus Christ. And that’s the whole purpose of coming to Christ! That was the whole purpose of the death of Christ for our sins, in order that He might bring men unto God.
One mediator, as we pointed out this morning, Job, chapter 9, when his friend, Bildad, said, Job just get right with God and everything will be okay. Job responded how can a man be just with God? Who am I that I can plead my cause? If I were perfect, if I were completely innocent, I wouldn’t declare it, I would just beg for mercy. But God is so great. He is so vast. He passed by me, I can’t see Him. He’s created the universe! And I am nothing! Who am I, that I could come to God and plead my cause? And there is no daysman between us, one who can lay his hand on us both.
Job was correctly conscious of the fact that God is infinite. And that he was finite. He recognized finite man cannot reach an infinite God. It’s an impossibility. But reverse it! Can an infinite God reach finite man? Of course, He is infinite. And it’s no problem for an infinite God to reach finite man.
Now that’s the difference between Christianity and religion. Every religion is an attempt of finite man to reach the infinite God. Christianity is reversed. In Christianity you have the infinite God reaching down to touch finite man.
In the beginning was the Word (John 1:1), the Word was with God, the Word was God, the same was in the beginning with God and the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us. The infinite God came to this earth. The earth was made by Him. And He came and He walked on this earth. He walked with men who He had created. And He taught them concerning the truth of the Father. And He said I am the truth and the life. No man can come to the Father, but by me.
But Christianity is God reaching down to touch finite man with His love and with His grace. Reverse it and you have an impossible situation. No religion can bring you to God. No finite man can touch an infinite God. But God, the infinite God, can reach down and has reach down to touch finite man. So Jesus can put His hand on God and He can put His hand on me.
Job said no daysman who can touch God and touch me, can touch us both. But Jesus does just that. He is One with the Father, but He became a man so He could touch us.
John said (1 John 1:1), whom we have gazed upon, whom we have held, the Word of life, that which was from the beginning. We’ve seen Him. We’ve gazed upon Him. We’ve touched Him. He touched us. He touches God. And thus He can bring me to God. He is the mediator between God and man.
There is no other mediator. There is only one. The saints can’t mediate. Mary can’t mediate. Righteous men can’t mediate. There is only one mediator between God and men and that’s the man, Christ Jesus.
6Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. The idea of this word, ransom, is to redeem by paying a price.
Now, you and I were slaves in sin. Satan was our master. As Jesus said, you are of your father, the devil and his desires, you do. That wasn’t just to the Jews. It’s to every sinner. We were slaves to Satan. We were held captive by Satan.
There are a lot of people today who are being held captive by Satan. They don’t like the things they are doing. They hate the things they are doing, but they can’t stop doing them because Satan is holding them as a captive. They are a slave to sin.
But Jesus Christ came to purchase us from this slavery. He paid the price to redeem man from slavery in sin. And if you receive Him as your Lord, He will set you free from the power of darkness. It’s just acknowledging a different Lord, Satan is no longer the lord of my life. He no longer rules over me, but Jesus Christ is now the Lord of my life and I live in Him and for Him. He gave Himself to pay the price of redemption for us.
7Whereunto (because of this) I am ordained (or I have been appointed) a preacher, One who proclaims a glorious truth, a preacher.
Now, I do believe that preaching is for a sinner. It is declaring to the sinner that there has been a price that has been paid for his redemption. That he can be freed from the damning consequences of sin, that he can live a life of victory in and through Jesus Christ, that Christ died for his sin according the Scriptures. He rose again. And He through the life of the risen Christ can have victory and power over sin in his life. Preaching the gospel.
I think that once a person has received the gospel, they no longer need the preaching of the gospel, but now they need to be taught what it is to walk in the Spirit and to walk after the things of God. And so for the church. Unfortunately the church has been preached to death and it hasn’t been taught as it should—the Christian walk.
In Hebrews chapter six, it says wherefore laying aside the first principles of the doctrines of Christ, the repentance from dead works, the baptism, the laying on of hands, the initial, let us go on into full maturity. Let’s go beyond this now. Let’s go into maturity. Let’s become mature.
Paul (Ephesians 4:11-13) in speaking of the men that God has appointed in the church, includes the pastor-teachers, for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, the building up of the body of Christ until we come into a maturity. That comes through teaching, not through preaching. Through preaching comes the guilt of sin the receiving of Jesus Christ. Through the teaching then comes then the walk in the Spirit and in the things of the Lord.
So I’m ordained a preacher and an apostle, One that has been sent out with the authority of God. To speak with authority to the church. So Paul, appointed as an apostle also to speak to the church and thus, he said, (I speak the truth in Christ, I’m an apostle with the authority to speak the truth in Christ.
and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles (so here he is. He is a preacher. He is an apostle and he is a teacher.)
A teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity (truth). A teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth. Teaching them the faith of God, teaching them the truths of God.
So 8I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting. Now in the Old Testament, so often when they prayed, they raised their hands in prayer. The Scripture says, lift up your hands in the holy place and bless the Lord. And it was the custom in prayer to lift their hands. And this carried over into the church, the lifting up of hands in prayer.
In Isaiah (Isaiah 1:15), God said to the people, and when you lift your hands in prayer, I will not hear you because your hands are full of blood. So here they were lifting up, but they weren’t holy hands, they were bloody hands. And it was an affront to God.
Today at times, we lift our hands in worship and in praise. But it’s important that when we lift our hands, it the idea of saying, Lord, these hands are to be dedicated to be doing your service, your will, offering my hands to You, Lord, to be instruments through which You can reach the lost. You can accomplish Your purposes and Your work. I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands without wrath and without doubting.
How about the women, when they pray? 9In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness (now that word in the Greek, literally, is with downcast eyes. In other words in a modesty. Again, modest apparel and in modest looks, shamefacedness or modesty.)
and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; In other words, their dress was not to be sexually stimulating or attractive to men. They weren’t to try to get the attention of men by their dressing in wild, immodest, kind of fashions. Or their hair in fancy, kind of, well, the kind of stuff you often see on TV. You’ve seen it? What a parody that is and how far from the Scripture.
10But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works. Now what Paul is going to be saying, I believe, must be taken in context to the local culture and situation.
When Paul wrote to the church in Corinth, and talked about the women wearing veils when they prayed or prophesied in church, he was dealing with a local situation in Corinth. Paul admitted that there wasn’t a universal custom in all of the churches, but it was a situation that was particular to Corinth because of the situation. On the acropolis above the city of Corinth was the great temple of Aphrodite. Over a thousand priestesses, who were nothing more than prostitutes, who every night would come down in the city of Corinth and would proposition men. And the money that was gained through prostitution was used to support the temple to Aphrodite. So the prostitutes would be known by of course the way they dressed and the fact that they didn’t have a veil. So Paul declares that the women in the church in Corinth, when they prayed or prophesied in the church, ought to wear a veil to honor their husbands. But there wasn’t a universal custom that dealt with that.
Now as Paul is writing to Timothy and in the next chapter, verse fifteen, he’ll declare that he’s writing to instruct Timothy in how you ought to behave yourself in church.
The church in Ephesus was becoming unruly. Paul when he was released from prison in Rome, came back to Ephesus. He found that the conditions in Ephesus were as he feared they might be. The last time that Paul was by there before he went to Jerusalem and then imprisoned in Rome, he stopped by and he called for the elders of Ephesus to come out to Miletus and meet him there on the beach. And there he instructed them, concerning the church. He said, I know that there are going to come in, false teachers who will not spare the flock of God. And there will rise up from within you, men who will seek to draw others after themselves, whose God is their belly and all. And he could see that Ephesus was in danger of false teachers coming in and perverting the gospel.
Now it has been some four years since Paul warned the elders, being released from the prison in Rome, he returned to Ephesus and tragically, he saw the very conditions now existing in Ephesus of the false teachers, who had come in to draw men after themselves.
And of course he names a couple of them in chapter one and also in his second letter, he names others within the church who had sought to pervert the way of truth, Hymenaeus and Alexander.
So Paul went on from Ephesus, but he left Timothy there to set the church in order. Now in the city of Ephesus, they had the worship of Diana of the Ephesians. And just like in the city of Corinth, where there was the worship of Aphrodite, in Ephesus, it was the worship of Diana, but with the same kind of a situation, where there were hundreds of priestesses in the temple of Diana, who were nothing more than prostitutes. And of course they were known for the way they were dressed. They dressed as prostitutes in a provocative way in order to lure men. And thus, you had in Ephesus, a situation very similar to that in Corinth. That is why Paul is encouraging the women to modest dress, to a modest look, not to try to look like a prostitute. Not be in that kind of apparel.
My wife and I, were in a restaurant one day. We saw these women come in. And I mean, they were, you know, the hair, the makeup, the whole thing. I turned to Kay and I said they are either prostitutes or television evangelists. But you couldn’t tell the difference.
Now Paul is saying, 11Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. 12But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. They are not to be loud. They are not to be brash. They are not to be brazen. Now, this has to be taken in context with the city of Ephesus, because when you look at the whole of Scripture, God has often times used women in very prominent ways.
In the Old Testament, there was a prophetess named Huldah (2 Kings 22, 2 Chronicles 34), that was consulted and used by God to give direction for the nation. There was Deborah (Judges 4 & 5), that God used in a mighty way in the deliverance of Israel from Sisera. There was Esther that God used to deliver the people.
Coming into the New Testament there was Mary Magdalene, who was the first one that was commissioned by Jesus to give the message of the resurrection. “Go tell the disciples that I have risen”!
There were many other women. There was Priscilla, who worked together with her husband, Aquila. When in Ephesus and Apollos came, they took him aside and explained the ways of the Lord more completely to him, but obviously Priscilla had an active role.
There are several women that are named in Romans chapter sixteen as laborers together and co-laborers with Paul.
Paul said in Galatians (Galatians 3:28), there is neither Jew nor Greek, bond or free, male or female, but Christ is all and in all!
So it isn’t a blanket kind of silencing of the women from ministry or from duties within the church. It was there in Ephesus because of the particular situation, but it wasn’t something that was general, even as was the case in Corinth, when Paul wrote his Corinthian letter.
So, you have to understand this, of course also in the background of the Greek and Roman culture. In the Greek culture, the wife had her own quarters and really was not allowed to go out on the street. She could not talk to another man in public. Every man according to the Greek philosopher, should have a courtesan, an escort to accompany him on the dinners and the affairs. He should have a mistress to provide his sexual pleasures. And he should have a wife to bear his legitimate children. But the wife was at the bottom of the totem pole. That was your Greek culture.
The Roman culture, well of course, they had those outlandish women in the Roman culture, but a wife just to bear the children and keep the house, where the man was free to have these difference consorts.
Along comes the Christian gospel. It speaks about equality, where in Christ there is neither male nor female. And the great idea of women’s liberation really comes from the Scripture. But the Scripture also teaches a separate role, not a mixing of roles of the women and the men, but a definite role for the women.
Paul commended Timothy because of his godly mother and grandmother, who taught him the Scriptures.
When he is writing to Titus (Titus 2:3-5), a couple of letters yet to come, he tells them let their older women teach the younger women how to keep their home, to love their husbands and things of that nature.
And so we have a tremendous ministry here at the church. There are many opportunities, multitudes of opportunities to serve the Lord, and that is proper and that is right.
So Paul is dealing and you really can’t take it apart from the local situation there in Ephesus, when he says let the women learn in silence with all subjection for I suffer not a women to teach nor to usurp authority over a man, but to be in silence.
Now, it would seem that the place of the woman in the church was never that of teaching doctrine. Paul points out, 13For Adam was first formed, then Eve. 14And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. In other words, it was by the woman and her being deceived by Satan, that sin entered the world. It wasn’t Adam that first ate. It was Eve, that first ate, being deceived by Satan.
15Notwithstanding (Paul said) she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety. What does that mean? There are several interpretations.
Saved in childbearing–and I believe the correct interpretation–is that even as it was by the woman that sin was brought into the world—her being deceived and eating first of the forbidden fruit, so it was by child bearing or by the woman, Mary, bearing the child, Jesus, that salvation came into the world. Even as sin was brought into the world by the woman, so the Savior was brought into the world by childbearing. That is she is the one that bore the Messiah and brought Jesus into the world. And so she shall be saved in childbearing. That is in the childbearing bringing the Messiah, Jesus into the world, if they continue in the faith and love and holiness with sobriety.
Another interpretation is that the place of the woman is really not in a prominent teaching position within the church, but is in the home taking care of the children. That that is the place for the blessing of God upon her life. That there is ministry in raising your own children.
When I was going with Kay, and when I asker her to marry me, I said I’m not looking for an assistant pastor. I’m looking for a mother. I love children. I want children. And I’m not looking for you to have an active role in the church, but to have an active role as a mother in training and guiding the children. And I believe the fact that all of our children are walking with the Lord and are serving the Lord today is the result that she was a Godly mother in the home, watching and taking care of the children. And she gained a wealth of experience, which now that the children are all grown, she is able is to share from that wealth of experience with the younger women and with the older women in the church today. It comes out of years of experience that she shares her heart with the women. God has given her now a very wonderful place in the ministry, as she shares from the background of experience of trusting the Lord and seeking the Lord and the help and the guidance of the Lord in bringing the children up in the fear and the knowledge and understanding of God.
And so that idea of being saved in childbearing has been interpreted by some is that, that is the place where she will find the richness of life, the fulfillment in being there with the children, watching over, training and praying as they grow up in the home.
So, either interpretation, I believe the first one is probably the correct because of the contrast, Eve, bringing in sin, the transgression, but also the woman bringing in the Savior. So it would fit very properly.
Father, we thank You for Your Word, a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. And may we walk in the light even as You are in the light, that we might have this fellowship, one with the other, through Jesus Christ who ransomed us, paid the price for our sins. Bless, Lord, we pray, Your people, as we continue through the Word. Enrich our hearts, our lives. And Lord, make us like You. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Transcribed from “The Word For Today”, Pastor Chuck Smith, Tape #8193, (KJ Version)