1 Timothy Chapter 2: Prayers, Jesus the Mediator and Ransom, Women

Jan 10th, 2010 | By | Category: 1 & 2 Timothy, Verse by Verse --Studies led by Br. Frank Shallieu (Click on Book name)

1 Timothy Chapter 2: Prayers, Jesus the Mediator and Ransom, Women

1 Tim. 2:1 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;

1 Tim. 2:2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.

Paul exhorted that “supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men,” but who are the “all men”? When verses 1 and 2 are combined, the thought is “for all men; [even] For kings, and for all that are in authority.” The order of prayer should be (1) for faithful brethren to remain faithful; (2) for brethren who are teetering to be stabilized; (3) for the retrieval, if possible, of those who are taking a wrong course and have been remanded over to Satan, as long as they have not committed “a sin unto [Second] death” (1 John 5:16); and (4) even for the world, that is, for kings and for those in positions of authority.

Comment: Paul was laying down a pattern for Timothy to follow in taking over the ministry. In conducting his ministry, Timothy was to consider all of these classes.

This advice about unconsecrated earthly rulers is unusual in a sense, for we are not accustomed to thinking along these lines. As Paul exhorted Timothy, it is commendable to consider civil leaders from time to time in our prayer life. What makes the advice even more unusual is that Nero was emperor at the time, and he was one of the most despicable characters in history.

When Christians of that day prayed for those in authority, this depraved individual was at the top of the list. In other words, a certain type of prayer is proper on behalf of unconsecrated earthly rulers; namely, we are to pray that “we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty,” adding “if it be thy will.” Thus it is permissible to pray for political conditions that are conducive to Christian development and growth, with the proviso always in mind, “if those conditions are in harmony with the Father’s will.” For example, freedom of assembly is a precious privilege, and to show our appreciation, we can pray for its continuance, God willing.

Q: Since we are living in the end of the Harvest period, should we still be praying for earthly rulers, especially when we expect that conditions will not be quiet and peaceable as time goes on? What should be our prayer? God has unquestionably favored the United States as a place of religious freedom, but should we ask Him to direct earthly rulers?

A: God had a providential care over the United States as a haven for religious refugees both prior to and into the Harvest period. A proof text is Isaiah 18:1,2, “Woe [Ho] to the land shadowing with wings, which is beyond the rivers of Ethiopia: That sendeth ambassadors by the sea, even in vessels of bulrushes upon the waters, saying, Go, ye swift messengers, to a nation scattered and peeled, to a people terrible from their beginning hitherto; a nation meted out and trodden down, whose land the rivers have spoiled!” As with any prayer, we can make the petition, but that does not mean our prayer will be answered favorably. If a king or other earthly ruler acts adversely to Christian living and life, he incurs additional responsibility.

Therefore, we can pray that his decisions will be for his betterment in the Kingdom Age, as well as for the benefit of the Lord’s people in their current spiritual interests. In that way, our prayers are actually a favor to the monarch, but of course we should include the phrase “according to thy [God’s] will.” If the prayers are heeded and the civil rulers act favorably, it will ultimately be to their credit.

However, since 1914, when the Gentile lease of power expired, those who are in positions of civil authority have been in a different circumstance, so we would reason as follows. Because they no longer legally—from the Lord’s standpoint—have the same authority, we should have a little more reservation in our prayers. Nevertheless, we are appreciative to the extent that the President or another leader makes good decisions and preserves religious freedom. Because we are living subsequent to 1914, Christians at the end of the Gospel Age have the legal authority from God’s Word to declare vengeance in a way that was not previously permissible.

Comment: When brethren in Poland meet in convention, they are required to ask God’s blessing upon the government.

Reply: There are several ways to use prudence in connection with such prayers, whereby the authorities would be satisfied but conscience would not be violated. To forfeit meetings by acting presumptuously or with unnecessary haste is not advisable.

Comment: The longer we are in the way of truth, the more apt we are to see our faults and to realize how unprepared we are to end our course.

Reply: Yes. At the beginning of the Christian walk, the heart is pure and willing and ready to go, but more is involved in making the Little Flock. Motives alone are not enough, for we must be qualified, and getting those qualifications requires time. When conditions are conducive to learning lessons, we should make good use of our time, for we know there will not always be sunshine.

Q: Since we are living in the end of the age, wouldn’t praying for a quiet and peaceable life be like asking for the Kingdom to hold off, for we know that persecution has to occur first?

A: But on the other hand, many who search their own heart feel there are still things to learn. They question how the Father views them and whether they have reached the mark of perfect love in His sight. Therefore, they think of every moment of additional time as a moment of opportunity to do better. The Husbandman still has long patience for the development of the precious fruit of the earth (James 5:7). However, when events happen where we know with certainty that the end of the age has come, we would no longer pray for earthly rulers and peace. To have the courage to go is one thing, but personally, we have never felt so confident of making the Little Flock that we could say we are ready to die. Sometimes the brethren who do not talk as much are more courageous at the time of their actual death than the ones who have voiced a confident attitude all their Christian life.

Comment: We know the Father has a specific timetable. Therefore, as long as the intent of our prayers is to be in harmony with His will and we are in no way trying to change the final timetable, it seems that prayers for peace and earthly rulers are still in order at the present time.

Reply: In the near future, as signs become more ominous, we will be praying as a group along this line. Both individually and collectively down through the Gospel Age, periods of sunshine have alternated with periods of light rain, and then comes the extreme test—torrential downpours and earthquakes.

1 Tim. 2:3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;

1 Tim. 2:4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

What is usually overlooked is the theme that permeates the main body of this epistle, namely, the word “good.” In addition to the frequent use of that word, other words are employed to say the same thing. Paul was saying that doctrine has its place, but it is sound doctrine, the meat of the Word, that is important. For example, as helpful as chronology is, that subject is not the “meat” of Scripture. The principal thing is one’s consecration.

Verses 3 and 4 tell why Paul gave the advice of verses 1 and 2. God’s mercy is such that all (including Nero and Hitler) will come to a knowledge of the truth. Paul enthusiastically preached the truth, hoping people would get the knowledge in the present age and thus have an opportunity to run the race for the high calling. The “gospel,” the good news, is that a person can repent and know and love God now, not in the next age, although all who do not accept Jesus in the present life will have a future opportunity.

If we understand Paul’s reasoning here, he was saying that earthly rulers either jeopardize or help their chances of getting eternal life by whatever they do in their positions of leadership. The principle is, “Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” (Gal. 6:7). Consequently, in praying for and knowing that all men will come to the knowledge of the truth, Paul realized that every good deed, act, and attitude would help retrieve them from Second Death. For instance, when Paul spoke so powerfully and eloquently, King Agrippa said, “Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.” Paul replied, “I would to God, that not only thou, but also all that hear me this day, were both almost, and altogether such as I am, except these bonds” (Acts 26:28,29). Paul took the same attitude here in 1 Timothy. If an earthly ruler was righteously inclined to the truth, Paul hoped that he would act accordingly. It is better to assume an active, aggressive role in witnessing to others and urge them to repent now than to be indifferent and encourage procrastination with the attitude, “Oh, well, they will be saved in the next age.” Paul was an evangelist at heart, and so was Peter. When Peter spoke to the multitudes following the Day of Pentecost, he said they were guilty of the death of Christ, but he realized that the people and the rulers had acted in ignorance. Then he said in effect, “Repent now so that your sins will be blotted out” (Acts 3:14,15,17-19). Peter knew that if they responded favorably, the chances of their sins being blotted out were better than if they delayed.

In what way will God “have all men to be saved”? God is determined that all will be saved from ignorance, for everyone is guaranteed a knowledge of the truth that Jesus is “the true Light, which [eventually] lighteth every man that cometh into the world” (John 1:9). God’s intent is that no one will go into Second Death without first having the knowledge that Jesus is the Savior. Each person will have to come to that knowledge and then make a decision favorable or unfavorable.

Comment: The Diaglott says that God “desires all men to be saved, and to come to an accurate knowledge of the truth.”

Reply: God’s desire will be fulfilled in that all will come to a knowledge of the truth. The “accurate knowledge” is not chronology, the covenants, etc., but that Jesus Christ is the only means of salvation. If one is to get everlasting life on God’s terms, it has to be in and through Jesus.

Comment: Jesus tasted death for every man (Heb. 2:9).

Reply: To be saved from darkness and ignorance is one thought, and being eternally saved is a separate thought. The opportunity for salvation is guaranteed to all, not salvation itself.

1 Tim. 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

1 Tim. 2:6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

Verses 5 and 6 refute the doctrine of the Trinity, for Jesus is inserted between God and men.

Jesus is the one Mediator between the one God and men. Honesty and humility are essential qualities for the Christian. Those who have been teaching others a wrong doctrine such as the Trinity have a moral obligation to admit they were wrong if and/or when their eyes are opened to the truth. With some doctrines, it is just a matter of growth, and one could simply say, “I once thought such and such, but I now think otherwise.” Even great writers change their minds at times as a matter of growth. Those who stubbornly and willfully teach error do so out of pride. We admire one who confesses a fault. We also admire someone who turns from a life of degradation to repentance and consecration, for we see that the power of God is working in that individual.

Comment: The Diaglott has “seasons” (plural), showing there is more than one “due time.” The truth about Jesus is to be testified in “seasons.”

Reply: The apostles were not emphasizing the Kingdom with the gospel of restitution, for it is better to accept Jesus as the Savior now, in the Gospel Age, in the “day of salvation,” than to wait for the Kingdom (2 Cor. 6:2). How glorious is the opportunity of the high calling in Christ Jesus! Restitution is incidental; it is a byproduct. Therefore, the main thrust of the apostles in going out was to make converts in the present age.

Under the Law Covenant, Moses was the mediator between God and the nation of Israel. In the Kingdom Age, the vast majority of the human race will hear for the first time that Jesus is the Mediator between God and men, that he is the Messiah, the one whom God sent. Once that knowledge is believed, responsibility is incurred.

1 Tim. 2:7 Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity.

Paul wrote this epistle around AD 64. At that time, the message was mostly a Gentile message, for the Diaspora took place just a few years later. After AD 70, very few Jews accepted Jesus down through the Gospel Age (Rom. 11:25).

Paul again presented his credentials for giving strong counsel. The implication is that some were questioning his authority to teach, but he was not taking more upon himself than he should. Others might differ with him doctrinally, but Paul was an apostle and “a teacher of the Gentiles.” His apostleship was questioned because he had not seen Jesus during his earthly ministry, and false teachers discredited his account of what had happened to him on the way to Damascus. Had they searched into the matter and inquired of the other apostles or even of Ananias, who was the human instrument for partially restoring Paul’s eyesight, they could have verified his apostleship (Acts 9:17,18). Paul repeatedly alluded to the Damascus vision as his badge of authority in the Church. His critics should have reasoned another way too; namely, he had more gifts and did more miracles than any of the other apostles, he could speak with more tongues, and he had more knowledge and a deeper insight into the Scriptures. However, if one is not liked as an individual, that feeling of dislike can override even the best of credentials a person might have. Paul had that experience and so did Timothy, whom Paul considered a great asset. However, others had a problem in accepting Timothy as anything special.

“I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not.” Paul’s intensity of belief was much like that of Jesus, who said, “If it were not so, I would have told you” (John 14:2). Jesus was so honest that he would not teach anything he was not 100 percent in agreement with. Similarly, Paul was saying to Timothy, “I believe with all my heart, soul, and mind what I am telling you for your encouragement and benefit.”

Paul was “a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity,” whereas Peter was a teacher of the circumcision, the Jews (Gal. 2:7). Paul spoke with power and stated with certainty that he was an apostle, for he had been ordained an apostle “by the commandment of [Almighty] God” (verse 1). In addition, he was the first messenger to the Church, the church of Ephesus. Therefore, he was an apostle, a preacher, a teacher, and a prophet.

From one standpoint, there is a distinction between a “preacher” and a “teacher.” Paul was a teacher when he stayed approximately three years in Ephesus and 1 1/2 years in Corinth. In other places, he was a “preacher,” giving sermons and staying only a little while. The bulk of his ministry was spent preaching, rather than writing. If all that Paul preached during his ministry had been recorded, we would have volumes and volumes of written material—far exceeding the works of other men.

1 Tim. 2:8 I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.

A national characteristic of Jews is emotionalism and speaking with the hands. This was especially true in the past because there were very few words in the Hebrew vocabulary. A Jewish custom in Old Testament times was to lift up the hands in prayer, especially if the leader or director of the prayer was outdoors without the benefit of acoustics. Moses certainly followed this practice, and Psalm 141:2 reads, “Let my prayer be set forth [ascend] before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.” Invocation in prayer was accompanied with uplifted hands, for “invoke” meant not only to call upon and audibly petition or implore God in prayer but also to lift up the hands. As indicated in Psalm 134:2, which says, “Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, and bless the LORD,” hands will also be lifted up in prayer in the Kingdom. This practice had been going on ever since Eden.

Q: The instruction of verse 8 was directed to all Christians back there, Jew and Gentile. Would one reason be that since lifting up the hands in prayer was a good custom, it should be continued in order to eliminate an unnecessary difference between Jews and Gentiles? Since many were hypercritical, there was no need to make a difference on this issue.

A: Yes, there was nothing wrong with the Jewish custom, and Paul was suggesting that it not be abandoned. What has created an antipathy in this direction is that with all of the ritual and ceremony in the past in their religion, the gestures became hollow after a while, and the Jews did not see the need for a new way of justification. And with all the mechanics of the Jewish religion and the Law, the Gentiles developed an aversion to lifting the hands in prayer as time went on, and the practice died a natural death, so that, generally speaking, it is not done anymore. But in the days of the apostles, rather than let lifting the hands become a stigma, Paul advised Timothy, who in turn was to advise others, “Continue the practice.”

Christians were to lift up holy hands in prayer “without wrath and doubting” either toward others or toward self. In other words, there was to be no malice or ill will with regard to other brethren or to self for something done amiss or for not living up to our covenant. Nor was there to be any doubting. The Apostle James said of the Christian, “Let him ask in faith, nothing wavering” (James 1:6). Knowledge is mixed with faith, so we should make proper requests and then, in faith, without doubting, trust that the prayer will be answered. If we ask in harmony with the Father’s will, we can be assured that our prayers will be answered. For example, if we pray for the physical healing or the conversion of the unconsecrated, we may be asking contrary to God’s will, but we can ask without doubting for more patience, more piety, more love, etc. However, even then, we should not think these fruits will just drop in our lap, for we need to back up the prayer with studying the Word, effort, remembrance of the prayer, and the observance of providences. We should pray with fervency and constancy, for a mechanical prayer is soon forgotten by the petitioner, whereas a sincere prayer—the burden of our heart—is repeated and remembered.

A prayer of faith will move a mountain, but we would need a valid reason to pray for that to happen. In other words, faith must have understanding. In fact, faith should be based on a wellstructured understanding (and not just be our idea of what God should do). Then the petition will be authentic and valid and will be answered one way or the other.

Notice, Paul’s desire was “that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.” This instruction was directed primarily to “men,” to the leaders, to the brothers, although women were not precluded. In the different ecclesias throughout the world, the one who offered prayer, petitioning on behalf of the group, was to lift up the hands. Today we do not lift our hands in prayer, even though we might like to do so at times, for the action would have an adverse effect in our refined culture.

Comment: What has caused the problem is the fact that some Pentecostal groups raise their hands or hold hands and become emotional, putting a stigma on the practice.

Comment: In the apostles’ day, some who were greatly influenced by the Holy Spirit and moved by God’s Word lifted their hands in prayer. Even today that could be done on occasion if one were so moved, but not as a habit with all in the room joining in.

In addition to looking up to heaven, Jesus may have raised his hands when calling Lazarus forth from the tomb. If so, the action was not recorded lest it become a formality down through the Gospel Age. The New Testament could have been written in a very forceful way to attract many of the public, but God purposely had it recorded in low-key statements of simple fact. However, we can gather from those simple facts what happened.

Comment: The Apostle James wrote, “Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord” (James 5:14). Literal oil was used in the early Church, but that is another practice not followed in our fellowship today. If done in the proper way, it would demonstrate sincerity.

1 Tim. 2:9 In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with braided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;

Paul now gave advice for the women in three areas: apparel, countenance, and appearance.

Women are not to call attention to themselves by being either overdone or underdone in matters of dress and appearance. For example, one might think that dressing in a black sack or wearing blue jeans to a convention is a sign of modesty, but such attire just calls attention to self. A general rule is to be moderate in apparel and modest in appearance. Of course to a certain extent, dress is governed by the mode of others but with self-restraint. In other words, sometimes concessions have to be made because of the type of world we are living in but with the exercise of moderate control.

A woman who is modest in countenance is not bold, presumptuous, or bossy and does not act in a man’s role. Nor does she wear distracting cosmetics. Simplicity is the rule. In addition, a woman is not to display wealth on her person. She should avoid elaborate hairstyles, costly jewelry, and expensive clothes. A general rule is to avoid that which is time-consuming and/or expensive.

Q: With regard to gold and pearls, is the thought that a woman should not wear these inordinately?

A: Sarah is a good example. She wore bracelets but certainly not ten bracelets. Among the Jews, there is a tendency to wear excessive and large pieces of jewelry, and Paul was saying to avoid this practice. Again the rule is not to call attention to self. Too much jewelry, such as having a ring on every finger, is distracting and can cause envy.

1 Tim. 2:10 But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.

Modesty “becometh women professing godliness.” The dress, behavior, and appearance of sisters should be such that become a woman professing godliness—and should be accompanied with “good works.” In other words, good actions and deeds should back up one’s profession of godliness. Stated another way, outward deportment should be not only modest but genuinely modest. Women should be adorned with good works, and not with outward, garish, superficial things. Over and over in this first epistle, Paul emphasized godliness in the Christian’s daily walk.

1 Tim. 2:11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.

1 Tim. 2:12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.

Does the instruction “Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection” mean that a woman should not participate in meetings?

Comment: No, for if she had to remain silent under all conditions, other Scriptures would be violated. For instance, Paul also said that a woman could pray and prophesy if her head was covered (1 Cor. 11:5).

Reply: Another good Scripture is, “Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things” (Gal. 6:6). In other words, a teacher should communicate with those he teaches. The principle is to have participation, but being the elder, the teacher, is another matter. A sister who is extremely talented, gifted, and intelligent must be on guard lest she gradually assume the teaching role. She needs to exercise a great deal of patience, restraint, and subjection to the Lord in order to express herself in a scriptural, legitimate fashion.

Paul was saying that a woman should be modest not only in apparel and deportment but also in her participation in religious services and meetings. The Pastor suggested that this can best be done in our day by using a question form. An intelligent question can be very effective in teaching in a proper manner. Another effective method for a sister to use is to quote a Scripture.

Verse 12, which starts with the word “but,” gives a modifying factor: “But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.” A woman can speak, but she should not “usurp”—override or domineer—the progress of a study. When we examine pertinent Scriptures, the word “teach” usually means to publicly expound; that is, the woman should not be a public representative of the movement. However, there is a little more flexibility in private studies. The man has to make sure that he is not dominated, and the woman has to be sure that she is not domineering. Thus the role of men and women in the Church is a give-and-take relationship.

Comment: Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “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 Cor. 14:34,35). The problem in Corinth was that the women were educated, and they were monopolizing the meetings. Paul was saying that women should have the right attitude by being in subjection and not usurping authority over the man.

Reply: The prohibition is against a woman teaching in the Church, that is, public teaching where authority would be usurped from a brother.

Generally speaking, a teacher instructs on a subject in several sessions in a directed continuing program. However, since the Volumes were organized by the Pastor to logically present various subjects, a chairman can lead the studies without necessarily teaching. Thus even a sister can chair a Volume study with other sisters. But to plan each program separately is another matter.

Comment: In verse 11, the Diaglott uses the word “quietness” rather than “silence,” which seems to be more the thought. A woman should learn with a peaceful, quiet, and tranquil spirit, rather than with absolute, abject silence. Her submission is what is important.

Reply: Yes. The principle is similar to that with dress and appearance, the general rule being modesty, as becomes a woman professing godliness, accompanied with good deeds. Sisters should hold themselves in the background with regard to teaching. The word “subjection” has the thought of “submission,” rather than blanket silence.

The Apostle Peter said that the adorning of women should “not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: Even as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement” (1 Pet. 3:3-6). While Sarah recognized Abraham as her lord, she did not have to cast herself down so low that he could override her on principles and in conscience. Sisters should weigh matters and not get carried away with fear, or reverence, for a husband or an elder, for example, who enunciates a wrong principle or commits a wrong deed.

Peter was speaking of a general attitude, for sisters should not be in such abject submission that they let someone walk over them like a rug. Neither Peter nor Paul was teaching that kind of humility. Peter’s statement not to be “afraid with any amazement” means that sisters should be able to express themselves and should not be so cowed or browbeaten that they lose their individuality in standing up for certain principles.

Sisters should control their desire to be prominent among brothers. And since, collectively  speaking, the whole Church is called a “woman,” brothers should also watch lest they usurp the headship of Jesus.

1 Tim. 2:13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve.

1 Tim. 2:14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.

The scriptural reason for Eve’s being made from Adam’s rib is that Adam, in one sense, represents Jesus, and Eve pictures the Church. Just as Jesus precedes the Church in all matters, so Adam preceded Eve.

Paul was making several points in verses 13 and 14: (1) On the stage of history, man appeared first. (2) “Adam was not deceived,” for he sinned deliberately. (3) In talking about the place of women in the Church and their wearing modest apparel, Paul said that the woman, Eve, was deceived; that is, by nature, the woman is more liable for deception than the man. Additional characteristics implanted in her feminine nature are that she is more emotional and tender, she observes more details, and she is approbative (seeks or desires affection and recognition).

These characteristics are fine in and of themselves, but they constitute an inherent danger, making the woman more vulnerable to deception when someone has evil intent.

Q: At the time of Eve’s creation, were these characteristics removed from Adam and implanted in her?

A: Yes.

Comment: Adam was a whole being prior to the creation of Eve. For the two years or so that he existed alone, Satan apparently did not tempt him, but once those qualities were separated from Adam, Satan made Eve his target.

Reply: When Adam was divided, he found that something was lacking in his being, and Eve likewise felt a lack. Thus God called the name of Adam and Eve—their name—“Adam” (Gen. 5:2).

Comment: Adam was not deceived. Because of his inordinate love for Eve, he sinned willfully and knowingly, whereas Eve was deceived by the Adversary’s working through the serpent.

Reply: That is true. God had spoken directly to Adam and given him a specific commandment not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, so Adam understood the terms. The question is, Why did Adam disobey God? As the Pastor reasoned, Adam so cherished Eve’s companionship that when she disobeyed, he could not bear the thought of being without her.

Comment: When the Adversary wanted to tempt the first human pair, he recognized the woman as the weaker vessel and thus cleverly attacked her rather than the man. Once Satan succeeded in deceiving Eve, he then used her as leverage to get Adam to sin.

The woman’s weakness is that she is more desirous of approval and more emotional than the man. The danger is that she can be emotionally swayed, whereas judgment should be dispassionate and based on reason. However, if one’s judgment is in harmony with the mind of God, as presented in His Word, then the emotionalism is guided. For example, both Moses and Jesus spoke out of righteous indignation because the proper judgment was made first. In other words, their righteous indignation was predicated upon a proper judgment. Anger is rightly exercised if it is done according to divine principles.

In summation, on the one hand, Paul was showing that because the woman was not formed first, she was deceived, and because she had certain inherent traits, she should not usurp authority over the man. There is a vague hint here that Adam is a type of Jesus and that the woman represents the Church. On the other hand, Paul introduced another thought, as stated in verse 15.

1 Tim. 2:15 Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.

“Notwithstanding [these setbacks] she shall be saved in childbearing.” Of course Paul was speaking of a woman of childbearing age, but why is a woman “saved in childbearing” if she continues “in faith and charity [love] and holiness with sobriety”? As part of her safeguard, caring for a baby and mothering a child preoccupy her attention, but she also has to continue in faith, love, and holiness with sobriety in both the Church and the home. Generally speaking, the responsibilities of bringing up a child have a salutary effect, for the woman is kept occupied and she is doing a good work. Paul was giving practical advice with a spiritual connotation.

Comment: First, Paul laid down the principle that the man should be the teacher, and the woman should be subordinate to him in that role. Now Paul gave a consoling thought to the woman. Even though the man has the leading role within the Church, if she maintains her position along with faith, love, and holiness in sobriety, she will be regarded as equally faithful through her normal duties as wife and mother.

Comment: Childbearing and child rearing are an important role, for the woman is responsible for bringing up her children in the Christian faith. Not only does the woman exercise a teaching role with her children, but children are one of the most fruitful fields for witnessing. From a spiritual standpoint, the Church engages in childbearing and child rearing by bringing new ones into the truth.

Reply: Yes, rather than usurping the authority of a man in the Church, the woman exercises a teaching role in the family in the training of her children. Paul advised younger widows to remarry and bear children as a safeguard against busybodying and gossiping (1 Tim. 5:13,14). Older widows should more advisedly remain unmarried.

Q: God said to Eve, “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” (Gen. 3:16). What is the relationship of this verse to 1 Timothy 2:15?

A: The underlying general principle is that even though childbearing is painful, it is for the woman’s own good. Similarly, the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah was for the good of the inhabitants because it cut short an unfavorable development in their character. Had their characters been allowed to go unchecked for too long, the people would have become incorrigible. Just as the infliction of punishment was a kindness to them, so the infliction of the curse on Adam and Eve as a punishment was a kindness, if seen from the proper perspective.

Without childbearing, probably fewer women would get life ultimately. In other words, their position with regard to eternal salvation might have been jeopardized somewhat, for their weaknesses would have become more and more pronounced. Incidentally, the man has experienced a different type of suffering as a result of the curse—his suffering is related to the soil.

Woman was originally created to be subject to the man, to be under his headship. In fact, the word “woman” means “out of man,” for God made Eve from one of Adam’s ribs. Without the role of wife and mother, women might have pursued the theme of women’s rights thousands of years earlier. In talking on Genesis 3:16 many years ago, Bro. Magnuson told of a man attending a women’s rights meeting with his wife. Back in those days, women’s suffrage was coming to the fore. The woman on the platform asked, “Where would a man be if it were not for a woman?” The man called out, “In Eden.”

Comment: Without the role of childbearing, it might have been harder for a Christian woman to be submissive to the headship of the man in the Church down through the Gospel Age.

Reply: From God’s standpoint, there is neither male nor female, bond nor free, etc., in the Church, but Paul was speaking of certain regulations in society, saying that Christians are not to be crusaders or champions of social or other causes which would distort the true work of preaching the gospel, for they are to wholly serve the Lord (Gal. 3:28). They are not to be innovators of novel or radical ideas and causes. Hence a slave was to be subservient to his master and not seek freedom (unless, of course, it was offered). A social gospel is wrong.

If a woman is enticed into being a teacher, a gossip, or a busybody, she not only might wander off the track but also might end up in Second Death. “But the younger widows refuse: for when they have begun to wax wanton against Christ, they will marry; Having damnation, because they have cast off their first faith” (1 Tim. 5:11,12). Childbearing is beneficial, but it is not an end in itself, for faith, love, holiness, and sobriety must accompany the childbearing. And generally speaking, marriage is for the raising of children. Childbearing is beneficial to the mother as well as to her children and usually brings better results than pursuing another course in life. After all, the Church will “mother” the world in the Kingdom.

It is interesting that Paul commended Timothy’s mother and grandmother, showing that their child-raising imparted great faith (2 Tim. 1:5). Stated another way, the faith of the grandmother was transmitted down through two generations to Timothy himself. The godly training was manifest in him.

Q: Is there a balanced way to view childbearing, especially because of the day in which we are living, when sisters have more opportunities to serve in other areas? Whether or not to have children (and how many) is an individual matter between husband and wife, but it should be kept in mind that each child becomes an earthly mortgage.

A: Extenuating circumstances have to be considered, for health and other factors may limit the number of children a husband and wife have. Each Christian couple should consider their own circumstances in the light of Scripture.

(1982 Study with Excerpts from 1999 Study)

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