Spiritual Responsibilities of Men and Women in Church: Part 2 (1 Timothy 2)

from Joe Quatrone

In 1 Timothy 2, Paul exhorts the men and women in the church and reminds them of their spiritual responsibilities. In Part 1, we saw a spiritual responsibility of men in the church: praying. Today, we will look at a spiritual responsibility of women.

The Women—Submitting (2:9–15)

I also want the women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, adorning themselves, not with elaborate hairstyles or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God. A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. But women will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.

In these days of women’s rights and other feminist movements the word “submission” makes some people angry. Some well-meaning writers have even accused Paul of being a “crusty old bachelor” who was anti-women. Those of us who hold to the inspiration and authority of the Word of God know Paul’s teachings came from God and not from himself. If we have a problem with what the Bible says about women in the church the issue is not with Paul (or Peter—see 1 Peter 3:1–7), but with the Lord who gave the Word (2 Tim. 3:16–17).

The word translated “submission” in 2:11 (also Eph. 5:21–22; Col. 3:18) literally means “to rank under.” Anyone who has served in the armed forces knows “rank” has to do with order and authority, not with value or ability. A lieutenant is higher in rank than a private, but that does not necessarily mean he is a better man than the private. It only means the lieutenant has a higher rank and, therefore, more authority.

“Everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way” (1 Cor. 14:40) is a principle God follows in His creation. Just as an army would be in confusion if there were no levels of authority, so society would be in chaos without submission. Children should submit to their parents because God has given parents the authority to train their children and discipline them in love. Employees should submit to employers and obey them (Eph. 6:5–8). Citizens should submit to government authorities, even if the authorities are not Christians (Rom. 13; 1 Peter 2:13–20).

Submission is not subjugation or enslavement. Submission is recognizing God’s order in the home and the church, and joyfully obeying it. When a Christian wife joyfully submits to the Lord and to her own husband, it should bring out the best in her. (For this to happen the husband must love his wife and use God’s order as a tool to build with, not a weapon to fight with—Eph. 5:21-33.) Submission is the key to spiritual growth and ministry: husbands should be submitted to the Lord, Christians should submit to each other (Eph. 5:21), and wives should be submitted to the Lord and to their husbands.

The emphasis in this section is on the place of women in the local church. Paul admonishes these believing women to give evidence of their submission in several ways.

Read more and comment at: http://joequatronejr.com/2014/10/30/spiritual-responsibilities-of-men-and-women-in-church-part-2-1-timothy-2/

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