Kevin Jesmer NIU UBF             Monday, April 23, 2012

1 Timothy 2:8-15
Key Verse: 2:10

“but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God.”

Dear Lord, God in heaven, I thank you for always being there and being my good and faithful friend and savior. You give me strength when I am weak. It is so hard to go to work and fulfill all of duties in life. But you give me strength. I can pray to you and you fortify my soul and spirit. Thank you. I pray that this whole world may know you and depend on you. Please fortify my heart with your word. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen!

1. Praying men, lifting up holy hands (8).

This passage tells us about both men and women. First, about men. Verse 8 reads, “Therefore I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing. “ Apparently in this passage, men in this church had a tendency to become angry and dispute with one another. This is not good for it does not glorify Jesus. It does not attract people to Jesus and his gospel. If a person witnesses the anger of a servant of the Lord, that person never forgets that angry episode, even when the angry person changes and never becomes angry again. How many people have I driven away from Jesus because I have displayed my anger in a public way? For this I repent.

God is not an angry God. Some people may dispute that, but if you count the number of times God got angry in the Old Testament and divide that by the number of years, it turns out that God became angry once every 20 years. That is not bad. Jesus had holy angry at times, but not the emotional, selfish anger that people mostly exhibit. A friend of mine stated that people resort to a worldly anger, when they feel that they are loosing control. I think that there is some merit in what he said. I need to overcome all my angry reactions. It does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. But how do I do it?

Paul wants men everywhere to pray. Paul wants men to grow as men of prayer in all areas of their life. It is being in perpetual prayer and worship of Jesus. That is the only way. Others may try to overcome anger by removing themselves from the stimulus. But that could mean removing yourself from everything and becoming a hermit. People try to forget about everything. “Don’t worry…be happy.” But this doesn’t work either. It ignores the source of our anger. It is like trying to forget about cancer, without removing the source. We need to positively deal with our angry by worshipping Jesus and praying to him for all things. Lord, make me into a man of prayer.

2. Women who profess to worship God (9-15).

And now what does this passage have to say about women in the Ephesian church? Look at verses 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, 10 but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God. 11 A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. 15 But women will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.”

This is a highly controversial passage, sure to draw a few comments. But let’s see what Paul has to say. Apparently there were women in the church who had a tendency to dress themselves with elaborate hairstyles, gold or pearls, or expensive clothes. You can see some of the things they were wearing through excavations from Roman archeological sites. Look under Yahoo images under Roman Jewelry. There are colored frescos and mosaics depicting the elaborate hairstyle of Roman women. The Christian women were no doubt influenced by the culture about them.

Paul wanted the Christian women to be different. They needed to concentrate on revealing the beauty born out of faith. They needed to concentrate on their inner person. They needed to focus on the eternal things of the soul and spirit and not on outer adornment. That is why Paul said that they should dress modestly and be adorned with good deeds that reflect their inner attitude of love and worship toward God. Of course Christian women and men should dress in ways that are honorable and dignified. But when others see them they should see Jesus in them and they should be attracted to Jesus instead of that person’s outer beauty.

In regards to submission, we need to understand the social context of Ephesus in Pauline times. In Ephesus, women were influenced by Diana worship and were exalting the position of women over men. To counter cultural influence, Paul wants women to learn in quietness and full submission. Paul did not permit women to assume authority over a man based on Genesis 2 and Paul encouraged women to continue in faith, love, and holiness.
Personally, I think we should all learn submission, both men and women. I am thankful, however, for my wife who practices this in my family. Through her humble submission, first to Jesus, then to me, I could grow in my confidence as a father and a husband and a as servant of Jesus. I am certain that God used her to help heal my life long stammering problem. Because of her humble submission, my kids can learn to humbly submit in the classroom, on the job, before the police, and to one another. This brings about peace, harmony in the family, good citizenship, success on the job and in the classroom. I need to learn humble submission, first to Jesus and then to others.

Prayer: Lord, help men and women to pray and be adorned with good deeds.

One Word: Worship God in ways that bring glory to him

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