Sermon for 5/9/2004
1 Timothy 2:8-15
Mother’s Day. Matthew Henry was commenting on Genesis 2:21-23- The woman was not made out of the man’s head to rule over him, nor out of his feet to be trampled upon by him, but out of his side to be equal with him and near his heart to be beloved.
A. I remember it well. It was my first year as a preaching minister. I wanted to preach on 1 Timothy 2:1-8. It was a sermon on prayer. I got nervous and lost my place in the Scriptures and so I read the whole chapter. No big deal or at least I thought. When I looked up from reading the whole chapter it seemed like the crowd was in shock, especially the women. I thought maybe something had happened (a few weeks before there was a fire in the back) but my focus was on the sermon and so I preached it. When it was done it seemed like a sigh of relief came up from the crowd. Finally there were smiles on their faces. I told some jokes and nothing was funny. There were not happy until it was over. What in the world is going on here? It was a sermon on prayer, nothing controversial in this. Where they against politicians and refused to pray for them? It puzzled me.
B. As I was shaking hands on the way out, I asked an elder what the deal was. It seemed like I had done something wrong. He said that my sermon was fine. Prayer is always a good topic. I said it seemed like everyone was tense. He said, “Well, from the Scriptures that you read, some were probably unsure where you were going. It was a good sermon.” And then he left. “From the Scriptures that I read.”
C. That week I was in the house of a lady that had recently started attending the church. She was a member but rarely came. This sermon mentioned was the second one that she had heard from me. As we were discussing the church, she began to comment on my sermons. She said that most of my preaching was good. “Well, what isn’t good?” She said that part in 1 Timothy 2 that you read last Sunday. What do you mean, I spoke on prayer, are you against prayer. “Oh no, what you spoke on was fine. However, the Scriptures that you read were offensive to me, the part about women in the church.” I apologized because then I realized what had happened. I read to far and the last part of that chapter had little to do with prayer. Our conversation went on to other areas.
D. Later on that night I realized that I had apologized for reading some Scripture. How foolish! No one should apologize for reading Scripture. Those Scriptures were offensive to her. Come to find out many in this church had problems with these Scriptures and in the past it had caused problems. What we need to do sense these Scriptures are so troublesome, we just need to take some scissors and cut this section out. Just cut it out!
E. No, this is the Bible and (2 Tim 3:16 NIV) All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,
F. Earlier in my ministries I would not have talked about these Scriptures for anything. Now that I am older and wiser (or crazy and foolish) I feel like some things need to be said here.
G. Two extremes that need to be avoided:
**We discount these Scriptures as cultural.** We view them much like the holy kiss. 4 times in the New Testament we are told to greet one another with a holy kiss. The only Christians who do this are the ones in Russia. Need to greet each other warmly. Greet each other with a handshake. Cultural.
2. This concept is mentioned in (1 Cor 14:33 NIV) As in all the congregations of the saints,(1 Cor 14:34 NIV) women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says.(1 Cor 14:35 NIV) If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.
3. I have heard, and it has some validity, that the verses in 1 Corinthians can be considered cultural and really applying specifically the Corinthians. The Corinthians church had a lot of problem with their sisters. They would shave their heads and dress up like temple prostitutes just to see how far they could push the envelope. They would dominate the meetings times and would not be quiet to let other people speak. They were too loose outwardly, morally, and spiritually and Paul was writing this to correct these problems.
4. On the other hand, notice that Paul begins it with saying, As in all the congregations of the saints. Some say that this was Paul’s opinion and that Paul did not get this from the Lord it was just something that had to be enforced at that time. We have gone beyond this today.
5. Even if we accept that the verses in Corinthians are all cultural, we cannot do the same with these verses in Timothy. Why?
a. Paul was writing this to Timothy, not to a church.
b. Timothy was in Ephesus and the problems with the women were not as severe as in Corinth.
c. Paul backs up his points with Biblical reasons.
1) VS. 13- Adam was formed first and then Eve. Genesis 2.
2) Vs. 14- Adam was not deceived, but the woman. Genesis 3.
6. If we say that this is all cultural, then we must say that the account in Genesis 2 and 3 is not really true. It is myth, it is legend. If we do that, then we are on a slippery slope toward everything being subjective and in our minds we can cut out this part of the Bible along with anything else that does not fit our fancy.
7. Some women have rejected these things.
a. Some radical, unchristian women are saying that the only thing that men are good for is sexual recreation. Marriage is a sham and they try to rebel against the created order.
b. Other women have decided that they like marriage as long as they can wear the pants, be in control. But this was one of the first sins in Genesis. Eve ate the fruit and then she gave some to Adam and he ate it. I can just imagine the conversation they had. Eve, “Eat this.” Adam, “No, we are not to eat that fruit.” Eve, “Eat this now.” Adam, “Whatever you say dear.” And he ate it.
**These verses are interpreted severely.** Vs. 12 is literal and needs to be applied today. The problem is that we have few guidelines from other Scriptures on how to apply this verse. Therefore, this verse is applied to the neglect of other verses.
9. Take for instance Sunday school. Without women teaching the children in Sunday school, most Sunday schools would have to shut down. Women are great Sunday school teachers. We are not talking about men but boys. Yes, but when do boys become men.
10. A woman youth director.
11. A woman leading a lesson in a nursing home. This is not the church but where two or three are gathered in my name.
12. If a woman is in a high level position (by the way the Scripture does not speak against this, this is talking about the assembly) in a company or government. She wants to give a prayer and read a few Scriptures. She wants to be a godly witness. Where two or three are gathered.
13. In the home the man is to lead the family spiritually. The woman can do nothing about leading her children to the Lord. However, this cannot be the case because Timothy was taught by his mother and grandmother at home. His father was not a Christian. Paul commends them all for this.
14. If a woman has some expertise in an area, she cannot share this with anyone at the church because she it to be silent. She cannot be a treasurer, she cannot be an advisor, and she cannot be the leader of anything except other women. If men are present she must put up and shut up.
15. Let narrow this down to the assembly.
a) Woman cannot give a praise testimony.
b) Woman cannot give an announcement
c) Woman cannot read Scripture
d) Woman cannot serve communion or the offering.
e) Woman cannot sing a solo or duet
f) Woman cannot play the piano or organ
g) Woman cannot share in the assembly period.
16. Congregational singing. If women are to be silent they need to be silent during the congregation singing. To make sure that the women do not sing and to make sure that they are not tempted to talk to their husbands or anyone else, we are going to divide the church in half. One half we will have the men and the other half we will have the women to make sure that this can be enforced.
17. After all, our ministry as elders, as leaders is to make sure that everyone is in line. We are to deny women as many opportunities of service as possible. We are to make them frustrated in their service to the Lord. We are to stunt their growth socially and spiritually. This is what we are to do. We are to make sure that women are under our thumb.
18. If this is what being a leader is about, I signed up for the wrong thing. (Eph 4:11 NIV) It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers,(Eph 4:12 NIV) to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.
H. We have had some things that have been brought before these elders concerning this. We will discuss these things and make sure that everything is (1 Cor 14:40 NIV) done in a fitting and orderly way.
I. Our main concern is to give people opportunities for growth and service. We do know one thing for certain. It is not fitting for a woman to be an elder or deacon. Right after these Scriptures qualifications for leaders are mentioned in Chapter 3. This is on purpose. It does not fit for a woman to be the husband of one wife. The wives of leaders have a big role to play in the ministry. Look at Chapter 3:11.
J. Davon, this is Mother’s Day. Your right.
Thesis: Let’s briefly discuss three things on this mother’s day.
I. Her dress. Vs. 9-10
A. Is it wrong for a woman to wear makeup, gold, pearls or costly clothing?
B. Why are you doing it?
1. To impress others. Sunday morning fashion show. Like the Grammies.
2. To just look nice.
C. Worldly womanhood. She has her hair put up in tiers, and from her ears hang chandeliers; her lips are painted red as blood- All badges of her “womanhood.” She drapes herself in clothing tight, a sexy object to the sight; All bright, aglitter and aglow. She makes herself a manly show.
C. Focus should not be on outward appearance, but inward beauty.
D. How can we have inward beauty? Godliness and good works.
E. (1 Pet 3:3 NIV) Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes.(1 Pet 3:4 NIV) Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.
II. Her attitude Vs. 11-14
A. This discussion we had earlier really is about attitude. Not so much the letter here but lets get to the spirit of these instructions.
B. A woman will get farther with a gentle and quiet spirit than with anything.
C. (1 Pet 3:1 NIV) Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives,(1 Pet 3:2 NIV) when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.
D. Women can win men over just by their godly examples. It has been happening for generations. Behind every good man there is a good woman.
E. This is not who I am. Jesus was this way. (Mat 11:29 NIV) Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
III. Her ability Vs. 15
A. Women have the capability to have a miracle happen with them. They bring new life into the world.
B. As I observe Crystal, what a miraculous thing!
C. Does this mean that her salvation is dependent upon her having children? What about all of those women unable to have children? What about those who never marry? What about those who choose not to have children?
D. Women are naturally nurturers. I think of people like Geneva Lewis who had many children but never gave birth.
E. As far as her salvation is concerned, that was taken care of long ago. The sin of Eve brought sin into the world. It was the birth of Jesus to Mary which brought the Savior into the world.
F. (Gen 3:15 NIV) And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel."
G. (Gal 3:26 NIV) You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus,(Gal 3:27 NIV) for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.(Gal 3:28 NIV) There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
H. The ground is level at Calvary.
I. She has the ability to bear and rear children to make a difference in the world for the gospel and the Kingdom.