Summary: Working your way through a controversial passage that’s dividing the ranks can at times be no small challenge. When reading the New Testament it doesn’t take long to find some examples of these kinds of controversies and their adverse impact. Paul gives

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1 Timothy: Doing Church God’s Way

North Coast Church

Message #3 July 22-23, 2006 Dr. Larry Osborne

How To Deal With A Controversial Passage

1 Timothy 1:18-2:15

Sermon Outline

Note: PowerPoints and Small Group Worksheets

for this sermon are available at

● A Different Approach: More academic than usual

~ A Potpourri of Topics

~ One Very Divisive Topic!

● Here’s The Game Plan

~ We’ll cover the easy verses

~ I’ll explain the tough one as I see it.

~ We’ll learn how to deal with tough & controversial passages


Not every passage in the Bible is crystal clear.

~ Most Are Clear! (98%) Unless Alice in Wonderland

~ Some are fuzzy.

1 Cor 11:17-19 A way to show off our spiritual superiority!

~ A TINY PERCENTAGE are nearly impossible to figure out.

Too often, we argue over the unclear and ignore the crystal clear.

We don’t know how to agree to disagree.



 How A Good Start Goes Awry.

1 Timothy 1:18-20/ Hebrews 11:6 & Hebrews 10:25-26/ 1 John 1:9 & Jeremiah 18:1-10

► We stop trusting God and stop obeying God.

“Fight the good fight by holding on to FAITH and a GOOD CONSCIENCE which some have rejected and made a shipwreck of their faith.”

 What To Pray For And Why It’s Important.

1 Timothy 2:1-7/ Proverbs 21:1/ John 14:6 & Acts 4:12/ Ezekiel 33:11

1 Tim 2:5-6 ~ For there is one God and one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself a ransom for all men. . .

► Everyone and everything.

~ Including Godless leaders!

~ We’ve traded corporate prayer for corporate politics!

► Peace and quiet.

► So that it’s easier to become a Christian.

 What’s A Man to Do?

1 Timothy 2:8/ Mark 11:25/ Romans 12:8

► God wants holiness and harmony.

Lift up holy hands in prayer WITHOUT anger and disputing.

Mk 11:25

Rom 12:18


 What’s A Woman to Do?

1 Timothy 2:9-15/ 1 Peter 3:3-4/ Proverbs 31:10 & 22/ Proverbs 11:22/ Galatians 3:28

► Is this about a woman or a wife?

γΰνή ~ Singular not plural!

► Is this for then or for now?

If the dress code isn’t universal Why is “Don’t teach & be quiet?”

Prov 31:10,16,22

Buys & Sells Real Estate

Clothed in fine linen & purple

Jesus & NT radically elevated the role of women

2 Pet 3:16 ~ Paul writes some things that are hard to understand!

► How I see it.

~ I believe it’s about wives not women in general. - Husband is head of the home

~ The main context of the passage is evangelism. Scandalous dress and culturally inappropriate behavior turns people away; then & now!

~ Not allowing women to teach or lead doesn’t square with the rest of the NT and Paul’s own actions in Acts.

Priscilla & Aquila – 5 of 7 times!

Taught Apollos! – Acts 18:24-26

BUT… the role of an Apostle or Elder is always filled by a man in the NT.

Hard to convince me this was because Jesus was afraid to buck cultural norms!

1 Tim 3:1 If any man…



 If it’s black & white and crystal clear – divide over it.

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