Let us continue to worship our God by listening to what is said to Timothy as he was called to minister for the gospel of Jesus Christ. Open your Bibles to the First Letter to Timothy in the New Testament…..
Again, we noted from the First chapter of this first Letter that Timothy was to lead and teach about the Gospel of Christ, rebuke false teachers, share the truth in love, and not be surprised with struggles and persecutions but to fight the good fight of faith! All Christians are to follow the example of Timothy as all Christians are called to minister for Jesus Christ. We noted last week the importance of prayer. Let us continue to learn what else Timothy was instructed to do. Read along with me now 1 Timothy 2:7-15….
We again note the importance of Scriptures….
V7: We note God’s calling of Paul:
a. “inspired” (God breathed words to Paul) to write the letters to Timothy
b. appointed a “herald” – a preacher, proclaimer for Christ
c. appointed “ambassador” - representative for Christ
d. speaks the truth – God’s Word!
e. teacher of the true faith – the Gospel of Christ
In summary, what we read from the apostle Paul is truth from God, especially the truth about being saved from judgment of sin through Jesus Christ!
And so, we read in v8-15 what God would like to see happen with Christians in Ephesus 2000 years ago!
Now, especially the instructions for women in this passage can be controversial. But let us just ask this simple question: What is the main topic of this passage from v8-15? What is the main topic of the letter? Go back briefly with me to the command in 1 Timothy 1: 3-5….
Again, Timothy’s main job was to prevent controversies, promote God’s work in love! And so, the main point of the passage from v8-15 is to prevent controversies, promote God’s work (worship and testimonies), and all done in love in Ephesus at that time!
Before we review the instructions for the Christian men and women in Ephesus, let us again note the type of society Ephesus was 2000 years ago. Ephesus 2000 years ago was a pagan society (worshiping many gods but not the true God). The society in Ephesus 2000 years ago was also highly influenced with Ancient Greek culture and controlled by the Roman Empire. The society in Ephesus 2000 years ago was pagan but orderly in public settings and men had authority over women!
And so, what were the Christian men in Ephesus supposed to do 2000 years ago?
V8: Christian men of Ephesus were called to lift up holy hands in prayer everywhere without anger or disputing (true worship with a clean heart and conscience)! In that pagan, authoritative society, 2000 years ago, Christian men were to show who the ultimate authoriy was and be a good testimony to people for God!
Christian men in Ephesus were to love God and love people!
Again let us remember the main calling for Christians in Ephesus were to prevent controversies, promote God’s work (worship and testimonies), and all done in love! What were the Christian women in Ephesus supposed to do 2000 years ago?
Read again with me v9-10…
Christian women of Ephesus were to:
V9-10: dress and act in worship of God!
V11-14: order must be maintained
The calling for Chriostian women in that pagan, authopritative society 2000 years ago was similar to what the men were to do! Christian women in ephesus 2000 years ago were to love god and love people!
V15: continue in faith!
And so, what does this all mean to us today in our society?
1. How different is our society today compared to Ephesus of 2000 years ago?
a. We may not have a pagan society but we are moving in that direction very swiftly.
b. We have a democratic society with given equality to women.
With these differences in mind, we must be careful in applying directly to us what is stated in our passage today.
2. From v7, let us always note the purpose for all the instructions; salvation to all people through faith in Jesus Christ! And so, whatever we do in life, we must love God and love people! The way to love God and love people is to have personal faith in Jesus Christ and share that faith to others with our worship and actions!
Now, what about the instructions for Christian men and women in Ephesus of old? We read in v8-15 what God would like to see happen with Christians in Ephesus 2000 years ago!
3. What does God want to see happen with Christians today?
To summarize what the Christian men and women in Ephesus were to do was basically, in everything, Jesus Christ is to be worshiped, honored, and pleased! Colossians 3:17 alludes to this for all Christians, including us today! We are all (men and women) to worship, honor, and please Jesus Christ our Lord in everything!
We noted in v8, Christian men of Ephesus were called to lift up holy hands in prayer everywhere without anger or disputing (a true worship with a clean heart and conscience)!
In the same way, for us today in our society….
a. All Christians today are to have a clean heart and clear conscience to be able to lift up holy hands in prayer whenever possible! Love God by worshiping Him daily and love people with agape love from God above!
And just like the Christian women in Ephesus of old…
b. Whatever we do should be to worship and honor God (including what we do with our hair, jewelry, and clothes)! Worship and yield to God the Holy Spirit and allow that agape love from God to love people!
And how doe we love people with agape love from God?
c. Our deeds and actions are to be appropriate to our worship of God and a testimony to other people for Jesus Christ! All Christians are ambassadors for Christ!
d. It is acceptable in today’s culture for women to take lead; however, many biblical principles apply today as far as the role of men and women in ministry and in the family
We are to ask ourselves, “Am I representing Jesus Christ well in what I’m saying and doing and am I being orderly in line with God?”
Take a moment to quietly pray about these things right where you are….