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Summary: This sermon explains why God has placed men first in His redemptive plan. (Credit for this interpretation of the passage goes to Jack Hayford.)

Father’s Day

The Divine Mystery of Men

1 Timothy 2:8-15

June 16, 2002


A. [illustration]

Three men were talking over coffee.

Two of them are talking about the amount of control they have over their wives, while the third remains quiet.

After a while one of the first two turns to the third and says, "Well, what about you, what sort of control do you have over your wife?"

The third fellow says, "I’ll tell you. Just the other night my wife came to me on her hands and knees."

The first two guys were amazed.

"What happened then?" they asked.

"She said, ‘Get out from under the bed and fight like a man.’"

1. There is a lot of humor about the battle of the sexes and who is going to be in charge in the family.

2. I enjoy that kind of humor, but as we look at the Bible, we see that there is far more at stake in the relationship than the battle over who is going to be in charge.

B. On Father’s Day I usually beat the men up a little and end up trying to encourage them to be godly fathers.

1. This year I’m still going to encourage the men to be godly fathers, but I’m not really going to rough them up like I usually do.

2. Today I want to consider the Divine Mystery of Men and I want to do it by reading one of the most controversial passages of Scripture in the Bible.

C. [read 1 Timothy 2:8-15]

1. Now, who wants to come up here and tackle this one? J

2. Who is right in the battle of the sexes, is it the male chauvinists or radical feminists?

3. As we begin this very tough passage of Scripture I want to do two things: 1) I want to cut through both chauvinist and feminist thinking, and 2) I want us to begin with prayer beseeching the HS to open our hearts, teach us, and give us understanding.

I. Husbands are to practice spiritual disciplines.

1 Timothy 2:8, I want men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer, without anger or disputing.

A. I believe that one of the keys to understanding this text is looking at its context…

1. Look at 1 Timothy 2:1-7, I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone-- 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all men--the testimony given in its proper time. 7 And for this purpose I was appointed a herald and an apostle--I am telling the truth, I am not lying--and a teacher of the true faith to the Gentiles.

2. Now look at 1 Timothy 3:1-7, Here is a trustworthy saying: If anyone sets his heart on being an overseer, he desires a noble task. 2 Now the overseer must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. 4 He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect. 5 (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?) 6 He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. 7 He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap.

3. As we look at the context of this difficult passage of scripture, we see that it is about men and their spiritual roles.

4. The verses previous to our text are about the priority that we should make of prayer.

5. The verses following this text, we call the qualifications for Elders.

6. The qualifications for Elders are also growth traits that men should be developing in our spiritual lives.

7. So clearly the context is that men need to mature in their spiritual life by practicing these spiritual disciplines.

8. Now I know this text has some things to say about women, but I believe they are more about how to free men to practice these spiritual disciplines than they are about putting women in their place (as many have tried to make them to be).

9. We’ll get to the verses about women, but lets look at verse 8 first.

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