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Women’s Ministry – 1 Timothy 2:11-15


Women’s Ministry

Where Paul Defines Women’s Ministry
Text: 1 Timothy 2:11-15.
The Bible has a very high view of women. Despite the attacks of feminists and liberals, Paul was no misogynist, but he insists that there is one single thing that a woman shouldn’t do.

1. A Compliant Ministry! v11-12 11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. 12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.

  1. Women are to LEARN. Christian women are to LEARN. We all are, – and Christian women are no different in this respect that men – to be theological scholars! Now notice that women (and men) are to learn…
    1. Quietly and submissively. This is not localised to Ephesus. 1 Corinthians 14:34 And when Paul teaches on headship to the Corinthians, he tells them that this is not just for them, but for ALL the churches. 1 Corinthians 11:16
    2. With a great deal of submission. With FULL submission, the highest possible degree of submission.
  2. Women are not to TEACH. This is the one single thing that women are forbidden from doing, and it was a law obeyed in the church for 2000 years. A woman is not to teach in the gathered church! To read and preach and teach the word is an authoritative task. A woman is not to take such authority, or assert authority over a man in a gathered service of the church! 1 Corinthians 11:2 A woman simply cannot be a pastor for that reason.

But what of missionaries, Sunday School Teachers etc? Where would the church be without woman who are able to teach? But that’s not what Paul is talking about here. This passage has been about prayer, in the overall context of the church, the gathered church, meeting for worship, as the body of Christ. Titus 2:3 The older women are to teach the younger women godly ways!

2. A Created Ministry! v13-14 13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.
Paul introduces the theological background to his argument. It has to do with the created order, – the way God ordained things at the beginning. This is the way God made us, and our heavenly Father knows what is best for us. Paul brings two very early events to our attention:-

  1. Eve’s creation. How was Eve created? Out of man! Genesis 2:21 was the very first marriage. That created order – the man, then the woman, affects our
    1. Appearance. As in our previous study 1 Corinthians 11:3
    2. Marriage. Jesus’ teaching on human sexuality and marriage, Matthew 19:4-6.
    3. Ministry. Titus 1:5
  2. Eve’s deception. What was the temptation that deceived Eve? Here it is from Genesis 3:1, … and he (the serpent) said to the woman, ‘has God indeed said You shall not eat of every tree of the garden?’

What’s he saying here? Has God really said this – casting doubt upon God’s Word is the oldest trick in the devil’s book of deception and lies. And isn’t that exactly what the feminists and the liberals and the woman clergy are doing. God plainly says in his word – ‘I suffer not a woman to teach or usurp authority over a man’ – and they say, ‘But did God really say that…’

3. A Covenant Ministry! v15 Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.
It is a requirement of the Covenant of Grace that we bring our children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord – and what a great ministry that is! 1 Corinthians 7:14 Children raised in a Godly home should be totally different from children raised in a secular environment.

  1. Saved in Childbearing.”
    1. The child-bearer. Some commentators have suggested that this might actually be a reference to the role of Mary, for it was through her work of childbearing that God’s Son was brought forth into this world, and through his came our salvation. But there is probably a much simpler explanation…
    2. The family ministry. Paul reminded Timothy of the advantages of a Godly home, 2 Timothy 1:4 And what of those women who have no children of their own? Their job, as we saw before is to be a mother and a friend and a teacher to the younger women – to bear a godly influence on them, as a mother would be to a child.
  2. A Continual Example. What a challenging ministry this is. Here’s the characteristics of this ministry:-Faith. This is the gift of God by which we appropriate the covenant promises. Faith to believe that the children that the Lord has given to us are the heirs of the promise of salvation, as we are taught in Acts 2:39
    1. Love. For it takes a great deal of love to exercise this ministry, love that loves people who are sinners, as our children are – and so are we, and we must love our children as Christ loved us, sinners…
    2. Holiness. Not that we have any intrinsic holiness of our own, we are justified saints and simultaneously sinners, but Christ’s holiness is imparted to us, – and we must continually point our children to him, and they must see Him in dwelling us…
    3. Temperance. What an important element of family life, for Covenant parents to exercise self-control.

All of our example and teaching and catechising can be set to naught by angry discipline!
What a great ministry. A woman’s ministry is to be faithful in teaching her children, and the younger women with whom she associates. But surely we can’t believe this nowadays! There are so many ‘lady ministers’ and they are all so very nice! But we must believe it and observe it, no matter what the opinions of others may be. Romans 3:4
© Bob McEvoy

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