Mickey D. Brackin
Senior Pastor, Mars Hill Baptist Church, Lawrenceburg
I sit at the study table in the quietness of the early morning praying and pondering about how to write this lesson, trusting God for the words to write while understanding that I Timothy two confronts us with various topics where often preachers and, in this case, writers may fear to tread.
The beauty of truly “Exploring the Bible” is that it does not allow us to casually or comfortably pass over select passages of Scripture. We sometimes find ourselves addressing passages that have long been debated by scholars and students alike.
In I Timothy chapter two, we read words from one warrior to another as they battle the errors of false doctrine that have permeated the church. Chapter two is Paul’s call to Timothy to understand “first of all” the importance of prayer.
It is so important that the apostle used four distinct words to express the kind of praying that needs to be prayed by Timothy and the church (v. 1). These prayers should be prayed for “all men.” Pray for those in positions of authority from world leaders to local authorities. Also, the believer should be mindful of the lost, those needing the true gospel of Jesus Christ. The believers’ passion and prayers for the lost should be fanned by the understanding of God’s love for all people (vv. 3-7). God’s love crosses all barriers and boundaries.
The second section of chapter two has been the subject of much discussion and debate through the years concerning roles and positions of both men and women in the church. No doubt Paul is addressing a problem that has already risen in the church at Ephesus as a result of the false teachings of the day (vv. 8-15).
Paul’s desire is that men (males) everywhere pray with pure hearts and godly conduct of life (v. 8). Women “in like manner” with pure hearts must also demonstrate godly behavior exemplified by not calling attention to themselves by extravagance or seductiveness in dress, apparel or appearance (vv. 9-10).
Paul continues by instructing that women should be honoring God in the context of worship. They should exhibit a peaceful understanding and teachable spirit to spiritual authority. Paul was not writing to diminish or devalue the role of women in the church. He was setting forth godly principles concerning the position and roles of women in the created order of God.
God in His infinite wisdom has placed order and authority into our world. It is seen in the created world, government, family and the church. Paul, in chapter two, calls for both men and women to be examples of the faith in prayer, worship and conduct of life, each fulfilling their God given and assigned roles.