Women of the Word | Leading Women, Day 1
1 Timothy 2:8-15
God decides our purpose and calling, not culture.
Verse of the Day
likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, 1 Timothy 2:9 ESV
Have you ever had a personal conversation with someone that was shared with others out of context?
Explain a false teaching you once believed and came to learn the truth about later.
How do you respond to constructive criticism?
Have you ever been told by your peers that your calling was wrong?
Where does your purpose and calling within the Kingdom of God come from?
What is something you know God has called you to but people in your life have disagreed with?
False teachers and heresy were a serious problem in the church of Ephesus. Timothy was sent to Ephesus by Paul to help the people combat false teachings and establish structure in their church.
Read 1 Timothy 1:3-8
As I urged you when I went into Macedonia, stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain people not to teach false doctrines any longer or to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies. Such things promote controversial speculations rather than advancing God’s work—which is by faith. The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. Some have departed from these and have turned to meaningless talk. They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm. We know that the law is good if one uses it properly. 1 Timothy 1:3-8 NIV
The letters of Titus and first and second Timothy are Pastoral Epistles authored by Paul to specific individuals, about specific congregations, during a specific period of time, to address specific problems of false teachers becoming more prevalent in their congregations and the need for more structure within their ministries.
At this time, the church in Ephesus was without structure and therefore not well equipped to combat these false teachers.
Paul sent Timothy, and this letter to Timothy showing his authority to step in and assist the church of Ephesus, to provide structure and clarify correct doctrinal truths to combat the false teachings that were spreading in Ephesus.
This letter is intended to assist in combating false teachers in the church of Ephesus.
Read 1 Timothy 2:1-7
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time. For this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth. 1 Timothy 2:1-7 ESV
Paul is stressing that all are called to Godly living, and addressing some factors of Godly gospel living.
There is no one right way to pray, but all people are to pray within their personal relationship with God.
Paul is reminding the people of the importance of heartfelt prayer, versus flashy outward appearances in how one prays. It is the heart and intention of prayer that God cares about.
Meekness and humility:
We are called to be meek and humble, living as examples of Christ in all we do.
The culture in Ephesus promoted flashy attire and outward appearance to show social status or attractiveness, and Paul was reminding them that God cares about inward beauty. We should show meekness and humility, and be dignified and modest so as to not draw attention to our outward appearances.
God desires all to be saved, but Paul is reminding the people of Ephesus that this requires knowledge (and acceptance) of the Truth, and that they are in danger because of the false teachings being taught.
Read 1 Timothy 2:8-10
I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling; likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works. 1 Timothy 2:8-10 ESV
What would you describe as modest attire?
Do you tend to dress to impress or dress to honor?
Strong’s G2887 - kosmios - ko'-sme-os - respectable: well arranged, seemly, modest.
Strong’s G127 - aidōs - i-do's - propriety: a sense of shame or honour, modesty, bashfulness, reverence, regard for others, respect. Precedes and prevents the shameful act, reflects upon its consequences in the shame it brings with it.
Strong’s 4997 - sōphrosynē - so-fro-sü'-na - moderation: soundness of mind; self-control, sobriety.
Modesty by Biblical definition, according to the original Greek, is a sense of honor that seeks to prevent shame, is respectable and has self-control.
We can display outward modesty by striving to be honorable to God in our appearance, which is being described here as refraining from flashing material wealth and earthly status, as well as not presenting yourself in such a way to attract attention by your appearances.
We should all present ourselves in a manner that shows honor and respect to our bodies as the temple of God.
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 ESV
Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. Proverbs 31:25-26 ESV
What does our culture teach as modesty? How might current culture differ from Ephesus?
Men and women should both display Biblical modesty and refrain from flashy outward appearances, and instead focus on God and how to honor and glorify Him in all our ways, conduct and appearances.
Paul is stating that with proper outward appearance and conduct we are better able to focus on and display godliness by the fruit of the Spirit through good works as the evidence of true faith.
How is modesty a sign of true faith?
True faith is found when it stands on true doctrine and displayed by good works done in the fruits of the Spirit.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another. Galatians 5:22-26 ESV
How is false teaching a danger to modest living?
The people were being led astray from godliness and modest living because of false teachings.
We are instructed to test and filter all things through the Word of God to “discern what is the will of God”; to determine whether they line up with the Word of God or not.
If any teaching that claims to be Biblical does not line up with the Word of God, it should be considered “of the world” and therefore a false teaching that we should not follow or condone.
By failing to test and filter all things through God’s Word, and falling into false teachings, we risk falling away from Truth itself and therefore away from God and the life He calls us to live.
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2 ESV
Read 1 Timothy 2:11-15
Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. Yet she will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control. 1 Timothy 2:11-15 ESV
Why does Paul tell women to be quiet?
Paul is saying that the women of Ephesus should learn with quiet respect toward those in authority and teaching positions. This is not saying they should never speak, but is saying they should show respect and meekness as they learn from truthful teachers in Ephesus.
Strong’s G2271 - hēsychia - ha-sü-khe'-ä - quietly: Quietnes, description of the life of one who stays at home doing his own work, and does not officiously meddle with the affairs of others.
Strong’s G3129 - manthanō - män-thä'-no - learn: to learn, be apprised
to increase one's knowledge, to be increased in knowledge
to hear, be informed
to learn by use and practice
to be in the habit of, accustomed to
Strong’s G5292 - hypotagē - hü-po-tä-ga' - submissiveness: the act of subjecting, obedience, subjection
By their approval of this service, they will glorify God because of your submission that comes from your confession of the gospel of Christ, and the generosity of your contribution for them and for all others, 2 Corinthians 9:13 ESV
to them we did not yield in submission even for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might be preserved for you. Galatians 2:5 ESV
What is happening in Ephesus at this time?
Women of the time were adorning themselves with flashy attire, adhering to and likely spreading false teaching, and seemingly attempting to usurp the men’s position of head of the family, and leaders of the church.
Women of the time often were also less educated than men, and would have had much less teaching and understanding of scripture than men, which would have placed them as less wise in the Word, and more likely to mis-understand, mis-interpret, and mis-teach the Word of God.
Widows were also heavily targeted by false teachers because they were so easily persuaded.
Why is this important?
Paul is striving to harmonize the church with the Creator’s design for home and community.
This is a sense of balance between the roles and positions of men and women. Each person is given their roles by God, and men and women have their roles in order to find balance in relationships and leadership. Remember, God made women to be a helper to man, and man was called to love and care for women. (Read more)
giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ. Ephesians 5:20-21 ESV
How can we find balance according to God’s design for men and women in places of leadership and authority?
Within an assembled church, Paul encourages the men of higher education to preside over the church to teach correct doctrine and display Godly living to the congregation.
All are encouraged to respect those placed in positions of authority in the church and strive to learn correct doctrine and refrain from false teachings.
We must all recognize that each individual who has a relationship with God will be called by Him according to His purpose, and we must respect and obey how He calls each person to serve Him.
What are some examples in scripture that recognize women in places of leadership, authority, and honor?
We can reference many places in scripture that identify the God-given placement, roles and responsibilities of men, women, and people in general. It is clear throughout scripture that even women were given authority, places of leadership, and honor by God.
Are men and women equal according to God?
We are, both men and women, one with Christ, as well as in relationship with fellow believers as the Body of Christ, in the sense of relationship not in sameness of function.
Neither men nor women are rewarded based on their roles in God’s Kingdom, but instead based on their faithful obedience to the assignments God has called them to.
Men and women can both receive the same spiritual gifts and blessings.
To God, men and women are of equal value as His creations, but each is functionally different in order for there to be balance in the Kingdom.
While there is clearly a Biblical design for men and women, God does not see us based on gender, but instead sees us as co-heirs with Christ.
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise. Galatians 3:28-29 ESV
But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men. Acts 5:29 ESV
Do we tend to focus more on what people say about us, or what God says about us?
Do we tend to let people sway us from what God calls us to?
How can we better prepare ourselves to recognize and defend against false teachings?
How can we respond better to constructive criticism?