GOD’S HIGH CALLING FOR WOMEN BY: JOHN MACARTHUR
I Timothy 2:9-12 9 In like manner also, that women with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with braided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;
10 But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works. 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.
A. The Situation Today * The debate over the role of women in the church has reached massive proportions. * The feminist movement has penetrated almost every area of our society, and has recently made in roads into the church.
* Many biblical evangelical churches, colleges, and seminaries are abandoning biblical truths they have. * Books have been written affirming new truths regarding the role of women in the church. * Scripture teaching the traditional roles of men and women are being reinterpreted. Some say they should be ignored because they merely reflect Paul’s anti-female bias. * The Church the bastion of the truth of God, is falling fast to the march of the feminist army.
This are the effort to over throw the design of God for men and women is not ultimately a human effort but it is the effort of the archenemy of God, Satan, who uses sinful human agents to attain his goal.
God has specific roles formen and women insociety, the family, and thechurch that are very clear inScripture, and need toreaffirm them.
B. The Situation at Ephesus 1. The Occasion of Paul’s Writing * I Timothy is the letter from the apostle Paul to his son in the faith, his dear friend and co- laborer Timothy.
* Paulhad been gone only a few weeks when he wrote this letter to encourage Timothy and give him directions for his ministry. * Timothy was the pastor of the church of Ephesus. * Apparently word had reached Paul that things in Ephesus were not as they should be.
Paul and the church of Ephesus*He had spent 3 years of his ministry in Ephesus. *The church was close to his heart. *He had poured his soul into the church. *Acts 20 – He had not failed to declare the entire word of God to the elders of the church, but had warned them night and day for three years that error would come from the outside and evil would arise from the inside (vv27-31).
Unfortunately his worst fears hadcome to pass:- thechurch at Ephesus had fallen into doctrinal error and ungodly pattern of living. - most significantly of all, the leadership had been corrupted, they needed to be replaced with godly leader.
I Tim. 3:14-15 “These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly; but if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.”
The Situation at Ephesus2. The Purposes of Paul’s Writing A) The topic of women *One of the problem areas in the church of Ephesus was the role of women. *I Tim. 5:6 tells us that some women had abandoned their purity, and were living only for pleasure.
*(vv.11-12) Some younger widows had made promises to God to remain single, but they were in danger of violating them because of lusts thus bringing condemnation upon themselves.
*(v13) Some women had become idle, wandering around from house to house. They were talebearers and busy bodies.
*(v15) Some had already turned aside to follow Satan. II Tim. 3:6 Paul refers to silly women laden with lusts who are easy prey for false teachers.The Situation at Ephesus2. The Purposes of Paul’s Writing B. The Topic of Worship Worship – is central to the church
I Tim. 2 focuses in on anotherproblem involving women. *under the pretense of comingto worship God, they wereflaunting themselves anddesecrating the worship service. *their dress and demeanorbetrayed an evil intent rather thana heart of worship.
*the worship services at Ephesus were being polluted by women who saw in them an opportunity to flaunt their wealth and beauty. *their sexual allure was drawing the men’s focus away from the worship service.
I. THE APPEARANCE OF WOMEN(v.9a) “In like manner, also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel … not with braided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array.”
In like manner – often serves as a transition between different topics within a broader discussion.*Paul now moves to a new topic within the overall subject of how men and women should conduct themselves in the worship service.
A) The General Pattern 1. The meaning of “will” Will – refers to intent, purpose, determination, or command. - it could be translated “I command”. It carries apostolic intent and divine authority. Paul is commanding men to pray and women to adorn themselves in a proper manner.
2. The meaning of “adorn” Adorn – “to arrange” or “to put in order” Paul is saying women should prepare themselves for worship. Modest – means “well-ordered” or “well-arranged”. 3. The meaning of Apparel Apparel – does not only refer to clothing, but can mean “demeanor” or “attitude”.
- it encompasses a woman’s total preparation for worship both the attitude of the heart and proper adornment on the outside. Her clothing should reflect a heart focused on God.
I. THE APPEARANCE OF WOMENB. The Specific Problem Paul not only gives a general exhortation about women’s appearance , but also deals with some specific issues that were problems on Ephesus. 1. Imitating their culture Several ancient writers have described that women are dressed like in the Roman culture of Paul’s day, which no doubt influenced the church of Ephesus.
2. Flaunting their wealth When a wealthy woman entered the worship service wearing an expensive dress, she caused a sensation that would disrupt the entire service.
*It should be noted that the Bible does not forbid women to wear simple braids or to own gold, pearls etc. However the Bible does not forbid wearing those things for wrong motives.*The Church is to be a place – where worship happens, to pray, to supplicate for pardon of thy sins, to plead for thine offenses, beseeching the Lord not where people put on a show.
I. THE APPEARANCE OF WOMENc. The Proper Motives 1. Of Married Women A Christian wife should seek to attract attention to her godly character, not her clothing. She would show by her dress and demeanor her love and devotion to her own husband. She should demonstrate a humble heart committed to worshiping God.
2. Of Single Women Single women need to realize that the worship service isn’t the place to try to attract men. They too should understand it is more important that someone be attracted to their godly character rather than their outward appearance
*How can both married and single women know if they are dressed properly for the worship service? By examining their motives, ask yourself… - why am I dressed the way I am? - what is my goal? - am I trying to draw attention to God or to myself? - will what I’m wearing stand out or will it be considered appropriate for the occasion?
I Peter 3:3-43Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and or wearing or gold, or of putting on of apparel.4But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.*Like Paul, Peter emphasizes that a woman is not to be preoccupied with what she wears, but who she is.
Pondering the PrinciplesFirst Timothy 2:9 stresses the importance of preparing for the worship service. When you go to church, the issue is not just how well prepared the preacher or choir is, but how well you are prepared to worship God.
As you prepare yourself for the worship service, ask yourself these questions: - Am I sincere? - Is my attention focused on God? - Am I coming to worship God knowing His acceptance of me is based solely on what Christ has done for me? - Am I coming with a pure heart, having dealt with any sin in my life? - Am I coming to be a spectator, or a participant?
II. THE ATTITUDE OF WOMEN (v9b) “With godly fear and sobriety.”A. Godly FearB. Self-control(sobriety) 1. The danger of failing to exercise self-control. A) To the leaders I Tim. 3 Paul says that both elders and deacons in the church must be “the husband of one wife) or a one-woman man. A man in a leadership role in the church must be totally devoted to his wife.
*One of the major problems at Ephesus was that the leaders were not faithful to their wives. Satan attacked the church by bringing alluring women into the church to seduce the leadership. He does the same thing today. B) To the congregation - younger widows remarrying - some older women were causing problems in the congregation - problems involving sexual sin. 2. The judgment for failing to exercise self- control. Is. 3:16-26
III. THE TESTIMONY OF WOMEN(v10) “But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.” A. The Importance of Women’s Testimony Paul is concerned that a woman’s testimony be consistent.
B. The Desecration of a Woman’s Testimony A woman who wants to serve and honor God cannot show disregard for what He says about the role of women in His word. C. The Substance of a Woman’s Testimony The testimony of a woman professing godliness is a life of good works, for righteous deeds demonstrate the genuineness of her faith. The same is true for anyone.
IV. THE ROLE OF WOMEN (vv.11-12) “Let the women learn in silence with all subjection. But I permit not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.” Women in First-Century Judaism *still holding on to their Judaism *low view of women
I Tim. 2:12 shows us women were teaching and exercising authority over men, and Paul had to tell them to stop. But before dealt with the problem of women usurping the role of men, he first settled the question of whether women have a right to learn. His brief statement… “Let the women learn” shows us there’s an equality of sexes in spiritual life and blessing.”
THE ROLE OF WOMENIN THE OLD TESTAMENT IN THE NEW TESTAMENT1. Their spiritual 1. Their spiritual equality equality A)They have the same A)They had the responsibilities as men. same responsibilities as (1)To obey the law men. (2)To teach the law (3)To participate in the festivals
B)They had the same protection as men. C) They have the same access to God as men. D)They have the same privileges as men.
ROLE OF WOMENTHEIR SEPARATE ROLEIN THE OLD TESTAMENT IN THE NEW TESTAMENTA)They did not serve as A) They did not serve as leaders. leaders.B) They had no ongoing B) They did not have an prophetic ministry. ongoing prophetic role.
Pondering the Principles The church at Ephesus had been influenced by the prevailing views of society regarding women. The same could be said about the church today. In this as in other areas, the church has been influenced by the world instead of being influence on the world.
Are your views of current issues being shaped by the prevailing opinions of society, or by God’s Word? Perhaps you need to rethink your position on such issues as women’s roles, women’s rights, abortion, homosexuality, RH Bill, the creation- evolution controversy, the Christian’s responsibility to the government, lawsuits, and divorce and remarriage. Spend some time in prayer and ask God to give you the courage to take a stand on the issues based on His Word-no matter what the society propagates. Then pray that the church as a whole will also stand firm for God’s truth.
C. In the ChurchThe woman’s silence has been misinterpreted in two ways.1. Those who believe women should be permitted to preach in the church interpret “silence” as a reference to a meek and quiet spirit. They claim that all this passage is saying is that women preachers or teachers are to have a meek and quiet demeanors.
2. Others go to the opposite extreme and insist that no woman should ever talk in church under any circumstances- not even to the person they’re sitting next to.*However Paul makes it clear in verse 12 what he means by “silence”: women are to be silent in the sense of not teaching or exercising over men in the church.
Role of women in the Church1. They are to learn in silence (I Cor. 14) I Cor. 14:34 echoes the thought of I Tim. 2:11. Paul writes, “Let your women keep in silence in the churches; for it is not permitted unto them to speak, but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law.”
The context of I Cor. 14 indicates that the silence of Paul commanded was not intended to preclude women from speaking at all, but to keep them from speaking in tongues and prophesying in the church.
2. They are to learn in subjection. (I Cor. 11) In I Cor. 11:3 Paul says, “The head of every ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.” That verse teaches that women are to be in submission to men in the sense that they are not to usurp the role of leadership in the church, which belongs to qualified men only.
Pondering the Principles1. Some women in the Ephesian and Corinthian churches were more concerned with their rights than their responsibilities to God and the Church. What about you? - Is your focus on getting or giving? - Do you more frequently demand your rights or fulfill your responsibilities? Remember the Jesus come not “to be served, but to serve.” If your focus has gradually changed from ministering to the needs of others to looking out for your rights, pls. read or memorize Phil. 2:3-4.
2. We have learned that men and women can proclaim God’s truth. - Do you regularly look for opportunities to share the truths of Scripture with your friends? your neighbors, your spouse? Your children?To share the truths of the Bible we must first learn them ourselves. That requires constant study. If you aren’t regularly studying Scripture, make a commitment to the Lord to begin TOMORROW.