"THE FIRST EPISTLE TO TIMOTHY"
Instructions To Women (2:9-15) INTRODUCTION 1. The purpose of 1st Timothy is found in 1Ti 3:14-15... a. That we might know how to conduct ourselves in God's family, the church b. E.g., Paul's instruction to men regarding prayer - 1Ti 2:1-8 2. In 1Ti 2:9-15, Paul addresses the women, and gives instructions concerning... a. Their adornment - 1Ti 2:9-10 b. Their submission - 1Ti 2:11-15 [His instructions may seem antiquated, but women seeking to please God will do well to give earnest heed. Consider, then, what is written about...] I. THE ADORNMENT OF WOMEN A. "IN LIKE MANNER..." 1. Just as men are to pray 'everywhere', 'without wrath and doubting' - 1Ti 2:8 2. So these instructions to women apply 'everywhere', 'without wrath and doubting' 3. "The apostle had stated particularly the duty of men in public worship (1Ti 2:8), and he now proceeds to state the duty of women. All the directions here evidently refer to the proper manner of conducting public worship, and not to private duties; and the object here is to state the way in which he would have the different sexes appear." - Barnes a. "He had said that he would have prayers offered for all people (1Ti 2:1ff), and that in offering such petitions he would have the men on whom devolved the duty of conducting public devotion, do it with holy hands, and without any intermingling of passion, and with entire freedom from the spirit of contention." - ibid. b. "In reference to the duty of females in attendance on public worship, he says that he would have them appear in apparel suitable to the place and the occasion - adorned not after the manner of the world, but with the zeal and love in the cause of the Redeemer which became Christians." - ibid. B. "ADORN THEMSELVES IN MODEST APPAREL..." 1. Lit., "adorn themselves in adorning attire"; the word modest means: a. "orderly, well-arranged, decent" - Vine b. "well-arranged, becoming' - RWP c. The NASB uses the word 'proper' 2. "It does not, properly, mean modest in the sense of being opposed to that which is immodest, or which tends to excite improper passions and desires, but that which is becoming or appropriate." - Barnes 3. What constitutes 'proper' apparel is further defined by Paul as he continues... C. "WITH PROPRIETY AND MODERATION..." 1. Propriety means "a sense of shame, a shrinking from trespassing the boundaries of propriety, proper reserve" - Hendriksen 2. Moderation (translated 'sobriety', KJV) means "sanity; then sober-mindedness, moderation of the desires and passions. It is opposed to all that is frivolous, and to all undue excitement of the passions. The idea is, that in their apparel and deportment they should not entrench on the strictest decorum. Doddridge." - Barnes 3. The point is to avoid extremes: "Be not the first by whom the new is tried, nor yet the last to lay the old aside." - Pope D. "NOT WITH BRAIDED HAIR, GOLD, PEARLS OR COSTLY CLOTHING..." 1. Note that Paul is not dealing with brevity of clothing per se a. Rather, clothing and hairstyles designed to draw the attention of others b. Of course, drawing attention through brevity of clothing would violate the spirit of the letter, as well as the word translated before as "propriety" or "shamefacedness" (KJV) 2. Is Paul condemning all adorning of the hair or wearing of jewelry? a. Compare what Peter wrote in 1Pe 3:3-4 1) Both appear to be a use of the comparative 'not'... a) Where 'not' is not used as a literal prohibition b) But to compare one thing to another (not this..but this) 2) For example, look at Jn 6:27 a) Did Jesus condemn working for food? b) No, He was emphasizing what is most important b. Sarah evidently adorned herself such that her beauty could not be hidden (cf. Gen 12:14-15), but her true beauty was adornment of a meek and quiet spirit - 1Pe 3:5-6 3. "It cannot be supposed that the mere braiding of the hair is forbidden, but only that careful attention to the manner of doing it, and to the ornaments usually worn in it, which characterized worldly females. It is not to be supposed that all use of gold or pearls as articles of dress is here forbidden; but the idea is, that the Christian female is not to seek these as the adorning which she desires, or is not to imitate the world in these personal decorations." - Barnes E. "BUT, WHICH IS PROPER FOR WOMEN PROFESSING GODLINESS, WITH GOOD WORKS..." 1. Here is where the emphasis is to be, not on outward apparel! 2. As per 1Pe 3:3-4: "Do not let your adornment be [merely] outward - arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on [fine] apparel - rather [let it be] the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible [beauty] of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God." (NKJV) 3. Good works befits women professing godliness (godly piety) - e.g., Dorcas, Ac 9:36,39 [Sisters in Christ, what do men notice most about you? Attention to physical adornment, or your godly conduct? Be careful not to let the physical take precedent and block out the spiritual! Now consider Paul's instructions regarding...] II. THE SUBMISSION OF WOMEN A. "LEARN IN SILENCE WITH ALL SUBMISSION...TO BE IN SILENCE" 1. The word "silence" (NKJV, ASV, NRSV) - 1Ti 2:11-12 a. Translated "quietness" (KJV), "quietly" (NASB) b. Found here and in Ac 22:2 ("all the more silent")
and 2 Th 3:12 ("work in quietness") c. Related to the word used in 1Ti 2:2 ("peaceable life") 2. "The apostle goes on to give some other instructions to women, how they should behave themselves in public worship, in the church of God;" - Gill a. "he would have them be learners and not teachers, sit and hear, and learn more of Christ, and of the truth of the Gospel, and to maintain good works;" - ibid. b. "and he would have them learn in silence, and not offer to rise and speak, under a pretense of having a word from the Lord, or of being under an impulse of the Spirit of the Lord, as some frantic women have done;" - ibid. c. "and if they should meet with anything, under the ministry of the word, they did not understand, or they had an objection to, they were not to speak in public, but ask their own husbands at home; see 1Co 14:34." - ibid. d. "And thus, they were to behave with all subjection; both to the ministers of the word, and to their own husbands; - ibid. 3. Thus women should "listen attentively to instruction, without attempting to teach in public" - Barnes B. "DO NOT PERMIT A WOMEN TO TEACH OR TO HAVE AUTHORITY..." 1. Note that this pertains to "over a man" a. Compare his comments with those in 1Co 14:34-37 b. Women may certainly teach other women, children - cf. Tit 2: 3-4 2. Both 1Ti 2:11-12 and 1Co 14:34-37 appear to deal with the conduct of women in the public assemblies and worship of the church C. REASONS AND REASSURANCES FOR SUCH CONDUCT... 1. Reasons for the submission of women in the church - 1Ti 2: 13-14 a. Adam was formed first, then Eve 1) "Man was made as the lord of this lower creation and placed in the garden, and then the woman was made of a rib taken from his side, and given to him, not as a lord, but as a companion." - Barnes (cf. Gen 2:7-23) 2) "All the circumstances combine to show the subordinate nature of her rank, and to prove that she was not designed to exert authority over the man; compare notes on 1Co 11:8-9." - ibid. b. Adam was not deceived; Eve being deceived, fell into transgression 1) Neither the serpent nor Eve deceived Adam; he allowed himself to be persuaded by Eve after she ate - cf. Gen 3:17 2) Eve was deceived by the serpent, which she readily acknowledged - Gen 3:13 3) The woman's susceptibility to deception is thus offered as a reason why women are not to have a leadership role over men in the church 2. Reassurances for women who learn in submission - 1Ti 2:15 a. "She will be saved in childbearing" (NKJV) 1) "To be understood not of a temporal salvation, or being saved through childbearing, through the perilous time, and be delivered out of it..." - Gill 2) "...for though this is generally the case, yet not always, nor always the case of good women. Rachel died in child bed." - ibid. b. But though subject to man, with no leadership role in the church, and susceptible to bearing children in pain and sorrow (cf. Gen 3:16), a woman can be saved as well as a man - cf. Ga 3:28 c. She can be saved even in this function (childbearing), not by means of it - RWP 1) Paul is not saying women must bear children to be saved, for he teaches elsewhere the value of the single life - cf. 1Co 7:32-35 2) Yet generally speaking, this is God's creative purpose for women (motherhood) d. "Provided they continue in faith and love and holiness, with modesty (self-restraint)" 1) Faith, love, holiness - virtues necessary for salvation 2) Modesty (self-restraint) - virtue necessary for submission CONCLUSION 1. In a world obsessed with fashion and equality, it is not easy to be a 'daughter of Sarah' today 2. But for women 'making a claim to godliness'... a. Their adornment will be modest and discreet, accompanied with good works b. Their service will be faith, love, and holiness, accompanied by submission and self-restraint In the words of Peter, such conduct is "...very precious in the sight of God. For in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves..." - 1Pe 3:4-5