by Pastor Ayo Sparks
1Timothy 2 1-8 THE PRIMACY OF PRAYER
Have you ever encountered or experienced the menace of bad governance, the machinations and manipulations of/from the evil ones around us? Have you ever been a victim of wrong doctrines but now liberated? Have you ever had such an ‘evil’ boss who cares about nothing but his own self and profits? I guess you have a “Yes” answer to virtually all the above. What was your reaction to each or either of the above cases you ever experienced?
If you’ve been exposed to wrong teachings for so long and you somehow miraculously get enlightened to know the truth, the natural reaction is to be somewhat bitter against those you once looked upon to know and teach the truth. When the government is performing below our expectations our reactions are humanly and politically predictable.
According to Paul, there’s something we can do, as a matter of primary importance, to undone what has been done that shouldn’t have been done or to do what needs to be done but left undone; to influence a change, to ensure sanity, restore sanctity, bridge the gap, make for a balance where and when necessary_ it is to pray for those in authority! It is a call to engaging our spiritual area of advantage in influencing our social, political, vocational and even our residential environments.
1Timothy 2: I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;
For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
When sentiment is involved, that’s obviously a hard thing to do. But it is what we should (must) do! Considering the next verse:
1Timothy 2:4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
If all men are saved as God desires, and come to the knowledge of the truth, all societal and political ills will in no time be forgotten. Yet, though God desires for all to be saved but we know that it is not all that will be saved. Why God has done what needs to be done to save all mankind, our salvation is predicated on our individual response to the gospel. Many are not yet saved today because they’re not responding positively to the gospel of salvation in Christ.
However, we don’t stop preaching the Gospel, we don’t stop praying for men to be saved. In complying with Paul’s exhortation to pray for all men, our fundamental focus must be for them to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth. For it is when men are saved and are grounded in the knowledge of the truth that they can lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness. It is then they can willingly yield do will of God and God can do His will in and through them.
Paul made mention of the four ways to “relate” to God:
Supplication, which is when we are making definite requests or simply asking.
Prayer. This is having a real communion or a dialogue with God, not a hit-and-run religious stuff. It is more like having a discussion with God while we wait for His response.
Intercession. This is making definite requests or placing a demand on God on behalf of other.
Thanksgiving. A prayer life that is void of Thanksgiving lacks potency and efficiency. Thanksgiving is not all about appreciating God for what He has done but a demonstration of faith and trust in God’s ability and magnanimity to do what we have asked for.
In reality, to the same degree Paul wishes that prayer be made everywhere, our individual and group prayer life should, importantly, incorporate all those four: supplication, prayer, intercession and thanksgiving.
1Timothy 2:8 I will therefore that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.
When our prayer culminate in thanksgiving, it is almost impossible to remain in doubts. Any prayer offered in/with anger or lack of faith is baseless. We must learn to pray without wrath and doubting. If we refuse to pray for our leaders at various rung and levels, things are bound to go awry, and they, well become angry. There are many who pray only out of anger “holy anger” so called. When you check your words and lines of prayers when you’re angry, you will see that you’re praying amiss because, when and wherever love is missing, the will of God and His presence will be absent.
We are not to pray because we are angry but rather be angry because we have not prayed. Before your perceived enemy at any level turns against you in anyway, let love lead you to pray for such to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth!
Believers, if there’s nothing we can do about any particular social or political situation, remember that we can supplicate, present the case before God in prayer, intercede and give thanks! Until and except we have prayed, we have done nothing. And when we pray, we should remember to give thanks. Having that done, there should be no further room for wrath or doubts!
Pray for a leader today. Wife, pray for your husband!
THE TRUTH THAT SAVES
Your faith cannot be stronger, neither can your salvation be more genuine than what is presented to you as truth. We all know that the truth is a Person – the of the Saviour. So, the truth that saves revolves around the Person of Jesus – the Truth, The Saviour.
No one can be saved and no one is truly saved except the truth is known and believed in focus on the Person of the Truth that you receive. In other words, salvation is authenticated in believing the word of truth and receiving the Person of the Truth.
There are many today who are presented with “another truth” which does not reveal to them the person of The Truth. Any form of “truth” believed that does not reveal Jesus as The Truth to be received is fake and cannot save.
Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
The word of truth reveals the Person of The Truth. It is by that you can be sure you have the knowledge of the truth that saves! Paul gives us a touchstone here to ensure that what is presented to you, and you believe, is the knowledge of the truth which God wants all men to have.
1Timothy 2: For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; 6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.
7 Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not 😉 a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity.
The knowledge of Jesus having given Himself as the ransom for all is the foundational truth that births true salvation. The knowledge of Him as the ONLY one mediator between God and men makes Him the central focus of all that are ordained to be saved, and gives all that believe that wholesome assurance of eternal salvation. The gospel is the testimony of Jesus who gave Himself as a ransom for all (detailed in the knowledge of His Person and His earthly purpose which He accomplished through the cross). That is our testimony. That is our faith!
We are at that time (just like some 2000 years ago) that we are expected to bear this testimony in our mouth wherever we go. They that believe are saved as God desires of all men.
THE SPECIAL ROLE OF WOMEN
1Timothy 2: In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with braided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;
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. 13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve.
And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.
Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety. (KJV)
9-10 And I want women to get in there with the men in humility before God, not primping before a mirror or chasing the latest fashions but doing something beautiful for God and becoming beautiful doing it.
11-15 I don’t let women take over and tell the men what to do. They should study to be quiet and obedient along with everyone else. Adam was made first, then Eve; woman was deceived first—our pioneer in sin!—with Adam right on her heels. On the other hand, her childbearing brought about salvation, reversing Eve. But this salvation only comes to those who continue in faith, love, and holiness, gathering it all into maturity. You can depend on this. (Message Bible)
A lot of people have labeled Paul to be an antifeminist, as if feminism is God’s design or invention. Before I go in details to share my insights into Paul’s message as touch the place and role of women in the Church, let’s be reminded of the following:
Paul was specially sent by the Lord Himself to preach the gospel of salvation to the Gentiles. Without Paul’s ministry, the message of salvation might not have gotten to us.
As an Apostle of Christ, Paul has a mandate to guide the Church in line with the divine purpose for its establishment and guard its affairs against derailment from the divine order and standard.
Paul here specifically wrote to Timothy to ensure doctrinal accuracy and sanity is restored to the Ephesian Church. Therefore, whatever Paul addressed in his letter to Timothy in ensuring order and decorum in the Church is him undertaking his apostolic responsibility over or to the church, giving apostolic counsels possibly based on what has transpired in the past or the facts available to him concerning what was responsible for the anomalies in the Church which is centered on wrong teachings. So, before drawing a line of conclusion on why Paul wrote whatever we find in his pastoral Epistle to Timothy, and before we crucify him, let’s dig a bit deep!
Remember to bear the above three points in mind.
Though, the King James Version of the Bible presents Paul’s message in such a very harsh and strict manner as against some other translations. Notwithstanding, whatever translation we choose to follow, what Paul wrote can be justified on two major premises:
1 The understanding of God’s order of authority, nature and modus operandi
2 The influence of culture on the Ephesian women over and against scriptural standard and pattern.
As we begin to explore, let’s refuse to be caught in the web sentimentalism, emotionalism, feminism or chauvinism, and be ready to imbibe the truth in good faith!
CHRISTIAN WOMEN FASHION STATEMENT: PROPRIETY AND MODESTY
1 Timothy 2: In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with braided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;
But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.
That’s obviously a good counsel to heed unto. Or, does it sound like the teaching of a legalist? Christianity is does not stand on the foundation of morality neither does Christianity stand against morality. In fact, living immoral lifestyles will rob you of your Christian Identity and dignity among men.
According to chapter one of this first letter to Timothy, teachings on morality was one of the many teachings pervading the Church which Paul wanted Timothy to put under check. Not because he condones immorality but he knows that, the understanding of our spiritual Identity in Christ is what best produces moral virtues in us.
1Tim. 1: 8-11 It’s true that moral guidance and counsel need to be given, but the way you say it and to whom you say it are as important as what you say. It’s obvious, isn’t it, that the law code isn’t primarily for people who live responsibly, but for the irresponsible, who defy all authority, riding roughshod over God, life, sex, truth, whatever! They are contemptuous of this great Message I’ve been put in charge of by this great God. (Message Bible)
Going by that verse 8 above, it was important for Paul to address the issue of dressing because, the women in the Church were already copying the dress styles of Diana’s priestesses which was such an extremely carnal and outrageous styles of dressing.
Inasmuch it is good to look good, we must not forget that Christianity is not in outward show of material greatness or abundance over and about, or outright despisal for spiritual virtues and fruit of the Spirit. What we are called unto is good works done in love. Unfortunately, the Ephesian Church was fast turning to a fashion competition Centre, while false teachings kept gaining grounds and roots in the hearts of the people. The women were fast becoming more fashion-drunk than being Spirit-drunk and Spirit-led.
Even today, we have so many who are to repent of this! There are those who will love to serve in various capacities in the Church but for their financial inability to meet up with the every-no-and-then latest expensive “uniform materials” to buy. Women in the church want to look good outwardly because someone in the church is always looking good. Before long, fashion competition sets in, good virtues and sense of good works will be lost even as many will start dishonoring their husbands who cannot meet up with the financial demands and, the Church of Christ is gradually turned into something else!
Understand that Paul never wrote against looking good but to apply modesty and above all, understand that looking good without doing good is unchristianly. The beauty of Christian women is in their proper and moderate styles of dressing, but known for good works. But when women are only given to looking good outwardly without inward virtues and reputation for good works, the invidious saying that “women are animals fond of dressing” would become justifiable. But, God forbid!
UNDERSTANDING GOD’S PURPOSE AND ORDER OF AUTHORITY
1 Timothy 2: Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.
But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. 13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve.
And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.
Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety. KJV
11-15 I don’t let women take over and tell the men what to do. They should study to be quiet and obedient along with everyone else. Adam was made first, then Eve; woman was deceived first—our pioneer in sin!—with Adam right on her heels. On the other hand, her childbearing brought about salvation, reversing Eve. But this salvation only comes to those who continue in faith, love, and holiness, gathering it all into maturity. You can depend on this. (The Message Bible)
Obviously, Paul’s hasn’t said anything amiss or something to depict a trait of antifeminism or male chauvinism. He is not outrightly forbidding women from teaching in the Church but to ensure there is necessary regard for authority as constituted by God from the beginning.
Our world under Luciferian influence has grown to have a disregard for anything called authority. Whereas, strict regard for authority is the strength of the Godhead and the bond of unity. The Father will never usurp His authority over the Son neither will the Son challenge or question the place of the Father and of the Spirit.
In restoring sanity to the Ephesian Church, it was imperative for Paul to call the women to order as, “womanish women” who were by nature feminists were coming in to the faith and would like to be in charge as men while lacking the patience and the humility to firstly learn and be grounded in the fundamentals of our faith in Christ Jesus.
Also, it was a culture for men and women to sit way apart from each other in church. While the men have the right to ask questions during meetings, women have no such right but should rather ask their husbands at home for the sake of orderliness. But, as a show of disorderliness, some women out of contention for what is being taught are fond of asking their husbands who were sitting far away from them questions, while the meeting is on. This same act was corrected in first Corinthians.
1 Corinthians 14: For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.
Let your women keep 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.
And if they will learn anything, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.
It was so bad there among women that everyone wanted to prophesy at the same time, just to be heard and not necessarily as moved by the Spirit, for God is not the author of confusion.
Paul was even stricter to say, women should rather learn at home and ask whatever questions they have at home. Not while the service is ongoing and questions are flying about in the Church from women to their husbands sitting ways apart. Women involved in such rowdy act are marked as disrespectful at home because for them to disrespect the culture that permits only men to ask questions during meetings, it’s a sign they are disrespectful at home. And it’s regarded as a show of shame!
Hence, “it is a shame for women (he did not say “a woman”) to speak in the Church”.
That is, women dividing the meeting with their rowdiness under the pretext of asking questions. The men were to be thoroughly taught and have their questions answered while the women learn from their husbands at home, asking questions.
Paul writing that women should learn in silence and submission is far justifiable because, to learn in silence simply means to learn peaceably or without contentions, and in submission means to recognize the man’s authority as constituted by God, even in the church.
In reality, God has infested so much authority on the male creature to achieve His mission on Earth. The feminists will quickly react against that but that does not mean the female is lesser or inferior but that each has their rank and place in the scheme of things.
Remember, feminism is not God’s design but a movement inspired by Lucifer himself against God’s established order of authority which makes men (the male) responsible and accountable for whatever happens on Earth. For instance, though it was Eve that was deceived to first eat of the forbidden tree, nothing happened and nothing catastrophic would have happened if the man didn’t partake. Just that the woman would have eternally lost her place and identity.
As a type of Jesus dying for the church, Adam would have to die with his woman. So, he consciously and willfully partook of the same tree knowing what would result. Yet, God, according to the Bible, makes the man responsible for the entrance of sin and death into the world even though it was the woman that got deceived. So, if the man will not assume his place of authority as established and positioned by God, whether in the church or at home, a lot of things might go wrong.
I wish I can clearly explain that there’s a world of difference between “the woman” and Eve. When Adam saw what God made with the rib taken from him, he called her “woman”. After the fall, Adam renamed the woman “Eve”. So, according to Adam, it was the woman that God made, but Eve is the deceived one under satanic hypnosis or influence. Though, she’s still the same creature but under the influence of a different spirit. The woman of God will always be in subjection and submission to the authority of the man of God. But those with the Eve’s propensity will always rebel against authority as Lucifer did and lost his place.
1 Corinthians 11:3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.
Inarguably, God formed the man first from the dust of the earth and gave him dominion over the earth with specific instructions when put in the garden. Because the purpose of God on Earth cannot be achieved by the man alone, (or how will man be fruitful and multiply without a womb carrier?) He made an helpmeet for the man. That is, one who will help him fulfill God’s purpose for creating him on Earth. Note that God didn’t go back to the earth to form a woman from the dust, otherwise, they will be equal authorities on Earth and that will eventually engender confusion or disaster. He made the woman with what He took from the man (without even having to breathe into her) to establish man’s authority over the woman. It is men who don’t understand God’s purpose and what authority is that exercise undue right over women and it is the women who lack the understanding of God’s purpose that rebel against man’s authority. Existence in earth is all about being where God has put you and living to fulfill the purpose why He puts you where you find yourself.
Learning in submission is therefore all about the women recognizing their rank as one under the male’s authority, without contention or any sense of inequality leading to fighting for equality – the feminist agenda.
There’s the argument whether Adam ever informed his woman of what God’s instructions was regarding the trees in the garden. But it is obvious from her conversation with the serpent that Adam actually did. Had the woman regarded the man as an authority, abiding by what Adam had told her in submission to Adams’s authority, she wouldn’t have bowed to the devil. I can imagine the serpent had tried many times to deceive the man but he wouldn’t be deceived.
The more reason why Paul advocate for the male’s authority in the church is because women by nature have the proclivity to go to the extreme, to overdo and overact, being predominantly emotional beings! In other words, women can easily yield wholly to either God or to the devil. And it might be very difficult to have them persuaded or dissuaded against whatever they already set their hearts upon as true.
Aside whatever task are assigned to the women whether in the church or elsewhere, under man’s authority and watch, one most salient or outstanding responsibility that God has assigned to the woman is to serve as the vessel for ushering new life into the world and to raise godly children together with the man.
That is why when the sin occurred and judgment was passed, the woman immediately received the mandate as one to bring the seed into the world who will ultimately put things back in order.
It is in order to frustrate this mandate on the woman that fallen angels (referred to as sons of God) were taking the form of men to sleep with women, bringing forth ungodly seeds. After the flood of Noah, God had to bind them with chains under darkness, a place in the third compartment under the earth. Mary found favour in the sight of God to bring the Messiah into our world not because she was holy but I believe she must be somewhat devoted to God and have the interest of the kingdom at heart.
Amongst other reasons, the male’s involvement in the process of conception towards the birth of Jesus was boycotted was because the male’s authority was as well boycotted leading to the corruption that is in the world today. Fundamentally speaking, through the woman who was deceived, corruption came into the world and through the woman favoured by God, “salvation” came as well.
It is important however to have women consistently under check, not because they are lesser but lest the devil takes advantage of their nature or rebellion against authority over men to work against the Church of Christ.
Rather than the women going about fighting for equality because they are feeling inferior to men, they are called to embrace the faith of Christ, given to charity, holiness with sobriety. It is by that they can really find and appreciate their unique place in God’s agenda.
This is a faithful saying and it’s worthy of all acceptation!
Hello, God’s people. Reading through the responses on the reviews, I observe that some of us here who were ‘ anticipating‘ this concluding part of chapter 2 didn’t comment on it. I also observe that, about 60% of those that reacted to this are male and I hope you aren’t feeling somehow? Hmmm… If we are to explore Ephesian 5 from 25, hope you will like me (I’m talking to our men o)?
Nothing is so much abused in our world today like authority – both by men and women. Every form of authority requires submission. For instance, the man that God has given to have authority over the woman is one who is in submission to the authority of Christ, even as Christ submits to God (the Father). There’ll be abuse of authority on the part of one who have not submitted to the authority over him/her but loves to exercise authority.
Well, the word of God is so balanced and true. One of the signs of a Spirit-controlled life is readily recognizing and accepting the truth, the veracity and the inerrancy of the word of God even when we or our situations, or practical experiences are not yet totally in line with the truth.
Accepting the truth of God’s word irrespective of where it meets us experientially supernaturally brings about restoration, change of situation and healings where and as might be necessary. The key is accepting the truth and talking to God about the areas where our experiences are not yet in alignment for His grace to be sufficient to fill in the gap!