An Important Connection to Women In Ministry
This week, we’re tackling 1 Timothy 2:11-15 and the difficult topic of women in ministry.
“11 A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. 15 But women will be saved through childbearing – if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.“
But why? Why do I believe this middle view is the Biblical one? What in this passage leads us to this understanding? Well, as Paul points out in verses 13 and 14, we’ve got to go all the way back to Genesis. And that’s where we’ll be camping today.
So, keep 1 Timothy 2 in mind, but look at Genesis 1:27:
“So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.“
“18 The Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.’ 19 Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. 20 So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals. But for Adam no suitable helper was found. 21 So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. 23 The man said, ‘This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called “woman”, for she was taken out of man.’“
Here are some important notes:
- First, the man was created first and given authority over all of creation. God gives him the authority to name every species of living thing.
- Second, the woman is referred to as his helper, taken out of man’s side. This is a great picture of where she belongs. If you haven’t read the Book “Real Marriage” by Pastoral Leader, Mark Driscoll, definitely go out and get it. He describes this picture of Adam’s helper, not out in front in domination nor behind in denigration, but beside the man as his helper.
- Third, the first recorded words of the man are a song about his beautiful companion. (Men, when’s the last time you wrote your wife a poem?)
- Lastly, the man names her “woman“. Not that she is like the animals, but that she is part of God’s creation in which Adam was given the authority to name.
Moving on to the Fall, look at Genesis 3:6-9. Satan has appeared in the Garden of Eden as a snake and he has enticed Eve to take the fruit.
“6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realised that they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. 8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the Lord God called to the man, ‘Where are you?’“
Clearly, Eve was deceived and Paul refers to this in 1 Timothy 2. But where was the man? Right beside her! What did he do to stop her? Nothing! So the very first man didn’t step up when he should have. (Ladies, how have men done since then?)
But when God comes looking to dole out consequences, He calls out for the man in verse 9. The woman was deceived, but the man is going to be held responsible.
Many passages in the New Testament validate this. In Romans 5:12 we read, “…sin entered the world through one man…” In 1 Corinthians 15:21-22 “For since death came through a man…in Adam all die…” Because of the man’s sin, all humanity fell.
Not mankind’s sin, but the sin of the man. Eve may have sinned first, but Adam was held responsible.
Now to the Curse in Genesis 3. First we read the woman’s curse, starting at verse 16:
“16 To the woman he said, ‘I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labour you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.’“
Eve’s curse is 2-fold:
- First (1) that childbirth will be painful. Rumour has it that even with today’s medical advances, this process is still painful. (Ladies, you can confirm this.)
- Second (2) the woman will desire her husband and he will rule over her. The context here is not that women will be cursed to desire her husband in passionate way, because that wouldn’t be much of a curse for the woman. (And it might be a blessing for the man.) Most scholars believe the context is that the woman will be cursed to desire her husband in an authoritative way, desiring his position.
In verses 17-20, we read the man’s curse:
“17 To Adam he said, ‘Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, “You must not eat from it,” ‘Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life. 18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. 19 By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.’ 20 Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living.“
Man’s curse is to toil over the earth. Adam will learn to toil with the earth as God has toiled with Adam. Adam will learn what it means to have responsibility over something that does not always submit to his authority. The earth will treat Adam as Adam has treated God.
And take note of verse 20. Not only did Adam name his companion “woman” in Genesis 2, here we read that he also gave her the name “Eve“. Once again, we see Adam’s placement as the man, responsible for all of creation including Eve.
Keeping our entire Genesis context in mind, tomorrow we’ll dive back into 1 Timothy 2.
CAN I GET YOUR FEEDBACK?
Read through Genesis 1-3, with specific focus on Adam and Eve. What do you learn about their relationship?