Gospel Gazette Online
Volume 21 Number 9 September 2019
Page 6

The Submission of a Woman’s Heart

Brian R. Kenyon

Brian R. KenyonSecond Timothy 2:9-12 is a passage many people do not like. In a culture where people think gender differences do not matter in any area of life, the very idea that women (or anyone, for that matter) have certain restrictions placed on them by God is unbelievable, they think! However, God, who instituted the church, knows what is best. In matters of conducting worship where both men and women are present, Paul wrote, “I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting” (1 Timothy 2:8). The word translated “men” is gender specific for males. Adding to his teaching on dressing a woman’s heart (1 Timothy 2:9-10), Paul then gave teaching concerning the subjection of a Christian woman’s heart.

Silence & Subjection

Paul wrote, “Let a woman learn in silence with all submission” (1 Timothy 2:11). The word translated “silence” (“quietness” ASV, “quietly” ESV) (from esuchia) means quietness, restfulness, gentleness (Acts 22:2; 2 Thessalonians 3:12). Here it is used as a disposition that underlies action. It obviously cannot mean total silence (“not a peep out of her mouth”). If that were true, she could not participate in congregational singing, which requires “speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord” (Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16). The term translated “subjection” in “all subjection” (“entire submissiveness” NAS) (from hupotago) refers to entire submission (1 Timothy 3:4; 2 Corinthians 9:13; Galatians 2:5). Submission may be defined as the readiness to renounce one’s will for the sake of others. In no way does it imply an inferiority versus superiority of value. To illustrate, the Son and the Father are equal by nature (both are God, John 1:1, 14; 1 Corinthians 1:3), yet the Son of God was submissive to the Father in His instrumental role of salvation (1 Corinthians 11:3). The Son’s submission did not make Him inferior. Rather, that was part of His instrumental role in salvation. The woman being submissive is not a matter of her value but her willingness to fit into the arrangement of God!

Furthermore, women are not to be in positions of authority in church assemblies where men are present. Paul wrote, “I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence” (1 Timothy 2:12). This does not prohibit women from all teaching. Women may teach other women (Titus 2:3-5). They may teach children (2 Timothy 1:5). They may also teach in conjunction with men in ways that do not take authority over men (Acts 18:26). The term translated “have authority over” (“usurp authority” KJV, “have dominion” ASV, “exercise authority” NAS) (authenteo) only occurs here in the New Testament, and means have authority, domineer. The KJV’s translation “usurp authority” may leave the wrong impression because “usurp” means to “seize” authority. However, this verse teaches that it does not matter whether a woman is given authority to lead worship from another man (or even from an eldership) or whether she seizes the authority herself; she is not to have it.

Reasons Why

Paul continued, “For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. Nevertheless she will be saved in childbearing if they continue in faith, love, and holiness, with self-control” (1 Timothy 2:13-15). Paul here gave three reasons why women are not to be in positions of authority. First, “Adam was formed first, then Eve” (1 Timothy 2:13). God’s creation and functional purpose is what is in view here. The fact that Eve was created to be Adam’s “helper comparable” (“help meet” KJV, “helper fit” ESV) “to him” shows that she was intended to be in subjection to Adam. Second, Eve violated her divinely given role (1 Timothy 2:14). God’s displeasure with Adam included his relinquishing of spiritual leadership (Genesis 3:17; cf. Genesis 16:2). Adam allowed Eve to take the lead; thus, Adam was held responsible for sin entering into the world (Romans 5:12, 17, 19; 1 Corinthians 15:22). Third, the woman’s primary role is to function in the home (1 Timothy 2:15). “Saved in childbearing” is best taken as a synecdoche (part for the whole), referring to the whole of female responsibility in the single most distinguishing term. This does not mean she cannot work outside the home (Proverbs 31:10-31; Acts 16:14) or that she has to birth children to be saved. Women are of great value in the church. Rather than seeking leadership over men, however, Christian women should devote themselves to their God-given role.

Why Do We Attend Worship?

Derek Broome

Derek BroomeWhy do we attend worship? First and foremost, our worship is to Almighty God. He is our Creator, Sustainer and Savior. As the church, we must direct our worship to Him, for He alone is worthy of praise. The church is not a place we go, but instead it is a family to which we belong. It is who we are.

In John 4:24 it says, “God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” So, as the church, we are to worship God in the ways that He authorized rather than in the ways of man (Matthew 15:9). We are to worship Him in the right frame of mind and for the right reasons. We do not just gather together to worship just because we are supposed to worship, but instead, we come together because we love the Lord. It is out of that love that we are to offer true and sincere worship so that our worship is never in vain (John 4:23). Our hearts and our minds are to be prepared to worship, and we should always examine ourselves before we worship the Lord our God (1 Corinthians 11:27-32). However, why else do we gather together to worship?

While it is true that our worship is primarily to God, our worship is also very beneficial to one another. In Hebrews 10:24-25 we see the necessity for us to come together to worship as well as the encouragement that can be offered to one another in the assembly. We gather together to worship God and so that we can edify and encourage one another. As we sing, pray, teach, give and gather around the Lord’s Table, we collectively offer a sweet-smelling aroma to the Lord. In addition, we also offer a bond of unity and a supportive atmosphere to those around us.

I cannot say that I have always worshipped in the right frame of mind, nor can I say that I have always given my best. Yet, as I have grown in my faith, I have grown to love, want and need to be in worship. One of the most frustrating things to hear somebody say after a worship service is that they got nothing out of it. So many people in our world want to be entertained by worship and never want to offer anything up of themselves. The truth about worship is that one gets out of it what he puts into it. Maybe we should stop for a second and ask ourselves, “What would our worship be like if everybody worshipped just like me?” I know for myself there are many areas I need to improve. How great would our worship to God be if we all came prepared and focused, ready to give God sincere worship? How much more encouragement could be had? Let us daily strive to live for God, and let us all prepare to worship Him.

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