THE FEMALE FACTOR
1 Timothy 2:8-15
A. There is an important need in our day and time to discuss the role of women in the church.
1. The denominational world has thrown off the limitation of biblical authority and have gone head-long into error concerning the proper role of women.
2. I have been in the Lord’s church long enough to know that whatever the denominationalists do will sooner or later appeal to some of our brethren.
3. I know of several “Churches of Christ” who have allowed women to occupy positions of authority over men in the church…
4. Thus it is very critical for us to understand what the Bible teaches concerning a woman’s role in the church.
B. I want to acknowledge at the outset of this study that a woman’s role in the church is significant
1. Women ministered to the Lord of their substance (Luke 8:3)
2. Dorcas was known for her good deeds among the widows (Acts 9:36)
3. A husband and wife team, named Aquila and Priscilla taught Apollos the way of the Lord more perfectly (Acts 18:26)
4. On repeated occasions Paul spoke of the church in the house of Aquila and Priscilla (1 Cor. 16:19; Romans 16:3-4).
5. Phoebe was a servant of the church in Cenchreae (Romans 16:1-2).
6. Mary worked among the Romans (Romans 16:6)
7. Tryphaena and Tryphosa labored in the Lord (Romans 16:12)
C. If it were not for worthy women God’s church could not exist in this or any generation.
A. WOMEN ARE SUBORDINATE BY DIVINE DECREE
1. Ephesians 5:22-24
a. By Divine decree, man is to be the “head” of the woman in the church and in the home.
b. This headship rests upon two things:
1) The original constitution of the sexes as created
2) The woman’s role in the fall of man
2. Concerning the original constitution of the sexes, notice what the Bible teaches:
a. In Genesis 2:18-20 we are informed that the woman was made for the man, not the man for the woman.
b. 1 Corinthians 11:8-9
3. Concerning the woman’s role in the Fall, Eve believed Satan’s lie that she might become as God, and hence was beguiled and deceived
a. Genesis 3:13; 2 Corinthians 11:3
b. Adam, though, labored under no such deception (1 Timothy 2:14; Genesis 3:12)
c. Accordingly, woman’s subjection was increased after her Fall – Genesis 3:16
4. These facts do not suggest that women are inferior to men, but it does means that they are to be subordinate in rank to man.
a. Neither does this mean that women are inherently more gullible than men, but it does illustrate what happens when God’s chain of command for society is broken
b. It ought to be noted that as Christ’s subjection to the Father involved no removal of dignity (Philippians 2:5-11), so there is none inherent in the woman’s subjection to man.
B. THE ROLE OF WOMEN IN THE CHURCH
1. 1 Timothy 2:8-15 is a crucial text relating to the issue of the role of women in the church.
a. This text offers us a general statement of the will of God on the subject of women working with men in the church.
b. Many try to limit this context to public worship, but the scope is much broader than that.
1) Certainly the instructions about modesty (v. 9) and childbearing (v. 15) are related to the woman’s perspective on her total responsibility to the Lord.
2) Likewise, the comments about her relationship to male members of the body of Christ apply more than just to the worship assembly.
c. In this context we learn that women are not to pray publicly when men are present, are not to teach when men are present, and are not to usurp authority over a man.
2. Man and woman’s relationship in prayer … 1 Timothy 2:8-10
a. “Men” comes from aner and has reference to “males”
b. Men are to “pray in every place” (“every where” KJV)
c. Here we learn that wherever Christians gather and engage in prayer – whether the whole church is assembled or a group of teenagers having a devotional or a prayer of thanks is being offered at the dinner table – males are to be the leaders of the prayer.
d. This priestly function is reserved exclusively for males when they are present with women.
3. Women are not to be placed in a leadership role over a man … 1 Timothy 2:11-12
a. Many misunderstand these verses and/or misapply these verses because they do not understand the phrase “usurp authority.”
b. Phrase means to “have authority over, to govern one, or to exercise dominion over one”
c. Rather than a woman having authority over a man, the Bible says she is to “learn in silence with all subjection … to be in silence.”
1) The word translated “silence” has reference not so much to one’s speech as to a total manner of life – NOT total silence or they could not sing in worship
2) It enjoins not the total absence of speech but a quiet life and a peaceful demeanor in which one fulfills his or her proper role.
d. Thus women, by command of God, are not allowed to preach or to assume a formal teaching role in relation to men in spiritual matters, for such a role would put her in authority over men.
4. Paul shows that this command is not cultural in nature … 1 Timothy 2:13-14
a. This principle applies to all times and places and not just to the time in which it was written
b. In these two verses we have the reason for a woman’s subjection to the man.
c. By creation man has a natural position of authority over women in the church and home
A. Women are not:
1. To preach or teach when men are present
2. To pray publicly when men are present
3. To be elders or deacons
4. To wait on the Lord’s Table or lead in song
5. To usurp authority in the church or in the home in anyway
B. This in no way degrades the woman anymore than Christ is in His subjection to the Father.
C. Women have an important place in the church, but it must be in subordination to the man.
D. In this position she will glorify God.