Wednesday, June 5, 2013

One God One Mediator

1 Timothy 2:1-15 NIV

Instructions on Worship

1I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— 2for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4Who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 

5 For there is One God and One Mediator between God and mankind, the Man Christ Jesus, 6 Who gave Himself as a ransom for all people.

This has now been witnessed to at the proper time. 7And for this purpose I was appointed a herald and an apostle—I am telling the truth, I am not lying—and a true and faithful teacher of the Gentiles.

8Therefore I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing. 9I also want the women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, adorning themselves, not with elaborate hairstyles or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, 10but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God.

11A womana should learn in quietness and full submission. 12I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man;bshe must be quiet. 13For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 14And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. 

15 But womenc will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.

Verse 15

Some of the Bible expositors like Doddridge, McKnight, Clarke, and others suppose that it refers to the promise in Genesis 3:15;

“And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; He will crush your head, and you will strike His heel.”

and it means that the woman shall be saved through, or by means of bearing a child, i.e. the Messiah; and that the apostle means to sustain the woman in her sorrows, and in her state of subordination and inferiority, by referring to the honor which has been put upon her by the fact that a woman gave birth to the Messiah.

Others object to this interpretation, however, though it is sustained by most respectable names. They are such as these:

(1) The interpretation is too refined and profound. It depends for its point on the fact that the Messiah had no human father, and in the apostle had intended to refer to that, and to build an argument on it. But it may reasonably be questioned whether he would have made that fact a point on which his argument would turn.

(2) it is not the obvious meaning of the word "child-bearing." There is nothing in the word which requires that it should have any reference to the birth of the Messiah. The word is of a general character, and properly refers to child-hearing in general.
(3) it is not true that woman would be "saved" merely by having given birth to the Messiah. She will be saved, as man will be, as a consequence of His having been born; but there is no evidence that the mere fact that woman gave birth to Him, and that He had no human father, did anything to save Mary herself, or anyone else of her gender, women. If, therefore, the word refers to the "bearing" of the Messiah, or to the fact that He was born, it would be no more proper to say that this was connected with the salvation of woman than that of man.

To get a more clear view of what Paul said in this verse, it might be helpful for us to read Revelation 12:1-5;

1A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. 2She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth. 3Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on its heads. 4Its tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that it might devour her child the moment he was born. 5She gave birth to a son, a male child, who “will rule all the nations with an iron scepter.” And her child was snatched up to God and to His Throne. 6The woman fled into the wilderness to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days.

In a vision John foresees the Church, as it was about to spread in the world, exposed to a mighty and formidable enemy - a hateful dragon - to prevent its increase, and to accomplish its destruction. From that impending danger it is protected in a manner that would be well represented by the saving of the child of the woman, and bearing it up to heaven, to a place of safety - an act implying that, notwithstanding all dangers, the progress and enlargement of the Church was ultimately certain.  In the meantime, the woman herself flees into the wilderness - an act representing the obscure, and humble, and persecuted state of the church - until the great controversy is determined which is to rule all the nations – “male child” or the dragon.

I have a slightly different view on these interpretations. When we read the words of Paul to the Galatians who quickly followed other gospel, we can have a clear understanding of what Paul said in 1 Timothy 2:15.

Galatians 4:19

“My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you.”

τεκνία μου,   οὓς πάλιν ὠδίνω   μέχρις οὗ μορφωθῇ Χριστὸς ἐν ὑμῖν·  
My children,     of whom I am again in travail,         until Christ be formed in you.

We can easily understand that Paul used the history of Eve’s fall and the promise given to her of Child-bearing (Messiah) to crush the head of the serpent (devil), so as to recommend the women in the Church to submit to Christ in love and faith, not as she disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden.

We all know that men and women are saved by faith in Jesus Christ, not by child-bearing for women or something else for men.

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