I Timothy 2

 

 

1 “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions,

and giving of thanks, be made for all men;” I exhort therefore. The insertion

of the connecting particle “therefore” marks that this arrangement of Church

prayers is a part — as the following words, first of all, mark that it is the

first part — of that charge or administration which was now committed to

Timothy. Supplications, prayers, intercessions, thanksgivings (see the

Prayer for the Church Militant). The question naturally arises whether the

first words here used — deh>sivdeaesispetitions; supplications  -

proseuca>v proseuchasprayers - and ejnteu>xeiv - enteuxeis -  pleadings;

interecessions - have any distinctive meaning, or are merely accumulated, like

synonyms m legal documents, or various phrases in rhetorical addresses, to ensure

completeness and to add force. It is against the notion of any distinctive

meaning attaching to them that no such distinction can be supported by

actual use. In Philippians 4:6 two of the words (proseuch> and de>hsiv) are

used in conjunction as here with eujcaristi>a  - eucharistiathanksgiving –

with no apparent difference, both being the way of making known their requests to

God (so also Ephesians 6:18 and ch. 5:5). Again, in the ancient Liturgies, the words

dee>sqai  - deesthaia wanting; a need; then an asking; entreaty, supplication –

 and proseu>cesqai -  proseuchesthai - praying to God  - are constantly used of

the same praying. It may, however, perhaps be said that every de>hsiv is a proseuch>,

though every proseuch> is not a de>hsiv. The de>hsiv is a “petition” — a distinct asking

something of God, which a proseuch> need not necessarily be. It may be merely an act

of adoration, of confession, of recital of God’s mercies, and so on. So as regards

ejnteu>xeiv here rendered “intercessions.” There is nothing in the

etymology or in the use of this word, which only occurs elsewhere in the

New Testament in ch.4:5, to limit the meaning of it to “intercession.” Nor

has it this meaning in the passage where it occurs in the Liturgy of St.

Clement, near the close, where God is addressed as JO kai< tw~n siwpw>ntwn

ejpista>menov ta<v ejnteu>xeiv, - Ho kai ton sioponton epistamenos tas

enteuxeis - “Who understandest the petitions even of those who are silent.”

In some instances outside the Bible, it means “a request preferred in a personal

interview,” which is an extension of its common meaning in classical Greek of

access,” “an interview,” “social intercourse,” or the like. But when we turn to

the use of the verb ejntugca>nw entugchanointercession -  in the New

Testament, we seem  to get the idea of “intercession.” Entugca>nein is to go

to someone to ask him to take action against or in favor of some third party

(see Acts 25:24; Romans 11:2; 8:27-28, 34; Hebrews 7:25); and so

Chrysostom (quoted in Steph.,Thesaur.’) explains ejntuci>a to be the action

of one who applies to God to avenge him of those who have done him wrong.

So that perhaps “intercessions” is, on the whole, the best rendering here,

though an imperfect one; and would comprise the prayers for the emperor, for

the Church, for the sick, travelers, slaves, captives, etc., for the bishops,

clergy, and laity, etc., and such prayers as “Turn away from us every plot

(ejpiboulh>n - epiboulaenplan; plot ) of wicked men” (Liturgy of St. Mark).

 

2 “For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet

and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.”  For kings, etc. The early

Liturgies closely followed these directions. “Every day, both in the evening and

the morning, we offer prayers for the whole world, for kings, and for all in authority”

(Chrysost., in lee.). So in the Liturgy of St. Mark: “Preserve our king in peace, in

virtue, and righteousness.... Subdue his enemies under him... incline him to peace

towards us and towards thy Holy Name, that in the serenity of his reign we

too may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all piety and honesty [or,

gravity’].” In the Liturgy of St. Clement: “Let us pray for kings and those

in authority, that they may be peaceably inclined toward us, and that we

may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all piety and honesty [or, ‘gravity’].” In

the Liturgy of St. Chrysostom: “Let us pray for our most religious and

God-protected emperors, and all their palace and court.” “We offer this

our reasonable service on behalf of our most faithful and Christian emperors,

and all their palace and court.” And in the Liturgy of St. Basil: “Remember,

Lord, our most religious and faithful kings... that in their serenity we may lead a

tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and gravity. Remember, O Lord, all rulers

and all in authority, and all our brethren in the palace, and the whole court.”

In authority – in high place (ejn uJperoch~| - en huperochaeauthority;

excellency; superiority); elsewhere only in I Corinthians 2:1, where it is rendered

excellency.” But in Romans 13:1 we have ejxousi>aiv uJperecou>saiv -

exousiais huperechousais - “the higher powers;” and in I Peter 2:13, tw~|

basilei~ wJv uJpere>conti  - to basilei hos huperechonti“the king as supreme.”

That we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty..

The prayer for the rulers is recommended (as was explained in the above extracts

from the Liturgies) in order to obtain for Christians a tranquil life, undisturbed by

persecution and molestation, in spite of their peculiar way of life. Their

wish was to be allowed to live in the faith and obedience of the gospel, “in

godliness and gravity,” without being interfered with by the heathen

magistrates. The clause in the Prayer for the Church Militant which

corresponds to this is “that under her we may be godly and quietly

governed.” (h]remov  - aeremospeaceable; tranquil); found only here in the

New Testament. The derivatives, hjre>miov hjreme>w, - aeremios; aeremeo -etc.,

are common in the Septuagint. They all apply to a still, undisturbed, life. Quiet

(hJsu>ciov  - haesuchios - quiet); found only here and I Peter 3:4 in the New

Testament, and in the Septuagint in Isaiah 66:2. But the noun hJsuci>a -  haesuchia

quietness - and the verb hJsuca>zein -  haesuchazeinquiet - are common.

 (eujsebei>a eusebeia - godliness). One of the words almost peculiar to the pastoral

Epistles (ch.3:16; 4:7-8; 6:3,5, 6,11; II Timothy 3:5; Titus 1:1); but elsewhere only in

Acts 3:12; II Peter 1:3, 6-7; 3:11. Cornelius was auhsebh>v  - auaesebaes

devout - and so was one of the soldiers who waited upon him (Acts 10:2, 7). Ananias

was ajnh<r eujsebh>v  - anaer eusebaesdevout man - Acts 22:12. The adverb

eujsebw~v  - eusebosgodly - is also peculiar to the pastoral Epistles (II Timothy

3:12; Titus 2:12).  Honesty - (semnoth>v semnotaes - gravity): so rendered also in

the A.V. of ch.3:4 and Titus 2:7 — the only other places in the New Testament where

it is found. So also the adjective semno>v semnosgrave  ch. 3:8, 11; Titus 2:2).

Elsewhere in the New Testament only in Philippians 4:8, where it is rendered “honest” i

n the Authorized Version, and “honorable” in the Revised Version.   In classical Greek

semno>v is properly spoken of the gods, “august,” “venerable,” and, when applied to

persons, indicates a similar quality. Here semnoth>v is the respectable, venerable, and

dignified sobriety of a truly godly man.

 

 

A Quiet Life (v. 2)

 

Nothing in the gospel was revolutionary. Its aim was not to upset thrones,

but to purify all the centers of power; not to make assault at once on

polygamy and slavery, but to undermine them by the Christian spirit and

sacrifice. Charles Haddon Spurgeon once said that the sole purpose of

Christianity was to “sanctify the secular.”  Prayer is here made for kings and

all in authority. Rulership there must be. Anarchy is misery. Fields must be ploughed;

grain must be stored; homes must be protected; or else weakness becomes the prey

of strength.  The purpose, then, of God, in ordination of law and government, is that

we may enjoy a quiet life. To some a quiet life is the least desirable thing; but it

is the life of nature, and it is the most blessed life. How quietly the flowers

blow, the stars shine, the dew descends, the birds wing their flight, the light falls!

 

We need good government to preserve us from the violent, the lewd, and the

criminal. The sea of human passion is always ready to break its barriers; the

volcano would soon burst through the crust.

 

Quietness is the great enjoyment of life. Our happiest hours have been quiet ones —

at home; by the river or the sea; in the valleys and in the forests; and in the Church

of God.  “That we may lead,” which implies continuance.; life without trepidation;

absence of the disorders which check industry, prudence, and. enterprise

 

 

A Peaceable Life (v. 2)

 

Christ said, “Peace I leave with you” (John 14:27), and He intended this to be the

element in which nations and families and individuals should live. Through

faith in Him, we have peace with God, peace with our brother, and peace in

ourselves. The world delights in noise and tumult; fills its forums with

fierce discussions and debates; hangs the pictures of Wouvermans, with

their fierce battle-fields, on its walls. Some people are said to delight in

strife — to be what is called “law-thirsty;” and in quiet villages, even, you

meet with antagonisms that are fierce and frequent.

 

  • Peaceable;”for the gospel is to overcome evil with good. To triumph,

not by carnal weapons, but those that are mighty through God, and which

have the secret majesty of their power in the cross.  (Romans 12:21;

II Corinthians 10:4-5)

 

  • “Peaceable;” for passion must be governed by conscience and Christ.

Unquestionably the microscope shows us insects at war in the globule of

water; and the beasts of the forest meet in deadliest conflict. But man is to

triumph over himself; reason is to be lord over passion, and CHRIST

IS TO BE LORD OVER ALL!

 

  • “Peaceable;” for a home without this is misery. Where jarring and

disputation are, there the atmosphere is destructive of all holy, happy life.

 

  • “Peaceable:” for this is the end of law. Forms of government are not all

in all. Greece and Rome alike fell under the same form of government

under which they rose.  (Democracies are said to last around 200 years

and perhaps that is why we are crumbling – CY – 2013)

 

  • “Peaceable;” FOR THE PRINCE OF PEACE IS TO REIGN! 

 He came to fulfill the angels’ song, “Peace on earth, and good will to man;”

and one day, by His cross, He will draw all hearts unto Himself!

 

 

Moral Loveliness (v. 2)

 

“In all godliness and honesty.”

 

  • GODLINESS IS ESSENTIAL TO THE ORDER OF THE STATE.

Rousseau remarks, “A country cannot well subsist without liberty, nor

liberty without virtue.” Peaceable lives must be godly lives. The safety of a

nation is not “lions chained,” but “lions turned to lambs.” Modern

sociology thinks it can do without godliness. It has invented some

philosophy of morals of its own; some ideal of utility called “the greatest

good of the greatest number.” Philosophers may understand it, but

common people cannot. So much depends on what is meant by “the

greatest good.” For if you exclude the soul, the greatest good is only a

SECULAR PARADISE  and that is death to all the heroism which can

deny itself earthly pleasure for the sake of high spiritual ends. By “godliness”

we understand God-likeness in men. Some talk of seraphic holiness; we

prefer the old word “godliness.” Let a seraph be a seraph; we want to be

men. It is not wise for children to sing, “I want to be an angel;” they

should want to be good children. We want godliness; purity like

God’s; pity like God’s; fidelity like God’s; holiness like God’s.

“Be ye holy, for I am holy.”  (Leviticus 11:44-45)

 

  • HONESTY IS ESSENTIAL TO THE TRUE CHRISTIAN LIFE. No

fine ideas of spirituality that set at naught common morality must find

honor amongst us. While our hearts are in heaven, our feet are upon the

earth.

 

Ø      We must be honest to our convictions; act out what we think;

dare to be true to ourselves.

 

Ø      We must be honest in word; dealing in good coin; not pretending to be

what we are not. Better honest silver than counterfeit gold.

 

Ø      We are to be honest in deed. Whether we build, or buy, or sell, whether

we paint with the artist, or mingle in the marts of commerce, we are to

see to it that the stamp of honesty is on all we do. For all this we

are to pray; for there is a great sky over us all, and A GREAT

FATHER IN HEAVEN AND A GREAT SAVIOUR  in whose

 Name we may pray. So life will be peaceful and holy;

based upon the granite rock, but bathed in the delicate haze of the

firmament of heaven; solidity clothed with beauty; and He to whom

we pray heareth us always.

 

3 “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior;”

Acceptable (ajpo>dekton apodekton welcome); only here and ch. 5:4 in the New

Testament, and in one doubtful passage in Aquila’s version of Canticles. 1:13. Found

in Plutarch.  The verb ajpode>comai apodechomai -  to receive gladly, is

frequently used by Luke (Acts 2:41 – the word contains in itself the idea of a kind

reception — a welcome). God our Savior (see ch.1:1 and Luke 1:47; Titus 1:3;

2:10, 13; 3:4; II Peter 1:1; Jude 1:25, by which it appears that  the phrase is confined

to the pastoral among Paul’s Epistles). In the Old Testament the phrase occurs

frequently (see II Samuel 22:3; Psalm 106:21; Isaiah 43:3; 45:21).

 

4  Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the

knowledge of the truth.”  All men, etc.; to show that it

is in accordance with God’s will to pray for “all men” (v. 1). (For the

doctrinal statement, comp. v. 6; Titus 2:11; II Peter 3:9)

 

5 “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the

man Christ Jesus;”  For there is one God, etc. The connection of ideas

indicated by ga<r – gar – for -  seems to be this: Pray to God for all men,

Jews and Gentiles, barbarians, Scythians, bond and free. For this is good and

acceptable in the sight of the one God, who is the God of all the nations of the

earth. And God wills that all should come to the knowledge of the truth as it is

in Jesus, because Jesus Christ is the One Mediator between God and all men,

BY WHOM ALONE men can come to the Father, and who gave Himself

 a ransom for all. One Mediator. The term mesi>thv mesitaesmediator –

 is only applied to our Savior in the New Testament here and in Hebrews 8:6; 9:15;

 12:24. In the only other passage where Paul uses it (Galatians 3:19-20) it is

applied to Moses the mediator of the Old Testament. In the Septuagint it only

occurs in Job 9:33. The man Christ Jesus.  The human nature of our Lord is

here insisted upon, to show how fit He is to mediate for man, as His Godhead fits

Him to mediate with God.

 

6 “Who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.”

The testimony to be borne in its own times for to be testified in

due time, A.V. To< martu>rion kairoi~v ijdioiv  - to marturion kairois

idioisthe testimony to eras - This phrase is somewhat obscure, and is

differently explained. But the most literal rendering and the best sense seems

to be: “ The testimony, at its proper time, to which I was appointed a preacher

and an apostle,” meaning that the mediation and redemption of Jesus Christ

was the subject-matter of that testimony which, he, Paul was appointed to bear

at the proper time. To< martu>rion eijv o{ - to marturion... eis ho (of the

next verse) must be taken together, without any intervening stop. This accounts for

the article to>. The exactly parallel place is Titus 1:1-2, as a close comparison of

the two passages will show. A further proof of the identity of thought in the two

passage’s is the recurrence in both of the phrase, ejpignwsiv ajlhqei>av  -

epignosis alaetheiasacknowledging of the truth - (ajnti>lutron

antilutron - ransom ; here only in the New Testament, but it is used perhaps

by Symmachus in Psalm 48:9 (49.,A.V.), where the Septuagint, has

Gh<n timh<n th~v lutrw>sewv th~v yuch~v aujtou~  - Gaen timaen

Taes lutrosteos taes psuchaes autoufor the redemption of their life

is costly, no payment is ever enough - following the reading rq"y], instead

of rq"ye as in the Hebrew text. What means a ransom? They were about to

perish, BUT IN THEIR STEAD HE GAVE HIS SON, and sent us as

heralds to proclaim the cross” (Chrysostom).  The equivalent word in the

Gospels is ajnta>llagma antallagmaexchange - Matthew 16:26;

Mark 8:87). jAnti>lutron–- antilutronsubstitutionary ransom - does not

seem to differ  materially in meaning from lu>tron lutronransom - the common

classical word (i.e. redemption money), and used by our Lord of His own life given

as a ransom for many (Matthew 20:28; Mark 10:45). It is the price given as an

equivalent for setting free the prisoner, or sparing the forfeited life; lutro>w -

lutroo( Luke 24:21, etc.), lu>trwsiv lutrosis - (Luke 1:68, etc.), lutrwth>v -

lutrotaes(Acts 7:35), ajpolu>trwsiv apolutrosis(Luke 21:28; Romans

3:24, and passim), have all the sense of “redeem,” “redemption,” and the

like. In due time. The notion of a time specially appointed for Christ’s

coming into the world is frequently dwelt upon in Scripture; e.g.

Galatians 4:4; Ephesians 1:10; Hebrews 1:2 (camp. Acts 17:30-31;

II Corinthians 6:2). (See the same phrase, ch.6:15.)

 

 

The Self-Giving of Christ (v. 6)

 

“Who gave himself a Ransom for all, to be testified in due time.” We are

indebted to the slavery of Paul’s time for the use of the word “ransom.”

So literature, in its words, enshrines history. We cannot make a perfect

theory of the Atonement. Many have tried. Some have taken the idea of

slavery; some have taken the idea of debt. There has been the

commercial” theory, and the “legal” theory; but no theory is complete

that does not contain all the ideas. That we are the slaves of sin, and that

Christ ransoms us, is the great doctrine of the gospel.

 

  • CHRIST GAVE HIMSELF. The humanity of that age gave others.

What is the great study of the dying Roman age? SELFISHNESS!

 The patricians, wrapped up in togas, saw, in the Colosseum, the

gladiators fall to amuse them. The great generals brought home as

slaves — physicians, musicians, and workmen, and used them as good

investments. Rome bore away the native art of Greece to decorate

its own homes. Not only the humanity of that age, but the HUMANITY

OF EVERY AGE WITHOUT CHRIST  tends to self-ism. The

Teaching of the cross is the only social philosophy. It does

not take. It leaves men to the personal use of their gifts and possessions;

but it says, “Give yourself — your purest ideals, your best impulses,

your noblest powers, for the good of others.”

 

  • THE CAESARS OF THAT AGE HAD NO TRUE POWER. They

held men by the throat, and not by the heart; and they were lifted to

Caesarship by the Praetorian guards. They rose and fell by the sword; and

the dagger or the Tiber saw the last of them. The words were a satire on

the Savior, “saying that he also Himself is Christ, a King” — an

unconscious prophecy, and yet how true! His kingdom came without

observation (Luke 17:20); it was an empire within the heart; it was not in

word, but in power; it was not with observation, but it silently grew like

the mustard seed. Its foundation was in this, “HE GAVE HIMSELF!” 

His exquisite sensibilities, His sacred energies, His unwearied endurance,

His contact with shame and scorn; and then, on the cross, He died, “THE

JUST for the unjust, to bring us to God.”  (I Peter 3:18)

 

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.”  I was ordained  (placed;appointed).   It is quite in Paul’s manner

thus to refer to his own apostolic mission (see Romans 1:5; 11:13; 15:16;

I Corinthians 1:1, 17; 3:10; II Corinthians 5:18; Galatians 1:1; Ephesians 3:2, 8;

and many other places). A preacher (kh>rux kaeruxa herald) as in

IITimothy 1:11). So Mark 16:15, “Preach the gospel” is Khru>xate to<

eujagge>lion kaeruxate to euaggelion and in v. 20, “They... preached

everywhereis ‘Ekh>ruxan pantacou~ - Ekaeruxan pantachou - and

II Timothy 4:2, “Preach the word” is Kh>ruxon to<n lo>gon Kaeruxon

ton logon -  and generally it is the word rendered “preach.” It combines

the idea of authority in the preacher who is the authorized herald

(Romans 10:15), and publicity for his message (Matthew 10:27;

Luke 12:3). I speak the truth, etc. The reason for this strong

asseveration of his office as the apostle of the Gentiles is not at first sight

apparent. But it was probably made in view of the antagonism of the

Judaizing teachers referred to in ch.1:3, 19-20 (compare Romans 11:13;

15:15-16).

 

 

Reasons for This Universality of Prayer

             in the Relation of All Men to God and Christ (vs. 5-7)

 

“For there is one God, one Mediator also between God and men, the man,

 Christ Jesus.” The salvation of men cannot, therefore, be to us a matter of

selfish indifference.

 

·        THE RELATION OF ALL MEN TO GOD. The unity of God is

consistent with all differences of dispensation. “There is one providence

belonging to the one God.” The apostle tells the Romans that, “as God is

one,” He is the God of the Gentiles as well as the Jews (Romans 3:30).

There is, indeed, “one God and Father of all” (Ephesians 4:4-5). The

apostle also says, “The mediator” (Moses) “is not of one” — one seed, i.e.

including Jew and Gentile, for Moses had nothing, to do with the Gentile

but God is one, in relation to Jew and Gentile (Galatians 3:20). In

these passages the apostle sets forth THE UNIVERSALITY OF THE

GOSPEL OFFER!  But in the text he infers the universality of the

Divine good will from the provisions made for man’s salvation.

 

·        THE RELATION OF ALL MEN TO THE MEDIATOR. “One

Mediator also between God and men, the man, Christ Jesus.”

 

Ø      There is but one Mediator. The Gnostic mediation of angels is,

therefore, excluded (Colossians 2:15, 18). Likewise the mediation

of saints and angels, as held by the Church of Rome. This idea is

dishonoring to THE ONLY MEDIATOR. There is no Scripture for

the distinction made between a mediator of redemption (Christ) and

mediators of intercession (saints and angels).

 

Ø      The Mediator was man as well as God.

 

o       He was truly man, in opposition to the Docetic notion

that He did not possess a real human nature.

 

o       He was God as well as man in His Mediatorship, in

opposition to the Roman Catholic theory that He only

mediated in His human nature. The design of this error

is to make way for human mediators. It is said to be

absurd to conceive of Christ as God mediating between

sinners and Himself.

 

§         We answer that the Divine nature operated in

Christ’s priestly work as well as the human, for

“He through the eternal Spirit” (His own Spirit)

offered Himself to God”  (Hebrews 9:14).

 

§         If He did not mediate in His Divine nature as well

as His human nature, He could not have been in any

sense Mediator of the Old Testament saints,

because their redemption was completed before

He came in the flesh. The human nature is naturally

emphasized because of the work of suffering and

death which is here ascribed to Him.

 

o       The passage does not imply that Christ was not God. He is

elsewhere frequently called God and true God, but here

there is a necessary reference to the catholic doctrine of a

subordination of office.

 

o       The reference to the mediatorship brings up the idea of a

covenant between God and man. Christ is the Head of

humanity, the new Man, the Lord from heaven, able to

restore the lost relationship between God and man.

 

o       The mediatory agency is wrought through Christs sufferings

and death. “Who gave Himself a Ransom for all.

 

§         This proves that all the blessings of redemption come

from the death of Christ, not merely from His incarnation.

 

§         He voluntarily gave Himself as the Victim, yet He is

“God’s unspeakable Gift.”  (II Corinthians 9:15)

 

§         His death was strictly substitutionary. The words of

the apostle resemble those of our Lord Himself —

“He gave Himself a Ransom for many” (Matthew

20:28). He was thus the Substitute contemplated by

the apostle as the Messiah who had obtained from

the Father the heritage of all families and nations

of the earth, not Jews alone, but Gentiles.

 

  • THE TRUE PURPOSE OF THE GOSPEL MESSAGE. “The

testimony to be borne in its own times.”

 

Ø      Thus the death of Christ is the great message to be carried to all

the world. It is not His birth, or His example, or His truth, but,

above all, what is the completion of them all — HIS DEATH

ON CALVARY!

 

Ø      It is to be preached in all times till THE SECOND COMING

OF THE LORD!

 

Ø      The apostles own relation to this testimony. Whereunto I was

appointed a herald and an apostle (I speak the truth, I lie not);

 a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.” Thus the universality

            of THE REMEDIAL SCHEME (planned before the foundation

of the world - see Revelation 13:8) is represented by the very

mission of the apostle himself. He was “a herald” to proclaim the

glad tidings here; “an apostle” — let men say what they will, he

is an apostle, therefore THE SURPASSING IMPORTANCE OF

HIS MESSAGE — and “a teacher of the Gentiles” — to mark the

world-embracing character of his gospel — “in faith and truth,”

to signalize respectively the subjective and the objective elements

in which his apostleship was to find its appropriate sphere

 

8 “I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands,

without wrath and doubting.”  I will, etc. He takes up the subject again which

he had opened in v. 1, but had somewhat digressed from in vs. 4-7, and gives further

directions as to the persons who are to make the prayers spoken of in v. 1, viz. men

(tou<v a]ndrav tous andras), not women, as it follows more at large in vs. 9-15.

The stress is clearly upon “men” (or, “the men”). The prayers had been already

ordered in v. 1; the additional detail, that they were to be offered by men, is now

added.  every where”; not, as Chrysostom thinks, in contrast to the Jewish worship,

which was confined to the temple at Jerusalem, but merely meaning wherever a

Christian congregation is assembled. Lifting up holy hands.  (compare

Psalm 26:6; 28:2; 44:20; 63:4; II Chronicles 6:12-13). Without wrath. It appears

from several passages in Chrysostom that the habit of praying angry prayers was

not unknown in his day. “Do you pray against your brother? But your prayer is not

against him, but against yourself. You provoke God by uttering those impious

words, ‘Show him the same;’ ‘So do to him;’ ‘Smite him;’ ‘Recompense

him;’ and much more to the same effect” (‘Hom.’ 6.). In ‘Hom.’ 8. his

comment on this passage is: “Without bearing malice.... Let no one

approach each God in enmity, or in an unsalable temper.” And doubting

((dialogismou~ - dialogismoudisputing). The exact meaning of dialogismo>v

is perhaps best seen in Luke 5:21-22, where both the verb and the substantive are

used. The dialogismoi< are cavillings, questionings proceeding from a captious,

unbelieving spirit. They are dialogismoi< ponhroi< - dialogismoi ponaeroi

evil thoughts; reasonings - (Matthew 15:19).  The word is always used in a bad

sense in the New Testament. Forms of prayer were not yet established in the Church,

but these cautions show the need of them.

 

 

9 “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;” In like mannerThe apostle here

passes on to the duties of women as members of the congregation, and he places

first modesty of demeanor and dress, the contrary to these being likely to

prove a hurt and a hindrance to their fellow-worshippers. Adorn themselves

 in modest apparel. This is obviously the true construction, kosmiw~ - kosmio

adorn; decorous  - (from which we get the word cosmetics)  depending upon

bou>lomai.  boulomaiI will; I am intending.  There is a little doubt as to

the exact meaning of katastolh> - katastolaeapparel; raiment; clothing –

 here, the only place where it occurs in the New Testament. Alford argues strongly

in favor of the meaning “apparel.” But it may also mean “steadiness” or

quietness” of demeanor; and then the phrase will be exactly parallel to

I  Peter 3:5, “The incorruptible apparel of a meek and quiet spirit.”

And the meaning will be, “Let Christian women adorn themselves with a

decent and well-ordered quietness of demeanor, in strict accordance with

[or, ‘together with’] shame-fastness and sobriety [meta> - meta - ‘in strict

accord with,’ or ‘together with’] not with braided hair,” etc. A woman’s true

ornament is not the finery which she gets from the milliner, but the chaste

discretion which she has from the Spirit of God. Modest (ko>smiov); only

found in the New Testament here and in ch.3:2, where it is rendered “of good

behavior” in the Authorized Version, and “modest” in the margin, “orderly” in the

Revised Version. It is common in classical Greek in the sense of “well-ordered,”

well-behaved.” Shamefacedness (aijdw>v aidos modesty; bashfulness).

Sobriety (swfrosu>nh sophrosunaesobriety; sound judgment)  as in

v. 15, q.v.); soundness, health, purity, and integrity of mind. Braided hair

(ple>gmasin plegmasin - braids); found only here in the New Testament, but

used in Aquila and Theodotion, instead of the plekei>v or plakei>v  -  plekeis;

plakeisplait; twine; braid - of the Septuagint, in Isaiah 28:5, for hr;ypix], a

diadem,” or “twined garland.” In classical Greek ple>gmata are anything

twined, tendrils of the vine, wickerwork, chaplets, etc. The corresponding

word in I Peter 3:3 is ejmplokh< tricw~n emplokae trichon -  “plaiting the hair.”

Costly array (raiment) (iJmatismw~| polutelei~ - himatismo polutelei

costly clothes). For iJmatismo<v, compare Luke 7:25; 9:29; Acts 20:33;

Psalm 45:10, “dressed in gold of Ophir” - Septuagint; etc., which show that the

word is used kat ejxoch>n -  kat exochaen -  of any splendid garment. Polutelh>v,

- polutelaescostly; expensive - (see Mark 14:3; I Peter. 3:4, and frequently in

the Septuagint).  Peter manifestly had this passage before him from the marked verbal

coincidences, as well as close similarity of thought (ejmplokh> cru>sion ko>smov

iJma>tion emplokae chrusion kosmos himationbraiding; gold; adorning

 garments (v.9) - polutelh>v ajgaqopoiou~sai   polutelaes agathopoiousai

 costly; well-doing – compared with di e]rgwn ajgaqw~n di ergon agathon  -

by good works – (v. 10), hJsuci>a uJpotagh>,  - haesuchia hupotagaequietness;

 subjectionv. 11 - (compared with uJpotasso>menai–-  hupotassomenai

in subjection – (I Peter 3:5), aJgai>ai gunai~kev hagaiai gunaikesholy

women  (Ibid.) - compared with  ejpaggello>menaiv qeose>beian

epaggellomenais theosebeianprofessing godliness; reverence for God

(v.10). (See reference to Paul in II Peter 3:15-16.)

 

 

 

Modest Adornment (v. 9)

 

That women adorn themselves in modest apparel.” The gospel never

permits asceticism. As God is the God of beauty, and nature is clothed with

garments (like the high priest of old) of glory and beauty, so here we have

the true idea carried out in religion. Women are “to adorn themselves.”

God’s most beautiful work in creation, the human frame, is to be fitly

appareled; for, to this day, art knows no higher subject than the human face

and form. But:

 

  • MODESTY IS TO BE THE SPIRIT OF ALL ADORNMENT,

because the nature of the being adorned is a sacred nature. Woman is

the true guardian of virtue. Her manner, her temper, her spirit, — all

these constitute the best defense of virtue.  (I read last night in

a Wild West magazine at the grocery store that one of the two

things that a cowboy of old was afraid was “a woman of virtue!”

I wonder about the common man today??? – CY – 2013)

 

  • DRESS IS THE SYMBOL OF CHARACTER. If there is absence

of shame-heartedness, there will be absence of shame-facedness.

(“Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination?

Nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush:

Therefore they shall fall among them that fall:  at the time

that I visit them, they shall be cast down, saith the Lord.”

(Jeremiah 6:15; 8:12).  The womanhood of that age had sunk very

low. By turns woman had been the toy or slave of man. The gospel

uplifted her; for we are all equal in the sight of God. There was neither

male nor female there (Galatians 3:28); and she must help THE

GREAT IDEAL  and by modest apparel show the innate modesty

 of her thought and feeling. For, say what we like, DRESS ACTS

UPON THE MIND AND THE CHARACTER!   DRESS LIKE

CLOWN AND YOU WILL FEEL LIKE A CLOWN.   Modest

apparel need not be shorn of taste and refinement and true beauty. It is no

dishonor to a woman that she likes dress. It is not Christian to destroy that

taste; but that which becometh women professing godliness is modest

though beautiful apparel.

 

10 “But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good

works.’Through for with, A.V. (The change from “with” to “through”

is quite unnecessary, though more strictly accurate. “With” does equally

well for ejn and dia>, the one applied to the ornaments and dress in or with

which the woman adorns herself, the other to the good works by which she

is adorned).  Professing godliness. In all ether passages in the New

Testament where it occurs, ejpagge>llesqai epaggellesthaiprofess –

means “to promise,” except in ch. 6:21, where, as here, it means “to profess,”

as it frequently does in classical Greek.  Qeosebei>a theosebeiagodliness;

reverence for God; only occurs here in the New Testament; but it is used in the

Septuagint in Job 28:28; Genesis 20:11; also in Xenophon. In John 9:31 we have

Qeosebh>v theosebaes - “a worshipper of God.” With good works.

Compare the description of Dorcas (Acts 9:36, 39). ]Erga ajgaqa> -

erga agathagood works - mean especially acts of charity (compare ch. 5:10;

II Corinthians 9:8-9; Colossians 1:11; elsewhere it is used more

generally, like e]rga kala>, - erga kala works ideal -  though this phrase

also sometimes points especially to acts of charity, as in ch.5:10; 6:18;

Titus 3:14; Hebrews 10:24).

 

 

The Attire and Deportment of Women

in the Christian Assemblies (vs. 9-10)

 

The apostle continues his directions in relation to public prayer.

“Likewise,” he says, in effect, “let women when they pray be modestly

adorned.”

 

  • THEIR APPAREL AND DEPORTMENT. “Likewise also that women

adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefastness and sobriety; not

with braided hair, and gold, and pearls, and costly raiment.”

 

Ø      The injunction refers specially to the dress of women in the

Christian assemblies, which ought not to be showy or

conspicuous, calculated either to swell the heart of the

wearer with pride, or to attract the eyes of others in

forgetfulness of the SOLEMNITY OF PUBLIC WORSHIP.

 

Ø      While adornment is expressly allowed, according to age and station,

to the exclusion of anything slovenly, there must be nothing in the

attire or deportment inconsistent with modesty, self-restraint, or

Christian simplicity. There must be no excessive care bestowed

upon the adjustment of the hair, and no adornment with gold,

or pearls, or costly array inconsistent with the attire previously

recommended. Plaiting the hair may be the most convenient way

of arranging it, and wearing ornaments is no more sinful in itself

than wearing apparel. The injunction is that women should not

seek such adornments as would either endanger piety or draw

away their affections from higher things.

 

  • THE TRUE ADORNMENT OF WOMEN. “But (which becometh

women professing godliness) through good works.”

 

Ø      Religion is external as well as internal. There is the form which

must be clothed with the power of godliness; religion must not

be secret, but manifest to the world. Therefore women must

profess the Christian name, and take part in the worship of the

Church.

 

Ø      There must be a harmony between the profession of godliness

and those deeds of mercy and piety which, Dorcas-like (Acts 9:36),

show the true disciple of Jesus.

 

Ø      The highest distinction of women does not spring from dress or

decoration, but from the luster that is thrown round their character

by works of goodness. They will thus “adorn the doctrine of God

our Savior” (Titus 2:10).

 

11 “Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.”  Compare

I Corinthians 14:34. So Acts 22:2, pare>scon hJsouci>an pareschon

haesouchian - s properly rendered in the Authorized Version, “They kept silence.”

And hJsu>casan haesuchasan(Luke 14:4 and Acts 11:18) is rendered,

both in the Authorized Version. and the Revised Version., “They held their peace.”

With all subjection - ejn pa>sh| uJpotagh~|  - en pasae hupotagae ; as ch. 3:4.

The words occur also in II Corinthians 9:13; Galatians 2:5. But the verb

uJpota>ssomai hupotassomai -  very common in the sense of “being subject.”

It is used of the subjection of the wife to her husband (I Corinthians 14:34;

Ephesians 5:22; Colossians 3:18; Titus 2:5; I Peter 3:1).

 

12 “But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the

man, but to be in silence.”  Suffer. . jEpitre>pein epitrepeinI am

permitting - is rendered “suffer” in the Revised Version in Matthew 8:21;

19:8; Mark 10:4; Luke 9:59, etc.  Silence.  The true type of the womanly

attitude is that of Mary, who “sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard His Word

(Luke 10:39).

 

13 “For Adam was first formed, then Eve.” Was formed (ejpla>sqh

eplasthaewas formed; was molded ). The word used in the Septuagint in

Genesis 2:7,  ]Eplasen oJ Qeo<v to<n a]nqrwpon Eplasen Ho Theos ton

anthropon …… -  “The Lord God formed man out of the dust of the

ground;” and in (Ibid. v.19) of the beasts of the field; whence the word

prwto>plastov  - protoplastos - “first made;” “first formed,”  -

(I guess to put it in modern nomenclature “prototype!”  - CY – 2013)

So in Romans 9:20 man is called to<pla>sma toplasma -  the thing made;”

and God is o JPla>sav – ho Plasas - “He that made it.” “Plaster,” “plastic,”

protoplasm,” are, of course, from the same root. (For the argument, see the

very similar one in I Corinthians 11:8-9).

 

14 “And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in

the transgression.”  Beguiled (twice) for deceived, Authorized Version;

hath fallen into for was in the, A.V. Beguiled (hjpath>qh aepataethae

deceived; seduced - . The same word as is used in Genesis 3:13, “The serpent

 beguiled me;” hjpa>thse> me, Septuagint (compare II Corinthians 11:3, where the

verb used is ejxhpa>thsen exaepataesenbeguiled; deluded; out seduced).

Hath fallen into transgression. Fell (not hath fallen) is the right tense to use

here in English, though the Greek perfect, it is true, contains the further idea of

continuance in the fall, as in I Corinthians 9:22; 13:11; I  Thessalonians 2:1;

II Peter 2:20. So also Matthew 1:22; 19:8; 21:4; 25:6; Mark 5:33; John 1:3;

II Corinthians 1:19; and elsewhere, ge>gone gegonehas become in the

transgression -  is best rendered by the past (not the perfect) tense. It

has frequently the notion of transition into a certain condition (see

Romans 6:5; 7:13; I Corinthians 9:22; 13:11; II Corinthians 5:17; 12:11;

Galatians 4:16, etc.). Bishop Ellicott gives the passages in which gi>gnomai

- gignomaifalling; become -  followed, as here, by ejn (Luke 22:44; Acts

22:17; II Corinthians 3:7; I Thessalonians 2:5), “denoting entrance into, and

continuance in, any given state.” As regards the apostle’s statement, Adam

 was not beguiled, we must understand it as based merely upon the text in

Genesis to which he refers, in which Eve (not Adam) says, JO o]fiv hjpa>thse me, -

Ho ophis aepataese me - “The serpent beguiled me.” Just as in

Galatians 3:16 he reasons from spe>rmati spermatic – seed - being in the

singular number, and as the writer to the Hebrews 7:3 reasons from the silence

of Genesis 14. regarding the parentage of Melchizedek. Huther (in lee.)

says that this mode of reasoning is peculiar to allegorical interpretation.

 

15 “Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue

in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.” She shall be saved; i.e.

 the woman generically. The transition from the personal Eve to the generic

woman is further marked by the transition from the singular to the plural,

if they continue,” etc. The natural and simple explanation of the passage is

that the special temporal punishment pronounced against the woman, immediately

after her sin, “In sorrow shalt thou bring forth children” (Genesis 3:16) —

(to which Paul here evidently alludes) — and endured by all women ever since,

was a set-off, so to speak, to the special guilt of Eve in yielding to the guile of the

serpent; so that now the woman might attain salvation as well as the man

(although she was not suffered to teach) if she continued in faith and

charity. The child-bearing (th~v teknogoni>av taes teknogonias

child bearing; parenting); here only; but the verb teknogone>w, -

teknogoneoto be bearing children - which  occurs in ch. 5:14, is found

(though very rarely) in classical Greek. The equivalent, both in the Septuagint

and in classical Greek, is teknopoie>w teknopoieochildbirth.

(ajgiasmo>v  - hagiasmosholiness;  sanctification -Romans 6:19;

I Thessalonians 4:3, etc.).  (swfrosu>nh  - sophrosunaesobriety); as in

v. 9. It only occurs besides in Acts 26:25.

 

 

The Proper Sphere and Behavior of Women (vs. 11-15)

 

The apostle is still thinking of the public services of the Church.

 

  • THE WOMAN IS FORBIDDEN TO TEACH OR PREACH IN THE

CHURCH. “Let a woman learn in silence in all subjection. But I permit not

a woman to teach, nor to lord it over the man, but to be in silence.” This

`injunction has a threefold relation — first to herself, then to her husband,

then to the Church.

 

Ø      She is to learn in silence. This duty concerns herself. She is to be a

learner, not a teacher. She is to give all devout attention to the public

instruction, so as to learn more and more of Christ and His gospel. And if

what she heard was either difficult or doubtful, she was to ask her

husband at home (I Corinthians 14:34); and, in case of his inability to meet

her difficulties, she could resort privately to the authorized teachers of the

Church. This learning attitude was to be “in all subjection” both to her

husband and to the rulers of the Church. Yet it did not imply that she was

to accept false teaching, or forego her just right to prove all things and

reject what was unsound.

 

Ø      She is not to lord it over the man. As teaching or preaching is the act

of those in authority, her assumption of this function would imply a

lordship over her husband. Husband and wife are “heirs together of

the grace of life” (I Peter 3:7), but the gospel has not exalted woman

to a position of authority over her husband.

 

Ø      She is not to teach in the Church.

 

o       This injunction of the apostle does not forbid her teaching

privately, either her children, as Timothy was taught by his mother,

or her servants, or the younger women (Titus 2:4), or even her

husband privately on fit occasions, or even strangers, as Priscilla

taught Apollos (Acts 18:26).

 

o       It forbids her teaching in public.

 

§         It is suggestive that the words usually translated in the New

Testament“to preach” (khru>ssw kaerusso;

 eujaggeli>zw euaggelizo; katagge>llw - kataggello)

are not used in connection with this prohibition, as if women

were merely forbidden to preach, but still allowed to teach.

The word used here is “to teach” (dida>skw - didasko),

and the word used in I Corinthians 14. (lale>w - laleo) —

to talk, chatter, babble” — is even more comprehensive.

These words all include preaching as the greater includes the

less; therefore preaching is also forbidden to women.

 

§         Prophesying was forbidden to women as well as teaching.

This was a supernatural gift enjoyed both by men and

women in the primitive Church, but is not enjoyed now

by either men or women. It is never in the New

Testament used for preaching, or for mere speaking in

meeting. But were there not women who prophesied in

the Corinthian Church? (I Corinthians 11:4-5.)

 

v     The gift of prophecy being connected with the gift of

tongues, and both being now obsolete, the title of

women to the exercise of such a gift in this age utterly

fails.

 

v     The apostle, in his discussion concerning prophecy and

the gift of tongues, forbids women to speak at all in the

Churches (I Corinthians 14:34-35). It was in the very

midst of his injunctions respecting the use of supernatural

gifts that he says, “As in all Churches of the saints,

 let your women keep silence in the Churches, for

 it is not; permitted to them to speak... for it is a

shame for women to speak in the Churches.”

Prophesying as well as preaching is forbidden to women.

 

v     Much unnecessary difficulty has been caused by the

passage respecting “a woman praying or prophesying

 with her head uncovered” (I Corinthians 11:5). The

apostle seems for the time to allow the practice,

while he condemns the manner of its performance; but

afterwards he forbids the practice itself. In the earlier

passage he rebukes merely the indecency of an existing

custom, and then in the later he forbids the custom

itself. Calvin says, “By condemning the one he does not

commend the other.” You cannot regard as of equal

authority a practice and a command, both explicit and

repeated, which destroys the practice.

 

v     “But these directions were given to Greek Churches,

and cannot apply to the women of our day.” We answer

that they apply to all Churches; for the apostle says,

“As in all Churches of the saints, let your women

keep silence in the Churches.” (I Corinthians 11:4)

The reasons given for the prohibition prove that it

has nothing to do with usages, or customs, or times,

or races.

 

  • THE REASON OR GROUND OF THE APOSTLE’S PROHIBITION.

It is to be found in the original law of the relation of woman to man.

 

Ø      Mans headship in creation.For Adam was first formed, then Eve.”

Man’s priority of creation is the first reason, but it is to be taken together

with the statement in I Corinthians 11:8-9, “For the man is not of the

woman, but the woman of the man; for also the man was not made

for the sake of the woman, but the woman for the sake of the man.”

 Besides, as “the Head of every man is Christ, the head of the

woman is the man” (Ibid. v. 3)). “The husband is the head of the

wife (Ephesians 5:23). The woman, therefore, stands under law to her

husband, and therefore any attempt on her part to assume the part

of head or guide is to overturn the primal order of creation.

(Paul going so far as to connect it with the evil angel’s attempt to

overthrow God – v.10 – CY - 2013).

 

Ø      Womans priority in transgression. “And Adam was not deceived,

but the woman being altogether deceived fell into transgression”

(v. 14).  They both sinned; but Adam was not deceived, for he fully

understood the sin he was committing when he yielded to the

persuasiveness of his wife.

 

o       This reference implies the truly historical character of the narrative

in Genesis. It is no myth or legend. The fall of man is an historic fact

of the greatest importance, for it grounds the doctrine of original sin,

without which human nature, says Pascal, is an inexplicable riddle.

 

o       The deception was practiced upon Eve, not upon Adam, for she

confessed that the serpent beguiled her.

 

Ø      This facility of deception on her part seems to suggest to the

apostle her inferiority to man in strength of intellect, and the

consequent wrongness of allowing to woman an intellectual

supremacy over man.

 

  • THE BLESSING UPON WOMAN STANDING WITHIN HER

TRUE SPHERE. “But she shall be saved through the child-bearing,

 if they abide in faith and love and holiness with sobriety.” (v. 15)

 

Ø      It is here implied that woman is to find her right sphere in the

relations of motherhood. (Contrast the National Organization of

Women’s conflict of interest over this statement.  How unmotherly

is “ABORTION ON DEMAND?”  - CY – 2013)  The change of

number implies that Eve is here to be regarded as the representative

of her sex.

 

o       Her sphere is in the home life;

o       her destiny lies in the faithful discharge of its duties.

 

Eve was to be the mother of all living; (Genesis 3:20).  it was to be

through the seed thus given her that:

 

o       the curse was to be lifted off the world, and

o       the head of the serpent bruised.

 

There is an evident allusion in “the child-bearing” to THE

INCARNATION OF JESUS CHRIST  but it points likewise

to the collective seed associated with Christ.

 

Ø      It implies that women are not saved, as Roman Catholics contend, by

mere childbearing, so that a woman dying in her travail is necessarily

saved, for the apostle links with it certain spiritual qualifications as

necessary to salvation.

 

o       Faith implicitly resting in the Divine promise and upon

the Divine Redeemer, “as the seed of the woman;”

o       Love, as the inspiration of all her wifely and motherly duties;

o       Holiness, as implying purity of life, circumspectness of walk,

and devotedness to God;

o       Sobriety, as marking the self-effacing, self-restraining,

self-governing spirit which she is to carry into all the conditions

of her life as a Christian mother

 

 

Public Worship (vs. 1-15)

 

The whole chapter is given up to directions concerning the public worship

of the Church. We may notice the following particulars.

 

  • THE SUBJECTS OF PUBLIC PRAYER. When the Church meets

together in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, it meets as

PREEMINENTLY AS THE FRIEND OF THE HUMAN RACE! 

As the Church of Him who is the world’s Savior and Redeemer, it

must manifest the same spirit of universal love which animated Him.

It is not as being haters of the human race (as their enemies falsely said),

but as being true lovers of their kind, that Christians banded themselves

together and refused all fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness.

This love, then, was especially to be shown in their united prayers. When

they came together, though perhaps their enemies were thirsting for their

blood, they were to offer up their united prayers for ALL MEN. Specially,

with a view to the peace and order of society, should they pray for kings

and governors and all in authority, that by God’s blessing upon their

government the course of this world might be so peaceably ordered that

His Church might serve Him joyfully in all godly quietness. And if we

consider how much human happiness depends upon good government

on the part of the rulers, and upon quiet obedience to the laws on the part

of the people, we shall see how much need there is for such prayers. In

our own days the restless spirit that is abroad, the impatience of all control,

and the general weakening of rule and authority all over the world,

increases the need both of wisdom and strength in rulers, and consequently

for the strengthening of their hands by the prayers and intercessions of the

people of God.

 

  • THE PERSONS WHO ARE TO PRAY IN THE CHRISTIAN

ASSEMBLIES. These are limited to the men. The prayers and the

teaching in the congregation are to be conducted by men only. The

difference of sex, and the different social and religious functions of

each sex, are really of Divine appointment. As Paul says to the

Corinthians (I Corinthians 11:9), “the woman was made for the man,

and not the man for the woman;” (but not in the sense of Gangster

Rap, which is a great player in the 21st Century in the battle for the

minds and hearts of youth.  It crosses cultural lines and is producing

results , the kind which will bring about the destruction of the

world, and does not play in the solution of problems of the world!

Just one of the many moral evils in society that are much more

threatening to humankind that GLOBAL WARMING – see

Revelation 11:18 - CY – 2013) and all the subsequent relations of the

man and woman, in the family, in the state, and in the Church, are naturally

evolved from their primeval state as ordered by God. It is obvious, too, that

there must be harmony in these various relations, and that the principle

which rules in one department of life must rule in the others also. Anyhow,

it is distinctly laid down, on the apostolic authority of St. Paul, that in the

Church assemblies the functions of public prayer, and public teaching and

 preaching, are confined to men. The wide field of more private female

ministrations is still open to godly women, and seems to be amply justified

by the existence of prophetesses in the primitive

Church, and by such examples as that of Priscilla (Acts 18:26). As regards

the character of the men who lead the prayers of the congregation, three

qualifications are named:

 

Ø      holiness,

Ø      quietness of spirit, and

Ø      simplicity in the petitions.

 

The hands that are lifted up to God in prayer must be clean hands, unstained

by blood, untainted by bribes or dishonest gains, unpolluted by any evil

deeds. The prayers that are offered must come from hearts where no

malice or ill will dwells, no resentment for wrongs received or injuries

endured; and from minds where the spirit of controversy is dumb, and

no caviling is to be found. Sincerity and godly simplicity, with an honest

faith in the faithfulness of God, are essential to acceptable prayer.

 

  • The third feature in the public assemblies of the saints on which St.

Paul insists is THE MODEST DRESS AND DEMEANOUR OF THE

CONGREGATION. This applies especially to the women, but it is true of

the men also. Christians come to church to worship the glorious God, to

humble themselves before His holy presence, and to hear His Word, not for

display, not to attract notice, not for vain-glory or worldly vanity. It is,

therefore, quite out of place for either men or women to make a parade of

finery in church. The ornaments best suited for persons professing

godliness at all times, but especially when they approach the throne of

God, are those of a pure heart and a meek spirit, and an abundance of

good works. It is the hidden man of the heart which needs adorning for

 its access to the court of heaven.

 

 

 

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