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1 Timothy 2:12-15

(12) But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. (13) For Adam was first formed, then Eve. (14) And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. (15) Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.    Change your email Bible version

Paul comments on the woman’s curse in this passage, a section of Scripture that has come under a great deal of scrutiny in recent years. What is immediately striking about Paul’s reasoning and conclusion on Genesis 3:16 regarding the church is that he upholds it! Modern theological thought would reason that the effects of “the Fall” are nullified under Christ’s blood, but Paul says, “Not so!” They may be diminished, but not eradicated.

Paul cites the fact that God created Adam before Eve as his proof that God intended the man to lead. He backs this up by showing that while Eve proved subject to deception—thus, she was the “weaker” of the two—Adam, whose sin was sheer disobedience, did not. Thus, Eve’s sin establishes that woman should not take the lead from man; that route, by the biblical example of our first parents, generally leads to problems. The apostle concludes that a woman, formed by God as a helper to Adam and more inclined to being deceived, should not teach or lead men in the church.

On the other hand, as Ephesians 5:25-29, 33 plainly shows, Christian men must no longer “rule over” their wives. Loving authority is not domineering or despotic, but humble, caring, gentle, kind, and patient. In the same vein, Christian women should submit to and respect their husbands (verses 22-24, 33). Submission is not manipulative or grudging, but done in faith, respect, and humility.

How, though, is a woman “saved in childbearing”? The word Paul uses for “saved” (sozo) can be used for both physical deliverance from danger and spiritual salvation. How does faith, love, holiness, and self-control prevent or nullify the physical dangers of pregnancy? Conversely, is not salvation by grace? Which salvation does the apostle mean here?

Neither. A third explanation fits the context better. Paul’s main concern in this section is proper order within the church. Men, he writes, should pray and teach. Women should adorn themselves modestly and do good works, but they should not be teaching publicly or leading men. Verse 15 explains what their primary concern should be: “childbearing.” Thus, it means that much of God’s judgment of women will be based on how well they perform their God-given role in bearing children.

To us, this sounds quite misogynistic, but to the Greek speaker “childbearing” (teknogonia) covers a great deal more ground than just “popping out babies.” The Strong’s Concordance definition shows that the extended meaning is “maternity (the performance of maternal duties).” W. E. Vine, in his Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, agrees, writing that it “impl[ies] the duties of motherhood” (p. 190). The Twentieth Century New Testament translates this clause, “But women will find their salvation in motherhood.”

Paul’s exhortation aims to bring marriage and family back to what God intended of men and women before Adam and Eve’s sin. Just as God will judge men according to how well they fulfill their roles as husbands (leaders) and teachers, so He will judge women by their performance as wives and mothers. Since salvation, particularly the period of sanctification, is a process that covers our entire converted lifetimes, how well we fulfill our God-given responsibilities within our families will make a difference in God’s judgment. Paul says we must perform these duties in faith, love, holiness, and self-control—just as we must do everything else in our Christian lives.

To summarize, then, the apostle simply states that God will judge and reward a woman according to her growth as a Christian within her appointed sphere of influence: her family. God Himself has drawn the lines between the sexes, and we should do our best to fulfill our roles with excellence, not rebellion or complaint. In this way, we will make progress in reversing the effects of the curses in the Garden of Eden.

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Pastor and author John Pipe (L) and evangelist Billy Graham (R).

Previous generations thought that Jesus Christ would return in their lifetimes, but they were proven wrong. Many people alive today think that Christ’s return is imminent, but how true is this?

John Stephen Piper, founder and teacher of Desiring God Ministry weighing in on when he thinks Jesus Christ will return for His bride.

The reformed theologian in his latest podcast discussion inspired by a listener, sought to clarify when the children of God will see Jesus—sooner or later?

“Pastor John, I see two biblical realities I cannot reconcile, and you are the man for the task! First, I see a strong emphasis that Jesus is about to return to Earth. The church stands on her toes in anticipation. Also, I see a millennium – a 1,000-year period on the Earth before Christ returns. We are not in the millennium – I don’t think, so Christ is at least 1,000 years off…How do I reconcile those two realities?” The listener asked.

Piper said the answer to this question is found in Revelation 20:1–6, which explicitly speaks of the 1,000 years in relation to the second coming of Christ.

“Now, the question that divides Bible-believing Christians is how this one thousand-year reign of Christ on the earth followed by a complete revolution of things in the new heavens and the new earth, how that relates to the second coming of Christ,” Piper said.

Specifically, the question boils down to this: Will the 1,000 years come before or after Jesus comes again?

Piper said there are three views on this matter. The first is that the “one thousand years, the millennium, is a reference to the period of time where we are right now as Christ reigns in heaven today till he puts all of his enemies under his feet.”

The second is that the “one thousand years is a real period of lengthy glory in this age. We are not in it yet. It will come just before Christ comes so that the gospel triumphs in the world: the world is Christianized, by and large, peace and righteousness hold sway in the world, and then, after that, post that, Christ returns — this is Postmillennial.”

The third view is that “the one thousand years happens after Christ comes again, or he comes pre, before the millennium — and that is why it is called Premillennialism. Then, after Christ comes to a very rebellious earth and establishes his reign, there is a long, long period of glorious rule of Christ on the earth.”

Piper said he believes in the third view, even though he has “really good friends who hold all three of these positions.”

“Christ could come very, very quickly. I pray he does,” he said.

“It could happen very, very soon. He (Jesus) doesn’t have to wait one thousand years,” he added.

The same question was asked world renowned evangelist Billy Graham much earlier.

Unlike Piper, Graham declined to go into specifics, saying Christians should avoid trying to predict an exact date for the return of Jesus.

Instead, Graham suggested that Christians should make sure they are prepared for His return.

“Jesus warned us against making precise predictions about His return; only God knows exactly when Christ will come again to bring an end to the present world system. Jesus did, however, say that the world would grow increasingly confused and dangerous before He returns,” he said.

male@ugchristiannews.com

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