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Understanding What the Will of the Lord Is

Clinton Wahlen

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Clinton Wahlen

Associate Director of the Biblical Research Institute (BRI) at the General Conference of SeventhdayAdventists

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  • June 21, 2017
    10:00 AM

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So today we're look at how that order of Genesis to creation or leadership lies at the foundation of the New Testament understanding of relationships in the church and in the home and so we'll get right started quickly here but I just want to remind you about what we've been seeing in terms of different ways of looking at the text now. Than what we have seen before. Putting a lens on in order to read the Bible just as a filter placed on a camera lens cover colors everything that 1 sees through it so using a lens in reading Scripture tinge is what it says and even our understanding of what the will of the Lord is scholars of the Bible have been especially eager to employ a gentle gender lens in reading the writings of the Apostle Paul because to many of them Paul seems hopelessly patriarchal and even massage meaning he hates women and so they attribute the statements actually that he makes to him and his own hang ups not to the word of the Lord as if you could divide the 2 a gender lines reading the 1st Timothy has Paul silent seen women completely relegating them exclusively to childbearing prohibiting them from any meaningful work in the Church except perhaps for some necessary assistance that they may render to deacons the reason according to this gender lens that all women should be in subjection to men. That Eve was gullible and deceived and that women today are just as gullible as she was and not to be trusted with any important work in the church is as 1 scholar based on these chapters of Genesis childbearing is her woman's proper function and let or not get involved in seminars with snakes That's David Klein's What does Eve do to help another reader Lee questions to the Old Testament he actually it's interesting because he for many years believed the gender lens reading of Genesis and then finally came to the conclusion this just doesn't make make sense of Genesis at all it really is what it sounds like it is he said I really wanted to believe that was true but he came to the conclusion you know that Genesis is egalitarianism and everyone is equal and as and and Eve was actually wise in taking the fruit of the tree not sell to understand any text in the Bible as we've said before we need to see the big picture and in the case of 1st Timothy which is what we're going to look at mostly today it helps to understand the reason Paul wrote it now he doesn't explicitly say why he wrote a given letter all the time but in 1st Timothy he actually does so let's look at 1st Timothy chapter 3 verse Timothy 3 and begin with verse 14 he says these things I write to you though I hope to come to you shortly verse 15 but if I am delayed I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God which is the Church of the living God the pillar and ground of the truth apparently Paul would like to have this very clear and almost all not only for Timothy but clear for us. And so what is the theme of 1st Timothy according to Paul what is it we just read it verse 15 how to behave in the house of God Yes the order in the church and leadership in the church this is what 1st Timothy is all talking about and this includes accurately teaching important biblical themes because there's a lot of theology in 1st hymn of the about God and about Christ the law of the Gospel last events in addition to order and organization in the church in fact the 7th Day Adventist Bible come to and you think about it that's actually what our church manual has right it has a fundamental beliefs and and how we function as a church so the some damage Bible Commentary volume 6 page 1 of 7 calls Paul's epistles to Timothy and Titus the earliest church manuals the earliest church manuals significantly Paul calls the church the house of God in this verse verse 15 that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God which is the Church of the Living God so he connects the rules he gives in 1st Timothy 2 and 3 with the rules that he gives for the Christian household in his other pestles rules that were addressed to husbands wives parents and children and so it will help us actually to look at some of these rules which lay the foundation for what he says about the church as the household of God let's look at a fee shins chapter $5.00 efficiency 5 and that's actually where the title of this talk this morning comes from a fusion is 5 or 17 says therefore do not be unwise but understand what the will of the Lord is. Do not be unwise but understand what the will of the Lord is so. What is wisdom it's knowing God's will how do we know God's will it's spelled out right here in efficient $5.00 and $6.00 and it starts more specifically in verse $21.00 submitting to 1 another in the fear of God Now this verse has been often misunderstood as if it were to mean that we should all submit to each other in the church but actually no 1 really believes that I don't think that we believe that parents in the church should submit to their children and and you know leaders in the church should submit to. Just anyone in the church and what they say. And actually the Greek text doesn't use the word submit in verse 22 least the most important men's groups don't use it where it says Wives submit to your own husbands as to the Lord so a literal translation of verses $21.22 would be this submitting to 1 another in the fear of God wives to your own husbands as to the Lord so in other words what follows verse $21.00 explains how we are to submit to each other in the church because there is a series of asymmetrical social relationships that are spelled out and that's a fancy way of just saying you know on a social level where we're different wives should. Submit to your own husbands as to the Lord verse 22 verse chapter 6 verse 1 Children obey your parents in the Lord and Chapter 6 verse 5 bond servants be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh so in each of these relationships husbands and wives parents and children are fathers and children and masters and Bonser events there is a relationship of submission of 1 to the other Paul also though doesn't just leave the instruction to those who are to submit he also has specific instructions for those who are in authority in order that they might not abuse that privilege of power that they have in the church and in the home so in verse $25.00 for example Paul says Husbands love your wives just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her in chapter 6 1st for Paul says fathers do not provoke your children to wrath but bring them up in the training in admonition of the Lord Likewise with regard to Masters Paul says in verse 9 you masters do the same things to them that is your servants giving up threatening and knowing that your own master also is in heaven and there is no partiality with him so these were very these are very important structures for everyone and shows how we're to relate to each other in a successful and harmonious way in the home now of course. The instructions to masters and servants sometimes we we filter that through a lens too of American slavery and it's important to know that in the Roman Empire servants were very could be very responsible and have great responsibilities in the home managing affairs sometimes largest states there's even tales written about servants who got wealthy and were and many times servants were set free by their masters after a period of successful service so it wasn't at all like what we think of sometimes when we think of of slaveholding. It was a very different arrangement more of an economic arrangement the same is true by the way in the Old Testament. In the service the Old Testament was a way of paying debt if you didn't have the money to pay you could contract for a period of time no more than 6 years to be a servant to someone and that way you could pay your debt and you wouldn't have to lose your property in your land and the law actually prescribe that in the 7th year that that was to end the maximum 6 years unless the servant wanted to be a servant in the house forever and then he he was to Pearce's ear and and have a ring in his ear to show that he was a perpetual servant so that but it was his own choice wasn't something that could be imposed on him so it's important to distinguish what the Bible says about servants and service from Sometimes some of the ideas that we have. Passages like it 5 and 6 have been widely known as household codes household codes or codes of conduct for the Christian home so when Paul speaks of the Church of the household of God In verse Timothy chapter 3 verse 15 it's natural that he in that context spells out how relationships in the church should function and so we could call 1st Timothy a code of conduct for the church another way a fancy way of saying Church manual since these rules in 1st Timothy are for the church Paul addresses several different groups as we saw in a fusion $5.00 and $6.00 so looking now again at 1st Templi chapter 2 the 1st 7 verses are clearly addressed to everyone all people all 1st verse that says that exhort 1st of all that supplications prayers intercessions and giving it thanks be made for all manner all people not just for church members because God wants us all to be saved it goes on to say and Christ died for all. Verse for who desires all men to be saved come to the knowledge of the truth and verse 6 who gave Jesus who gave himself a ransom for all so Paul is concerned with with all people in these 1st 7 versus beginning in verse 8 he then addresses specific groups in the church men in verse 8 and women in verses 9 to 15 so in verse 8 he says that I desire therefore that men pray everywhere lifting up holy hands without wrath and doubting and verse 9 beginning there he says that women in worship should dress modestly and not usurp the teaching authority of church leaders that is ministers and elders. Paul bases this on Genesis 2 and 3 as we'll see in a moment then in chapter 3 verses 1 to 7 he deals specifically with the qualifications for overseers or elders the word 2 words are used interchangeably by Paul in you can see that clearly in Titus chapter 1 where the rules for overseers and elders are repeated and these qualifications include the ability to teach being the husband of 1 wife and able to manage one's own house and this last point shows the close connection Paul sees between the home and the church now beginning with Verse 8 through verse 13 Paul has qualifications for deacons and these are very similar to the qualification for the minister an elder including for deacons being the husband of 1 wife and managing one's own house well then he has other councils especially relevant for the last days in Chapter 54 and in 5 and 6 he gives instructions for the older members and younger members of the church and widows in the church as well as instructions regarding how to deal with true and false teachers in the church so that's an overview of 1st Timothy Let's take some time now to look at key passages. In chapters 2 and 3 and will address also some of the questions that have been raised about them as we saw the 2 main groups addressed in Chapters 2 or 3 are men and women in chapter 2 and male church officers and in chapter 3 as well in verse 11 it refers to some women who assisted the deacons So beginning in chapter 2 verse. 8 Paul says I desire the word is bull in my in Greek he's expressing God's will for how men and women conduct themselves in worship but so he says I desire but it's not a strong way of saying it it's actually a very gentle way of saying it it's not given the force of a strong command so men are to lead out in creer and to be a good models in worship verse 8 the women are to dress modestly verses $9.10 without adornment and be adorned with good works hopefully this is not too kind of versatile so far even though maybe some admins have begun to question rules on adornment hall makes them very clear here next Paul does something he does command something in fact it's the 1st imperative or use of the command form in Greek in 1st Timothy in both verses 11 and verse 12 Paul instructs that women keep silence but it's connected with how they relate to church leadership verse 11 says let a woman learn in silence with all submission Now does this mean that a woman is not allowed to teach even a Sabbath school class or speak in church it can't mean that why well in comparing Scripture with Scripture we remember that a few years earlier and 1st Corinthians chapter 11 verse 5 Paul wrote about how women should pray and prophesies during the worship service and so obviously he's not forbidding all speaking and by the way tomorrow we'll look more carefully at 1st Corinthians 11 and 14 in this connection it's interesting that there are 2 main words used by Paul for silence. And the Greek word used in 1st Corinthians 14 cigarillo means to stop talking they really means STOP TALKING be quiet but here in verses 11 and 12 Paul uses a very different word Hoosick Kiya in Greek and this means without disturbance in quietness in harmony it connotes peace and harmony in fact the adjective of this root word is used in verse 2 where it talks about leading a quiet and peaceable life or peaceful life so Paul uses this word deliberately it seems because he does not want the established leadership authority in the church to be challenge and he is instructing women especially to promote harmony through their submission to church authority actually Paul says more strongly than that as the New International Version makes clear that they should learn in silence with full submission full submission of course the flip side of this power relation is important too and that's given in Titus to verse 15 where Paul urges Titus to speak these things exhort and rebuke with full authority let no 1 disregard you so it's very important according to Paul to maintain this stablish authority in the church the next verse explains in 1st simply to verse 12 explains more fully what Paul means by submitting to church authority and he makes 2 separate points in this verse. The 1st point underscores Paul's instruction that women are to submit to establish church leadership using an even stronger prohibition than the imperative form in verse 11 he says in verse 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man now the word translated in the New King James version for authority in Greek is often tell it's actually only used here in the New Testament really quite a rare word it means to ace to assume a stance of independent authority to dictate domineer the it's a very strong word in other words the noun form then taste means master or ruler so in light of this usage the King James Version translation usurp authority is really quite good it really communicates the meaning here that Paul has in mind so by commanding women to be in submission to the men leading out in the worship service Paul seems to be heading off any possibility of a power struggle in the church between them there the women are to May remain peaceful or quiet that's how the the English Standard Version translate to remain quiet what reasons does Paul give for this command creation exactly right he does not base the reason on some unique situation in F.S.S. where Timothy was at the time no there's no hint anywhere in 1st Timothy that Paul is dealing with anything unique here the same kind of things he warns about here he warns about in many of his apostles to the contrary it seems to be part of his overall instruction regarding how order in the church is to be maintained and versus 13 and 14 give 2 reasons in order for this instruction verse 13. Paul says for Adam was formed 1st then Eve What chapter of the Bible is Paul referring to there Genesis 2 Yes Genesis 2 Adam was formed 1st then Eve We looked at that yesterday does it refer to human beings before or after the fall before the fall so this is very important 1 of the reasons that Paul gives for this is a pre fall condition of human beings the ideal situation of human beings as God created them verse 14 and Adam was not deceived but the woman being deceived fell into transgression what chapter of the Bible does this refer to Genesis 3 Exactly right so you've got in order Reason number 1 is Genesis 2 Reason number 2 is Genesis 3 Now it's interesting that that's not the only not just order but the word deceive in Greek that Paul uses is the exact word used in the Greek translation the Septuagint the ancient Greek translation the Old Testament written before Christ in Genesis 313 the same word in Greek deceive Paul is using this word to point to the verse where Eve says the serpent deceived me and I ate same words the fact that Paul quotes scripture as the authority for this instruction shows that his teaching is meant to be applied everywhere and at all times and is not just for special situations so why might Paul base this teaching about the roles of men and women in the church on Genesis 2 and 3 what did we discover yesterday in our study of that passage you remember. In Genesis to who was in charge who was the initiator who was to keep intend the garden who to whom was the command not to eat the tree given who named the animals Adam OK He even called the female woman OK So he was the authority in Genesis 2 the man was the authority and before the fall how did that change after the fall in Genesis 3 who took the initiative Eve with the encouragement the serpent of course so the leadership principle of Genesis 2 is completely we saw in reverse in Genesis 3 Eve saw the for she 1st of all engage the serpent and he engaged her speaking to her and then in repeating God's command remember she said we are not to eat of the Tree of Knowledge of Good needs so he she was speaking for both herself and for Adam she was taking the leading role here and remember also when God approached Adam after his sin he said what because you have listened to the voice of your wife and eaten of the tree of which I commanded saying You shall not eat of it it wasn't just that I mean yes that was the worst was he ate the fruit but also it was in obedience to his wife which was contrary to God's command and reversing the leadership order that God had established creation or the leadership of Genesis 2 and this is exactly what Paul is referring to do you see how he is using Genesis 2 and 3 deploy Now why in the church the leadership order should continue as God established it at creation. Some of you may be thinking OK well maybe that's clear but what on earth is Paul talking about in 1st Timothy 215 are women saved by having children well remember that in verse 14 Paul has just referred to what to whom who is the woman that was deceived Eve OK he's referring specifically to not just all women but to a particular woman and that is to Eve Now is there anything in chapter 3 of Genesis that refers to the woman and child birth Yeah of course the promise of God the great gospel promise in verse 15 of Genesis 3 that the seed of the woman would come and bruise the serpent's head and save us from sin notice something else interesting here and 1st time $3.00 to $15.00 it says nevertheless she referring to the woman in verse 14 she Eve will be saved in childbearing if they continue in faith love and holiness so it's 2 different groups here actually referred to who is she and who are they she we've already said is Eve the woman of Genesis 3 the woman of verse 14 here Eve will be saved through childbirth Paul is pointing to the fact that down through history the women descended from Eve's godly. Salvation after she was reading and you know after after the sacrifice was given in Genesis 3 her her life was would be followed on by a godly line of children Same with Adam and we'll look at that in a moment so. Paul's point in the fact that through down through history women have had a very special role in the plan of salvation because Jesus was born in fulfillment of this promise to Eve the promised Seed the promised savior descended not only from Adam but also from Eve So who does they refer to well because Eve didn't give birth to the Messiah although in Genesis 4 it sounds like she might have thought her 1st son would be the promised Seed. Because she seems to call him the Lord she didn't give birth to the Savior it was through a long line of faithful women who continued in faith love and holiness with self-control that Jesus was born so in the Bible we really have 2 lines of godly people read aimed Mand descended from Adam who bear the leadership role among God's people and redeemed women descended from Eve through whom the promised Savior was born Now what does this have to do with church officers quite a lot because the instruction about how men and women should behave in worship in Chapter 2 paves the way for Paul's instruction on leadership in chapter 3 and so let's review again the logical order of chapters 2 and 3 in verses 1 to 7 of chapter 2 Pala dresses all people it's gender inclusive beginning with Verse 8 through the end of chapter 2 Paul addresses in turn 1st men in the church and then women in the church so it's gender specific and then in chapter 3 he addresses church officers as the husband of 1 wife so it's gender exclusive. Because Paul shifts to even more specific gender exclusive language in 1st him the 3 the New King James Version A New American Standard Bible of verse 1 translated best if any man desires the position or aspires to the office of overseer or bishop as the New King James version as it is a fine work he desires to do Paul then lists the qualifications for this office verse 2 and oversee year or bishop must be blameless the husband of 1 wife temperate and so on I want to focus on this phrase the husband of 1 wife it limits the office of overseer to men for several reasons 1st of all the qualification is a fixed requirement it is always used in connection with these church office requirements wherever we have the qualifications for these offices this requirement appears both here in 1st Timothy 3 Verse 2 for overseers or elders and verse 12 for deacons and also in Titus Chapter 1 Verse 6 for the elders are overseers Secondly the women assistants who are referred to in verse 11 likewise their wives are women the word simply means women in Greek must be reverent and so on so it gives a list of qualifications separate from both elders and deacons for these women and so sense it's got a list of different qualifications for them they don't pertain to either office they're not connected they're not a deacon nor are they an order sere elder it's a 3rd category that he's referring to here. 3 Paul uses the opposite phrase wife of 1 husband in 1st Timothy 5 verse 9 referring to widows who are to be supported by the church there are a number of qualifications and 1 of them is that they were to be the wife of 1 man 1 husband so it's clear that Paul does not use these phrases interchangeably he uses them very specifically he uses husband 1 wife with the men he's referring to in chapter 3 of 1st Timothy and in Chapter 5 The wife of 1 husband in connection with widows number point 4 if Paul had wanted the qualification for elders to be gender neutral he could have combined these 2 phrases that we've just looked at the overseer must be the husband of 1 wife or the wife of 1 husband would be very easy for Paul to say that but he didn't point 5 as we've seen in 1st Timothy 2 and 3 Paul deals in order with smaller and smaller groups 1st all people then men and women separately and finally husband 1 wife who are qualified for office in the church point 6 The word for man or husband in verse 2 a 1st time of the 3 is an error in Greek and when Paul uses this word he never uses it in a gender neutral sense he never uses it to refer to men and women he always means man or husband never simply person and no doubt it's in view of such facts that out of 61 translations I surveyed in 1st Timothy 3 Verse 2 only 4 translated in a gender neutral way beginning interesting Lee enough with the Catholic New American Bible in 1970. I won't take the time to go through all those translations of you know but there are 4 that only 4 New American Bible in 1970 of the New Revised Standard Version 1909 the Contemporary English Version in 1905 and the common English Bible in 2011 in other words 93 percent of the English versions over a period of 600 years have recognized that the text specifies that the overseer be male this is very impressive especially since most of these translations employ dozens of translators and editors working as a team from a variety of church faiths the obvious meaning of this phrase says 1. Medieval scholar said is of a man who having a contract in a monogamous marriage is faithful to his marriage vows excluding the like polygamy concubine it and promiscuity indulgence so with this very compact phrase Paul Limon it's all kinds of problems the restriction restriction of this office to Minn is unclear only for those determined to see it otherwise by the way it's important for us to notice that like all the others this requirement is not optional notice verse 2 says that a bishop must be. Must be the word is DE in Greek plus the verb to be the wording is as clear in Greek as the word must is in English and it's helpful to notice how some of this these words are used the word day which means must is only used in the New Testament as something that's very very important really a divine imperative So for example Matthew 1621 Jesus must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things in Matthew 24 the signs must take place before he comes verse 6 in Mark 13 verse 10 the gospel must be proclaimed to all nations in Luke 24 verse 44 everything about me Jesus says must be fulfilled in 1st Corinthians 15 verse 25 Jesus Paul says must reign in till he has put all enemies under his feet and later in verse 53 of prescriptions 15 says this perishable body must put on the imperishable and 2nd Corinthians 5 verse 10 we must all appear before the Judgment Seat of Christ now in any of these cases is there any doubt in your minds that these are optional No they're not optional they're obviously required right there they must happen that's why the word must is used in fact there are 5 ways in Greek to command something ranging from the gentlest softest way to the most imperative way the the absolute MUST way and of course that 5th and strongest way is here in verse 2 must. The command is as clear as the command Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy in Exodus 20 verse 8 Now of course this is a biblical command about elders or ministers who oversee the church is not 1 of the 10 Commandments but that doesn't mean it's not still a command the command to abstain from unclean foods is not 1 of the 10 but it's still a command that we need to keep so as Jesus commanded follow his example in washing the each other's feet and his command in connection with the Lord's Supper do this in remembrance of me or the great commission to go and make disciples none of these are part of the 10 Commandments but they're still commands they're not optional in anyway so when Paul says must he means must and he chose the strongest possible way in Greek to say it now lest we think that this is only Paul it's important to remember that from the Book of Acts and even from the gospels we see that the system of church leadership that's established in the New Testament didn't begin with the apostles It began with Jesus himself because as you know you know there were lots and lots of crowds that followed Jesus the crowds followed and we could look at passage after passage where many many hundreds thousands followed Jesus but not all of them were disciples the disciples dot disciples were those who followed Jesus everywhere but not all the disciples were apostles they were not part of the 12th Jesus from the disciples that followed him everywhere specifically chose 12 and as it says in Mark in fact it be good for us to just look at Mark 3 in this connection. Mark Chapter 3. And it's interesting that Luke in his parallel to this passage indicated that before Jesus chose the 12 he prayed all night it was a very important decision verse 13 Mark 313 he went up on the mountain and he called to him those he himself wanted and they came to him then he appointed 12 that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach. And then it goes on of course but 2 primary reasons he set apart the 12 for what that they might be with him wherever even when he was alone from everybody else the disciples were with him and number 2 that he might send them out to preach Now it's interesting this word appointed he appointed 12 the word in Greek. And some of said all that doesn't mean ordained it it's a very common word and that's true but in this context it's very clear that it means ordain and let me show you why. If you look at Hebrews Chapter 3 Hebrews Chapter 3 The same word is used of Jesus Hebrews Chapter 3 beginning with Verse 1 therefore holy brother in partakers of the heavenly calling consider the apostle and high priest of our confession Christ Jesus who was faithful to Him Who appointed or or made him you know the same word who appointed him ordained him as Moses also was spadeful in all his house now Jesus this interesting Jesus is called an apostle here which means someone who sent forth by someone in authority so who sent Jesus as the Apostle the father. And just as he says in John 2021 to the 12 apostles or 11 apostles minus Judas says as the Father has sent me so send I you it's the same relationship of sending Jesus was ordained by the Father for His work here and the Apostles were deigned by Jesus for their work of spreading the gospel the good news of Jesus so Jesus or deigned the Apostles of the 12 this was the foundation of the church he wanted to make sure that when he left ascended to heaven that it was a solid foundation that would not be shaken that would not be dismantled now of course we know that the 12 you chose at the beginning didn't look very promising fact the most promising of the 12 was to it seem from a human point of view the most promising 1 was Judas he was well respected he was even maybe from Seems like connected with the priestly families because he is scary or what seems to refer to the place where he came from which was a center of many priests and a priestly city and he obviously knew the chief priests and leadership very well who's able to make deals with them but it was a very human way of looking at things that's not the way Jesus looked at things the disciples did in fact were told they recommended Judas to Jesus they really wanted him to be among the 12 they thought that would be helpful and Jesus accepted that. Jesus is the apostle or Shepherd he's also called Let's look at some of these other passages 1st Peter chapter 2 about Jesus just to make the point crystal clear 1st Peter 2 verse 25 so it's not just Paul that speaking about Jesus as the leader head of the church but notice verse verse Peter 225 for you were like sheep going to stray but have now returned to the whom Shepherd and overseer are Bishop of your souls it's the same word that's used in 1st Timothy 3 here a pisky POS in Greek Jesus is the chief over see here he's called actually the chief shepherd in Chapter 5 notice chapter 5. Of 1st Peter the elders who are among you I exhort I who am a fellow elder is not interested in the apostle Peter is calling himself a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed by the way that's why when we ordained the 8 ministers on Sabbath and they introduced them as elder This is the office we are all brother and we are all 1 are all elders not 1 above another the president of the world church elder Wilson It's the same qualification from scripture 1st Timothy Chapter 3. And that's that's the system that was actually already established by Jesus with the apostles So Peter 1 of the 12 knowing and recognizing this says I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed Shepherd. The flock of God Now there is the the word in the verb form that we just saw in Chapter 2 meaning Shepherd shepherd the flock of God which is among you serving as overseers again the word of Pesca POS not by compulsion but willingly not for dishonest gain but eagerly nor as being lords over those entrusted to you but being what examples to the flock and when who the chief shepherd appears you will receive the crown of glory that does not pay to weigh so Jesus is the chief shepherd he's the chief overseer as the head of the whole church under him are other shepherds and overseers So let's let's kind of summarize what we found 1st of all in looking at 1st Timothy is connected with the whole church and it's what we believe and practice as a church it is 1 of the earliest church manuals and so this is a theological issue in 1st Timothy the clear progression 1st gender inclusiveness all people 1st part of Chapter 2 then gender specific men and women and finally in chapter 3 gender exclusive the husband of 1 wife as qualifications for ordained church office this shows that Paul has chosen his language very carefully and deliberately Number 2 the fact that Paul uses the creation order from Eden as the basis for the roles of men and women in church shows 2 things. 1st of all that this is a theological issue not just a practical issue because he quotes from Genesis and these roles were God's ideal before the fall so they also reflect God's ideal for us today there is no higher ideal than what was in even Also 3 the fact that Paul Connex the submission of female believers to the established male leadership in the church with maintaining peace and harmony in the church is instructive for us as we seek to maintain unity and harmony in the church today. And let's just close with prayer together Father in heaven we thank you that your word of truth speaks clearly as we ask for wisdom and are guided by the Holy Spirit comparing Scripture with Scripture we just pray Lord that through these moments this morning that some of these passages that have perplexed and maybe seem confusing to some would be now much more clear and in fact through this week that passages that have been read very differently sometimes would be seen clearly. And without question what they actually mean based on the comparison descriptions so we just pray that you will continue to guide us as we study together as we study individually to our guide our study of your word that we may has as Paul said to Timothy be faithful. Work need not be ashamed rightly dividing your word of truth in Jesus' name in. This media was brought to you by Audioboo a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio version or if you would like to listen more sermons leave a Visit W W W audio verse or.

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