“I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling; likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works. Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness.” 1 Timothy 2:8-11
The question in this text is how to live out the stewardship of God which is by faith. The answer is to embrace the hope/gift of flourishing that comes from the Lord because of our union with Christ. This hope is remembered and energized in worship.
Worship brings clarity out of confusion.
“When the devil has persuaded us to surrender one article of faith to him, he has won…for they are all intertwined and linked together like a golden chain so that if one link is broken, the entire chain is broken and can be pulled apart. There is no article (of faith and obedience) which the devil cannot overthrow once he has succeeded and reason dabble in doctrine and speculate about it.” Martin Luther,
Luther's Works, Vol. 9, p.825
“But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day. The way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know over what they stumble.” Proverbs 4:18-19
It is easy to be swallowed up by despair because of contemporary events, but we should always travel hopefully as we celebrate the goodness of the gospel and remember that our God reigns (Isaiah 52:7) and that he is the living God who will go before us and be our rear guard (Isaiah 52:12).
1. Gender is part of the goodness of God’s creation. When we reject this distinction we choose to walk the path of brokenness and sorrow.
2. Because of sin, confusion enters our lives and brings disordered thinking.
3. The pain of original sin (Genesis 3) is substantially reversed and our shame and sin covered with a covering made by God of animal skins (Gen 3:21). This prefigures the once and for all work of the Lamb of God on the cross for our sins.
4. Regarding the embrace of the goodness of God in creation: “A woman shall not wear a man's garment, nor shall a man put on a woman's cloak, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord your God.” Deuteronomy 22:5
“The maintenance of the sanctity of the sexes, established
by God in the created order, is the foundation for this
legislation (Deut. 22:5), and not opposition to idolatrous
practices of the heathen. The tendency to obliterate
all sexual distinctions often promotes unnaturalness
opposed to God’s created order. Such a problem can
arise in contemporary culture when unisex fashions are
aimed at producing the bland person and a progressive
desexualization of men and women. Thus, this provision
aims mainly at one’s clothes as an indication of one’s sex.”
“In a sort of ghastly simplicity we remove the organ and
demand the function. We make men without chests and
expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honour
and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate
and bid the geldings be fruitful.” C.S. Lewis,
The Abolition of Man
5. The corresponding longing of regenerate people:
Men: Worship is to fuel faith in Jesus and displace
anger and harshness.
Women: Worship is to fuel their desire to serve
their generation by good works and responsible living
(exemplified by modesty in dress) as they show they
are not captivated by the cultural spirit of the age that
gives undue weight to wealth and physical appearance.
6. Faith is to be seen as ordered passion vs. expressive individualism.
“The task of the modern educator (parent) is not to cut down jungles but to irrigate deserts. The right defense against false sentiments is to inculcate just sentiments.” C.S. Lewis,
Men Without Chests
“My weight is my love; thereby I am carried whithersoever I am carried.” Augustine, Confessions 13.9
1. Why do we always live with hope? (Isaiah 52:7-9)
2. How does Deuteronomy 5:22 enter into the concept of embracing the gift of gender?
3. What is the focus of longing regarding men and women in 1 Timothy 2:8 and following?
4. What is “toxic masculinity”? How does biblical truth counter this concept?
5. Distinguish between ordered passions of a believer and expressive individualism.