Sermon – Freedom to be a Woman (1 Timothy 2:11 – 2:15) – Cornerstone Church Kingston
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1 Timothy 2023

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Sermon 6 of 18

Freedom to be a Woman

Pete Woodcock, 1 Timothy 2:11 - 2:15, 26 February 2023

Continuing our series in 1 Timothy, Pete preaches from 1 Timothy 2:11-15. In these verses, we see Paul's instructions concerning women in the context of the gathered church. Paul's words have been the centre of controversies in our day. Have we understood Paul's teaching about women and how should does it apply to us today?

1 Timothy 2:11 - 2:15

11 Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve; 14 and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. 15 Yet she will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control.


Transcript (Auto-generated)

This transcript has been automatically generated, and therefore may not be 100% accurate.

It's finally come. The passage you've all been waiting for. We can't avoid it anymore. Let's add 1 Timothy chapter 2, and we'll be reading from verse 1. I urge them first of all that petitions, prayers, intercession, and thanksgiving be made for all people.

For kings and all those in authority that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good and pleases God our savior who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. But there is 1 god and 1 mediator between god and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people. This has now been witnessed to at the proper time. And for this purpose, I was appointed a herald and an apostle.

I'm telling the truth, I am not lying, and a true and favorable teacher of the gentiles. Therefore, I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing. I also want the women to dress modestly with decency and propriety adoring themselves not with elaborate hairstyles or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds appropriate for women who profess to worship God. A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man she must be quiet.

For Adam was formed first, then Eve, and Adam was not the 1 deceived. It was the woman who was deceived. And became a sinner. But women will be saved through childbearing if they continue in faith, love, and holiness with propriety. Well, it is lovely to have brewings with us.

We were very blessed under their ministry, and they've gone up to Chesterfield many years ago, and the Lord's doing a terrific work there. So make sure you up with them. Great. In fact, Andy was telling me that he was preaching on this passage last week. So Andy over to you.

Where is he? Let's pray. Father help us now as we look at your words, We've seen that this is your word and this is the apostolic message to the church. And we know that that means that is like Jesus saying these words to us. It is his apostles word.

Help us to treat it as such we pray in Jesus' name, amen. Now we're living in a day, as I'm sure you know, that when when science knows more about the difference difference between men and women than at any other time in history. It's almost on a daily occurrence that you hear a new discovery that's been announced between the difference between male and female. Men and women have different anatomies, different bone structures, different brain sizes, and different brain structures. Women's hearts are by and large larger, and they tend to have lower blood pressure.

Men and women's immune systems are are different. Their pain receptions are different. They have different stress responses. They differ in reproductive organs. They differ in mass muscle mass.

And even someone that's been buried and you dig up the bones that have been buried for thousands of years, I was down in Stonehenge yesterday, and they've dug up a man that's 9000 years old. They know it's a man. They contest the bones and know that it belongs to a man or a woman, in this case, a man. And so it goes on. According to the Institute of Medicine.

Every cell in our bodies has a sex, which means that men and women are different to the cellular level. And that also means that men and women respond differently to diseases and treatments and chemicals. There's a big difference in the sexes. And those differences are so deep that Professor Robert Winston, a world leading fertility expert, says, I can say, categorically, that you cannot change your sex. Your sex actually is there in every single cell of your body.

We're living in a day where the differences between men and women are as clear as a bell. And yet, We're living in a day where where more people are confused about what men are and what women are than ever before. When asked what a woman is, And what a man is, people can't answer the question. What is a woman and what is a man is a question that now terrifies Politicians. When they start doing campaigning and knocking on your doors for elections, ask them what a woman is.

They don't like that question. Can a woman have a penis? Yes, says 1 politician. Can a man have a baby? Yes, says another politician.

Now because we've had years of a type of feminism, that teaches that there is no difference between men and women. We've ended up with this confusion. And not only a confusion, but the idea that people can change their sex. So what's going on in our world? Well, there are loads of things going on under this issue, and we could deal with a lot of issues.

But in the end, I think it boils down to faith. It actually boils down to faith. So when someone says, I believe there are no differences between male and female except those that are socially constructed or those that are pushed on boys and girls when they're boys and girls I believe it's a matter of upbringing. That is a matter of faith. They are believing that.

They are trusting that that's right. Or when someone like me a man says, I believe despite the science to every single cell of my body, I am a woman That's a faith act. You see that? Or I believe I can create self or self define or self identify to choose my authentic mean self inside. That is a faith act That is an act of faith.

It's what we used to call nosticism. If you went back to the first century, It's nosticism. It's where you separate the self into 2 compartments, 2 levels, like 2 levels of a house. The ground floor level says, I am a man. That's the science.

I am a man. The upper floor level where the spirit or the mind or the soul, whatever you wanna call it, says I am a woman. That's a faith act. And therefore, I will now manipulate my body to try to be a man even though you a woman. Even though I can't actually really do that.

It's an act of faith imposed on the body. It's faith. And it's with that in mind, with all of that in mind in the world that we're in, because this confusion, I want us to come to church. Now we're here, thankfully. I want us to come to a gathering of the followers of Jesus.

And when you come into church, you come into another realm of faith It is a faith realm here. Yes, definitely. It's a place that is an alternative society to the world that God has set up, to witness to the world. And it has a very different faith, a very different faith system. It is an alternative society where we believe that god the creator has spoken and spoken clearly on all kinds of issues, but clearly on this issue of men and women.

It's a faith place where we believe God has spoken on that issue. Therefore, we need to listen to God if we are beginning believing God. And both men and women in this group of people, we believe, are made in the image of God, both That's 1 of the core fundamental beliefs that Christianity has, that the bible presents, that men and women are made in the image of God. And therefore, because both are made in the image of God, they are equal in worth, in purpose, in life, in eternity. Men are no more or less important than women.

Women are no more or less important than men. But They are different. Says the Bible. They're not the same. They have many things in common They have many abilities in common.

They have many roles how to live in this this world in common But there is a difference between men and women. When you come into church then, you come to a group of people that god wants you to see, that we believe in equality and differences between men. Equality and diversity complementing each other. That's what church should be. Men and women are equally converted to Christ, equally restored to God Equally children of God, in fact equally called sons of God, with all of that what what son means as a title.

They are the same in Christ. There are no male and female in Christ when it comes to equality. There is no teaching in the word of God, which would lead you to believe that somehow women are lesser than men and men are greater than women. None. But there is teaching that even when you equally can come to Christ, After conversion, men are men, women are women, men are not women, women are not men.

The God who made us has made us equal but different. That's why you find the church. Is often called something like the body of Christ made up of all kinds of different things, but 1 body. And when you come into church, you should see the makeup of men and women equal before god and yet different roles. Now, of course, this is faith that makes you believe this.

Faith, which really means trust. That's all faith means. But What I put my trust in is it trustworthy. So I might think a cotton thread is a great thing to use as for a bungee jump. But actually, is it trustworthy?

Is the cotton thread gonna work for a bungee jump? Is it a trustworthy saying that men and women are exactly the same? Am I gonna put my trust in that? Is it a trustworthy saying that men can have babies and women can have penises? Is that a trustworthy saying?

Is it worthy of my trust? Is it a trustworthy saying that men and women are equal but different. Is that something I can put my trust in? Is it a trustworthy saying? That the creator God has the best interest at heart for us and has revealed what is best for men and women within the church.

Is that a trustworthy thing? Now it's that last statement, the apostolic Christians, those who believe the apostolic message have faith in. And therefore, church is to reveal to the world and living out of that faith. We expect church to be different to the world on this issue. We expect that.

You see, look, think about it. With all the knowledge that we have of the difference between male and female, It doesn't really seem out of kilter that that if god's made us different like that, we might have different roles, different things to do. If that's not out of kilter, is it? If we're different and yet equal, we have equally important roles, but different roles. It's not out of kilter with us being different.

So with all of that, here we are in church, And here are the words. Right? With all of that introduction. I've tried to take that seriously as possible, that introduction. 1 Timothy 2 11.

Because these are shocking words to the world. But they're 1 I wanna show you how wonderful they are. Now, you gotta remember Paul has already dealt with men And after this, he's gonna deal with men. So don't think this is a book that just hits women. He's got a long series of stuff to say about men.

That's next week sermon. Okay? But here we are. 1 Timothy, chapter 2 verse 11. Are you ready?

Imagine saying this out in Kingston Town Center. A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. We mean, what does that do to you by the way? Whoo. Bring the ambulance.

He's a looney. Yeah. A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man. She must be quiet for Adam was formed first and then Eve, and Adam was not the 1 deceived.

It was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. But women, you will be saved through childbearing. If They continue in faith, love, holiness, and propriety. Okay. Let's calm down.

Let's have a listen to this. Let's go through it. Section by section. Here's my first point. But I want but my my 1 of my main things is I want to show you how good news this is.

Compared to the world out there that's confused. So we're in church. Here's my first point. An encouragement to learn and encouragement to learn verse 11. A woman should learn in quietness and full submission.

I hold it before you'd see all the negatives there, a woman is a learner. Now that's a big deal in the first century realm that the woman would be a learner. It's 1 of the reasons why so many women were attracted to Christianity in the early years of Christianity. It really is because we treated women equally and a woman should be a learner. So a woman should be a learner.

Now what learning what? Well, learning to grow in grace and knowledge of the lord Jesus Christ. Learning to grow in knowledge but not just knowledge in experience and learning as we saw last time about women in clothing. Learning not to worry about the outward appearance, but the good works. Learning to do good works learning.

Your faith. Learning to walk in faith in Christ. Learning to know the love of Christ. Walking with faith. In Christ, learning to apply it to the world, learning to encourage others in it.

A woman is to be a learner. But it says here, learn in quietness and full submission. Now some translations have a woman should be silent and it's not a good translation and you really should sort of not cross that word out. The word really means calm, peaceable, not quircling. So women learn calmly, passively, not quircling.

They'd be a quircling. Now I think there's something of clothing that we looked at last time, you know, the sort of power dressing of women to put down men and that sort of stuff. But he's also got this same commandment for men. This isn't just for women to learn calmly. The men should lift up holy hands and stop arguing.

So Paul simply saying that when it comes to the key activity of learning, which lies really at the heart of what happens when god's people meet together, that women should listen attentively without interrupting, without being contentious, without nudging and saying, you know, and social men. Listen attentively. You know, most of the criticism criticism that that I've had as a preacher is that people haven't quite heard what I said. Now, I I may have said it badly, but they're not really thought about it. They've just attacked.

That's interesting. So listen calmly peacefully without quirailing without attack. And then full submission. Well, the best picture of submission is is who. Jesus.

You can't get a better thing to want to be than that. Jesus, the second person of the tri unity, God the father, God the son, God the holy spirit. The 1 that says not my will be done father, but your will be done. That's full submission. There's no inferiority here, stated, inferred, implied.

There's no inferiority in the trinity between Father, Son and Holy Spirit, but the sun submits to the father. And and really if you think about it, voluntary submission only goes to show that your equal with someone because I have voluntary submit to you. So it's a beautiful phrase, isn't it? Submission is not a punishment. But to privilege, we've got it wrong in her age.

Submission is a gift to the church. What does a church need in gifts? It needs a preacher and a teacher. Absolutely. But there's no good just having a preacher and a teacher.

It needs listeners and submits to the word of God. People that will apply the word of God to their lives And he's saying men, you should do that. But actually women, you should do that as well. Because this will show your faith to the world. When people come into church, they'll see a group of people that say we have a God and we listen to him and follow him and try and work it out together.

We must stop believing the devil's lives that the only significant thing in church is a leadership or an elder or a pastor or a preacher. We've got to be listening people of God what a witness to the world this is. Right now, the kingston, isn't it? I guess the best story in the bible about sort of listening peacefully is the story of Mary and Martha. And it's a beautiful story, isn't it?

You've got Martha all worked up in the kitchen, all working out, all moaning because Mary is sitting at Jesus feet, listening. Martha's coming in and she's not feasible and she's not quiet. She's argumentative and irritated because she's better than Mary and she comes in and says, Why isn't Mary helping me with the sausages? Not pork, of course. But why isn't she helping me, you know, and Jesus says, Martha Martha, you know, you can hear him doing it, you know, I know women you hate this, but this is what calm down.

Martha Martha Martha Martha take a breath listen calmly do what Mary's doing its better to listen, then fuck around like that. And we must remember that this is a love act because you can have churches where women are told to be quiet and listen but they're the most rebellious women when they get home or the letter writing. I've been in enough churches where there's margarites around. There's always a margarite. If your name is Margarite, forgive me.

Are there any margarites here? Yeah. It's always a margaret or a saundra or something like that. Now I've made it double worse. But is there a sounder here?

There's always a marguerite of sounder, right? There's always some that and I I mean, I was I was in the We Freeze, which is the what what are these? Free Church of Scotland. You you you wanna you wanna know that, Leonard. And, I mean, they're tight.

And the women are all wear hats. They all think they're obeying the word of God. They don't say anything in church. They hardly sing. And then when you come out, margaret comes.

And she dominates the whole church. I was on a little island in Scotland. And I was there for a month and and she would say to you, I do not believe that women's of tweets. And, look, I, you know, and then you'd come out of church and you'd have to go around for a cake afterwards because she didn't like your sermon and she criticized it and ripped it apart and then you could preach next time and should be silent. There has to be in the front row, but afterwards, another cake and another invite around her house.

So it's very easy to do this outwardly, but not inwardly. This is a hard thing. This is a love thing. This is love submission. This is Jesus.

Doing it for a purpose. That's my first point. Second point then, the prohibition. And it's very simple And I really don't know how you get around it if you want to. A prohibition is don't teach women.

Look at verse 12. It's very simple. Let's just get it. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man. She must be quiet.

So women learn calmly. Learn quietly in the sense that you're not a teacher. Those 2 things go together. It doesn't mean you can't talk. It doesn't mean you can't pray.

It doesn't mean you can't ask questions. But it's very safe, be quiet, be calm in the sense of not trying to be a teacher. It's a very clear prohibition I do not commit a woman to teach. This is the apostle speaking. But let's get it clear because we can go wrong on it so very quickly and we become pharises on this so very quickly.

What does it say? And what doesn't it say? Well, It doesn't have a full stop after teach. Did you notice that? It doesn't say I do not permit a woman to teach Stop it.

That's it. Full stop. Let's get out of here. It's qualified by to teach a man to teach a man. It's qualified by the fact that we're talking about in the gathering of God's people.

It's qualified by the fact that we're talking about teaching the bible, not biology. We're not talking about a woman teaching a man carmechanics or plumbing or biology or history or how to make a cake. It's teaching the bible in church like a meeting like this where both sexes are there. A woman can teach a woman a woman can teach children. This is a male role, the teaching that I'm doing right now.

It's a male role to exercise this authority over a group of people. It's not my authority. It's not down to me as we'll see next week. Or the elders. It's the authority of the scriptures.

Now, there is an argument here that is there 1 if you read the commentaries and you can go off sidetrack here. I don't know whether you did Andy. Whether there's 1 or 2 prohibitions here, It seems a daft argument to me because there's 1, but there's it's in 2 parts. It all goes together. Is there 1 teaching and is there 1 having authority over over a man?

And I think it goes together. If you read 1 Timothy as a whole, because in the next chapter, Paul goes on to talk about male leadership, male oversight, elders or shepherds. And 1 of the qualities or qualifications that a male has to have is that he's able to teach if he's going to be a shepherd or an elder. All the other are characteristics. The only skill he's got to have is to be able to teach.

And so that's very important. And then in 2 Timothy chapter 2, Paul says to Timothy to appoint reliable men to teach. So the way the Lord rules his church as far as I can see. The way the Lord exercises his loving authority in his family is by teaching the word and this task is restricted to men, and not all men, but some men as we'll see next week. So there's the prohibition.

Women learn. Learn. But in your learning, And in your freedom to learn, and in the freedom in the church that you're equal with men, don't usurp your position. Don't usurp rather men's position. I do not permit a woman to teach or assume authority over a man.

She must be quiet. Don't use your learning. To gather material to usurp men. That's the second thing. Third point, The reason for this, what's the reason for this?

What is the reason that Paul appeals to? Well, it's verse 13, really? For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the 1 deceived. It was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner.

Now let's get this. There's lots in there. But notice he doesn't appeal to custom. He doesn't appeal to the dominant culture around him. He doesn't appeal to what everybody else is doing or what is done somewhere else.

He doesn't appeal to good manners. He doesn't appeal to even wisdom or practical reasons. He goes back to the beginning. He goes to the Origins, the Original Design. He goes back before cultures were even born.

He appeals to scripture and the account of scripture in scripture of creation. So we got to get that as so important and you can't get around this. We got to be very clear that this is a timeless instruction he's gone back, right back to the beginning. It's not just an instruction for Timothy's time, or just for the Ephesian Church that Timothy is going to be an elder over. It's for all time.

He's gone back to the beginning before cultures. So that's a really important thing because people all argue, oh, this was only for those days. No, you can't really have that if you're going to read this consistently. Verse 13, again, what's your reason for this? Port for Adam was formed first and then Eve.

Adam being the first then If you know the story of creation and if you don't, you need to go and read it. Adam being the first is taken as an indication, I think, of leadership and headship in this relationship between men and women. Adam was given the command of God. Eve wasn't. Adam was given the command of God even before Eve was created, if you read, the first few chapters of Genesis.

And then Eve was created out of Adam to be what a suitable helper to Adam. So all this adds up to headship, to leadership. But she's got an important role. Well, not an important role. A vital role.

You know, a visely important role. She is to help Adam, to go into god's world, to do god's work, under god's word, And he couldn't do that alone. He needed this helper. But nevertheless, Adam is the leader here with the word of God in his hand, and together they'll go out into God's world. That's what's going on here.

But what happened? Well, verse 14. Look. And Adam was not the 1 deceived. It was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner.

She was deceived, Eve was deceived by Satan into breaking away from God's word, and then she leads Adam to break the commands that he had in his hand. So she let rather than follow. And consequently, sin entered the world by this reversal of rolls. And Paul, he's not blaming Eve here as if it was only Eve's fault. He's not letting Adamoff.

It's called Adam's fall, by the way, throughout the bible. But he's actually saying what happened and he's blaming Adam Adam should have taken the lead. He should have applied the word of God. But he turned from his responsibility in the Word of God. And consequently, she led.

And now you have the the consequences of sin recorded in in Genesis chapter 3. And and it's disastrous. It really is disastrous. It's disastrous results. And this is the point that Paul is making here.

It's vital that a woman learns in the context of public worship and not take the role of the teacher and not take the role of authority. Look, what Eve did When Eve took the role, she was deceived by the serpent, by the liar, and Paul's arguing from this creative plan that he's made. He's arguing from this and bringing it into the church there now and then to us today The church is a society that mustn't follow Eve's agenda there. It needs to get back to Eve and if you like. Or to go forward to the new Eden.

The church now is to follow the household of God back then and be a alternative society to a world that doesn't believe in men and women's roles. This is a wonderful opportunity to witness to the world. We're different. Yeah. But there's another thing to note.

And that is because we are now living in a fallen cursed world. There's conflict between men and women. So if you carry on reading Genesis 3, you get to Genesis 3 verse 6. And there's 2 parts here and we come to the first part later. But look, It says this, Genesis 3 verse 6.

To the woman, God said, I will make your pains in childbearing very severe. With painful labor, you will give birth to children. Is that true? By the way, women? Or is it it's pretty easy.

It's a bit like intergestion for a bloke, isn't it? When you have a give a baby. Right? That largely will happen. Sometimes they come flying out like Suzanne Kneads, little Chloe, no pain at all.

She's walking out, just cleaning a teeth and out comes this baby and what's that. But most of the time, it's painful, isn't it? For the bloke? Yeah. I don't know why blokes are even in there.

It's just a disgrace. We should be out smoking a cigar and drinking a whiskey. But anyway, forget all of that, which has put you off completely. Let's come back to Genesis 3. To the woman, it's gonna be painful and childbirth.

Then this second part, your desire will be for your husband and he will rule over you. Now that word desire, you can interpret a sinful desire because if you read the next story that happens with Kain, there's desire, sinful desires crouching at his door and willing to have him. So there's a sinful desire here. It's not just that she fancies a bloke for her husband. It's actually desire over him.

So what you've got here is is a battle between the the husband and the wife or a battle between the sexes going on. That she wants to desire his role, take over his role, and he might be like the British man and simply put her down. And breaker. And so you've got that sight of masculinity, that horrible toxic masculinity going on, and that awful sort of feminism going on and they crash and they fight and you've got all of the sort of levels in between going on here. And so instead of headship being a matter of love and submission as God intended it, it's a matter of struggle and conflict.

That's the world That's the world. You see it everywhere. In the world that we live in, But it's not to be in the church, says, Paul. It's not to be in the church. It's vital, says, Paul, that women learn in quietness and submission, and I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume mythology over a man.

She must be quiet. Men and women in church are not to be rivals anymore. They're to be complementary. They're to complete each other. They're to show the world a loving, living, working God faith in their life.

As they work together. That's the third point. Fourth point. This teaching is consistent with the rest of the scriptures. This teaching is consistent with the rest of the scriptures.

An old testament, a new testament survey will show you that there are very, very, very few instances where this regular pattern of God's order is broken. Very, very few. There are some, and it's a bit like the exception proves the rule. Very few, though. And it's usually under unusual circumstances or sin.

But this pattern of 1 Timothy 2 12 is consistent with the whole revelation of God that's come before this verse. In the Old Testament, in the gospels, in the book of acts, and is consistent with the books that came after 1 Timothy. There is in all of this, a spiritual equality between men and women both made in the image of God, but that spiritual equality between the sexes does not do away with the different roles. That's right the way through the bible. Here's a very quick overview of the Old Testament.

There are no queens in either Israel or Judah. Only kings except for 1, Athleia, and she was a usurper and a wicked woman. It's true that there's Deborah who was a judge, but if you read, she's got a unique case And even she didn't really want to go into military battle, and she said, where's the men? She was only there because the men weren't doing their job. But no woman served as a priest.

None of the authors of the Old Testament were women. No women had an ongoing prophetic ministries speaking to people regularly like Elijah or Elijah or Jeremiah or Amos or Amos or Isiah. There are 4 prophetesses in the old testament. They don't have a permanent calling ministry, and we don't know much about them. That's the old testament.

It's consistent with 1 Timothy, 2 12. In the new testament is exactly like the old testament. It's almost a mirror image, but spiritual equality, different roles of the sexes. In no way, does the new testament treat women spiritually inferior? Read Luke 8 and see Jesus and his team of women that he has working with him.

Read Romans 16, where Paul talks about women in his team and he's he that he loves them and they love him. They're not inferior. But again, that equality did not do away with different rules. There's no women pass the teachers in the new testament No women evangelists. No elders in the new testament that are women.

None of the authors of the new testament are women. There's no sermons recorded by women. There's only Mary's song which is largely taken from old testament men. You've got the daughters of Philip in 1 verse in acts chapter 21, but their prophecies are not recorded and there's no reason to to believe that they were had a preaching ministry in a mixed congregation. But the massive thing that says that 1 Timothy 2 12 is the pattern of the bible.

Is Jesus himself? It's gotta be him. Jesus, who made massive impact on women in his ministry, and was prepared to challenge wrong things about the culture in reference to women. He included women in his team. He loved women in his team.

He taught women in his team. And so it's not insignificant and we've got to get this. It's not insignificant that when it comes to a teaching ministry and a ministry with authority, it was only 12 men he sent out, and it was only 12 apostles who were men. If Jesus had planned to reverse those roles for a future generation, where the world is saying there's no difference between men and women. If Jesus wanted that in the church, he would definitely have said something.

He did about the food laws and that was a massive change. I think it's close to blasphemy to suggest that the son of God was tracked in some kind of culture and couldn't have broken the cultural laws. He could have and he didn't. Fifth point. Are you still with me?

Fifth point. There you may. But unique place of women in salvation. Because I don't want this to be negative. I don't think it is negative in a slightest.

And I hope I haven't come across that way. And if I have, then you can come and tell me. And if women you think I have, then talk to your husband's and let him write a letter to me. Yeah? If women don't come into their own in the portrait or on the platform like this, There's a woman now complaining.

If women don't yeah. This is gonna test something I'm gonna say in a minute. If women don't come into into their own in the pulpit, where did they come into their own then? A women just to shut up and feel guilty that their gender was the 1 that was deceived. Is that what we believe?

Gosh, I hope not. What part are women to play in the salvation of the world? They were originally called to be helpers to help their men go into god's world, to do god's work under god's word. What place do women occupy now that men can't that men can't do. Where is it that women's gifts come in in a way that men's gifts just won't work.

Where's their full potential? We wanna be about our women having full potential. In church. Well, verse 15. Have a look at it.

But women will be saved through childbearing If they continue in faith, love, holiness, and propriety. Now, you can read tons of stuff about this first. I mean, how many books have you read? There's books on this first. So I'm gonna tell you what's right.

Right? This is how it goes. I take it that this is Paul saying that women have a huge place and a huge unique place in the work of God. You cannot be saved without women. I think he's saying that.

He's he's showing us our roles, but he doesn't want men to be marching out thinking we're better and women have no he say you can't be saved without a woman. I think he's saying that. It's it's that sort of emphasis. Now remember the curse, Genesis 3 6 To the woman, he said, I will make your pains in childbearing very severe. You see the connection there between verse 15 and that?

And the painful labor and with painful labor, you give birth to a child. Now the word woman used in verse 15 of 1 Timothy 2 is the word she. There isn't woman. It's she. Yeah?

She will be saved in childbearing. Well, what does that mean? He's been talking about Eve. So maybe he's talking about Eve here as well. And I think you could take that.

I think he's a pretty legitimate way of taking that. So in other words, Eve will have pain in childbearing. Yeah. But then if you read on in Genesis 3, you get to Genesis 15, where it says the seed of the woman, the child that she bears, will crush the head of a serpent. In other words, there's a savior.

There's a serpent crusher. There's a curse changer coming up away. Through the birth of her child. So Eve will have pain in childbearing, but will give birth to a seed, a serpent crusher. In other words, her salvation comes from her son.

And the promise finds its fulfillment in Jesus Christ who is a savior born of a woman. You get that expression in the bible. So the son of Eve Jesus Christ is her savior. You can't have a savior without a woman because he has to be born of a woman. Yeah?

You can't have a savior without a woman. You need saving. You need a woman then. Who's gonna give birth to a savior. I think something like that's going on and a lot of people take that.

But I think there's something more than that here. While not all women are mothers, and that's obviously true, isn't it? Childbearing is a sort of main feature of the difference between a man and a woman. Even though today, a politician I mean, this is a leader of our country. Says a man can have a baby.

And even though a politician, a leader of our country, they're, oh, yes, a woman can have a penis. Just anyway, there we go. So don't get me on that. But but the difference is clear. Women can in general, obviously, some women can't.

But in general, What defines a woman is that they can have a baby. They have a womb. It's what makes them a woman in that sense. So I don't think he's saying every woman has to have a baby, but what he's saying is the thing that makes a woman a woman That will save you by just being a woman, a godly woman in the church. Women are saved obviously not by childbirth.

Otherwise, we'd have to say, gosh, there's some single women here. I haven't had a baby. We need to inject them in somehow. You know, the elders need to climb them up. We need to sort of impregnate them and then they'd be saved.

How do I save a woman? Oh, come here. That's that's a man's false dream of a false cult. There. That's the children of God, if you've ever read their history.

It clearly doesn't mean that. Women are safe with grace alone in faith alone in Christ Jesus. But the working out of their salvation will be experienced not by them trying to be men or dressing in clothes that gets attention and separates them as greater people, not by being men and usurping men's roles, but by being more established as a woman, Being a woman in church, you're free to be a woman in church. A men equipped to have babies know Can men breastfeed? No.

Can men understand children? No. Can men understand a crying baby? No. What do they do?

They take them out for a bit and then pretend they understand and whoosh back to the mom. God has this marvelous gift that he's given women of this intuition that men just don't have. He's genius God in making us different. Women are counselors to their children. They're an ear.

They're a shoulder to cry on. They have a wise tongue. They're friends. Their mothers, their teachers to their children, their entertainers, they support their husbands. Without women, it's a disaster.

Be a woman he's saying. Work out what it is to be a woman in church. He's saying. Timothy, if you know his story, would not have been a Christian. He would not have been a Christian leader without women.

It was his mother and his grandmother that taught him the scriptures. And so we have Timothy. We have this very book that Paul wrote to Timothy because of women, the unique place of women, the majority of converts. Come from Christian homes in our in our in our nation, and the major influences in Christian homes are women. Teaching their children, bearing children.

Think of the women that even haven't had children that write books for children, that encourage hub craft and hub what was it called hub club. And the women, you know, there's women here without children and you've got hundreds of children. Because women did so much work in the church It's wonderful. And Paul is saying women can confirm and celebrate their womanhood like you can't out in the world. You gotta be a man.

But you can celebrate it here, this wonderful uniqueness. Women, so often are a massive massive influence and helper to men. Without women, men argue and fight. Without women, we won't go into god's world to do god's work under god's word properly. They encourage us.

They love us. They pray for us. They sacrifice. They're patient with us stupid men who make so many mistakes. They're not that critical so much, not quickly.

They're patient with us. I've known that as a preacher and a minister. The mistakes I've made, but largely women are patient So many preachers would be nothing without their wives, including me. Nothing without their eyes. I I wouldn't be able to preach without Anne.

You know, I was an uneducated person thrown out of school. She was an educated woman. How she's helped me in preaching is more than I could ever say. In 2 in Titus 2, just listen to this about women. I mean, this is 1 thing.

In Titus 2 verse 3, it says, likewise, teach the older women? Any older women here? Anybody wanna claim to be an older woman? No. Right?

Teach the older women to be reverent in the way that they live, not to be slanderous or addictive too much wine, women. But to teach what is good, older women are teachers now. And they teach you what is good. But listen, then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children. Right?

That's extraordinary. If you're a younger woman, you're having difficulties, loving your husband. Go and see Sally Willis. How many years have you been married? 51 years she's had with that bloke.

51 years she's learned to love him. 51 years younger women go to her. She'll tell you what to do. She will. It's a wonderful illustration.

She'll do it better than me. 37 years my wife has had. Incredible. You you will younger women, you having difficulty in your marriage. Go to Anne.

Go to our woman's worker. How many years have you been married? 35. Yeah? 35 years she's been married, not alive.

Yeah. Married. To who? Phil Cooper. Yeah?

You're having difficulties. How do you love Phil Cooper? How do you love Pete Woodcock? How do you love Collin Willers? Go to the older women.

You have a magnificent job. You see the world thinks you're just old women unimportant. It's untrue. Jean, how long have you been married? Seeks everybody.

67 years to that man sitting next to you. Who's a crazy man? If you know him? Out on motorbikes in Africa falling off at, you know, 80. Yeah.

Shit. Go to her. She'll tell you what to do. She'll teach you. There's a teaching ministry for women, you see.

Now, okay. Let me finish because I've oh, gosh. I've got 2 minutes. There there's a million ways to apply this. I mean, genuinely, I'm not just saying that as a preacher and pretending.

And sitting there, we could apply this so much. But let me just say a few things. The first thing is there is a prohibition women don't teach and have authority. We don't have women preachers here. We don't do that because that's what we think the apostolic teaching is.

And to me, it's clear. Fits into the bible. There will be no women preachers to a mixed congregation. They can teach women. They can teach children and young people.

Question is then what is a man? Is a man 12, 16, 18, 21? Notice he doesn't say that. It's down to love and situations to work that out. We have to work these things out.

And you know what? Sometimes we get it wrong. Yeah? And we have to sort of repent of it. But it's down to work these things out.

Can all women stand up and talk about depression? Yes. We've had that in the church. What about a woman coming and telling us about autism? Yeah, we've had that.

Why can't she tell us that? Yes, we can have that. But can a woman speak authoritatively like I'm trying to do now from the word of God? The answer is no. What about women's missionaries?

Well, what about them? They go into situations and there isn't any men and they have to preach the gospel. Yeah, there are circumstances like that that has to happen. But those women usually wanna train up a man and let them take over as quick as possible. And then the question is, if you're asking that question, men, why weren't you there?

Why didn't you obey the Lord's calling and go? Why is it only the women? Because they're listening. I'm wanting to serve the world by preaching the gospel, but you should be doing it. So there's that.

But the big thing I want to say is that there are all kinds of new Pharisees, you love rules. It's like you you young men that wanted me to say how long the skirt is and what is a bikini. You're all Pharisees, you see, because you won't work it out in love. It's like I wanted him to say 6 inches or 14 inches. Yeah.

And then over 14 inches I could have them. You know? We we can be so faradayical here. Other churches will work this out differently to us. There are different situations.

Churches will go through times where you have to be harder on this issue or gentler on this issue because we're working this out with love. So don't be a faricy. Don't be a faricy on these things. You have every right to ask questions. And we will and I think have had got this wrong sometime.

But that's alright. We want to come back to being an apostolic church. But the big thing I want to say is thank you to the women here, and I don't mean that lightly. And you've heard me say this before, this is fabulous. And I would love every feminist to come in here and look at you.

I I would love the world. That is so mucked up and confused and look at us as a church. As far as I can see, largely it's terrific. You're free women. Truly free to be a woman.

And men were free to be men. And that's a wonderful freedom. Let's pray. Father, we thank you for speaking to us this morning. We thank you that you have clearly given us your words, and we thank you father that you have You have given us a set way of doing church, and we pray father that we won't have heard negativity this morning, but we would have heard the positivity of your design.

Father, we want to thank you so much for this church. 20 years. And we thank you just so much for the women in this church. We thank you what an encouragement they are We thank you that they are women that are active listeners that want to hear your word and to put it into action. We thank you that for many of our women, they are such a great example of what it is to be a woman of faith.

We thank you for our older women who can point us to what marriage looks like and for those who are who's single older women who have faithfully served you in any way that they can in prayers and in teaching young ones. We pray father that you will help us to to help each other be the attractive society that you want us to be. We pray that we will be a people that shine out as different who understand your words. And as a as a lost world looks upon this this this this body of people that they will see something attractive that they want. Father, we pray for Cornerstone.

We pray that you will help us to be a church that shows how great you are. And we pray that we will be able to go into this town in Kingston and show a lost world hope. We pray that as we men and women go together into God's world, we will do his your work under your word So we pray that you will help us with these things farther. We pray for churches up and down the country that seek to put in to action your words. We pray particularly for the broonsies and their work in Chesterfield.

We pray father that you will continue to use them, help them to be that attractive alternative society that people in Chesterfield will come along and they will hear the glorious news of the Lord Jesus Christ and what he has done to die and buy people for himself. Further, we do pray that you will help us with these things. We pray again and thank you for the women in our lives. For many of us here, We can thank you for the women you put in our lives that have led us to faith and so we pray that you will lift them up. Show them how important they are.

May we honor them in Jesus' name, amen?

Preached by Pete Woodcock
Pete Woodcock photo

Pete is Senior Pastor of Cornerstone and lives in Chessington with his wife Anne who helps oversee the women’s ministry in the church.

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