1 Timothy, 2
1: I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; 2: For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. 3: For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; 4: Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. 5: For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; 6: Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. 7: Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity. 8: I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting. 9: In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; 10: But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works. 11: Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. 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.
Paul encourages Timothy to instruct the believers to pray for all men and in particular, Kings and Rulers and all those who are in authority that they might be able to lead an undisturbed life, free from persecution, in sound doctrine and decent living. This sort of Christian living is good and acceptable to God our Saviour. (That is Jesus Christ – an incidental proof of the deity of Christ) And Christ wants every man to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth. (Paul states here that God wills that all men will be saved – this verse is a blow to the Calvinist) Prayer for all men is acceptable because God wills all men to be saved. Paul hints at the double ministry – being ‘saved’ and ‘coming to a full knowledge of the truth - of the Apostles teaching’. The first is the work of the evangelist and the second is the work of the pastor/teacher. Paul excludes any other rival he says there is only ONE GOD and one mediator between God and men – the MAN Christ Jesus. The man who sits on the throne of heaven is our only recourse to blessing. He is the only one who gave himself as a substitute for all. (Another blow to the Calvinist) Christ gave himself for all men. It is this truth that is the basis of the Gospel of God which would be preached in due time. And says Paul I was appointed a herald, an apostle (This is the honest truth in Christ – its no lie) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth. And so Timothy, says Paul, I want men to pray lifting up holy hands to the Lord in humility and faith. And in a similar way you women are to adorn yourselves in modest clothing with humble self possession. Not in excessive hair dressings or with gold, pearls or expensive clothes. But the outward appearance should be consistent with women who are inwardly worshipping the Lord. Paul says let the women learn silently in subjection. (In Pauls day it was totally inconceivable that women could or should have any public role whatsoever, However in our day many women are gifted Bible teachers and therefore the church must recognise their unique contribution and try to find a way for them to excersize their gifts in relation to the church.) Paul says I will not allow a woman to publically teach the whole congregation or to take a position of authority over the men of the church, but to be characterised by silence in the public ministry. His reasoning was more than just custom it had some relation to the order of creation and to the fall. Adam was the first to be shaped from clay and secondly Eve. Adam was not deceived, but Eve being deceived fell and Adam followed her lead. You women are all to continue in faith, love and holiness.