Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 2 * PART 1 * BOOK 45
Order in the Local Church
I Timothy 2:8 – 6:20
Let’s start where we left off in the last lesson and that would be I Timothy chapter 2 and verse 8. And in order to pick up the “therefore” in verse 8 I’m going to read verse 7 as an introduction to it.
I Timothy 3:7
“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.”
I want you to remember that all the Old Testament was written primarily to the nation of Israel, and Israel was under the Law. Even when you come into Christ’s earthly ministry, it’s really just an extension of the Old Testament program, as Christ came to fulfill the Abrahamic Covenant, the promises He had made to Abraham.
So when Jesus came on the scene in the New Testament, Israel was still under the Law, and the temple was still in operation, so everything that Jesus said in His earthly ministry was under the Law of Moses. There was not one word uttered to give us any idea that the Age of Grace would be coming to the Gentiles. (non-Jews)
But when Israel continued to reject everything back there in the first 7 chapters of Acts, God finally made a fork in the road, and Israel went into a dispersion that has lasted even to this very day, although she has been coming back to the land for several years now. And then in chapter 9 the Apostle Paul was saved on the road to Damascus, and he was immediately told“that he would be sent far hence to the Gentiles.”
So ever since we began our study in Romans, we have come all the way through most of these epistles of Paul, and this is really where we have to be as Gentile believers in this Age of Grace to understand what God is saying to us.
Now all the rest of Scripture is profitable because it’s all the Word of God. But when you go back into some of the things in the Book of Leviticus for example, that has no bearing on us in this Age of Grace, and I always like to use for an example in Leviticus chapter 5 and the first 5 verses, where if someone touches a dead animal or someone hears someone cursing and if they do not bring the prescribed sacrifice as they are required to do, they’re in trouble. Well we don’t take that for us because we’re not under any form of bringing any sacrifices for something. Even though it’s still the Word of God, it’s was not written for us today in this Age of Grace. Our Lord gave that responsibility to the Apostle Paul. So we always have to keep that in perspective, “To whom is the Scripture written, and what are the circumstances?” If you can recognize that, then the Scriptures will just open up to you.
So again even these little letters of First and Second Timothy and Titus, I almost have to stop periodically and explain that even these, as we call pastoral epistles, are under a whole different circumstances than Paul’s doctrinal Books of Galatians, Romans, I and II Corinthians, and the Thessalonians. And those we just mentioned are in turn different than his prison epistles which are really deeper Church doctrine.
So all these things are categorized, and have their own particular role, And so these pastoral epistles to Timothy and Titus, who will more or less pick up the mantle when Paul prepares now to leave this earth, and so nothing here in I Timothy and Titus has doctrine as we normally think of it, pertaining to our salvation or to the hope of the end, because Paul doesn’t address that here. All Paul really addresses in these pastoral epistles are probably best put in I Timothy 3:15. And this is really the purpose of these pastoral letters. They’re not written for basic fundamental doctrine of salvation, our hope, and glory, and so forth, but rather here’s what they’re written for.
I Timothy 3:15
“But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God,…” What’s Paul saying? These letters are written to show people how to function in the local church – how they are to be organized, because remember, God is a God of order, and not a God of confusion. Also he gives a warning of what to be aware of, and what to look out for in these short little epistles. Now we’re ready to come back to chapter 2 and verse 7 again.
I Timothy 2:7-8a
“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,…”
Now, up until the Age of Grace, and the writings of the Apostle Paul, how was prayer for the most part practiced? Now that may seem like an ambiguous question, but let’s come back to the Book of Acts, chapter 3 and let the Scripture answer for us.
“Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour.”
So under the Law of Moses there was designated time to pray. Now we noticed that as we travel to Israel especially if we go on the EL AL, the Israeli airlines at about 4 or 5 o’clock in the morning, all of a sudden some of the orthodox Jewish men will begin getting up in the aisle, and getting everything all ready for their hour of prayer. The Jews were instructed that there was a designated time and place for prayer, and since Peter and the disciples were representatives of Israel they too were under the Law. But you see Paul doesn’t tell the believer in the Church Age, be sure to keep your hour of prayer, be sure to pray three times a day, in such and such a place. But rather the language for us says what?
I Timothy 2:8a
I will therefore that men pray every where…”
What does that mean? Now we can approach the throne of Grace anytime, wherever we are, even while driving down the road you have every option to pray. If you’re at the work place, and come up against something that is mind boggling, you can pray. That’s our privilege under Grace. The throne room is always open, and we’re not under a designated hour of pray like the twelve disciples were.
I Timothy 2:8
I will therefore that men pray every where lifting up holy hands, (which of course goes back to the Jewish tradition, there’s not doubt about that) without wrath and doubting.”
What does that tell you? Do you ever get bitter with God? No. I’ve given the account on the program before about a young man who thought that God had given him a raw deal. He developed a real serious health problem, that caused a lot of hospitalization, and as a result of that, I guess his wife got fed up and she left him and filed for divorce, and he got bitter. He said, “I got so bitter that I hated God and cursed Him.” He was one of those who professed salvation as a kid – you know, had walked the isle, and all that, but had never really had any inkling to live a Christian life.
Anyway at the peak of his bitterness and anger with God, he had torn up his Bible page by page and threw them in the fire place. He then said, “I went and turned on my television, and I just happened to catch Through the Bible with Les Feldick, and the first thing I heard you say was, the Grace of God.” He said “I just sat there glued till the program was finished, and when the program was over I dropped down on my knees and I asked God to save me.” He said my whole life has been changed.” Now that’s a young man that’s just 40 years old, but you see that’s what Paul is telling us, “Don’t get to the place that you get bitter or angry with God.”
And the next word in the text is just as pertinent. “doubting.” What good does it do for you to pray if you don’t think God can do it? Now I didn’t say will do, but rather that He can do it. There is a difference. When it comes to prayer I always like to use Philippians chapter 4:6-7, and a lot of our television viewers know that, because that’s the first verse that I refer them to.
Look at verses 6 and 7 for a moment – this is exactly what he’s referring to, where we says, don’t get to the place of wrath and doubting when we pray, but on the other hand appreciate God’s love, appreciate His Grace, and with thanksgiving, knowing that He can do it. That’s why I say, not that He would do it, He’s not duty bound just because we ask, but nevertheless we have that privilege of asking.
“Be careful for nothing; (or be worried about nothing) but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving…”
Now what are you to be thanking Him for? For what He’s going to do with your request, whether it be yes, no, or maybe later, you still thank Him. You don’t get bitter, you don’t get angry, and say, “Now God why haven’t you answered my prayers?” No, we make our petitions with thanksgiving.
“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known unto God.”
Now you see what a free open door that is? He doesn’t limit us to Spiritual things, but I think he does limit us to common sense. I don’t think this verse gives me the right to ask for two Cadillacs in my garage. I don’t think this verse gives me the right to ask to be a millionaire. But when it comes to things that are common sense, and things that are necessary and close to our heart, then yes, we have total freedom to ask for what we will. And then verse 7 is the immediate answer to all prayers, and what is it?
“And the peace of God,…” Regardless of what may come, or what happens, we have that peace of God, and that transcends anything this world can give.
“…which passeth all understanding (now here comes the promise) shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
Now come back to I Timothy again, and I’m sure that was on the apostle’s mind as he wrote. That as we pray, we approach the Lord in Grace and mercy, and with thanksgiving, but knowing that when we leave it in the throne room, it’s in good hands.
Now then we come into verse 9 and as I told Iris driving up here that these are going to be some tough verses for me to address, because we know there’s a lot of controversy lately about the role of women in the church. So I’m just going to teach it for the most part as the Word lays it out, but on the other hand, I’m going to leave a few loopholes. I’m not going to get to hard on the women, but nevertheless, I’m hopefully going to show you that the Apostle Paul was not simply being anti-feminine.
Paul is not a hater of women as he is so often described, but rather he is in total accord with the overall Sovereign working of God, and never forget that. Paul does not write what Paul thinks, but rather Paul writes what God has inspired him to write, and never lose sight of that regardless of how you may feel or how this affects you one way or the other. So in verse 8, men were to pray, and in verse 9:
I Timothy 2:9a
“In like manner also,…”
Now stop and think a minute, what did he just tell the men up there in verse 8 to do? Pray without doubting, and without any anger or wrath, and the women should do the same thing. Women have just as much access to the throne room as men do today. And it’s simple because that in the Body of Christ there is no difference. Now I’ve got to take you back to Galatians chapter 3 to finish that thought. I wasn’t going to use this verse but the Spirit is causing me to do it. Of course this is one of Paul’s basic elementary, fundamental, letters to the Churches.
“For ye are all (not just the men) the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. 27. For as many of you as hast been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.”
Now most of you know how I approach that word baptized, as it’s simply the work of the Holy Spirit who baptizes every believer into that invisible Body of Christ, by an invisible act of the Spirit. (I Corinthians 12:13) And Paul tells us that there is only one baptism in the Book of Ephesians. But here’s the verse I want you to see, and I want you to keep this in mind as we deal with Paul’s writing to Timothy.
“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all on in Christ Jesus.”
Now can you make it any plainer than that? I can’t! So as members of the Body of Christ, women you see are basically on the same level playing field as the men, but on the other hand we have the overall Sovereignty of God that we also have to recognize, and we’ll look at that in just a moment. Now coming back to I Timothy chapter 2, verse 9:
I Timothy 2:9a
“In like manner also, (with that attitude of believing prayer and peace of God) that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety;…”
I had to go to the Greek and pick that word up, and I think there’s a better word than “shamefacedness,” because we really don’t understand what that is. But when I went into the Greek with my dictionary, and Strong’s, the truer and probably a better translation for that word was a two fold meaning “toward other men the woman want to be shy and reserve, but in her attitude toward God it was to be an attitude of Ah.”
And I like that and thought, my isn’t it funny how sometimes just one word can miss so much. But as the women now come into the workers experience in the local Church they are not to be aggressive, and flamboyant in the presence of the men, but rather they are to be a little more on the shy and reserve side, but their attitude to God is to be just in Ah in all that he is. Now reading on:
I Timothy 2:9b
“…not with braided hair, or gold or pearls, or costly array:”
Now to show that this isn’t just Paul’s idea, we’re going to go to I Peter chapter 3, for a moment. A lot of you already know those verses. Here the Holy Spirit has caused Peter to write almost the same kind of language. So putting these two portions together and you realize that this is God speaking. First through the Apostle Paul who is writing to Timothy, but also through the Apostle Peter in his little epistles.
I Peter 3:1-2
“Likewise, ye wives, be subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, (in other words the husband is an unbeliever) they also may without the word be won by the conversation (or the manner of living) of the wives: 2. (so that this unbelieving husband) while they behold your chaste conversation (in other words your pure manner of living)coupled with fear. (or respect). In verse 3 this is telling how the wife or the women of the Church in Timothy are to dress.
I Peter 3:3
“Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;”
Now Peter doesn’t forbid it. He doesn’t say, “Now ladies don’t fix your hair, or ladies don’t look half way decent,” not at all, but he is saying, “Don’t let that be your primary way of attracting that unsaved husband.”
And Paul is going to use the same type of language, but a lot of people have abused it, and tell their women “That they can’t fix their hair, they can’t wear jewelry, and can’t look nice,” but that’s not what the Book says. It merely says, “Don’t let your primary way of speaking out to people, your testimony be these physical outward appearance.” Then verse four says it all.
I Peter 3:4
“But let it be the hidden man of the heart,…”
Even though it says, man, it’s still a generic term here, but let it be that inward personality that has been transformed by the Grace of God that is without price.
Now I was reading an article the other day about one of our more famous basketball coaches in the college ranks, who used to coach up at Iowa University, and the last few years has coached Arizona University. Just recently he lost his lovely wife to cancer, and there’s been several articles in the paper about what a tremendous lady that coach’s wife was to those basketball players. She was just like a second mother, and even guys who were under her husband’s coaching years back were still relating how they could remember when they were kids fresh out of high school and in a strange place, and she just mothered them like their own mother. Well what a great testimony she had. And I’m sure that Lute Olson and his wife, Bobbi were true Christians because I’ve read accounts of their life before her death.
But you see this is what we’re talking about. It’s not just the physical outward appearance, all though that certainly is appropriate. In fact as I was mulling this over, I couldn’t help but think, you’re all aware of Sara, what kind of lady was she? Was she something that just turned people off? Hardly. Let’s go back and look at that account in Genesis chapter 12. And this is where you use all of Scripture to put your thoughts together, and I think that’s the only way you can understand some of these things. Look at the whole picture. Yes Paul and Peter says: “don’t let it be the fixing of the hair, don’t let it be the wearing of your jewelry, or some pretty dress, but instead let it be the inward man of the heart.” But that still don’t mean that you have to make less your outward appearance.
“And there was a famine in the land: and Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn there; for the famine was grievous in the land. (of Israel) 11. And it came pass when he was come near to enter into Egypt, that he said unto Sarai his wife, Behold now, I know that thou art a fair woman to look upon:”
What was Abraham expecting? That Pharaoh’s guards would come out and take Sarai into the Pharaoh’s harem. Abraham knew that was a good possibility. So what kind of woman was Sarai? She was beautiful, but Sarai wasn’t just beautiful on the out side, but she was also beautiful woman of faith.
Now in the moments we have left come back with me to I Timothy. So the point I’m trying to make ladies, is that there is nothing wrong with fixing your hair, nor wearing jewelry, or being attractive, but that’s not the number one priority. The number one priority is, the “hidden women of the heart.” So coming back to I Timothy chapter 2, in verse 9 Paul is using the same language that Peter used, and then in verse 10 he also uses the same language.
I Timothy 2:10
“But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.”
So just like Bobbi Olson had a tremendous testimony helping her husband in his coaching profession, so it is that all women of faith also have a good testimony of good works.