Sermon or Lesson:  1 Timothy 2:11-15 (NIV based)
[Lesson Questions included]

TITLE:  Fully Subordinate To The Authority Of Men In The Church

INTRO:  Have you ever wondered what God thinks about the movement in societies in recent decades to liberate women from the authority of men?
     Our study today pertains to what God thinks about this topic, particularly in relation to within churches and ministries.

READ:  1 Timothy 2:11-15, with vv.8-10 for context

- - God has specific intentions and instructions for how men and women in churches and ministries are to conduct themselves.
- - Focusing specifically on women in these latest verses, God instructs that women are to dress and adorn themselves modestly.
- - And God values the inner spiritual beauty of women, when they do good deeds that match their worship of Him.

v.11 - READ

[Lesson Question:  From the principle in this verse, what are the ramifications for women and for men?]

SECTION POINT:  God has established that in the church, women are to be compliant and silent learners.

- - God has established levels of authority for us humans, and roles for our genders and age groups.
- - Women are to be teachable and learn God's Word.
- - But women are to learn God's Word through "quietly" listening, which technically is not to give their opinion to men about the meaning of God's Word. 
- - Women are to learn with a "fully submissive" attitude, speaking, and conduct, which comprehensively respects, voluntarily aligns, and willingly follows under the male authority God has established over them.
- - There is no indication that women are incapable of learning God's Word; the issue is respecting and submitting to the male authority God has established.
- - And when women submit to God's directive in which they quietly listen to teaching from men, their submitting therefore is essentially submitting "as to the Lord". 
(Ephesians 5:22)

- - Men are to properly take and exercise the authority and role God has designated for them, in this case to teach the women.
- - In using their God-given authority, men are to be "considerate" of women "and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as [co-heirs] with [men] of the gracious gift of life". 
(1 Peter 3:7; Strong's #4789)

v.12 - READ

[Lesson Question:  What would or should the application of the principles in this verse be in a church or ministry today?]

SECTION POINT:  God has established that in the church, women are to silently and agreeably align under the teaching and the authority of the men.

- - Women are capable of learning and teaching God's Word, but the issue being addressed here is a matter of properly respecting the authority structure God has established.
- - When women are in situations where men are present, God has ordained and instructs that women are "not to teach or to have authority over a man, [they] must be silent".
- - In 1 Corinthians 14:33b-35, additional clarification is given to this directive by God, which states "As in all the congregations of the saints, women should remain silent in the churches.  They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says.  If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church."
- - Exerting or holding any authority over men in a ministry, or in a direct way teaching the Word to men, or speaking in a way that presumes authority over men in ministry is "not permitted" because it disrespects and rebels against the authority God has established.

- - Judging from the specificity, tone, and intentions of these passages, women should therefore not fill any authority ministry position or function over men, even if there is no suitable man available.
- - The God-submitting approach when no suitable man is available is to postpone the authority event, function, or position over men until God supplies a suitable man to lead it.

vv.13-15 - READ

[Lesson Question:  Analyze and explain the reasons why God has established that women are to be subordinate to the authority of men in churches and ministries.]

SECTION POINT:  God has pronounced this subordination of women to the authority of men in the church because of actions that occurred in the Garden of Eden.

- - In these verses 13-14, the leading word "for" indicates that the reasons are being given as to why God has established this authority structure.
- - One reason cited is that God chose to create a man before He created a woman, indicating that at the time of creation God made a distinction in level between man and woman by the order in which He created them.
- - God created man first in order to lead, and woman was created second in order to follow the man, to be a suitable companion and supportive helper for the man. 
(Genesis 2:18)

- - Another reason cited is that the woman was the one who was deceived and became a sinner, committing the first "violation or transgression" of God's command. 
(Strong's #3847)
- - The woman was the first person to commit sin, which came primarily from deception that was presented to her through the conversation she carried on with Satan and to which she acted upon. 
(Genesis 3:13)
- - The man was not deceived by Satan to commit sin, and instead he listened to the encouragement of the woman, who convinced the man to commit sin. 
(Genesis 3:12,17)
- - In response, God has pronounced responsibility and consequence upon the woman for being deceived in the Garden of Eden by establishing that woman be subordinate to the authority of man.
- - Note that this pronouncement from God is not based on any cultural reason, but instead is based on both a selection of creation order by God coupled with the pioneering choice of moral failure by the first woman.

- - An important contrast or "but" is added to this discussion in verse 15 to heed, that this pronouncement from God of subordination and its initiating reasons is not a sentence of eternal condemnation of all women throughout all of time.
- - As an element of God's plan, He has ordained that through woman giving childbirth, specifically that of Jesus the Christ, has come a means by which His salvation is offered to both genders of the human race.
- - So, in a sense, God has chosen to graciously honor woman by using her in a super-important childbearing function from which He has brought the offer of salvation. 
(v.42 in Luke 1:26-42)
- - Of course, women are not saved by their act of childbearing.
- - Salvation comes to anyone, female or male, who has proper faith in Jesus the Christ, which will naturally produce "continuing faith, love, and holiness with propriety" in the person's life if the faith is genuine, authentic. 
(1 Timothy 1:15; 2:3-6,15)

BIG IDEA:  God has established that in the church, women are to be fully and silently subordinate to the authority of men.



- - Ladies, these are instructions from God about how women "ought to conduct themselves in God's household". 
- - Have you been voluntarily and fully placing yourself under the teachings and authority of men in your church or ministry?
- - And are you following in an orderly fashion, without complaining or demanding or criticizing or arguing?
- - Ladies, have you been silent within the teaching and authority among men in your church or ministry?
- - Are you careful not to voice your ministry or theological opinions in situations over men?
- - Are you respectful, not trying to control or lead over men in your church or ministry?
- - Are you subordinate, not holding a ministry job position over men?
- - Are you self-restrained, not trying to teach the Word or doctrines to men?
- - Have you been a quiet learner?
- - Ladies, are each of you willing to submit to God and what He has established for you as delineated in these verses, or are you going to "malign the Word of God" by your blasphemous actions bringing harm, evil, and injury to the Word? 
(v.5 in Titus 2:3-5; from Strong's #0987 - 'malign'; from AHD - 'malign')

- - Men, do you regard and treat women in your church or ministry as being co-workers and sisters in Christ under God-ordained male authority, worthy of respect and tender treatment?
- - Or do your actions show you to be a dictator or slave driver over women in your church or ministry, abusive and demeaning in your regard and exercising of your God-ordained male authority?
- - Men, do you shirk your responsibilities to lead in your church or ministry, especially when leadership or teaching positions over men open up and you acquiesce to let women fill those positions?

[Additional Lesson Questions to ponder (optional, if time allows):
- - What kind of response from God should be expected in churches or ministries where women are allowed or promoted to exert authority over men?
- - For women who are not subordinate to the teaching and the authority of men in churches or ministries, what does this indicate about the condition of their personal relationship with God?
- - Does the principle in verse 12 apply in the family, in the marriage, in the workplace, in the government, or in the church leading worship or prayer or preaching or teaching?  And if so, how?]


Works Cited:
The American Heritage Dictionary. 3rd ed., ver. 3.6a (CD-ROM). Cambridge, MA: SoftKey International Inc., 1994.

Bible. “The Holy Bible: New International Version.” The Bible Library CD-ROM. Oklahoma City, OK: Ellis Enterprises, 1988.

“Strong's Greek Dictionary.” The Bible Library CD-ROM. Oklahoma City, OK: Ellis Enterprises, 1988.
Scriptures taken from Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®
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Updated:  October 6, 2016