Throughout our study of 1 Timothy we have learned a number of things. He has given us a number of directives that should mark us as a gospel based church. But in our passage this morning Paul acts much like a weatherman who forecasts a coming storm.
The passage tells us that in the latter times some will depart from the faith. The word depart there is the Greek word “aphistemi;” it’s the word we know as “apostatize.” So this passage is warning us that there is going to be a great apostasy in the church.
But what you need to understand is what kind of prophetic word this is. When you read this you see that it talks about the “later times.” And you can easily think that it is referring to some distant future event that occurs right before Jesus comes again. But that’s not what Paul is concerned with. He’s concerned with present realities. The later times are the times that we currently live in. It is the time period that extends from Christ’s first advent to his second.
Paul wrote this so that Timothy would be aware that apostasy is a threat that looms in every age of the church. He wanted Timothy and his congregation to be on guard and aware of the danger posed by false teaching.
And as we read this passage, we are to be reminded that it should be on every one of our radar’s too. If the forecast was so troubling in Timothy’s day, certainly we should demonstrate just as much care that we do not fall prey to the teaching of spiritual scoundrels that continue to lurk about in our day.
In this passage Paul seeks to impress upon us the fact that apostasy is an ever looming problem. And we on guard against it. And, in order to help us garner the vigilance that we need, he tells us 4 things about the false doctrine that leads to it.
The passage before us today is one that, in a lot of circles, is overlooked, reinterpreted, or outright denied. For that reason, it is one that has the potential to get me in a great deal of trouble.
It's about Biblical femininity, and that, of course, is something that is hated in our rabidly egalitarian society.
The woman’s liberation movement has so infected even the church that any mention of the idea of biblical patriarchy, submission and God’s order for Biblical manhood and womanhood can create a firestorm of opposition.
I have been opposed on it several times through my meager career. I have been rebuked by one of the leaders of the local Democratic Party. I have been opposed by virtually the whole of the local ministerial society. About 6-7 years ago I was kicked out of a church where I had been doing pulpit supply for almost a year because my “hermeneutical framework” did not comport with the denomination’s. That was just fancy talk for me being someone who holds to the biblical roles of men and women.
I’m thankful that I don’t have to worry about too much of that with this group. I commend all of you, and especially you ladies, for being faithful to study the Scriptures on these topics and most (if not all) of you already have a good grasp on what God’s Word says about Biblical femininity.
Nevertheless, some of what Paul says here can rattle the sensitivities of the modern ear. And we should remember that this is some rather controversial material. To be sure, it was just as controversial in his day as it is in ours.
And while there may be an absolute disdain for the truth all around us—and there may be multitudes express their outrage, we are building a gospel based church. And here in this passage we find that a gospel based church is not going to be a church that bends to the tides of popular opinion. A Gospel based church is going to devote itself to what God says no matter what. And in the passage before us, we find that a gospel based church is going to be one that promotes biblical femininity. And it is going to promote biblical femininity in whatever form it comes in.
And our passage lists for us three different ways in which Biblical femininity displays itself. The first of which is in a lady's attire. Paul tells us that one of the ways Biblical femininity is expressed in the clothes a woman chooses to wear.
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Matt is blessed to be a husband, father, and pastor in Ashland, Ohio.