Saturday, 2 December 2017
For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 1 Timothy 2:13
Paul will now give a logical and reasonable explanation for why women are not to be teachers of men, nor to have authority over them. He says, “For Adam was formed first.” Adam was created directly by God out of the dust. This is recorded in Genesis 2:7 –
“And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.”
Because of this, Adam is the head of the human race. He stands then as a type of Christ who is the Head of the church. That Adam is a pattern of Christ to come, in this regard, is explained in 1 Corinthians 15 and elsewhere. Only after creating Adam does the Bible then record the creation of the woman. As Paul says, “then Eve.” This is recorded in Genesis 2 as well –
“And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. 22 Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.” Genesis 2:21, 22
Eve was not formed from the ground, but rather from the man. If only chronology of formation was considered, beasts would be above men because they were formed before Adam. However, not only was man formed before the woman, but what formed her was taken from the body of man. Thus she is the weaker vessel, and the one who was to be in subordination to the man. The typology seen here looks forward to Christ and the church. As woman came from man who was in a deep sleep (typical of Christ’s death), so the church issued forth from the death of Christ. Thus there is a set typology which was ordained from the beginning concerning men and women. To violate this typology is to then usurp what the typology points to, the rule of Christ as Head of the church. Paul explains this in 1 Corinthians 11. An incorrect argument for women to be preachers and teachers today issues from the words of Paul which state in Galatians 3:28 –
“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
The argument is that because Paul says, “there is neither male nor female,” and that all are one in Christ Jesus, that it is now acceptable for women to preach and teach, in direct contradiction to Paul’s words here in 1 Timothy 2. The verse in Galatians is speaking of spiritual position in Christ. Just as Jews once alone held the spiritual blessings, now Gentiles do as well. The very fact that Paul uses categories – Jew, Gentile, male, female – indicates that there is a difference between them, even if there is no distinction in spiritual blessing. A Gentile does not become a Jew when he comes to Christ. And both men and women remain as men and women when they come to Christ. In other words, the logic in using Galatians 3:28 is a category mistake.
Charles Ellicott wisely and correctly states, “This teaching of St. Paul’s respecting the public position of woman as regards man, in which he shows that she is to hold a subordinate place—is based upon no arbitrary human speculation, but upon God’s original order in creation—that divine order which first created man, and after man’s creation, formed woman as his helpmeet.”
The divine order set by God, when overturned by the church, violates what God has ordained. It ignores His divine will, and it is in direct disobedience to the prescriptive writings of the New Testament. How terrifying it will be for such disobedient women – and those men who ordained them in disobedience to the word of God – when they stand before Him for judgment. It will not be a day of accolade and praise for their willful ignoring of His word.
Life application: The Bible is a book of logic. There is no logic in violating God’s word. The emotional decisions which authorize a violation of God’s word in order to justify the ordination of women are thus illogical. As we will be judged based on a reasonable, logical, and moral application of our adherence to the word of God, our emotions should always be ignored when making theological decisions. How unfortunate that this is wholly ignored in the ordination of women in the church today.
Lord God, it is certain from an understanding of Your word that our judgment will be made based on a logical and moral application of Your word to our lives – one which is reasonable as guided by adherence to Your word – and not based on our emotions. And so, help us to not base our theology on our emotions. Instead, may our emotions be a result of our theology – ever grateful and rejoicing in what Christ has done. In this, we will not err, and we will surely be found pleasing in Your sight. Amen.