1 Timothy 2:8-15, "I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting. 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; But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works. Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety."
We are living in a day and age where there is great confusion as to the role and identity of men and women. We have men who are behaving like women, who think they are women, and who have even gone so far as to look like women.
We have women who are behaving like me, who think they are men, and who have even go so far as to look like men. There is great confusion as to husbands, wives, fathers, and mothers.
This confusion within our society and culture has leaked out its toxic fumes and has seeped into local churches. This confusion has filled culture’s cup and is overflowing.
As a local church, our authority for faith and practice, our authority, our infallible guide for knowing God and knowing how God wants us to live is the Bible, the Word of God. We are not guided by culture. We are not guided by other Christians or other churches. We are not guided by conventions, groups, or councils. We are guided by God’s Holy Word.
In these verses of this infallible guide, we are told how men and women are to conduct themselves at the local church's public services. We are given the manner in which men and women are conduct themselves. They are not reversible roles and responsibilities. They are not equally filled roles and responsibilities. Equality in God’s sight of men and women is value, not roles.
These instructions Paul gave Timothy were not suggestions, but commands. The first few words of verse 8 expresses that these instructions Paul gave Timothy were commands. In verse 8 he wrote, “I will therefore that…”
In the previous verse Paul had stated that he was ordained a preacher and an apostle, not by men nor by his own self, but by God. Therefore what he commanded and instructed Timothy did not come from a council or convention and it did not come from his own desire. What he willed as a God-ordained preacher and apostle was the will and desire of God.
What we are about to learn in regards to the conduct and manner of men and women in local churches is not debatable. What we are going to learn from the Word of God is set in stone, the impregnable rock of Scripture. This is what the will of God is for the behavior and conduct of men and women in a local church's public services.
Men are to conduct the local church’s public services.
The Bible says in verse 8, "I will therefore that men pray every where..." Let’s us understand from the Word of God this morning that the church’s services are to be conducted by men. In every place where men and women assemble for Divine worship, the duty of conducting that meeting is entrusted to men.
In the verses before verse eight, Paul had expressed to Timothy the need for the church to pray for all people – for kings, for all that in authority, for everyone for all men to be saved and Jesus Christ is the Saviour of all men. Paul was engaged in this work of telling all men that Jesus is their Saviour.
The local church should be known as a place that is praying for them. The church, though unfortunately sometimes is viewed as an enemy by the community, the New Testament local church is in fact the greatest friend they could have. This is because the local church is praying for them to be saved and to live for the Lord.
Our local church, according to the Word of God, should be praying for our president, vice president, and other government officials. We should be praying for all men. Then, he went on to indicate who is to conduct these public prayers.
Paul, in speaking of men praying everywhere, is speaking of local churches dotting the world. In years gone by it was the thought that only prayer could be made in Jerusalem at the Temple. Then, it was thought that prayer could be made to the Lord in the Holy Land.
Paul is giving the instructions for the local church not only in Ephesus where Timothy would minister, but also for local churches that were all over the place and that are all over the world today. He commanded that churches meeting in Asia, in Africa, in South American, and in North America should be praying churches. They should be praying churches.
In those assemblies, in those local churches, Paul commanded that men lead in prayer. Men are to conduct the public services of the local church. He commanded for men in all these places to be made by men. The men alone should be responsible for the conduct of the public church services.
In our church’s public church services where men and women are gathered, men are the ones leading the praying. In this public church service, a man prayed to open the church service. A man prayed for the offering. A man prayed before the sermon. The reason for this is because the Word of God commands us to do so.
This is not to say that women cannot pray. Women can most certainly pray. This is not to say that women cannot pray better (if there is such a thing) than a man. I say that perhaps some women have a better prayer life than some men. Let’s follow His directions. Men are to conduct the local church’s public services.