Last week we began to look at what the Bible says about women in their roles in the Church. We acknowledged that the strife between men and women and the need to be instructed in this area is actually a great evidence that what the Bible says is true. The curse that was the result of the Fall declared that it would be so. Remember that the Lord said to the woman in Genesis 3:16, “I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; In pain you shall bring forth children; Your desire shall be for your husband, And he shall rule over you.” We dealt with the submission part of this last time. See the post Women Professing Godliness. This time we will look for a moment at the “In pain you shall bring forth children” part. You can hear audio of the lesson by clicking on the link below
Saved in Childbearing? – AUDIO
As the Apostle instructs Timothy on the limits of the role of women in the church, he makes a rather strange comment at the end of the chapter. He says;
1 Timothy 2:11-15 Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. 12 And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. 15 Nevertheless she will be saved in childbearing if they continue in faith, love, and holiness, with self-control.
This needs to be seen in context and in connection with the passage in Genesis 3 to make sense. There are two negative concepts here, concepts that are vehemently argued against by many; Submission / Authority and Saved in Childbearing. Both of these were addressed in God’s curse to the woman at the Fall. If we appeal to the Fall narrative to understand the idea of submission, then we must also look there for the interpretation of verse 15. One important note: This does not say, “Saved BY childbearing.” Do not try to interpret this in such a was as to change the Gospel! It says “saved in childbearing” the Greek would allow the translation “saved through childbearing.” You say, “This does not help. Let’s take a look at what Peter says about Noah and the Flood and see how he applies the idea.
1 Peter 3:18-20 18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit, 19 by whom also He went and preached to the spirits in prison, 20 who formerly were disobedient, when once the Divine longsuffering waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water.
Was Noah saved by Water? That is the wording in the King James Version. He was not saved “by” it, but “through” it. He was “in” it. The water was the visible sign of God’s curse on sinful man. Likewise, in exactly the same way, pain in child birth is a visible sign of the curse of the Fall. I believe that the idea here is that we need to accept God’s judgment and authority on the matter. As we accept the consequence of the Fall and God’s dealings with us, we are forced to look to Him in faith for the remedy, just as Noah obeyed when he built the ark. Therefore, Paul says, “Nevertheless she will be saved in childbearing if they continue in faith, love, and holiness, with self-control.” The curse is overcome by faith and a life that shows its fruit.
This said, though it may not be popular, we need to submit to God’s order in all of this. In order to do so, it is not just women who need to submit, but men also. We need to submit to the commands of the Lord as given in Ephesians 5:21-33 and go out of our way to love and cherish the women that the Lord has given us. This is important stuff! It is so important because it is designed to show the world how much Christ loves His Church! Moses missed the Promised Land because he failed to speak to the Rock and ruined God’s illustration of His love and mercy in (Numbers 20:7-12)
Having said all of this, we looked at one more thing in our study. Often times when we try to teach that women are not to be in authority over men in the Church, the opposition comes, “What about Deborah?” We took a pretty good look at Judges 9 in order to see her in her proper context. If you still have doubts about this and believe that she is a key to nullifying what has been said, please listen to the audio from the lesson!
Saved in Childbearing? – AUDIO