I’ve worshiped in many countries and there are many differences. In Manilla, Philippines, people dressed up for “hot” and played contemporary music. In Milan, Italy, people dressed up in suits and dresses as well as casual, and played guitars and keyboards. In Belarussia, I learned that the pastor does not seek a verbal response from the people and they had a simple hymns with keyboard. In Uzbekistan, there was a formality to the church service and people approached the communion table along two aisles, one for grape juice and one for real wine. In Marseilles, France it was just like Grace, but in French. In Paris, I couldn’t find a protestant church, so I took my family to a Catholic one and it was, well, Catholic! Obviously, there were language differences.
This text in 1 Timothy 2 has many questions that we must address. For example: Do men have to lift up their hands to pray? Are braids wrong on women and is jewelry inappropriate for church? What does Paul mean when he says women are to learn in silence? What does it mean for a woman not to have authority over a man? Are women more easily deceived than men? How is it that women are saved through child-bearing?
The tough questions will be next week. This week, they are pretty straightforward, yet extremely important. How do you disciple worship? What matters in worship? Does my posture matter? Does what I wear matter? What if you were going to meet the President of the United States? Yes, it matters because of your respect for the position of the President. What about God? What does God’s Word say?
1) Disciple men to worship in dependence on Jesus 2:8
All men and women are created in the image of God, but they both also have a sin nature. Paul does not set men and women totally apart, because the contrast of men and women in 1 Timothy 2:8, 9 is connected by “likewise.” Both are to prayerfully worship, but men must lead. Many men worship, but too many do not.
Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. (1 Tim. 2:1-2 NKJ)
Therefore, based on the Mediatorship of Jesus, who wants all men to receive salvation, we note our passage,
8 I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting. (1 Tim. 2:8 NKJ)
Paul directs prayer “everywhere,” that is, in all church gatherings, not just Ephesus. He’s not saying women can’t pray, but that men should lead in prayer. He uses the expression, “lifting up holy hands.” What does Paul mean? Is he saying that when I pray, I must lift up my hands?
Always remember “context.” In this case consider the context of what Paul wrote to the Colossians,
6 As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him. (Col 2:6 NKJ)
How did you receive Jesus? Did you perform certain works? Did you become something with some level of goodness? No, you received Jesus by faith alone, by grace alone. You cannot do anything for salvation, because God does all the work for salvation. Your part in salvation is faith, which is non-meritorious. It is a decision of dependence only. You also can’t do anything in life, because God the Holy Spirit does the work by His empowerment through you. You make decisions to depend totally on His power (Eph. 5:18). It must all be done by dependency on the Holy Spirit. So when Paul says, “…so walk in Him,” he is describing how we also are to live by faith in what God does in and through us. Hence, life does not depend on my form or what I do, but my heart transformation, WHICH WILL be seen in what I do. Therefore raising my hands is not the requirement. What is the requirement?
What does it mean, “lifting up holy hands”? The expression means “not holding anything from the earth, dependent on God, totally open to His will, and free from wickedness.” Warren Wiersbe writes, “Oriental, Greek, and Roman religions said little or nothing about personal holiness. A person could bring sacrifices, say prayers, and go away from the altar to commit terrible sins, and nobody would think he or she was inconsistent.” Not so with Christianity! We approach God totally dependent and empty before Him.
There are two attitudes Paul noted, which men struggle with in life – wrath and doubting. Wrath, or anger here (orge-), means “deep seething anger.” When I was first married and was angry inside, I controlled my speech with my wife Barbara. I would deny my anger, because I spoke quietly. I thought it was hidden. Yet, she knew I was.
You can’t be broken, humble OR dependent on God and be angry at the same time. Anger means there is some idol in the way. There is a desire stronger than pleasing God. The anger may be from how you spend your time, how you spend your money, or how much you have to listen, etc. Anger hinders prayer and worship. Listen to what Peter wrote,
7 Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered. (1 Pet. 3:7 NKJ)
Anger comes from the attitude, “I want control and want to be God.”
The second attitude that hinders worship and prayer is doubting. Doubting is reasoning with self. James addressed this problem,
6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. (Jam. 1:6-8 NKJ)
Doubters are not dependent on God. They question whether God can be trusted and they try to figure it out for themselves! Worship is built on broken humility trusting God. In other words, you can’t be angry at others and you must have confidence in God. Then you have worship. What does it take?
There are four things needed to worship in dependency on Jesus without wrath and without doubting. First, Courage to shrug off what others say. Men, too often we get the perception that others won’t think our prayer or worship is holy, connected or smooth. It doesn’t matter what anyone says. It only matters what God says and He wants your prayers. Secondly, Humility before God. When David had sinned, he said, “God, I know if You wanted sacrifice, I’d give it, but that is not what You want. You want a broken and contrite heart (Ps. 51:16-17). Thirdly, Intensity to speak to the God of the universe. God spoke creation into being with clarity and intensity. He didn’t meander in eternity past wondering what He wanted or half falling asleep. He said, “Light, be!” It was clear, concise and laser intense! Reflect the Lord in your prayer and worship! Fourthly, Perseverance to keep pressing forward if something doesn’t come out right. I remember when I was in Portland, Oregon in seminary, that on Wednesday nights after Bible class, we had a prayer meeting. Here I was in seminary, seeking to one day be a pastor, and I had a herd of elephants in my chest. I was sure everyone else could hear! I knew I needed to get over it, if I would ever lead anyone else in prayer. Men, prayer and worship is your lead. So what about the women?
2) Disciple women to approach Jesus properly 2:9-10
Let’s notice the first verse,
9 in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing (1 Tim. 2:9 NKJ)
There are four aspects that we need to see to help us with discipling women to approach Jesus properly. First, disciple women to “Approach Him with a pure heart 2:9a – internal.” This is the first expression, “…in like manner…” This says that the basic concept of verse eight also applies to women. Women are to pray without holding onto anything in the world, totally dependent on the Lord and free from wickedness. Women are also to prayerfully worship without anger or doubting. Some women go to worship, but attract attention to themselves rather than give attention to God.
Secondly, disciple women to “Approach Him with modest apparel 2:9b – externals” Paul’s expression, “…that women adorn themselves in modest apparel with propriety and moderation…” Adorning with “modest apparel” (kosmio- katastole- )means orderly, respectable, well-arranged and appropriate garments and clothing. The word “propriety” means having respectful humility in the presence of superiors, seeking humble honor, having regard for others, or reverence. It’s like combining modesty and humility. The word, “moderation” means using wisdom, soundness of mind, and self-control. Women are to approach God serving from the heart, not focused on externals. If women depend on externals, eventually they will run out of ammunition to get attention. Objects lose their youthfulness as they age, but character and works grow precious and beautiful. Paul wasn’t telling women to wear out of style or discarded clothing. You don’t have to wear Amish clothes, although that is entirely appropriate in their context. The point is to wear clothes appropriate to the occasion, while being modest.
Thirdly, disciple women to “Approach Him with inward beauty 2:9c – heart” Paul recorded, “…not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing…” The braided hair is a term used for braided nets or braided baskets. The issue is the elaboration that can go into care for the hair. This is in contrast to cultic prostitutes who shaved their heads. The gold, pearls and costly clothing all perish. They are not wrong, but wrong values as to what is important. These styles may have been common with local prostitutes. Christian women must be careful to not let the worldly culture influence their fashions. Paul is not saying you can’t wear stuff, any more than Peter forbid wearing clothes,
3 Do not let your adornment be merely outward– arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel– 4 rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. (1 Pet. 3:3-4 NKJ)
The worldly purpose of clothes was to turn the head or attract attention. Paul was not for flaunting wealth or moral looseness.
Humility is hard for a woman. Why? Women are very smart. In fact, they can out talk any other creature on planet earth, except maybe serpents, but they can often focus on 10 tasks at once and get more done in a day than two men. They keep on going when men have to rest. Consequently, they will often attract attention to themselves, to help the knuckle-draggers see how wonderful they are. Ladies, wise men know how fantastic you are. The other foolish ones who are attracted by overt beauty are not the ones you want pursuing you.
It’s interesting that those who turn our heads in fashion often have some of the most chaotic, confusing and troubled lives. But, we let how THEY dress drive how WE dress. Who is getting the attention? Is God?
Fourthly, disciple women to “Approach Him with works of blessing 2:10 – works.” Paul wrote,
10 but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works. (1 Tim. 2:10 NKJ)
Note three things. First, what is proper? We’ll see that more clearly in 1 Tim. 2:11-15 starting next week. Secondly, professing godliness, that is, mirroring the Holy Spirit in her position and subordinating to a head. Thirdly, good works. The word for good is the other Greek word we saw in verse 3. There, good meant “good of intrinsic value.” Here, it means “what benefits others or blesses others.” Most women do this naturally. Good works reveal the heart.
Women, reject the world’s measurement for beauty. God said to the prophet Samuel as he was looking at David’s older, bigger brothers, “
7 But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have refused him. For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” (1 Sam. 16:7 NKJ)
Those who profess Jesus Christ will be known by their actions, which come from the heart. Godly actions are far more eye-catching than looks or dress to a godly man. Paul addressed this again in 1 Timothy 5,
11 But refuse the younger widows; for when they have begun to grow wanton against Christ, they desire to marry, 12 having condemnation because they have cast off their first faith. 13 And besides they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house, and not only idle but also gossips and busybodies, saying things which they ought not. 14 Therefore I desire that the younger widows marry, bear children, manage the house, give no opportunity to the adversary to speak reproachfully. 15 For some have already turned aside after Satan. (1 Tim. 5:11-15 NKJ)
The best way for women to preach is with her life. BUT, women have said about their husbands, “He doesn’t listen. I have to nag.” Women, the ungodly man won’t listen, but the godly man will. If yours doesn’t, let him know you both need to talk to an elder.
3) Disciple women to worship Jesus __________________ 2:11
4) Disciple women to worship Jesus ______________ 2:12-15
Worship God in humble purity!
- Men, lead in worship with prayer in humble confidence before God. Get off your laurels and on your feet, bottom or knees and lead. Women will follow.
- Women, emphasize the heart and good works, regardless of what other women say and do. Grooming of the soul is far more important than grooming and adorning of your body. A sinful soul will be seen, regardless of grooming.
- Women, godly men will respect Paul’s words and lead; run from foolish men.
Message Based Discussion Questions
1) Did anyone teach you how to pray in life? Is it easy for you?
2) How important is posture in prayer? ______________ What do the following verses express about prayer (1 Kings 8:22; 2 Chron. 6:13; Ezra 9:5; Ps. 28:2; 141:2; Lam. 2:19)? Is that different than how people pray today? Why do you suppose that is?
3) Is there more than one posture that God records in Scripture? _______What do you learn from the following verses (Gen. 17:3; 24:26; 2 Sam. 7:18; Ps. 24:4; 66:18; Dan. 6:10; Luke 18:11; John 17:1)?
4) How important are relationships on earth when considering worship? _____________ What does Matthew 5:22-24 teach about relationships and worship?
Making application of the message to life:
5) What are several ways that you would encourage and disciple men to pray in public?
6) What principles of discipleship should be followed to help men see the need to lead in worship?
7) Who all is responsible for discipling women with the principles of adornment and good works? How do you see that we should make this happen in a godly way?