v1-4 - The opening passage today continues the final imperative from yesterday: "fight the battle well, holding on to the faith and a good conscience (1:18-19).
The primary weapon we're instructed to 'fight' with is prayer, for all people, including authorities.
The reason we're to pray is that God "wants all people to be saved (v4)."
It's certainly true, as we see clearly in other parts of the Bible, that God has only chosen some to receive His grace.
But at the same time, God invites all people to be saved, but because of the stubbornness of man's heart, only those whom God draws to Himself will respond to the open invitation for salvation.
v5-7 - The reason this is all true (that we have salvation and that we can come before God in prayer) is because Jesus stands between God and us as our mediator who has made us holy and acceptable to God because He paid our ransom.
v8-15 - Because Christ is our mediator, Paul gives two commands we must adhere to.
First, Paul doubles down on where this chapter began again: men everywhere must pray.
Second, women must present themselves in a God honoring way, which is in stark contrast to the demeaning 'beauty' the world expects women to display.
The remainder of this chapter seem completely out of touch with our society which is aggressively seeking to disregard any difference between male and female.
Yet these instructions (which Biblically faithful churches like Worthington CRC adhere to) in no way diminish the equality between the sexes.
Even though God views men and women as having equity, He has given different roles and responsibilities to each.
This concept is consistently displayed all throughout the Bible, which spans thousands of years and multiple cultures and languages.
To be clear, neither this passage, nor any of the many passages which communicate this truth, give any grounds for men to abusively domineer over women. Quite the opposite, in fact.
This chapter ends with one of the most mysterious sentences in the Bible. Many theories on how to interpret v15 have been offered. I like how commentator William Mounce has put it: "Because Paul is creating an analogy/typology between Eve and the women in Ephesus, it is evidently important that he not leave the discussion on this note. Therefore v 15 shows that what Eve did, although it had consequences, has been dealt with, and both Eve and all women can be saved [though Eve's Child, Jesus]."
OLD TESTAMENT REFERENCE: Psalm 119:41-48 reiterate many of the concepts seen in today's chapter
Use the comment box below to discuss one or more of these questions:
EYE FOR DETAIL—From what you recall seeing in this chapter, try answering the following question without looking at your Bible: In verse 5, how does Paul complete the following statement? “For there is one God …”
How would you summarize this chapter in one sentence?
Question 1 taken from The Complete Bible Discussion Guide: New Testament
Follow the AAA Prayer Pattern:
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: We come before our one God in prayer through our one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus (v5).
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Bring "prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority (v2)."
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: