Sunday, June 21, 2015

Victory Series Bible Study Week 7: The Deception of Eve

Greetings Gents!

This week's study concerns itself, not with men directly, but with women and our relationship with them. Our passage for this week is 1 Timothy 2: 11-15:

"11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.
12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.
13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve.
14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.
15 Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety."
The story of Genesis makes it clear in no uncertain detail that it was Eve, not Adam, that was originally deceived by Satan. This deception set in motion the end of Eden and the advent of a sinful existence for all mankind. The question at stake now, what is the appropriate relationship between men and women now?

It must be remembered from all our previous lessens that the relationship between men and women was intended to be complimentary. Eve was created from Adam's flesh in order to serve as his helper (Genesis 2:18). Adam and Eve originally shared a perfect relationship awash in each other's and God's love. However, now that the perfect relationship is shattered, an imbalance seems the result. But this is not the case.

1 Timothy 2: 11-15 does not mean that women are inferior to men. Rather, it concerns itself with the structure of authority within the church. God has given abilities and talents to everyone regardless of gender and expects us to use them to the best of our abilities. Men maintain the role of authority within the church as a reflection of God's authority over us. Men are expected to lead the church in the same way they are expected to lead the family unit. Men are not expected to dominate women, but to lead. Male leadership is meant to nurture in the same way that God intends to nurture humanity with his leadership in our lives.

As study author Neil T Anderson points out, this misinterpretation has resulted in undo hardships and abuse for women in many churches throughout the centuries. However, Christianity has resulted in greater gender equality than any other religion in spite of this. This is precisely because of God's directive for men to assume authority and leadership in their relationships with women, not domination. The same cannot be said elsewhere. Women being submissive does not imply inferiority, nor should it ever be treated as such. The image of God is equally present in women as it is in men. In terms of relationships, it should always be remembered: "Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour." (Ecclesiastes 4:9)

Questions we should consider over the coming week:
-How can we use our abilities and talents within our relationships to bring out our full God-given potential and help encourage this in others?
-What has shaped your perception of the opposite gender? How has that affected the way you relate to them?
-Why has the Church not always treated women with equality? How does this compare with the domination endured by women in the non-Christian world? Why is this the case?

I hope the coming week finds everyone happy and healthy. Stay strong and take care, Gents!

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