Men and Women in Christ
Since the beginning God has determined the gender of each human (he made them male and female). Just as he determined that Adam would be male and Eve would be female he continues to create mankind male and female for the good of all.

Much has been made of the differences between men and women and the roles they play in the order of humanity. While there is much to say on this topic I will not be providing a detailed look at every passage that discusses the differences between men and women. Instead I will focus on the unity of these two distinct parts of humanity. I will not be assigning value to the roles that are discussed in the bible, as I have previously stated value is derived from God and it is he who assigns roles to each of us within the order he has created.

1 TIMOTHY 2:13-15
The Bible acknowledges the tension that has existed between the sexes since the fall. In discussing right relating it is important to think clearly about what humanity was originally created to be and what actually happened between Adam and Eve at the time of the fall.

I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling; likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works. Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. Yet she will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control.
(1 Timothy 2:8-15 ESV)

In 1 Timothy the reasoning for forbidding women to teach or exercising authority over a man is found in the first 3 chapters of Genesis. It makes reference to both the creation of Adam and Eve and their sin. He states that God formed Adam first and then Eve and it was Eve who was deceived not Adam. There are several implications from this argument:
• In the creation of Adam and Eve there is a purposeful order (like all of creation) to their relationship that has to do with the order within which they were created. Eve shares in Adam’s flesh not the other way around.
• Eve was deceived not Adam. This means that the sin of Eve can be seen as distinctly different from Adam’s, it is her own (like ours, Romans 5). She was not dragged into corruption merely by the sin of Adam (her head).
• The sin of Adam is his own. He was not deceived by Eve and sin did not come into the human race as a whole because of woman. Therefore there can be no questioning the subsequent value of any woman on this basis.
• The relationship between Adam and Eve was a unity of the flesh, which was destroyed/ reversed in the fall (Genesis 3).

Christians must take note of this original perfect union between the first man and the first woman and use it as the template for their present union in Christ. It is also important to see how Adam and Eve’s respective sins affected their relationship. The Bible is making it very clear that demeaning women because of the sin of Eve is wrong. Eve’s sin was her own just like every subsequent human and she did not cause the fall of the human race in Adam because she did not deceive him, the fall of mankind was Adam’s fault.

There has been much confusion over the phrase “she will be saved through childbearing”. There are 2 implications that can be drawn from this reference to childbearing:
• It is advocating that Eve (all women) consider the good order of marriage (pre fall) and their God-given place in it.
• The only way to enter the human union (be human) is to be born human, this has strong links to the promise to Eve that mankind would be saved by a child born from a woman. So Christ became human by being born from a woman.

Humanity is saved through the practicing of human unity in love while at the same time faithfully waiting for the fulfilment of promises in Christ, together. Unity alone will not save, this is why it says “if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control.” (vs14) Where the “they” that refers to Adam and Eve, meaning that in striving to uphold the original unity of Adam and Eve they will be saved together (not separately) through faith, love and holiness. This can be extended to all mankind because at the time of the fall Adam and Eve represented the whole human union (2 members). Adam and Eve are the model for all human unity.

The Bible is not singling out women to be punished for the sin of Eve. It is not making an awkward comment about the fertility of those women who are saved. It is in fact calling for men and women to promote the same unity of Adam and Eve (pre-fall) amongst themselves, eagerly waiting for the fulfilment of the promises of God in Christ.

Therefore whenever we seek to answer questions of roles within the church proper respect must be given to the unity established by God in the beginning, understanding that it is not just a matter of capability but also how men and women were created to relate to one another under God.

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