“Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshippers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshippers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshippers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”
John 4: 23-24
1 Timothy 2: 8-15
On Friday we considered the context of the situation and how Paul may have been seeking to ensure the freedom and truth of the Gospel in the life of that early Church. Today we will briefly look at other Scriptures then see how application may work for us. In other letters to other new Churches Paul also spoke on Worship and roles. For example Paul: spoke of women as co-workers and deacons (Romans 16); he promoted unity for believers over differences based on ethnicity and gender (Galatians 3: 28); he clearly allowed women to pray and prophesy (1 Corinthians 11); he taught on leadership, propriety in worship and spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 11-12); and he taught on whole life Worship (Romans 12: 1-2). Clearly as the Church grew matters were arising that had to be understood and dealt with.
With this brief understanding of context (from Friday) and bigger biblical view let’s unpack this Scripture before considering application:
Considering the above I do not believe that this passage is primarily about male and female roles but about the worship of the Church in obedience to God in a particular situation. It seems to me that Paul is building the Church up in obedience to the truth of the Gospel and its empowering freedom (for men and women alike). We can therefore learn and apply various truths to our lives today. Simply put the Church is God’s agent of Mission and body of Worshippers. We are called to pray for all, for those in authority, and we are encouraged to worship in humility, and submission with faith, love and holiness. We are to recognise that there are roles for us based on our gifts and who we are; God our creator knows what is best for us. Paul sought to apply these truths in a particular context, we must do the same. The Gospel and therefore the Church is counter-cultural. To worship God in Spirit and in Truth we must work hard to identify prejudice and enculturation that would lead us away. Our worship is to be focused on God, not ourselves, and founded in the Gospel of Christ.
To Ponder: How do you think this passage applies to the Church today, what was for then and what are universal instructions? Can you support your answers with Scripture? What views do you hold that are affected by prejudice and/or culture?
Pray: Almighty God may we know the power and truth of your Gospel message in our lives. May our eyes be fixed upon your Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ so that our lives may truly be a daily offering of worship to you. Reveal our hearts and complete your sanctifying work within that we may give glory to you in all we do and say. Amen
Praise: King of Kings
Link - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Of5IcFWiEpg
In Christ there is no east or west
Link - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IxG0EhEXA3k
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In 2023, each week's blog is a follow-up reflection written by the preceding Sunday’s preacher to dig deeper into the sermon topic and explore engaging discussion questions.