Satan is looking to devour as many souls as possible. We saw his tactics back in the garden, when he tempted Eve by the lust of the eye (the fruit looked good), lust of the flesh (it would be good for the belly), and the pride of life (she would know as much as God). Eve fell for it hook, line, and sinker. And Adam, who was passively standing by her, also ate from the forbidden tree resulting in the fall of humankind.
Pride and arrogance of humans are a huge stumbling block. That is why James quotes Proverbs 3:34 today – “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” James says we should “submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”
James goes on to highlight the power of prayer. “Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms…Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”
Now back to Paul. The OYCB notes – “Many scholars believe that Paul was released from imprisonment after some two years in Rome, that he wrote 1 Timothy and Titus during this time, and that he made his hoped-for trip to Spain as well.”
In Paul’s letter to Timothy, “a true son in the faith,” he warns against false teachers in the church. He mentions two false teachers, “Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I delivered to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme.” These false teachers were kicked out of the church in order to protect the church. However, if they repent and turn to the Lord they will be saved.
Paul goes on to give instructions regarding the church structure. He tells the men to pray and worship without wrath and doubting and the women to dress modestly and not seductively within the church. He also says that the women should not teach men or exercise authority over men within the church. “For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.” So although we are all equal in Christ, we do have different roles and responsibilities. (This part of scripture is highly debated. “Paul has a specific context for his restriction about women teaching men in this letter, but it does not contradict his permitting women from prophesying and praying in the assembly in his letter to the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 11).” ~ Iva May)
More from Paul to Timothy tomorrow. Keep reading.
(James 4:1-5:20, 1 Timothy 1:1-2:15)