1 Timothy 2.15 – The Childbirth

This is one of those verses that people use, again, to say all sorts of things. Let us first read it and see what comes to mind. 

Yet she will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control.

First, it’s difficult and dangerous to interpret stand-alone verses, especially those that begin with words like yet, or so, or therefore.

So then, she will be saved through childbearing – sounds like ladies are only saved if they give birth. Does that line up with everything or anything else we read in the Word, that ladies have to bear children to be saved? If we back up a verse to v.14 we see that the she should really, given sensible reading, be Eve. We read …the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. Yet she will be…Normal sensible reading would say that she is Eve then. But then Paul seems to open it up and say if they continue…Eve was only one, so they cannot be Eve, so we have something particular to Eve that then affects all ladies?

Back in Genesis 3.15 Eve was told that from her family line One would come who would right the wrongs of Eden, who would trample sin and death and the devil, and restore humanity’s broken relationship with God. This, I’d suggest, is the she will be saved

Interestingly, in the Greek text, there is a definite article, the, before childbirth. So, translating literally word-for-word would render this,

Yet she will be saved through the childbirth – if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self control.

The idea seems then, that rather than blame Eve for sin entering the world, rather than pin the fall onto all of womankind, we are be thankful and grateful that it is through the ladies in our life that we are all brought into the world, and it was through a lady, Mary, that our Lord and Saviour came into the world. 

David Guzik summarises this well, he writes, 

Probably, the idea here is that even though the “woman race” did something bad in the garden by being deceived and falling into transgression, the “woman race” also did something far greater, in being used by God to bring the saving Messiah into the world…Don’t blame women for the fall of the human race; the Bible doesn’t. Instead, thank women for bringing the Messiah to us.

Without the ladies in our lives none of us would be here, and the Word become flesh wouldn’t have miraculously come to earth in the way He did, and it would be impossible for us to say, with confidence, that we are all saved through the childbirth.

29.04.19 – Romans 7.7-12 – Like Little Children

Recently I attended a pastor’s conference in New York and one evening went for dinner with a couple of guys in Manhattan. As we were crossing the road, this convoy approached…

…lots of people stopped to take pictures and videos of New York’s bravest heading off into action, as evidently did I, and I couldn’t wait to get home to show this to Roman, our 4 year old. He loves Fireman Sam, and his face when he saw my video of FDNY flying past was just wonderful. Wide-eyed, open-mouthed, just thrilled to see real life heroes heading into action. As his Dad, seeing him like that brings a tear to my eye.

Today in his letter to the church in Rome, Paul references this exact point in our life; when we lived so simply, so purely, and with awe-struck wonder,

What then shall we say? That the law is sin? By no means! Yet if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin. For I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.” But sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of covetousness. For apart from the law, sin lies dead. I was once alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin came alive and I died. 10 The very commandment that promised life proved to be death to me. 11 For sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me. 12 So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.

Paul writes that without the law, we would not know what sin is (v.7), and gives the example of coveting. Nobody knows what this is until someone says, ‘Don’t covet’, or, ‘That is coveting, stop it’. Now we know what covetousness is, Paul writes, we find ourselves doing it all the time, and calling it sin. Apart from the law, he goes on to say,  sin lies dead. What promised to be good and what promised abundant life actually turned out to be a holy and righteous standard (v.12) that we can never actually reach.

But, despair not, there is something in there that alludes to a better way. Paul writes I was once alive apart from the law; do our children know what covetousness is? Do our children know a strict regime of rules, regulations, and laws? Or do our children know that to love one another is good, to treat each other with kindness is good, to show forgiveness is good, to think of others before ourselves is good? 

Do they know that thou shalt not…or do they know that Jesus loves them and they should love others?

Paul writes very clearly that the law itself is not sin, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good. The problem is us. Sin corrupts the law, so, as we have talked about in the last few days, we must die to both, to sin and to the law. The law is holy, righteous, and good, but the problem is us. 

We need another way to become holy, righteous, and good

There was One who lived this life. 

There was One who fulfilled, to the last iota, the holy, righteous, and good law. 

There was One who took the consequence of sin upon Himself and put it to death. 

There is One who says ‘Follow me’.

There is One who says ‘I am the way, I am the truth, and I am the life’.

There is One who says ‘Abide in me, and I in you.’

The One is Jesus.

He is our way to become alive apart from the law, to live a life of wide-eyed, open-mouthed, and awe-struck wonder.


Point to ponder – Am I alive apart from the law, or am I trying to supplement the all sufficient work of Jesus by keeping rules and laws?


Prayer – Father, we thank you that we have this amazing opportunity to become as little children again, to live with such simplicity, with such purity, and with such awe-struck wonder. We thank you that this is all because of Jesus and His finished work on the cross, and nothing that we can bring. Remind us of that today; more of He, less of me. Amen.

Amos 2.6-16 – The responsibility of privilege

Have you ever noticed that when a group of children is being a group of children, yours is the only one you can see or hear? There might be a big bunch of them running around and being loud, but yours appears to the loudest and the most involved. Maybe they actually are, maybe they actually aren’t, but we look at our own children with a stricter lens, so to speak, than others. Yesterday we said it’s easy to look at those who are not believers and judge what they are doing, but it’s even easier to look at our own and hold them to a higher standard.

We feel that they should know better, we feel that we have told them enough times not to do that/to do that, we feel that we have given them examples in our own behaviour and character that when they do not follow our example, this upsets us all the more than other kids tearing around wrecking the place…if ours says/does/thinks/even tries to do anything we feel like “How could you do this to me!”. Dramatic, maybe, but true to a degree, absolutely.

Here in Amos 2 we see God’s judgement on Israel, and it is around three times longer and more detailed than previous judgements. It actually carries on in to chapter three, but for now we see a couple of really important things that show us that the privilege we have as God’s people brings us a responsibility to live accordingly.  

In Exodus 22 we read

26 If ever you take your neighbor’s cloak in pledge, you shall return it to him before the sun goes down, 27 for that is his only covering, and it is his cloak for his body; in what else shall he sleep? And if he cries to me, I will hear, for I am compassionate.”

Here in Amos we see that the people lay themselves down beside every altar on garments taken in pledge…a clear cut example of the fact that Israel should have known better.

Verses 10 and 11 are key, too,

10 Also it was I who brought you up out of the land of Egypt and led you forty years in the wilderness, to possess the land of the Amorite.

11 And I raised up some of your sons for prophets, and some of your young men for Nazirites. Is it not indeed so, O people of Israel?” declares the LORD.”

God brought them out of Egypt, they have this reminder of His wonderful power and how it worked in their favour. God took them from slavery (brought you up out of the land of Egypt), cared for them in the interim (led you forty years in the wilderness), gave them land in which to dwell (to possess the land of the Amorite), and provided for their spiritual needs too (I raised up some of your sons for prophets, and some of your young men for Nazirites).


Their rejection of God’s ways and their lifestyle of habitual sin is all the worse, then, because they had first-hand eye-witness testimony of God miraculously working among them. Their privilege became a responsibility they could not carry.


We too have a huge responsibility as we bear the name of Jesus (Christian means, literally, little Christ), and we are called to display this clearly and for all to see (Matthew 5.14-16).

This is our privilege, and this is our responsibility.