“The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.” (1:5)
It is so easy to complicate, or get distracted, from this simple point. As Paul writes Timothy instructions for the new churches in Asia Minor, he starts out with an appeal to keep the main thing the main thing.
The letters to Timothy and Titus are Paul’s last. You can sense his urgency as he writes. He is passing his baton, while also seeing others fall by the wayside, unable to finish the race.
Prayer must remain a priority and let’s not turn it into some weird show or contaminate it with cultural perversions.
Timothy was in Ephesus when receiving this letter, working in a church that came out of Artemis worship. It’s important to keep this in mind when reading Paul’s charge to women. Artemis worship was focused around sex. She was a fertility goddess. It involved a lot of women dressing up, acting crazy, out of control, domineering and seductive. This was deeply ingrained in culture, and if you’ve studied religion in culture, you’ll quickly learn about sycritism: a cocktail of random Biblical half truths blended into cultural spiritualism. Paul did not want Ephesians praying to God that way. Chapter 2 is an appeal to keep the ladies in check, remaining modest and respectful to their husbands.
The main point: remember to pray and remember that Christ is the mediator between us and the Father. (2:5)
Also, as stated previously, LOVE with a pure heart. See how it’s all connected?
Don’t be afraid to ask questions! What sticks out to you?