SAVED THROUGH CHILBEARING
SAVED THROUGH CHILBEARING
Whatever this verse means, we can be certain that Paul didn’t mean women are saved from God’s judgment by having children. The previous verses, along with his other letters, make it clear that Jesus is only the source of salvation for all people (1 Timothy 1:15-16, 1 Timothy 2:5-6, Romans 3:23-26, Romans 5:1-2, Colossians 2:13-15).
To understand this passage, we have to start with verse 11. Paul was saying that, although women are limited in authority (1 Timothy 2:11-12), and the first woman was deceived into sin (1 Timothy 2:13-14), God used the uniquely female role of childbearing to bring about the very Messiah who would save them. From Eve to Mary generations were born, culminating in the arrival of Jesus. We are saved by Jesus’ sacrifice, but we are saved through childbearing, in the sense that Jesus was born of a woman, so he could become a human and die for our sins (Galatians 4:4-5). The second half of verse 15 is a disclaimer that this “salvation through childbearing” only applies to true converts: those who continue in the fruits of the Spirit (faith, love, holiness, self-control Galatians 5:22-23).
Paul’s reason for highlighting the role of childbearing in salvation was to balance out the seemingly negative prior verses (11-14). He wanted to show that God uses women in significant ways despite their authority limitations. He did a similar thing when speaking of “headship” in marriage” in 1 Corinthians 11:11-12. This was to demonstrate that women are equal to men, even though they have different roles than their husbands.
The entire passage 1 Timothy 11-15 focuses solely on women, so it only mentions their salvation. For example, in verse 14 Paul neglected to mention Adam’s sin when discussing how Eve became a transgressor, but that doesn’t mean Adam was innocent. Other parts of scripture discusses how Adam became a transgressor along with her (Romans 5:12, Genesis 3:6, Genesis 3:17). Likewise, just because 1 Timothy 15 leaves out men, doesn't mean they aren’t included in salvation. Nine verse earlier, Paul made it clear that Jesus “gave himself as a ransom to save ALL people”, not just women (1 Timothy 2:5-6).
When the Bible speaks of being “saved”, it’s referring to a future event in which we are spared from the wrath of God on Judgement day (Romans 2:5-6). While it’s accurate for Christians to refer to salvation in the past tense since we receive the Holy Spirit as a deposit guaranteeing our salvation (Ephesians 1:13-14), it’s also accurate to use the future tense since we will be saved from God’s wrath on judgement day”.
While this interpretation fits the second half of verse 15, it’s probably incorrect for two reasons. First of all, Paul used the same exact Greek word several verses earlier (1 Timothy 2:4) to refer to God saving us from judgement. The word sṓzō (from sōs, "safe, rescued") – means to "deliver out of danger and into safety; used principally of God rescuing believers from the penalty and power of sin – and into His provisions (safety)". Given this immediate context and Paul’s flow of thought, it would be odd for him to switch the meaning of this word. Secondly, not all women are called to get married and have children. Paul spoke of the ministry advantages for women who remain single (1 Corinthians 7:25-40). He wouldn’t tell the Corinthian women they were better off remaining single (1 Corinthians 7:40) if they were ‘made whole’ through the ministry of childbearing and raising children.