1 Timothy 2:15
Yet she will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control. 1 Timothy 2:15 ESV
Well, aren’t we saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ Jesus alone? But what does Paul mean when he says women will be saved through child-bearing if they continue in faith, love, and holiness with self-control?
To many people, they find this part of the passage to mean there could be salvation through childbearing. There was a church that believed this verse to mean that women are saved through childbearing and women ended up having many children. Do you see how a misinterpretation of scripture can lead to error?
This verse seems to indicate that women are saved through childbearing. Is that true? Women are not saved through children bearing because salvation is only by grace through faith alone in Christ alone. That is a biblical truth that is maintained in all scriptures. So men and women are only saved by trusting in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary.
Holding that women are saved through children is very inconsistent with the scriptures. First, not all women are capable of having children. To suppose that salvation is by childbearing is to make salvation dependent on works and hence a ground of boasting and not grace.
What does 1 Timothy 2:15 mean?
To understand what this verse means, we must study the preceding verses to understand what this verse means. The context is the king of understanding scriptures.
This verse falls on the passage where Paul is addressing how men and women should conduct themselves in the church. He says men should pray without wrath and doubt. After addressing men, he turns to the women and says,
In like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, but which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works.
And then he continues to write,
Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence.
For Adam was formed first then, Eve. Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived fell into transgression.
And then Paul adds these words, “Nevertheless she will be saved in childbearing if they continue in faith, love, and holiness, with self-control.’
We have already looked at what 1 Timothy 2:11-14 means here. Paul forbids women from teaching men in the church. He says women should learn in silence with all submission.
Paul gives two reasons why women should not preach in a church. The first reason Paul says that Adam was created first and then Eve, so basically, man should lead and teach and not a woman.
The second reason is closely related to the verse in the discussion. Paul says it was the woman who was deceived but not Adam who was beguiled by Serpent in Genesis chapter 3. This story of the bible is very known to many people. The serpent beguiled Eve to eat from the tree of good and evil. After Eve ate, he also gave some to his husband who was with her. That’s the passage Paul is referring to.
Now back to the question. What does the phrase, ‘she will be saved in childbearing..?’ Paul says that by deception woman (Eve) fell into transgression. Eve got deceived by disobeying what God had said. What the verse means is then that women will be saved from making the mistake of Eve who disobeyed God, if they stick to their God-given duties of bringing up children if they do it in love, faith, and holiness with self-control.
1 Timothy 2:15 does not mean that women are saved through childbearing. It means women will be saved from making the mistake Eve made (by disobeying God) if they stick to their God-given duties. Salvation is only by grace through faith in Christ Jesus alone. ( Ephesians 2:8 )