Punishment no Hindrance to Salvation
1 Timothy 2:13
For Adam was first formed, then Eve.

1. The punishment of the woman — "in child-bearing."

2. The comfort of the woman — "she shall be saved."

3. The condition of the salvation — "if they continue." Wherein is implied an exhortation to continue in faith, etc.Many observations might be raised.

1. The pain in childbearing is a punishment inflicted upon the woman for the first sin.

2. The continuance of this punishment after redemption by Christ, doth not hinder the salvation of the woman, if there be the gospel-conditions requisite.

3. The exercise of faith, with other Christian graces, is a peculiar means for the preservation of believers under God's afflicting hand. I shall sum them up into this one. The continuance of the punishment inflicted upon the woman for the first sin doth not prejudice her eternal salvation, nor her preservation in child-bearing, where there are the conditions of faith and other graces.

I. CONCERNING THE PUNISHMENT. Child-bearing itself is not the punishment, but the pain in it. For the blessing, Increase and multiply, was given in innocency. And because this punishment is the greater, it is disputed in the schools whether Adam's or Eve's sin were the greater. We may, I think, safely make these conclusions.

1. In regard of the kind of sin, it was equal in both. They both had an equal pride, an equal aspiring to be like God.

2. In regard of the first motion to this sin, Eve's sin was the greater. She was the seducer of Adam, which the apostle expresseth in the verse before the text.

3. In regard of the woman's condition, the sin was greater on Adam's part.

(1) Because he, being the man, had more power to resist, more strength to argue the case.

(2) Eve had a stronger and craftier adversary to deal with, the subtlest of all the beasts of the field (Genesis 3:1), animated and inspired by a craftier devil. The stronger the tempter, the more excusable the sin.

(3) Eve had the command of not eating immediately from her husband, which laid not altogether so strong a tie upon her as it did upon him, who had it immediately from the mouth of God, and therefore was more certain of the verity of the precept.


1. It is not a punishment in a rigid sense, nor continued as such.

(1) Because it is not commensurate to the nature of the sin, neither is it that penalty which the law required. Death was due, and death immediately upon the offence; but death was kept off by the interposition of the mediator, and this which is less than death inflicted at present. Where death is deserved, and a lighter punishment inflicted, it is rather an act of clemency than strict justice, and may be called by the name of a partial pardon or reprieve, as well as a punishment.

(2) It is not a reparation of the injury done to God. One reason of the institution of punishment is to repair the damage the person offended sustains by the malefactor, as far as he is capable.

(3) It is not continued as a part of satisfaction to the justice of God; as though Christ needed the sufferings of the creature to make up the sum which He was to pay for us, and which He hath already paid. These punishments are to awaken men to a sight of their first sin.

(4) The proper impulsive cause of punishment is wrath. In inflicting it He preserves the authority of a Judge; in preserving under it, and pardoning the sin for which it was inflicted, He evidenceth the affection of a Father.

2. Yet it is in some sort a punishment, and something more than an affliction.

(1) In respect of the meritorious cause, sin. This is not inflicted as an act of absolute sovereignty, but a judicial legal act upon the demerit of sin.

(2) Because if man had stood in innocency, neither this grief, nor indeed any other, had been.


1. God intended not in the acceptance of Christ's mediation to remove in this life all the punishments denounced after the Fall. God takes away the eternal, but not the temporal. Some parts of Christ's purchase are only payable in another life, and some fruits of redemption God intends for growth only in another soil; such are freedom from pain, diseases, death, and sin. But the full value of Christ's satisfaction will appear when there shall be a new heaven and a new earth, when the day of redemption shall dawn, and all tears be wiped from believers' eyes. But God never promised the total removal of them in this life to any saint; no, though he should have all the faith and holiness of all the catalogue of saints in the Book of Life centred in him.

2. Christ never intended, in the payment of the price of our redemption, the present removal of them. He sent, after His ascension, the Spirit to be our Comforter, which supposeth a state wherein we should need comfort; and when are we under a greater necessity of comfort than when the punishment of sin is actually inflicted on us?

3. Christ intended, and did actually take away the curse of those punishments from every believer.

4. Hence it will follow that to a believer the very nature of these punishments is altered. In the one the sting remains; in the other it is pulled out. The cord that binds a malefactor and a patient may be made of the same hemp, and a knife only go between; but it binds the malefactor to execution, the other to a cure.

5. Therefore all temporal punishments of original sin, though they remain, do not prejudice a believer's present interest.

(1) They cut not off his relation to God.

(2) They debar not from the presence of God. God may be and is as near to us in supporting as He is in punishing.

(3) They break not the covenant. His rod and His stripes, though they seem to break ore, backs, make no breaches in His covenant (Psalm 89:32-34).

6. Add to all this, that the first promise secures a believer under the sufferings of those punishments. God's affection in the promise of bruising the serpent's head was more illustrious in His wrath than the threatening. There are the bowels of a father in the promise before there was the voice of a judge in the sentence. But it may be asked, What is the reason these punishments are continued since the redemption wrought by Christ? There are reasons —

(1) On God's part.

(a) It is congruous to the wisdom of God to leave them upon us while we are in the world.

(b) It is congruous to the holiness of God. God keeps up those punishments as the Rector and Governor of the world, to show His detestation of that sin which brought a disorder and deformity upon the creation, and was the first act of dishonour to God, and the first pollution of the creature.

(c) It is a declaration of His justice.

(d) It is useful to magnify His love. We should not be sensible of what our Saviour suffered, nor how transcendently He loved us if the punishment of sin had been presently removed upon the first promise.

(2) On our parts. It is useful to us(a) To make us abhor our first defection and sin.

(b) To make us fear to sin and to purge it out. Sin hath riveted itself so deep that easy medicines will not displace it. It hath so much of our affections that gentle means will not divorce us from it. We shall hate it most when we reap the punishment of it.

(c) To exercise grace.

1. Faith and trust — "She that is desolate trusts in God" (1 Timothy 5:5). The lower the state, the greater necessity and greater obligation to trust; such exercises manifest that the condition we are in is sanctified to us.

2. Obedience in a believer hath a greater lustre by them. It was the glory of Job that he preserved his integrity under the smartest troubles.

3. Humility. These punishments are left upon us to allay our pride, and be our remembrancers of our deplorable miscarriage.

4. Patience. Were there no punishments there would be but little occasion for patience.

(S. Charnock.).

Parallel Verses
KJV: For Adam was first formed, then Eve.

WEB: For Adam was first formed, then Eve.

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