Christians often think and say that Eve, the first woman was saved by giving birth to children, and all women after her have been and continue to be saved in the same manner. However, if this understanding is accurate it leaves three questions to be answered. Are women who have never given birth to children eternally lost? How were men and children saved? How could childbearing remain an avenue through which women would attain salvation after the crucifixion, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ?
Let us consider 1 Timothy 2:15 from which is drawn the belief just mentioned: “Nevertheless she will be saved in childbearing”. Reciting the first half of the sentence which many do, without including the second half of the sentence which says: “if they continue in faith, love and holiness, with self-control”, presents a lopsided picture and leads to erroneous understanding. The words “if they” in the second half of the sentence are very significant because through them the entire human race is brought into focus. The words “if they” make clear the fact that everyone, including women, would be saved through childbearing if everyone continued in faith, love, and holiness with self-control. Giving birth would save not only Eve and other childbearing women but also those who never bore children to include men and children themselves.
How can we be certain that this is the correct meaning of 1 Timothy 2:15? Well, “if they” implies all human beings in addition to the childbearing woman, and “if they” must continue in faith, love, and holiness with self-control to ultimately obtain the blessing, “saved in childbearing” has to be referring to some future event that would benefit every man, woman, and child on earth. The future event that “saved in childbearing” pointed to, was the time when Jesus Christ would be carried in the womb of Mary and brought into the world for her salvation and for the salvation of all mankind. All those who would believe in Jesus, turn from sin, and receive Him as a personal Messiah would be saved, “if they continued in faith, love, and holiness with self-control”.
In stepping back into the first testament for a moment, we can connect 1 Timothy 2:15 with Genesis 3:15: “I will put enmity between you and the woman and between your seed and her seed, He shall bruise your head and you shall bruise his heel.” “Enmity” is the state of being actively and continually opposed or hostile to something or someone. “Your seed and her seed” speaks of both mankind and the son of God who would be born of woman, born under the law to redeem those who were under the law (Gal. 4:4).
In this theater of conflict, a brief alliance was formed between the serpent and the first woman. Nevertheless, she recoiled from him, finally realizing that the serpent was a cunning and treacherous enemy. The Serpent’s aim was deadly but he was the one who was going to be destroyed, its head was going to be crushed, and it would be dealt a fatal blow by the seed of the woman. Jesus Christ would be born of a virgin and later bruise the head of the serpent. Jesus would demolish the devil’s power of death and He would take away his lordship over man.
Through the work of His Cross and the sacrifice of Himself, Jesus destroyed sin. He enabled man to turn from darkness to light, from the power of Satan to God that he might receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Christ (Acts 2:16). Although the Serpent continues to sneak up from behind and bite at the heel (weakest area) of all those who are Christ’s, its efforts are really futile. The Adversary has already been defeated by our living God, Jesus Christ who was born of woman.