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THE ROLE OF WOMEN

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WOMEN: A BIBLICAL PERSPECTIVE
Lesson #03
THE ROLE OF WOMEN

  • Review:
    • We have examined God’s original intention for relationships between men and women.
      • Women were to be equal and partners with men.
      • God’s intention was spoiled by Adam and Eve’s original sin.
    • We have seen that women were in leadership and had major contributions to the Kingdom of God through the Old Testament.
    • We see today this battle of the sexes.
      • Men who strongly dominate women.
      • Women who strongly rebel against that domination.
    • Christ presents us with redemption from the curse of Gen 3.
      • Women are again made equal with men. (Gal 3:28)
      • God’s spiritual gifts are given to men and women equally.
      • Paul’s experience in the early church supports women in positions of contribution and ministry.
    • We have studied in depth Paul’s writings that specifically deal with women and their roles in the New Testament church.
  • The conclusion of Paul’s writings:
    • Because of the abuse by a few women, it seems inconceivable that Paul would exclude the entire gender of women from serving God in leadership roles and/or in speaking roles when in his other writings and with specific people like Priscilla Paul encourages women in these same areas of ministry.
    • My interpretation of scripture is that if a man in authority over a woman gives permission for her to teach or hold an office in the church she is not usurping authority over that man. The man in authority whether it is her husband and/or the pastor that have delegated a certain amount of authority to her in a limited capacity because she exhibits the qualities of humility and submission and promotes peace within the church, then she is not in violation of scripture.
    • Consequently if a man desires to sit under a woman teacher, that is his freewill choice. If he sees a female teacher as a threat, he has other choices.
    • The life and attitude of a woman is of extreme importance especially in light of a woman’s role in life.
  • The Role of Women:
    • Through the Old Testament and the New Testament we find that God established order by the delegation of authority through the different roles in which men and women are placed.
      • A husband is placed in authority over his wife and his children.
      • A wife is placed in authority over the children but submissive to her husband’s authority.
      • A pastor is placed in authority over the elders of the church and over the congregation.
      • The elders of a church are placed in authority over the congregation but submissive to the authority of the pastor.
    • With this hierarchy in place, Paul could call for order and peace in a congregation in order to maintain a flow of unity.
    • The three specific passages of scripture already discussed in detail (1Cor 11:2-16; 1Cor 14:33-35; and 1Tim 2:9-15) point to Paul’s concern over order in the church more than over what some people see as Paul’s bias against women. With that in mind, we need to understand a woman’s role of submission.
    • Eph 5:21-28
      • “Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.  Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.  For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;  That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,  That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.”
        • “Submitting yourselves one to another…” (Eph 5:21)
          • Often when people teach submission to women they skip over this first contextual verse.
          • All believers are to submit one to another in love without regard to one’s gender or position. Why is that important?

It is important because in many church settings we are taught that women have the exclusive role of submission.

It is important because Paul had a perspective of peace and order in the church.

          • In reality all Christians are to submit in one context or another:

All believers are to submit to God.

All Christians submit to governmental authorities over them. (Rom 13:1)

All church members submit to the local pastor over them.

All Employees submit to their employers.

All women are to submit to their own husbands.

All children are to submit to their own parents.

          • “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands…” (Eph 5:22)

Yes, women are to submit to their husbands. The important word here is “own”. Women are not told to submit to all men as some teach, but to their own husbands.

Why does God tell us this?

Men are initiators and women are responders, generally speaking.

That is why men are commanded to love and women are commanded to respond with submission.

Aren’t all Christians told to love others? Yes, just like all Christians are told to submit one to another.

A woman who is submitting to her husband is responding to his love for her. Therefore, submission is a love response. Love in the heart is put into action by an attitude of submission.

Often women see submission as a weakness. The reason for that is varied:

Poor teaching on what Biblical submission really means.

Overly dominant men who browbeat their wives by demanding a degrading type of submission as though the woman is a second class citizen of little or no value.

Overly rebellious, independent women who will not give an inch of love to anyone that attempts to curb their personal rights and desires.

Biblical submission in reality is a position of strength and power. (Mat 18:4; Mat 23:12; Luk 18:14; Jam 4:6,10)

Submission is an attitude of humility.

Jesus Christ is the prime example of humility and submission for the woman. We see this parallel example in Eph 5. Christ and a submissive church/the husband and a submissive wife. But notice that while Christ is the Head, he was also submissive.

He humbled himself to suffer death on the cross for us.

He submitted to His heavenly Father in the garden when He said, “Not my will but Thine be done.

Because of his attitude of humility and his act of submission, God raised Him from the dead in Victory and Power. Therefore, Jesus demonstrated that submission is a position of ultimate spiritual power.

Unfortunately women who do not know this, demand feminine rights and end up with no spiritual power.

Wives are to submit “ to their own husbands.”

Nowhere in scripture does it say that a woman is to submit to any and all men as some people teach it.

In other words, submission is required not because she is a woman but because she has an authority over her in the form of a father, husband, pastor, elder, employer or government leader.

That husband in authority over her is the “head” which means = authority.

“…so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.” (Eph 5:24)

How far should submission go? That is the question I often get from women.

This verse tells us that the attitude of humility and the actions of submission should be in everything we do and say.

However, there are only two exceptions:

If a husband requires a wife to commit a sin in the sight of God, a Christian wife must first submit to God. Remember that God is the top priority.

If a husband puts her and/or the children in physical danger, she has the responsibility to save her life and the lives of her children.

God considers both parents as protectors of the children.

If a husband does not fulfill this role of protector before God, but instead becomes a threat to them, then the woman must protect her children even if it puts her in opposition to her husband.

  • Conclusion:
    • This study has sought to prove by scripture that women, guided by the Holy Spirit, have freedom in Jesus Christ to be equal partners with men in the extension of the Kingdom of God.
    • The major limitation for women is an attitude of humility and submission under established authority so as to promote peace and order in the body of Christ. Men have this same limitation for rebellion is severely dealt with through the entire Bible whether the one in rebellion is a woman or a man.

The End

May God Bless You as You Serve God, Whether Male or Female!

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