"Roles of Men and Women Within the Church" Part #2
Some of the rules that we are going to see today from God’s Word for men and women in the church are not just mere rules. Why? Because they reflect the sort of difference and complementary design God has had for us His image bearers from the very beginning. In fact, this is exactly the ground work that we laid out last week as we went back to the creation order to see how God has uniquely designed man and woman. Once we have a great understanding of the first few chapters of Genesis, and God’s natural order of things than as I said last week, we will see how everything else throughout God’s Word about being a man and woman makes more sense.
Before we get any further into this message I want you to know where I am heading because I see this from God’s Word. As your pastor I lineup as a complementarian. What that means is that I believe God’s wonderful plan and design for a man is to lead, serve, and protect. We do this in our homes and in the church, so that women can thrive under this leadership as they too work to teach God’s Word in other areas according to the wisdom and beauty of God’s created order.
However what we see today in our culture is that there are several problems to this stance.
-First of all I want to begin by saying that our culture today has rejected God. They have rejected what His Word tells us about life and the guidelines that God has graciously given to us about life and how to live. Our culture rejects the truth of God’s Word and the moral boundaries He has laid down for mankind. Culture rejects God’s role for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. Marriage means very little today, that’s why when things get difficult so many people just get divorced. Family means very little today, male authority doesn’t mean much today, female submission doesn’t mean anything. Individuals go around defying God’s plan. People today deny gender exists and there is less and less interest to honor God. There is so much defiance today in our culture and because of that there is this inclination to be independent and to seek our own rights that we forget about the good plans that God has for us. So, this is the first problem we have.
-The Second Issue we have seen for many years is the way some men have led. I would go as far to even say some pastors and elders have led this way. They have led with an oppressive, abusive, massaginist mindset which is wrong and sinful. This of course causes women to be hurt, angry, and have a lack of trust from then on with men and leaders. Of course this is not how God has designed men to lead. Godly men would never lead this way because they lead as Christ led by being a servant to all.
3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
But ultimately God has designed men and women different. God has given the man the headship. He tells men to lead their homes and to lead the church. People that have a hard time with this, and with authority have a hard time with the Trinity. What we see from God’s Word is that there is this wonderful plan of Headship. Here is how Paul addresses this.
3 But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God.
So the order here is:
-God the Father.
-Then Christ, not that Christ isn’t part of the God head but even Christ was submissive to God the Father.
-Mankind. All mankind are to submit to Christ and someday every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.
-Man. Men that means we are too submit to Christ. We follow Christ and we are to be the leaders of our homes.
-Woman. Women are too follow the lead of their husband. There are a few exceptions. Women if your husband asks you to do something immoral, illegal, or sinful of course you don’t do that. If your husband is abusive physically or verbally call someone and get out. You don’t need to be in that environment. So this is the headship or order.
Please here me today, this order has nothing to do with value or equality as we talked about last week. Genesis 1:27 tells us that both man and woman are image bearers. So, this has everything to do with God’s divine order.
11 Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve;
So Adam was created first, then Eve was created.
Ladies First. So, I want to begin today by starting with the Ladies. What is the Biblical strategy for Women and for Women to serve in the church? Then we will look at the man’s role.
10 As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace:
So, what exactly does the role or roles of women look like within the church and their families? Turn with me to Titus chapter 2.
3 Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, 4 and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.
Teach other women to be godly. Be reverent, don’t slander or be a gossiper. Don’t be addicted to alcohol. Teach what is good. Train the young women. How? To love their husband and their children. Be self-controlled, be pure and kind. Be submissive to your husband, so that God’s Word is not reviled (slandered or defamed)
Then in the home we see some similar attributes.
1 Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, 2 when they see your respectful and pure conduct. 3 Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— 4 but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. 5 For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands, 6 as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening.
-Women are called to modesty.
-Women are called to good works.
-Women are called to discretion.
-Women are called to godliness.
-Women are called to submit to their husbands.
But what exactly does this look like today within the church? Great Question.
-Women should help minister to the sick and the dying.
-Women should help those who have mental or physical disabilities.
-Women should share their faith.
-Women should open their homes to other women to offer help, guidance, counsel etc...
-Women can help organize, design, plan, and come along side others.
-Women can pray in church.
-Women can serve on committees in the church.
-Women can minister to single moms and abuse victims.
-Women can bring meals, care packages and throw baby showers like no one else can.
-Women can do sports ministries, lead Women’s Bible Studies and teach systematic theology to other women..
-Women can lead mission trips.
-Women can teach children and raise their own kids to the glory of God.
-Women can help the widows in the church and they can care for those struggling with the remorse of abortion.
Let me be clear, there are hundreds of things that women can be doing in ministry!!!
*So, is every role available for women? Can a Woman Preach in the Church? No! Turn with me to 1 Timothy chapter 2. We have already read this, but I want for us to look at this again.
First Timothy is one of the three pastoral letters that the Apostle Paul sent to Timothy so that his work would continue on. Timothy was like this spiritual son to Paul and even though Timothy was young and gifted we find that he had a lot to learn as it came to leading the church at Ephesus. In fact, the church there was in need of some order in worship as well as some doctrinal correction that was desperately needed because of some false teaching. Paul’s letter to Timothy was written sometime around A.D. 62-66. It was there to help Timothy on matters of church leadership. It dealt with matters such as proper worship, to qualifications of elders and deacons, and advice on how to confront false teaching.
11 Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet.
Also we see a similar text in 1 Corinthians.
34 the women should keep silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission, as the Law also says. 35 If there is anything they desire to learn, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church.
This means that women are not to speak in regards to the authoritative preaching of God’s Word in the church on the Lord’s Day.
It’s important to note here that in the Old Testament all of the Priests were Male, the Kings were all male, all of the judges were male except one, and most of the prophets were male. We only see three references in the Old Testament of female prophets. Miriam who was Moses’s sister had a role as a prophetess. She was more of a worshipful prophet. In the New Testament we see that there were no female apostles, no female elder/pastors, no women were responsible for writing a book of the Bible and so the line is clear on what God’s word says on this issue.
Ok, now let’s turn the page and take a look at the man’s role.
In church world and specifically in the New Testament we see two distinct offices given in 1 Timothy and Titus. In 1 Timothy 3:1, we see the office of overseers or elders, pastor/shepherd.
1 The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task.
We also see another office and that is the office of a deacon.
8 Deacons likewise must be dignified, not double-tongued, not addicted to much wine, not greedy for dishonest gain.
Elders are to carry out the ministry of teaching and preaching God’s Word, while deacons are to carry out the ministry of mercy. Elders primary job is that of teaching God’s Word. We see this in 1 Timothy 3:2
2 Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach,
Elders need to know their Bible and theology. They need to be able to discern truth from error and then know how to communicate that to others.
Deacons on the other hand will be first and foremost servants. The Greek word is (diakonos) which means servant. We see this from Acts chapter 6 when the apostles are devoting themselves to prayer and teaching, and there is a need for some godly men to serve the widows who were being neglected. This would take the apostles away from their main duties. So, we see this wonderful institution of deacons to be servants in the church.
So, exactly what are the qualifications for Elder/Pastor/Shepherd? Because not every man would be qualified to serve in this role. Let’s flip over to 1 Timothy chapter 3.
1 The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. 2 Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. 4 He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, 5 for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church? 6 He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. 7 Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil.
He must be the husband of one wife, or a one-woman man. The idea here is that you don’t have to be married but what Paul assumes here is that an elder will be a faithful man. He is to be sober minded, self controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not addicted to alcohol, not a violent person, but also gentle and then this, He must manage his own household well. Why? How can he manage the church well, if he is not able to take care of his own home? So clearly, we see this is a position God specifically has designed for a man. The two major functions we see here are teaching and ruling.
There are many other things within the church that men can do as well. However these are the two main roles. Men we are also called to be the leaders of our household or homes. How is that going today? Yesterday at mens prayer breakfast John Ramirez challenged us to be better men. He asked several questions. Are we providing and protecting and leading our spouse that God has given us? Are we being good examples for our children and leading them? All of these are things God has called us to do as men.
Conclusion: Most pastors will tell you that the women in the church are more spiritually minded, more interested in reading their Bibles, more eager to grow in their faith, and more excited to serve in their church.
I would say that many times when women decided to run to areas of preaching and teaching that we see from Scripture that are reserved for men, they did not do this out of a rebellious heart, but because men were absent, didn’t step up and gave up their God given mandate to spiritually lead, protect and provide. If men would behave and lead as godly, humble, self sacrificing, men should lead then women would happily live and flourish in the responsibilities God has designed for them. So guys lets stand up and get going and lead our families and our church well. Let’s take time to realize and recognize all the wonderful areas that our women have served in and tell them thank you as often as we can. Ladies we need you in the church and are truly blessed and thankful for what you do.
(Pray and lead into Communion)