In the church, which consists of the called out ones, God has defined roles.
It’s a subject of controversy, especially when we overlay the societal norms of a godless society that decides right and wrong for themselves; this is not the criteria God goes by
Let’s start at the beginning and establish how God views man and woman and how He created them and then why He did it the way that He did.
Both made in the image of God
Genesis 1:26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
Genesis 1:27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
Genesis 2:22 Then the rib which the LORD God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.
Genesis 2:23 And Adam said: “This is now bone of my bones And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man.”
Genesis 2:24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
Not from the head to be above or the foot to be below him, but from his side to aide him.
Genesis 2:18 And the LORD God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.” [as his counterpart.’]
Both made with same potential
Romans 8:16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,
Romans 8:17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.
We both have an equal opportunity for the hope of the resurrection
Acts 10:34 Then Peter opened his mouth and said: “In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality.
As a Christian, we all have the same chance to receive the gifts of God
Galatians 3:26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.
Galatians 3:27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
Galatians 3:29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
Paul and Christ dealt with this subject and showed that women were not to be treated in the ways that the Gentiles treated their women, a trend that did permeate Judaism at the time.
Women of the Bible
The bible is replete with Examples of women that were considered faithful and integral to the plan of God: Ruth, Esther Mary, Mary Magdalene, Sarah, etc.
Woman’s role in the church
Women have vitally important roles
Teach others privately
Acts 18:24 Now a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man and mighty in the Scriptures, came to Ephesus.
Acts 18:25 This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things of the Lord, though he knew only the baptism of John.
Acts 18:26 So he began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Aquila and Priscilla heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately.
Titus 2:1 But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine:
Titus 2:3 the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things—
Titus 2:4 that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children,
Titus 2:5 to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.
2 Timothy 1:5 when I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also.
2 Timothy 3:14 But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them,
2 Timothy 3:15 and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
The mother has a fundamental responsibility in raising up children to fulfill their potential as Christians, ministers, and eventually members of God’s family – can we think of anything else that could supersede this?
Are these important?
Here is where part of the problem lies…
To demean or decrement the importance of these shows a complete lack of understanding of crucial nature of these jobs
Staying in the church; producing godly adults; future husbands and wives and Christians and ministers
Example of Timothy
Timothy became who he was due largely to the role his mother and grandmother played in his life. What if they had not?
The woman’s role is in the church is invaluable and it is a slap in the face to God to say that the way He designed creation is not that good or that we know better.
But that is what the world would have you believe.
Women wanting to take on work outside the home out of some misguided belief that that is some how more important and a better calling
They leave children at home to fend for themselves or be raised by a stranger or their peers or gangs or ….
It is this lack of recognition for God ordained roles and for the plan of God and for what God is trying to show and teach us that has led women to want to be ministers in the church today
Let’s begin by looking at some very clear scriptures on the subject that state that the primary role of teaching in church was to belong to a man
Not to speak or have authority over men in the church
1 Timothy 2:11 Let a woman learn in silence with all submission.
1 Timothy 2:12 And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence.
1 Corinthians 14:33 For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.
1 Corinthians 14:34 Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak; but they are to be submissive, as the law also says.
1 Corinthians 14:35 And if they want to learn something, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is shameful for women to speak in church.
1 Corinthians 14:40 Let all things be done decently and in order.
This teaching is not speaking to the capability of women—but to their role as defined by God
Do not think for one second that Paul would not have set everyone straight even if the cultural of the time was different. Paul gave up his life for his beliefs
What was the culture of the time concerning Gentiles? The Jews did not believe that they had a role in the plan of God. Paul set them and the apostles straight on this. Despite the culture of the time Paul would have said and done what was right.
So what else does Paul have to say about the role of minister
The office is for a man
1 Timothy 3:1 This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work.
1 Timothy 3:2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach;
The other qualifications can also be seen as why some men cannot be ministers – why they are to be excluded as well
Titus 1:5 For this reason I left you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are lacking, and appoint elders in every city as I commanded you—
Titus 1:6 if a man is blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of dissipation or insubordination.
Why is authority such a thorny issue
Satan is foisting his attitudes and mentality upon us. He want us to think the way he does and suffer the consequences of that action.
His pride led him to exalt himself; he did not want God or His eventual family to be over him
Why did God make authority an issue here?
Analogy of Marriage
Christ and the Church ~ Man and the woman
Ephesians 5:22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.
Ephesians 5:23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body.
Ephesians 5:24 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.
Christ who is head of the church expedites the way to God the Father just as a
Minister who is head of the church expedites the way to God the Father.
Christ is the Groom and the church is the bride;
Christ is to be the Husband and the church the wife.
The minister is to be a man and this is to represent the husband which is Christ. To have a woman in this position is to lose the lesson of what God is trying to show and teach us.
We can also see the continuity of this analogy throughout the history of the Bible.
In Old Testament times the priesthood was ONLY men and NEVER women. Also, what we will see in the following example is that God was VERY specific about who He wanted in the role of priest – not only were women not to be a part of it, but almost all the men as well.
Example of Korah
Numbers 16:1 Now Korah the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, with Dathan and Abiram the sons of Eliab, and On the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took men;
Numbers 16:2 and they rose up before Moses with some of the children of Israel, two hundred and fifty leaders of the congregation, representatives of the congregation, men of renown.
Numbers 16:3 They gathered together against Moses and Aaron, and said to them, “You take too much upon yourselves, for all the congregation is holy, every one of them, and the LORD is among them. Why then do you exalt yourselves above the assembly of the LORD?”
It is true that they were all told that they shall be holy (Leviticus 19:2) and that they were separate from the surrounding nations but this was not enough in God’s eyes to qualify them for the position of priest.
Numbers 16:4 So when Moses heard it, he fell on his face;
Numbers 16:5 and he spoke to Korah and all his company, saying, “Tomorrow morning the LORD will show who is His and who is holy, and will cause him to come near to Him. That one whom He chooses He will cause to come near to Him.
Numbers 16:6 Do this: Take censers, Korah and all your company;
Numbers 16:7 put fire in them and put incense in them before the LORD tomorrow, and it shall be that the man whom the LORD chooses is the holy one. You take too much upon yourselves, you sons of Levi!”
To be among the Levites still was not enough and they indeed were trying take to themselves an office that God had not called them to.
Numbers 16:8 Then Moses said to Korah, “Hear now, you sons of Levi:
Numbers 16:9 Is it a small thing to you that the God of Israel has separated you from the congregation of Israel, to bring you near to Himself, to do the work of the tabernacle of the LORD, and to stand before the congregation to serve them;
They had their role which was an important one for them to accomplish, but they were not happy with the office that God had put them in.
Numbers 16:10 and that He has brought you near to Himself, you and all your brethren, the sons of Levi, with you? And are you seeking the priesthood also?
They, as holy, Levitical, and men sought the priesthood improperly! And God let them know in no uncertain terms that they were out of line.
Numbers 16:11 Therefore you and all your company are gathered together against the LORD. And what is Aaron that you complain against him?”
The job was for Aaron and his lineage
Numbers 16:16 And Moses said to Korah, “Tomorrow, you and all your company be present before the LORD—you and they, as well as Aaron.
Numbers 16:17 Let each take his censer and put incense in it, and each of you bring his censer before the LORD, two hundred and fifty censers; both you and Aaron, each with his censer.”
Numbers 16:18 So every man took his censer, put fire in it, laid incense on it, and stood at the door of the tabernacle of meeting with Moses and Aaron.
Numbers 16:19 And Korah gathered all the congregation against them at the door of the tabernacle of meeting. Then the glory of the LORD appeared to all the congregation.
Numbers 16:25 Then Moses rose and went to Dathan and Abiram, and the elders of Israel followed him.
Numbers 16:26 And he spoke to the congregation, saying, “Depart now from the tents of these wicked men! Touch nothing of theirs, lest you be consumed in all their sins.”
Had the congregation remained they would have been held accountable as well.
Numbers 16:27 So they got away from around the tents of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram; and Dathan and Abiram came out and stood at the door of their tents, with their wives, their sons, and their little children.
Numbers 16:28 And Moses said: “By this you shall know that the LORD has sent me to do all these works, for I have not done them of my own will.
Numbers 16:29 If these men die naturally like all men, or if they are visited by the common fate of all men, then the LORD has not sent me.
Numbers 16:30 But if the LORD creates a new thing, and the earth opens its mouth and swallows them up with all that belongs to them, and they go down alive into the pit, then you will understand that these men have rejected the LORD.”
Numbers 16:31 Now it came to pass, as he finished speaking all these words, that the ground split apart under them,
Numbers 16:32 and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, with their households and all the men with Korah, with all their goods.
Numbers 16:33 So they and all those with them went down alive into the pit; the earth closed over them, and they perished from among the assembly.
Numbers 16:34 Then all Israel who were around them fled at their cry, for they said, “Lest the earth swallow us up also!”
Numbers 16:35 And a fire came out from the LORD and consumed the two hundred and fifty men who were offering incense.
Do not covet—whether man or woman, but rather:
Philippians 4:11 Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content:
God will exalt us in due time
But what about the fact that God had women be prophetesses”
Miriam, Noadiah, Hilkiah and Anna in the New Testament (among others)
Peter quotes Joel”
Acts 2:16 But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:
Acts 2:17 ‘AND IT SHALL COME TO PASS IN THE LAST DAYS, SAYS GOD, THAT I WILL POUR OUT OF MY SPIRIT ON ALL FLESH; YOUR SONS AND YOUR DAUGHTERS SHALL PROPHESY, YOUR YOUNG MEN SHALL SEE VISIONS, YOUR OLD MEN SHALL DREAM DREAMS.
Acts 2:18 AND ON MY MENSERVANTS AND ON MY MAIDSERVANTS I WILL POUR OUT MY SPIRIT IN THOSE DAYS; AND THEY SHALL PROPHESY.
God poured out His Spirit on both men and women
What about Deborah? She is called prophetess and was the civil leader / judge of Israel. She was never a priestess nor was any other in the bible – in fact the word priestess is nowhere to be found in the Bible and should never be confused with the term prophetess.
New Testament Priesthood
The role of the Old Testament priest is carried on in the New Testament by the ministry:
Romans 15:16 ISV to be a minister of the Messiah Jesus to the gentiles in the priestly service of the gospel of God, so that the offering brought by gentiles may be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.
1 Corinthians 9:13 ISV You know that those who work in the Temple get their food from the Temple and that those who serve at the altar get their share of its offerings, don’t you?
1 Corinthians 9:14 ISV In the same way, the Lord has ordered that those who proclaim the gospel should make their living from the gospel.
The office of the ministry is once again being equated to the Aaronic priestly responsibilities and privileges because they were performing the same function just in a new covenant way.
Leviticus 6:16 And the remainder of it Aaron and his sons shall eat; with unleavened bread it shall be eaten in a holy place; in the court of the tabernacle of meeting they shall eat it.
Leviticus 6:17 It shall not be baked with leaven. I have given it as their portion of My offerings made by fire; it is most holy, like the sin offering and the trespass offering.
Leviticus 6:18 All the males among the children of Aaron may eat it. It shall be a statute forever in your generations concerning the offerings made by fire to the LORD. Everyone who touches them must be holy.’ ”
Here we see that Paul was alluding to, the Aaronic priesthood partaking in the offerings just as said the ministry was allowed to do
Leviticus 6:26 The priest who offers it for sin shall eat it. In a holy place it shall be eaten, in the court of the tabernacle of meeting.
Leviticus 6:27 Everyone who touches its flesh must be holy. And when its blood is sprinkled on any garment, you shall wash that on which it was sprinkled, in a holy place.
Priesthood in the Future
Physical and spiritual Israel were/are to be learning to be priests
In the past
Exodus 19:5 Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine.
Exodus 19:6 And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.”
In the present
1 Peter 2:5 you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;
1 Peter 2:10 who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.
1 Peter 2:11 Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul,
1 Peter 2:12 having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation.
1 Peter 2:13 Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether to the king as supreme,1 Peter 2:14 or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good.
1 Peter 2:15 For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men—
Both then and now, this was to be going on in parallel to the actual fulfillment of the office by the priests and ministry
Romans 12:3 For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think [like Korah etal], but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.
Romans 12:4 For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function,
Romans 12:5 so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.
Who would want to live without ANY other member (what is the body without arms or legs or…..)
Romans 12:6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us [by God], let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith;
Romans 12:7 or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching;
Romans 12:8 he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.
Romans 12:9 Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.
Romans 12:10 Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another;
Romans 12:11 not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord;
Romans 12:12 rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer;
Romans 12:13 distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.
There is a lot to be done; many roles to be fulfilled.
Romans 12:16 Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.