Summary: Sermon on women’s role in the church.
“Get In Where You Fit In”
• Honor & Reverence.
*I ask you today that you pray for me and pray with me, as I attempt to deliver the Word of God to you. Today is very difficult for me, considering the present situation of the church. Years ago, when I began preaching, a wise old pastor told me that not all preaching will be accepted, and not all preaching will be understood. However, you must continue to preach, and no matter how much opposition you face, you must stand boldly on the Word of God.
*As a church, we are no doubt in a stage of hurting, and we are looking for a stage of healing. I hope and pray for each one of you, and that you allow God to speak to your hearts today. No matter what your personal take is on today’s word, please understand that what I preach to you today is not merely what Shane has to say, but the true & unadulterated, genuine & all-powerful, Holy & divine, never-changing Word of God. Just as Christ came down through 42 generations, the Word of God transcends all cultures and all generations. Pray with me.
*A few weeks after I was called to preach, someone approached me and asked how I felt about women preaching and teaching in the church. It is one of those questions that frequently gets asked, b/c although the Scriptures speak to the subject, God’s people and many Bible critics have done a good job of confusing people about what it means. Today I would like to touch on women and their roles in the church. Jesus placed high value on women in His life and teachings. He recognized them as unique, speaking to and with them in a kind and caring manner. He ministered to them and engaged them in ministry themselves. Jesus did not have the men ministering and the women passively sitting by. He gave them responsibility and encouraged them to use their talents and abilities.
*Men and women are on equal spiritual footing before God. God created male and female equality in that His design was that both men and women were created in His image. We were created to be reflections of who God is—not in form, but by bearing His nature, His personality, His moral and spiritual capacities, His emotions, His intellect, His conscience, and His will. God created both men and women to be images of His righteous character, of His holiness, and of His unconditional love. However, God also instituted male headship—not as a result of the fall, but before the fall. Man was given and still has the primary responsibility to lead the home in a God-glorifying direction.
*It is safe to say that men and women are spiritual equals before God, but God has given man the responsibility to lead, and women have been called to honor and affirm the man’s leadership, and to help him carry it out. Now, the real test of whether we understand the Biblical essence of manhood and womanhood and affirm it as good and right is whether we allow Paul’s teachings to offend us.
*We must allow the Bible to interpret our beliefs rather than forcing our beliefs onto God’s Word so that we make it say something that it doesn’t. I will confess to you that in studying for this message I have changed my mind about today’s subject. I offer that information to you simply to say that when your beliefs are not in alignment with God’s Word, you are the one who must change! I realize that some of you may or may not accept this message. However, Galatians 1:10 says “For do I now persuade men or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I yet pleased men, I would not be the servant of Christ.” I hope and pray that if you do not know of what I speak about today, it is simply b/c you are unlearned, and not b/c you are defying the Word of God. Some of you will be angered, some discouraged. However, I pray that your anger subsides and eventually turns to understanding, b/c whatever hostilities you may have will ultimately be towards God himself, for I am merely His messenger, sent to give you the truth, that it might set you free.
*My approach to the text today is simple. First I’m going to explain what is meant by verses 11-12, then I will give you 2 reasons why as a church we must be in agreement with what it teaches.
What It Means
1) Let the woman learn in silence.
There are some extreme views about this phrase. Some explain it away by saying that women then were not treated with the same regard that we treat ours with today, so women don’t have to learn in silence. The other extreme says that a woman should keep quiet in church. She should (as the old folks say) be seen and not heard. Both of these extremes are wrong. Look at how the word “silence” is used in some other places in the Bible. In verse 2 of this chapter, Paul says “that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all Godliness and honesty.” The word “peaceable” comes from the same Greek word for silent. In 2 Thessalonians 3 Paul pointed out how some in that church were walking disorderly and were busybodies. In verse 12 he said that those people should work “with quietness.” Now, the same Greek word is used to say silent, peaceable, and quiet. It does not refer to absolute silence. A quiet and peaceable life is not a life of total silence. In verse 12 of our text, Paul says “ I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.” In other words, this silence is merely just the opposite of exercising authority over men. So, what sort of silence is Paul talking about? It is the kind of quietness that respects and honors the leadership of the men God has called to oversee the church. Verse 11 says women were to learn in silence with all subjection, or submissiveness. So the point is not for a woman to remain totally silent, but for her to support the authority of the men that God has divinely appointed to lead His church.