Summary: God's design: Men who mobilize men and women for ministry.
One of the dangers of topical preaching, like the series that we’re in the midst of right now, is that for me as a pastor, it’s easy to focus on topics that I’m comfortable with and to ignore others that may not be quite as comfortable for me or for you. The other danger is that it is relatively easy to begin by drawing some conclusions about a certain topic or issue and then try to find Scriptures, often taken out of context, to support those conclusions, rather than letting the Bible text itself develop the principles.
The topic that we’re going to deal with this morning certainly has the potential to fall into those traps. In many ways, it is a topic that is not entirely comfortable for us. In fact, the last time I addressed this issue a couple of years ago, there were a few people who took issue with that teaching and left our church. It is also a topic where it seems like many people have tried to advance their own views by “cherry-picking” a few verses that seem to support their opinions while at the same time ignoring or explaining away other passages that contradict them.
That is why the foundation we have laid for the past three weeks is so critical. The principles of Biblical manhood and womanhood that flow out of God’s original design at creation and which carry over into the marriage relationship, are, not surprisingly, the very principles that undergird the aspect of Biblical manhood and womanhood that we’ll look at this morning.
So once again, let’s take a moment to review what we’ve learned so far. [Let people fill in the blanks]
Men who love by serving like Christ
and Women who love by submitting like the Church
Man is the head; Woman is the helper
Man and Woman have equal worth but different work
Today, we are going to see just why it has been so important for us to work through these principles quite methodically, with each principle resting firmly on the preceding principle or principles.
We began by looking at the foundational principle of God’s original design for manhood and womanhood that He established at creation. Both man and woman were made in the image of God and are therefore equal in their God-like personhood. As we put it – man and woman have equal worth.
But at the same time man and woman have different God-ordained roles – roles that were determined and given by God at creation before sin ever entered the world. As we put it – man and woman have different work.
After establishing the basic foundation – that man and woman have equal worth, but different work, we were able to develop our next building block. As part of His original design, God created man to be the head – a strong, servant leader who would lead their partnership in a God-glorifying direction. And He created woman to be the helper – a partner who supports and honors that headship. In that design, the man and woman complemented each other perfectly as they respected and served each other. That design resulted in good for Adam and Eve and glory for God.