Summary: God instituted sexual equality and male headship.
God’s Glorious Church
Male-Female Equality & Male Headship
Woodlawn Baptist Church
May 15, 2005
(See credit below)
Many times now we have considered the words of Ephesians 3:21. The apostle Paul, writing by inspiration of God, said,
“Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end.”
As we continue this short series about women, I want to remind you that our primary theme in all these messages has been God’s glorious church. We have come a long way during the last three and half months and have covered several different subjects, but I don’t want you to forget where we have been headed in it all. Our destination is to give God glory in our church by being the church He wants us to be. Part of being that kind of church is in understanding the unique and distinct roles God has given us in His churches.
The message I’ll be preaching this morning is one I preached back in November, but I want to preach it again as I lead up to the next two messages about women and their roles in God’s churches. Next Sunday we are going to look at the text where Paul said that women were to be silent in the church, and I’ll preach about what that means. The following Sunday we’ll deal with role distinctions in the church, particularly concerning what places men and women have in the church and when and where lines ought to be drawn for them. There is confusion today about these roles; a misunderstanding concerning the roles of men and women in today’s society or in our western culture. One of the great battles we face as we read the Bible is that we try to interpret its meaning according to our cultural scripting. The truth of the matter is that we are to be interpreting our cultural scripting according to the Bible.
Before we can understand role distinctions in the church context, we must have a biblical understanding of roles at their most foundational level, and that is in the home. Before there were any churches or governments God created the home, and in that home He gave us the pattern for everything else He would do.
We’re living in a day however where it is not socially acceptable to say there are distinct and admirable differences between men and women. We hear much about breaking down the walls of gender and sexuality. What has traditionally been recognized as biblical morality and fundamental truth is now seen as old-fashioned and out-dated. Society is bent on proving that there is a better way – a more liberating way of life where our gender differences are not only unnecessary, but also disastrous.
“The tendency today is to stress the equality of men and women by minimizing the unique significance of our maleness or femaleness. But this depreciation of male and female personhood is a great loss. It is taking a tremendous toll on generation of young men and women who do not know what it means to be a man or a woman. Confusion over the meaning of sexual personhood today is epidemic. The consequence of this confusion is not a free and happy harmony…The consequence rather is more divorce, more homosexuality, more sexual abuse, more promiscuity, more social awkwardness, and more emotional distress and suicide that come with the loss of God-given identity.
“It is a remarkable and telling observation that contemporary [Christianity] devotes little attention to the definition of femininity and masculinity. Little help is being given to a son’s question, “Dad, what does it mean to be a man and not a woman?” Or a daughter’s question, “Mom, what does it mean to be a woman and not a man?” A lot of energy is being expended today minimizing the distinctions of manhood and womanhood. But we do not hear very often what manhood and womanhood should incline us to do. We are adrift in a sea of confusion over sexual roles. And life is not the better for it.”
People today are confused about what it really takes to be a man or a woman, and the Lord’s churches for the most part are ignoring the issue. We just assume kids will grow up understanding their roles, but we assume too much Listen, Satan is no fool. He knows better than you or I do that if he can undermine God’s created order for men and women, then he has undermined every institution on this earth.
Now let me make sure we are clear on something. I am not going to talk about how women are taking over the men. I’m not going to talk about male-passivity or female domination. What I do want to talk about is built on the idea I shared with you last week: women hold high value in the eyes of God, they should be held in high value by men, and when we rightly relate to one another, we build relationships that beautifully reflect the glory of almighty God. So, what I’d like for you to do this morning is to turn to Genesis 1:26-27, and let’s consider…