Summary: This bible study looks at how some of the issues of women in ministry can be discussed in a biblical framework supporting women.
Women In Ministry
Glenville New Life Community Church Life-Sharing
Many Christians are divided over different roles that women should fulfill in the life of the church. That division will probably continue until Jesus returns. Our intents is to look at the passages of Scripture that support the role of women in the full life of the church as well as those passages which seem to go against women being in the full life of the church. The controversy is centered not around the spiritual gifts that a person may receive, but rather the specific offices that may be held in the church, such as elders, deacons, and bishops.
Our study should start in Galatians 3:26-29 Gal 3:26-29 You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
1. It is clear from this passage that when Paul uses the word sons, he’s talking about women and men.
2. In Acts 1:14, we are told that the women were meeting with the disciples constantly in prayer. Therefore in Acts 2:1-4, when the Day of Pentecost came and tongues of fire settled on everyone present, they must have fell upon the women as well. Even though the men said, "are not all these men who are speaking Galileans "in verse 2:8, when Peter addressed the crowd, he specifically mentioned that what the men had seen was a fulfillment of the promise that God would pour out his spirit on both men and women and they would prophesy. (Acts 2:17-18).
3. In our study on spiritual gifts, we saw that the word prophesy, was very similar and in some cases meant the same thing as to preach or to speak forth for God. In Acts 21:8-9, we see that Philip the evangelist had four unmarried daughters who prophesied.
4. In our study of spiritual gifts, we saw that gifts were given to people not based on their sex, but on the grace of God. We saw that some gifts could be developed within a person, and that some people were born with natural tendencies in the so called personality gifts in Romans 12.
A. When we study Scripture, there are some ground rules that we have to follow and questions that we have to ask?
1. What is going in this particular passage, and what problem is being addressed?
2. Why is this particular admonition being given?
3. If this is followed all the time, will it contradict other parts of the Bible?
4. Does this writer say something else in another situation?
5. If you follow everything in this passage with the same literalism, will you have sound theology.
B. Let’s look at some of the passages that Christians have used to divide themselves over this issue. Our focus is not going to be on husband /wife relationships, but on women as leaders in the church.
1. The only time the word ministers is used in the New Testament in the NIV, it is used to refer to all of us .2 Cor 3:6 He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant--not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
2. The only time the word pastors is used in the New Testament in the NIV, it is used in connection with spiritual gifts, which God bestows on any person as he chooses to do. Eph 4:11 " It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers,"
a. Isn’t it unusual that some who will okay women being evangelists or teachers, will say that women should not be pastors, even though the words are all found in the same verse with no distinction being made between men and women. Isn’t it strange that some ok women teachers in high school and college, but not in Bible Class after the same person they have taught for years turns a magical age. (Sin is never based on age, but on a specific act)
3.1 Cor 14:34-35 women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.
a. Some have taken this passage to literally mean that a woman should never speak in church.
b. The context we find this in, is that Paul is dealing with order in the worship service. For some reason, the women speaking in the church must have been causing disorder. Keep in mind that this was the first time that women were allowed full access to a worship service. They may have not understood a lot that was going on, and was interrupting the speaker to ask questions..