Summary: Does the Bible prohibit women from being pastors and teachers in the church? Does the Bible say that women can only teach other women and children? Let's try to figure it out.
If you would, please stand as we say together our memory Scripture for this quarter:
“Do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.
“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
And our memory refresher Scripture is …
“Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.
“And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Please open your Bibles to Acts 18:18-28
Have you ever thought about the amazing changes that took place when Jesus the Messiah came to bring salvation and the kingdom of God?
Huge changes in society and huge changes in the way we worship and huge changes in how we come to God. We will be taking a look at a few of those changes today leading to why we believe that it is Biblically sound for women to be pastors and teachers in the church today.
Now, please join me as we take a look at Acts 18:18-28
I don’t know if you noticed something unusual in that passage, did you? Well, there is something unusual in there and if you did not see it right away we’ll get to it in a few minutes.
Just what are some of the huge changes that Jesus introduced?
Changes in marriage and husband/wife relationships and in the value of women in society
Changes in the relationship between Jews and gentiles
Changes from temple worship to church worship
In marriage it was much like it is now. Someone just gets tired of the marriage and there is an easy out; it’s called no-fault divorce.
It’s a little more complicated today than it was in Jesus’ day. All they had to do was write a note to their wife and it was over, you’re out, hit the road lady!
Why was that even possible?
Because it was a totally male dominated, patriarchal society and because, as Jesus said, they were hard hearted.
All property passed down through the male lineage.
Rarely do you find any mention of daughters in any lineage.
Women were disposable! Want proof?
Two angels come to Sodom in the form of men to rescue Lot from the city before it was destroyed by the Lord. At night time the men of the city gather at Lot’s house and demand that he throw out the two men so they can be sexually assaulted by the mob. What does Lot do? He offers to send out his two virgin daughters to be abused!
Visitors were honored. Daughters were expendable.
Now, not all men in Israel were like that but it was certainly acceptable in that society.
Here comes Jesus and the apostles in the New Testament into the picture redefining marriage as one man and one woman for life and giving value to women!
Husband, LOVE YOUR WIFE!
Wife, RESPECT YOUR HUSBAND.
And … get this … SUBMIT TO ONE ANOTHER OUT OF REVERENCE FOR CHRIST!
Talk about a change! That’s HUGE!
Some people say that Christianity is a sexist religion. The teachings of the Holy Spirit in the New Testament tell a different story when you compare them to the culture that was in place in Jesus’ time and in the centuries prior to His arrival.
What about the change between Jews and gentiles?
Jews considered gentiles, non-Hebrews, to be dogs, even lower than women!
If a Jew entered the home of a gentile or touched a gentile they would have to go through a ceremonial cleansing ritual before they could enter the temple or participate in a holy feast day.
As an example, why do you think Jesus’ trial before Pilate was held in an outer court instead of in some room of the palace?
John 18:28 says,
“Then the Jewish leaders took Jesus from Caiaphas to the palace of the Roman governor. By now it was early morning, and to avoid ceremonial uncleanness they did not enter the palace, because they wanted to be able to eat the Passover.”
How else do we know about the way Jews felt about gentiles?
Jews did not talk to Samaritans; they considered them to be half-breeds.
Then here comes Jesus. He talks to a Samaritan woman.
Do you get that? She’s not only a Samaritan but a woman as well!
Jesus heals the daughter of a Canaanite woman and He heals the servant of a Roman Centurion!
And then in Acts 10:9-48 we see Peter up on the roof of the house where he is staying and the Holy Spirit gives him a vision of a sheet coming down from heaven with ceremonial clean and unclean animals and telling him that he can kill and eat any of them.