Summary: Does the Lord have the right to call anyone into Christian minsitry in any position if it is His will to do so regardless of gender? This sermon is intended to be an overview of the Lord doing just that throughout the Bible.
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 …
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.
“Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made. In Him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.”
Please open your Bibles to Romans 16:1-16
Last week we started taking a look at the how many things changed during the time of Christ and during the time of the apostles. Some of the massive changes that we looked at were ….
1) The establishment of a more permanent marital structure and the unheard of instruction that husbands and wives should, “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ” as found in Ephesians 5:21 and this is done without disturbing the marital structure as described in the New Testament
2) There were huge changes resulting in the desegregation and integration of Jews and gentiles among believers
3) There were massive changes that moved from temple worship to church worship including the involvement of women into significant places of calling and ministries
All of this was leading up to the great shift from traditional Judaism which excluded women to the church which now included women in roles such as pastors, evangelists, missionaries and teachers.
One of the main Scriptures that we found as evidence is found in the second Chapter of Acts where Peter quotes from the Old Testament Prophet Joel when he says in …
“In the last days, God says, I will pour out My Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out My Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy.”
Now before we head into this we need to remember what we are trying to figure out.
Some say that:
1) It is Scripturally wrong and actually sinful, for women to prophesy (preach) or teach in any gathering where men are present and that
2) the LORD does NOT call women into pastoral, evangelism and elder positions at all.
With that in mind let’s go ahead and read Romans 16:1-16 and try to spot where women are included with the men as co-workers and even as an apostle.
So, let’s take a look through the Bible and see what we can see …
Deborah – A Prophet in Israel during the time of the Judges
One time I heard someone saying that Deborah was not really leading Barak in this text found in Judges 4 but only “encouraging” him.
Let’s read Judges 4:4-10 and see if it only sounds like encouragement …
Judges 4:4-10 NIV
“Now Deborah, a prophet, the wife of Lappidoth, was leading Israel at that time. She held court under the Palm of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the Israelites went up to her to have their disputes decided.
“She sent for Barak son of Abinoam from Kedesh in Naphtali and said to him, ‘The Lord, the God of Israel, commands you: “Go, take with you ten thousand men of Naphtali and Zebulun and lead them up to Mount Tabor. I (the LORD) will lead Sisera, the commander of Jabin’s army, with his chariots and his troops to the Kishon River and give him into your hands.”’”
“Barak said to her, ‘If you go with me, I will go; but if you don’t go with me, I won’t go.’
“‘Certainly I will go with you,’ said Deborah. ‘But because of the course you are taking, the honor will not be yours, for the Lord will deliver Sisera into the hands of a woman.’ So Deborah went with Barak to Kedesh. There Barak summoned Zebulun and Naphtali, and ten thousand men went up under his command. Deborah also went up with him.”
Look in verse 4 … Deborah SENT FOR … she summoned him. He didn’t come by for encouragement. Deborah had something to say to Barak and it was a word from the Lord God of Israel.
Deborah then gives Barak a command from the Lord.
Finally, Barak must certainly valued Deborah’s leadership because he refuses to go into the battle without her by his side!