Women Ministering the Word of God
Women Ministering the Word of God
Prepared by: Rev. Diane Lewis
If the Son, therefore, shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed” (John 8:36)
Son and Daughters shall Prophesy
In the Old Testament, the prophet Joel prophesied concerning the new covenant – through Christ things were going to get better. Joel 2:28 states, “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions. And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit”.
Acts 2:16 In the New Testament, we find on the day of Pentecost Peter proclaimed, “But this is that which was spoken through the prophet. Joel: And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my spirit upon all flesh and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams”.
God said, in the last days I will do a new thing. Your sons and daughters shall prophesy. What does it mean to prophesy? 1 Cor 14:3 But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men edification, and exhortation and comfort.
Edify means to direct, enlighten, guide, instruct and uplift. Exhort means to admonish, warn, reprove, counsel, entreat, persuade and urge. Comfort means to console, calm, cheer, reassure and soothe. That is what you do when you preach the gospel. The minister is to preach the word, to interpret and apply the scriptures.
Co-Laborers with Christ
Let’s begin with a fundamental truth regarding the mind of God and His desire for true believers to be co-laborers with Him. (Luke 9:49-50) And John answered and said, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name; and we forbad him, because he followeth not with us. And Jesus said unto him, Forbid him not; for he that is not against us is for us.
My point here is not to focus on gender but inclusiveness. God is of one mind and changeth not. The disciples wanted to exclude the man from doing the will of God because he was not one of the 12 disciples. Jesus rebuked them for hindering this man and defended his action by stating “for he that is not against us is for us”.
Released from the Bond of the Law
Some have said that biblically it is not a woman’s place to preach the gospel or teach from the Word of God to anyone other than women or children. I want to scripturally demonstrate that women were truly liberated when Jesus died; he released them from the bondage of both sin and the Law. Having abolished in his flesh (Christ Jesus) the enmity, even the law of commandments. Eph. 2:15
God is No Respecter of Persons
In the following text, both Paul and Peter share their initial experience with the new covenant benefits.
There is a lesson we can learn from a similar restriction placed on Gentiles. (Matt. 10:5) “These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not; But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel”. Initially, the Word of Truth was only preached to the Jews, but the restriction was lifted.
Paul states in Acts 13:46 “It was necessary that the Word of God first have been spoken to you (Jews); but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.”
Acts 10:34 After Cornelius and his family were saved (Gentiles), Peter said, “Of a truth, I perceive that God is no respecter of persons.”
Acts 10:45 “And they of the circumcision (Jews) who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost for they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God.”
God’s Liberation of Women
The Word is clear…the Lord has poured His spirit on all flesh. God’s grace that liberated the Gentiles (Eph. 2:11-18) simultaneously emancipated both men and women. The blood of Christ broke down the middle wall of partition between us. We can all be co-laborers with Christ according to your spiritual gift(s).
Eph. 4:10-12 “And he (Jesus) gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelist; and some, pastor and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ”.
I would agree that it would be wrong for a women to preach if it is proven either that she does not have the ability, or that the exercise of this ability puts her in direct contradiction to God’s will.
According to the scripture, these restrictions of the law were removed when Christ completed His earthly work. (Gal 3:23-28) – “But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female; for ye are all one in Christ Jesus”.
In Christ there is no partiality owning to nationality, social economic status or gender; we are all one in Christ. In the Kingdom of Heaven men and women are of equal account, inequality disappears. Before the spirit of Christ was poured out, the law kept us in bondage, but now we are free. Our faith in Christ, the object of our faith, is in whom we find righteousness and peace. But “If the Son, therefore, shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed” (John 8:36)
No Contradiction in the Scriptures
2 Tim 2:15 “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth”. Teachers and preachers of God’s Word know that there is no contradiction in the scriptures. The Holy Spirit teaches us how to rightly divide the Word. No scripture stands alone, for percept must be upon precept and line upon line.
Now let’s study how Jesus handled Satan when he improperly used the scriptures. Matt. 4:3-4 “And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God”.
Once again, no scripture stands alone nor contradicts the other; we must live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.
Matt 4:6-7 And he saith unto him, “If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down; for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee, and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God”.
I believe teachers should use Christ example in teaching the Word of God. We see that Jesus did not deny that the scripture existed, for it is found in Ps 91:12. But rather, he rightly divided the scripture and used another scripture to bring clarity to the scripture Satan had quoted. Lesson learned: All scriptures must agree – if you quote a scripture by itself it could be incorrectly interpreted and contradict other scriptures.
Women Silent in the Churches
For centuries, women have been regarded as having less talent and potential than men. Unfortunately, this cultural attitude began to spill over into the church, though the Scriptures plainly taught that “there is neither male nor female in Christ (Gal. 3:28). They base their opposition on the passage in the writings of Paul (I Cor 14:34 & 35, I Tim. 2:9-12).
Now, let’s review the text found in 1 Tim. 2:12 it states “But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.” 1 Cor 14:34-35 states, “Let your women keep silence in the churches; for it is not permitted unto them to speak, but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the Law. We must also recognize this scripture: But, when the fullness of the time was come, Christ made under the law, redeemed (reconciled) them that were under the law. Gal 5:4,5 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. Joh 1:17
Surely Paul could not have meant women should not speak in church, because in 1 Cor 11:5 he sets down the proper mode of dress for both men and women to pray and prophesy in church. If that’s what Paul meant, he would than seem to be contradicting himself to command women to be completely silent.
Confirmation of the Holy Spirit
1 John 2:27 “But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him”.
When a message is delivered under the anointing of God, the Word says the anointing is truth it is no lie. Only the Holy Spirit can anoint a message, and he would not anoint someone that is working in contradiction to God’s will. A tree is known by its fruit.
“For man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart”. 1 Sam 16:7 We must not be slack in exercising the gifts that God has given us to edify the church as a whole.
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