Faithlife Sermons

The Role of Women in the Church

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This morning I am beginning a series on the role of women in the church. Specifically, my aim is to teach what the NT has to say about women reading Scripture publically in the church and women praying publically in the church.
Historically, in our circles, this is not something that we have practiced. We have understood the command for women to keep silent in the church as prohibiting ladies both reading Scripture and praying publically in church. And let me say this- I appreciate the concern of people on this topic. It is an indication to me that people in our circles are deeply committed to obeying God’s Word. Your concern for careful obedience to the text is most appreciated!
My question is what does the Bible teach? Are there clear passages in the NT that would help us understand the role of women in the church in regards to public Scripture reading and public prayer?
To begin our study this morning we are going to examine I Timothy 2. In this passage we are going to look at what Scripture forbids for women functioning in the local church.
In order to see I Timothy 2 properly we are going to examine it in light of the idea of submission. I know when I say that word, “submit,” in relation to women- there are already hackles being raised by some people. Already, some of you might be thinking, “here we go again.” There is an extremely negative connotation, especially in our culture, when someone dares to say that the Bible requires that women practice Biblical submission.
So let me begin this morning by imploring you to practice Rom 12:2.
Romans 12:2 ESV
2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind.
What is the world’s view of biblical submission of women? It views even the suggestion of submission as weakness, as demeaning, as degrading. Let me stress again this is what the world thinks, but does this line up with God’s Word? Do we need to transform our thinking this morning by renewing our minds by means of the Scriptures?
How does the Bible view submission?
At the heart of submission is the spiritual virtue of humility. Humility is one of the most valued spiritual virtue of the believer.
Philippians 2:8 ESV
8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
Humility was perfectly modeled for us by Jesus. The humility of our Lord was not easy, it was not glamorous, it was not popular. Yet Jesus humbled himself by becoming obedient to the will of the Father- all the way to death on a cross. This kind of humility and submission to the will of the Father is very valuable and precious in the sight of God. How do I know that?
Philippians 2:9 ESV
9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name,
The Father has highly exalted and rewarded the Son because of Jesus’ humility and submission to the Father. So, believer- let you mind be renewed this morning in the area of submission- even as it relates to women serving in the church.
This is not easy to do. We do not like to submit! It is contrary to the very essence of our sin nature.
1 John 3:4 ESV
4 Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness.
Titus 2:14 ESV
14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.
We have been redeemed from ALL lawlessness. So how do we work that truth out in the everyday practice of our lives.
How do we humble ourselves and become obedient to the will of God in the area of submission? How do we do that will joy?
I think Paul gives us three principles in I Timothy 2 that will help us joyfully submit to God’s will for our lives, and it will especially be helpful as we think about the role of women in the church.
Here is the principle:
Submission becomes joyful when you are motivated by redemption and outreach
Submission is virtually impossible if we are focused on exalting ourselves. If we don’t see submission in the context of loving other people, then submitting joyfully to the will of God becomes grievous.
1 Timothy 2:1–2 ESV
1 First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, 2 for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.
The context of I Timothy 2 is changed lives, changed behavior, changed thought patterns because of the gospel.
“Lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.”
Paul is concerned about a disruption in the church’s ability to evangelize. A lack of willingness to pray from leaders in their city and nation, loud and belligerent disobedience to city laws, and treating unsaved people in a demeaning and rude manner were all nails in the coffin of the churches ability to win the lost for Christ!
Paul was urging the church to be different! This is a radical change in the nature of a sinner. This is what the gospel does, it causes the sinner to lay down their arms in surrender to almighty God. We go from being controlled by our sin nature, by our lawless hearts, to people who gladly submit to the will of Almighty God.
This kind of attitude, that is a peace filled heart, a quiet heart, a godly spirit, and a dignified demeanor- is something that God wills for both men and women. And the purpose of this kind of radically changed heart is redemptive!
1 Timothy 2:3–4 ESV
3 This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
It is a great help to both men and women, to remember why submission is so important! Submission has a redemptive quality. People who no longer live every moment under the control of their lawless hearts become beautifully attractive to those who are still enslaved to their sin nature.
Men and women are called to submission in this passage. Men you are called to submit to those in positions of government, those in authority over you. So before you go thinking that submission is no big deal, think about how difficult it is for you to submit to the authority God had providentially placed over you!
(How well have you submitted to the authority of your governor or your president in the last few months?)
Example: mask mandate, vaccine
Refutation: these things are not cut and dry! Sticky issues but we must:
Avoid a lawless heart- have compassion and love for the lost! Pray for all people, intercede for them, thank God for them! Especially for those in position of authority over you. Avoid loud expressions of your old sinful heart- don’t be defiant and belligerent, instead be full of peace and have a calm composed disposition- don’t be demeaning and rude, instead treat others with reverence and dignity.
Let the desire to see all people be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth motivate your submission to the Lord!
Here is the principle:
Submission becomes joyful when you are motivated by worship and reverence
1 Timothy 2:8 ESV
8 I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling;
CONTEXT IS KEY: Roles in the church: Submission in the context of worship and prayer / CORPORATE WORSHIP / PRAYER
Men- you are to submit yourselves to God. Lifting up holy hands. Holy lives seeking God in dependent supplication.
And you are to submit to one another- without anger or quarreling.
What Paul is concerned about is disruptions to proper worship in the church. It was a hindrance to the church and to worship when men gathered together and did nothing but argue and fight. How fitting would that be for proper prayer and worship? So men, don’t allow your sinful lawless hearts to disrupt worship and prayer, instead submit to God! Come to him with holy dependent hands, while putting up with one another in love and eager striving to maintain unity.
1 Timothy 2:9–10 ESV
9 likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, 10 but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works.
Likewise, IN THE SAME WAY: CONTEXT IS KEY: Roles in corporate worship / submission in the context of worship and prayer
Paul may be saying- likewise / in the same way I desire women also to pray… or Paul may only be addressing behavior that was a hindrance to prayer and worship.
For the men in the church arguments and dissension were the hindrances to prayer. In the same way the women were hindering corporate prayer and worship, not by being argumentative, but by ostentatious or seductive dress.
I was not planning on preaching about modesty this week! I approach this topic with fear and trembling. I do not want push my agenda on anyone, but I also do not want to shy away from what God’s Word teaches.
The proper starting place for any discussion about modesty is not external, but internal:
We have to start with V. 10- ladies you should adorn yourselves with what is proper for women who profess godliness (piety, reverence for God, a heart that longs to worship God rightly).
While Paul is discussing proper dress in this passage two key factors must be kept in mind.
The context of these verses is public prayer. Appropriate dress is viewed in the context of corporate worship to God. I think you can make application to everyday dress, but ladies you must be especially careful how you dress for church- your dress should not disrupt corporate worship or prayer.
His true emphasis is not merely modest dress. The issue of external adornment is not exclusively an external issue, but primarily an internal matter of the heart. The way ladies dress, especially in the setting of corporate prayer and worship, is a reflection of a heart attitude- it is a reflection of godliness, that is of reverence and worship for God, and a commitment to good works.
With that in mind let’s back up to v. 9- women should adorn themselves in:
Respectable apparel:
Apparel that is appropriate for winning approval, or apparel that is proper or suitable in terms of being attractive.
With Modesty:
The opp. idea of “lack of respect, shamelessness” is expressed.
The etym. of this word group is debated, but the sense “respect or regard for” seems to link all its uses.
With regard for what others think or feel, the word may mean “esteem, reverence” (from fear of hurting or offending others) as well as “shame” (from fear that they think poorly of you)
With regard for one’s own conscience, it may mean “sense of honor, self-respect.”
With Self-Control:
moderation n. — wisdom working itself out in self-control over one’s passions and desires.
To practice “modesty and self-control” demands that, “the women not flaunt their wealth or their beauty. The former word shows reserve in matters of sex, and the latter word indicates a mastery of the appetites, particularly in matters of sex. The two terms refer to inner virtues.”
Not with braided hair or expensive jewelry or clothing is referring to elaborate, over-the-top, showy dress and not “normal attention to neatness and good taste.”
Women are to avoid dress that demonstrates self-pride or self-centeredness.
In summary, ladies when you come to church to pray and worship God you must avoid clothing and adornment which might be both showy and extravagant as well as sexually enticing. This kind of dress is a hindrance to worship.
Modesty then is an “outward / others” focused word. Modesty does not come properly from a heart that is solely focused on self, but from a heart that is submitted to God and cares chiefly about others. Modesty is also only properly understood underneath a right purpose.
Purpose #1: If the motivation of modesty is others and the purpose is for all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth- it changes everything.
Purpose #2: If the motivation of modesty is on God and the purpose is that God might be revered and that God might be worshiped- it changes everything.
Peter’s comments are helpful here:
1 Peter 3:3–4 ESV
3 Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— 4 but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.
What Paul and Peter seem to be saying is that they way you dress ladies is an expression of a submissive heart. I am not going to stand up here and tell you specifically how to dress- I think that does more damage than good. But, what I can express are the principles of Scripture about submission and modesty and trust you to apply God’s Word in your life.
Illustration: Don’t be conformed to the world- my body, my choice. Worship yourself and the world will follow.
1 Corinthians 6:19 ESV
19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own,
1 Corinthians 6:20 ESV
20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
Refutation: It’s not that big of a deal how I dress. So what!
Matthew 5:27 ESV
27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’
Matthew 5:28 ESV
28 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
Matthew 5:29 ESV
29 If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell.
It’s no big deal? Jesus says that if I look at a woman with lust in my heart that act is worthy of hell fire! Does that sound like a big deal?
Why is this matter so extreme? Think about it, ladies you are image bearers of God. You were purchased with the blood of Christ for the delight and eternal glory of Almighty God. When I look at you with lust in my heart I am using what God has purchased for his eternal glory as nothing more than an object to gratify my sinful lusts.
I dare not misuse the body of another person, a body that was redeemed and paid for by the blood of Christ, and turn it merely into an object or a tool to gratify my sexual lusts! That act of rebellion and robbery is worthy of hell fire.
Guys be very careful!
Ladies please help us!
Glorify God in your body!
Let’s both of us use our bodies to glorify God. Guys in the way you look upon other women, especially your sisters in Christ. Ladies glorify God in the way you dress your bodies. Start with submissive hearts that desire to reference and worship the Lord through modesty!
Principles of Modesty:
Modesty is an outward expression of inward submission
True modesty comes from an inward heart of reverence and worship to God
Modesty in dress is a means to substantiate your salvation to others
Modesty cares more about God and others than it does about self
Submission in the area of modest dress becomes joyful when its purpose is redemptive
Submission in the area of modest dress becomes joyful when its purpose is the glory of God
Here is the principle:
Submission becomes joyful when you are motivated by loyalty and trust
1 Timothy 2:11 ESV
11 Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness.
Paul changes topics for a third time, but he is still concerned with conduct that will hinder proper corporate prayer and worship.
In v. 11 Paul uses gives a command- Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness- is an imperative. The focus of Paul’s command is that women in the church should assume the role of quiet learners. Paul is concerned about the manner in which women learn- namely in quietness and submission.
*(Aside)- Do not allow the manner of learning to overshadow the fact that Paul placed no limits upon the ability of women to learn about the Scriptures. Even the deepest and most technical aspects of the Bible and theology are open for women to learn!
So the question that causes everyone’s hackles to raise on the back of their necks is what does Paul mean when he commands women in the church to learn in a quiet and submissive manner?
Silence could be understood as absolute silence. No one holds this view- otherwise ladies would need refrain from uttering a sound in church.
Silence could be understood in the sense of “not teaching.” She must remain quiet and not teach in church. But that is the emphasis of the following verse.
Silence is most likely to have the idea of being at peace, enjoying solitude or tranquility. The idea would be women are to keep silent while somebody is speaking so as to show deference to teachers, BUT not necessarily excluding verbal interchange which is appropriate to the occasion.
Marshall- ICC

In the present context listening quietly with deference and attentiveness to the one teaching is indicated. Other forms of utterance (praying, singing, prophesying, encouraging) are not ruled out; the limited reference here is to speaking out of turn and thereby interrupting the lesson.

Illustration: Conservative speaker goes to address a college campus and a group of protesters stand up during the speech and interrupt the lesson. It is inappropriate. The appropriate thing would be to wait for the q&a at the end of the lesson. The intention of the protesters is to be disruptive.
They have no willingness to learn in quiet and peace. And they certainly are not willing to submit themselves in an attitude or posture appropriate to learning.
This is what Paul wants of the women in the church. When the word is being preached do not interrupt or hinder proper worship. Instead learn in quietness appropriate for the setting. And learn in submission- that is in a heart attitude that is willing to learn. Be willing to accept the teaching and the authority of the teacher. This doesn’t mean you have to accept everything blindly without question. It is still good to be Berean like in your listening- search the Scriptures to see if these things be so. Yet, still have a teachable spirit.
This is something men must do as well. The men in the church who are not teaching must be willing to learn in quietness and in submission to the leaders.
1 Corinthians 16:15–16 ESV
15 Now I urge you, brothers—you know that the household of Stephanas were the first converts in Achaia, and that they have devoted themselves to the service of the saints— 16 be subject to such as these, and to every fellow worker and laborer.
So why does Paul single out women in this passage? Apparently, it was an issue in the church of Ephesus were Timothy was leading. But the teaching is equally applicable to men as well as women. Just like the teaching for men to pray with holy hands in v. 8 is applicable to men and women.
Paul then goes on and adds a prohibition to ensure that worship continued unhindered.
1 Timothy 2:12 ESV
12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet.
This verse contains two prohibitions and one positive command.
The positive command is that women are to remain quiet.
The two prohibitions is that first, women are not to teach men, and second, women are not to exercise authority over men.
This verse raises all kinds of questions!
Much of the following information I am taking from Dr. Kevin Bauder’s book Baptist Distinctives. I would encourage you to get and read the book!
What men are women not supposed to teach? Where should they not teach them? What kind of teaching are they not supposed to do? What sort of authority are the not supposed to exercise? Are these commands timeless or were they only relevant for the church of Ephesus? Are these commands to be applied in every area of life or are they restricted to a particular setting?
Observations:
1. I Timothy 2:12 does not forbid women from teaching or even discipling men outside of the public gatherings of the church.
The context of the chapter beginning with v. 8 is that of a corporate worship service not with private conversations.
Acts 18:24–26 ESV
24 Now a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was an eloquent man, competent in the Scriptures. 25 He had been instructed in the way of the Lord. And being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things concerning Jesus, though he knew only the baptism of John. 26 He began to speak boldly in the synagogue, but when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately.
Priscilla is a positive example of a women actively challenging and instructing a male teacher. Essentially, Priscilla and Aquila discipled Apollos in the the way of God more accurately.
2. I Timothy 2:12 does not forbid women from teaching children or other women within the public assembly.
Nothing in this passage bars women from teaching SS classes or ladies Bible studies in church.
3. I Timothy 2:12 does forbid a kind of teaching that is tied to exercising authority in the church.
The authority in view here the kind of authority exercised by a pastor over the body. A pastor’s authority is a moral authority- it is bringing to bear the authority of the Word of God through preaching and teaching and in his own personal example of rightly applying the Word of God in every area of his life.
As long as women do not attempt to teach as if they hold official authority within the church opportunities exist for them to minister even in corporate worship services.
1 Corinthians 11:5 ESV
5 but every wife who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, since it is the same as if her head were shaven.
In the NT, women both prophesied and prayed in public, but they did it while “demonstrating appropriate tokens of submission” to legitimate authority. We will cover this more in depth later on.
4. I Timothy 2:12 has nothing to say about women exercising non-ecclesiastical authority outside the church.
Women are told submit in the church setting and in the home setting to their own husbands (whole other sermon because the idea of submission in the home is drastically misunderstood)
Otherwise the NT does not restrict women leadership in the areas of professional business, education, or government. Christian women are not supposed to submit to all men at all time everywhere.
5. I Timothy 2:12 clearly forbids women to preach to audiences that include adult men.
Ladies must not authoritatively teach the Bible to men or mixed audiences in a church setting.
6. I Timothy 2:12 clearly forbids women from exercising the authority of a pastor-bishop-elder.
This verse along with others:
1 Timothy 3:2 ESV
2 Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach,
definitely does restrict the pastoral office to men.
Two objections that I think the text deals with that I want to address:
Objection #1: I Timothy 2:12 is simply addressing a local situation in Ephesus and is not to be applied to churches today.
Paul overrides this objection by placing the grounds for his commands, not in some cultural temporal circumstance, but in the order of creation itself.
Why should women remain quiet in the public worship context? Why should they not teach or exercise authority over a man?
1 Timothy 2:13–14 ESV
13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve; 14 and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor.
Paul gives two reasons in these verse: 1) Adam was formed first, 2). Adam was not deceived, but Eve was.
Why are these reasons so persuasive for Paul?
Reason #1: Order of creation
Genesis 2:18 ESV
18 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”
Adam was created first by God from the dust of the ground. Then God created Eve at a later time out of Adam’s rib. Eve was created to be a helper like Adam. So God instituted an order of authority that was present at the very beginning of creation.
This is before the fall, and the curse. God’s plan since before the fall has been for Man to be in a position of headship. Submission was never meant to be a bad or negative thing. It was never ment to be a distasteful thing either. That was a consequence of the curse.
Genesis 3:16 ESV
16 To the woman he said, “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be contrary to your husband, but he shall rule over you.”
The desire for a wife to want to control her husband is part of the consequences of the curse and the fall.
Reason # 2: Order of the Fall
1 Timothy 2:14 ESV
14 and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor.
What does Paul mean when he points out that the woman and not the man was deceived and became a transgressor?
It does not mean that women are somehow more gullible than men!
The NT is full of significant positive examples of teaching roles for women!
Acts 18:26 ESV
26 He began to speak boldly in the synagogue, but when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately.
Titus 2:3–4 ESV
3 Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, 4 and so train the young women to love their husbands and children,
2 Timothy 1:5 ESV
5 I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well.
2 Timothy 3:15 ESV
15 and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.
1 Corinthians 11:4–5 ESV
4 Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head, 5 but every wife who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, since it is the same as if her head were shaven.
Matthew 28:19–20 ESV
19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
So why does Adam bring up the order of the fall in our text?
Genesis 3:6 ESV
6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.
Eve was not alone at the time of the temptation and the fall. Adam was with her. Satan singled out Eve and tempted her. Eve could have gone to her husband and deferred to Adam. But, she chose to take the lead and answer for them both, and Adam followed suit. This was a reversal of the order of creation.
And that is the point. God created Adam first, so God intended for Adam to take the lead. When Eve bypassed the intended created order of God she rebelled against the the clear intentions of God for the roles of husband and wife. She refused to submit to God’s choice in assigning her roles in creation.
Adam should have stepped in and taken responsibility, and Eve should have waited for Adam to take the lead. The order was reversed! They did not submit to God’s created order. They chose to do things their way! And how did that end up for them?
Why can’t women be pastors? Why can’t women teach and exercise authority over men? Because God said so. God ordained it to be that way? Why? I have no idea.
God could have created women first, He could have formed both Adam and Eve from the dust at the same time. But God didn’t do it that way.
Why? I don’t know, but it is the choice of God since the beginning of creation. The question is ladies, will you submit to God’s choice? Or will you rebel and like Eve, reverse the created order, and disobey God? What were the consequences for Adam and Eve? What do you think the consequences of disobedience to God will be like today in the church?
Objection #2: It’s not fair! If women can’t be pastors, then you are keeping them from significant spiritual blessings!
If women can’t be pastors and they can’t teach adult men in corporate church services does this mean that they just loose out on significant spiritual blessings? Think of the pastor who gets to touch so many different lives with the truth of God’s Word. Think of the internationally acclaimed preacher who is heard by and blesses thousands. Why do they get access to such significant blessings and women are denied these kinds of blessings?
Well Paul apparently did not think this way!
1 Timothy 2:15 ESV
15 Yet she will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control.
This verse is controversial- that is there are many different interpretations.
Salvation by the birth of Jesus (childbearing refers to bearing of children in general and not one specific birth)
Salvation by means of bearing children (This would imply a salvation by works)
Physical safety during childbirth (There have been plenty of Christian mothers who have died in childbirth)
Deliverance from the temptations of Satan by keeping to her proper role (She will not be deceived like Eve, if she restricts herself to family responsibilities)
A call for women to demonstrate loyalty and trust in the providential calling of God
I think what Paul is doing in this verse is teaching the doctrine of providential calling. And it is a powerful truth if you can understand and apply it!
Embracing the doctrine of the calling of God starts with the recognition that your position in life was chosen for you by the good will and providence of God.
Whatever station or situation of life you are in right now is to be understood as a calling by God. Some of you are young some old, some of you are married and some are single, some of you make more money in your occupation and some make less. Expanding it out even further, some were born in one nation and some in another. All of these different stations of life represent a calling by God.
Each of these different callings in life afford opportunities to bring glory to God.
Paul says of the calling of being a mother- “She shall be saved through childbearing.” That is she can put her salvation on display, she can give evidence of a heart transformed by grace through embracing the station in life God has called her to. She can give evidence that she truly is redeemed from all lawlessness by her joyful submission and obedience to the calling of motherhood.
And she will experience the full benefit of her salvation if she does so- she will be ultimately glorified through her salvation and will experience the full measure of the reward of Christ. If she continues in her calling of motherhood with faith and love and holiness and self-control she can bring abundant glory to God in her calling as a mother, and God will reward her faithfulness!
Being a pastor is a calling by God, and if the pastor is faithful in their ministry they have a tremendous opportunity to display the grace of God as an evidence of their salvation and bring glory to God. Being a farmer, or truck driver, or salesman, or engineer, or nurse are also callings by God. Callings are simply the stations of life in which God places believers.
Just like the pastor the farmer or the salesman, or the nurse or the mother has the opportunity to put the grace of God on display by demonstrating how salvation is transforming you into the image of Christ in your individual callings.
Moms you have the opportunity to exhibit the grace of God in your salvation by embracing the role God has given you. It is true, you cannot be a pastor. But I cannot be a mother, and I cannot be an NBA basketball player. I was not born a 7 foot tall athletic star. And I will never have international acclaim or pastor a large mega church. But, God has given me a calling and he has given you a calling.
You are fearfully and wonderfully made! God in his providence equipped you with exactly what you need to bring him glory. And if you continue in your calling with faith and love and holiness and self control God will reward you one day.
But, surely the pastor has opportunity for greater reward, some might say. Here is another opportunity to renew our minds in God’s Word!
Matthew 20:1–16 ESV
1 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a master of a house who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. 2 After agreeing with the laborers for a denarius a day, he sent them into his vineyard. 3 And going out about the third hour he saw others standing idle in the marketplace, 4 and to them he said, ‘You go into the vineyard too, and whatever is right I will give you.’ 5 So they went. Going out again about the sixth hour and the ninth hour, he did the same. 6 And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing. And he said to them, ‘Why do you stand here idle all day?’ 7 They said to him, ‘Because no one has hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You go into the vineyard too.’ 8 And when evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the laborers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last, up to the first.’ 9 And when those hired about the eleventh hour came, each of them received a denarius. 10 Now when those hired first came, they thought they would receive more, but each of them also received a denarius. 11 And on receiving it they grumbled at the master of the house, 12 saying, ‘These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.’ 13 But he replied to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius? 14 Take what belongs to you and go. I choose to give to this last worker as I give to you. 15 Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity?’ 16 So the last will be first, and the first last.”
We do not understand the perfect justice and fairness of Almighty God!
Romans 9:20 ESV
20 But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?”
Romans 11:33–36 ESV
33 Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! 34 “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?” 35 “Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?” 36 For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.
1 Timothy 2:15 ESV
15 Yet she will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control.
Coming back to our text- the idea is you can joyfully submit to God in the area of calling. It takes loyalty and trust in God! Trust his fairness and his justice and his ability to reward you for submitting to the calling he has given you.
None of us like the idea of submission- We do not like to submit! It is contrary to the very essence of our sin nature.
How do we humble ourselves and become obedient to the will of God in the area of submission? How do we do that will joy?
Submission becomes joyful when you are motivated by redemption and outreach
Submission becomes joyful when you are motivated by worship and reverence
Submission becomes joyful when you are motivated by loyalty and trust
Men and women will you submit to almighty God? Will you be motivated rightly in your submission to God? May God cause us to understand His Word, submit and joyfully obey Him!
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