Sermon Transcript: God’s Design for Women in the Church 10/17/2021 Jeff Schwarzentraub 43 min read Lord Jesus, just thank you so much for your word. Lord, we confess to you that every single word in your word is from you, and for your glory and for our edification. And so, Lord, today, I ask that you would be helpful to me and that you would be helpful to us, and that I would be able to preach the word of God accurately, and that we would have ears to hear what you have to say to us. Lord, would you move in our midst and do what only you can do and accomplish your purposes for each individual, as well as us as a church as we hear the word. And so, now Lord, as we gather before you, for those who are here, who desire to hear the word of God, who will believe what God says about you and will by faith put into practice what he shows you, will you agree with me very loudly this morning by saying the word, amen. Amen. A number of years ago, on my first trip to Hawaii, I was there with all sorts of extended family, and my uncle wanted to teach me how to snorkel. And so, we went snorkeling. And I remember the first day that we did, he basically taught me how to put the fins on and how to wear the mask, and how to start breathing through a tube, which was somewhat uncomfortable when you're underwater breathing, but you get used to it. If you don't do it right, you drink a lot of saltwater, which is not fun. But we surveyed the bay and he was pointing different things out. And he knows a lot more about aquatic life than I do. And so, it was pretty fun. And so, the next day we woke up, he said, "Hey, let's go do that again." He goes, "I got some things I want to show you beyond the reef that you probably have never seen before." And I said, "Okay, that sounds good." And so, we began to go out a little bit further from the shore than what we had done the day before. And what I kept noticing is every time I came up out of the water about every 20, 25 minutes and was looking, I saw less and less of the shore, to a point that, I remember one time I pulled my head out of the water and I couldn't see the shore. And I was thinking where I thought it was, but I didn't know for sure. And I was starting to feel a little uncomfortable. And about that time, I remember my uncle grabbed my shoulder and pointed, and what I saw coming at me was about 20 feet long, flapping its wings with some sort of beak. Now, I didn't know what it was. I had seen Encyclopedia Britannicas before. I knew what a stingray was. This looked like a stingray on steroids. And so, I was thinking he was alerting me that I was about ready to die. So, I was freaking out. And when you're trying to breathe again and you're underwater, and you're not used, I was coming up out of the water. I mean, if I would have been Jesus, I would have been walking back to the shore as fast as I could. And he's like, "No, no, no, no, you don't understand." He goes, "Just watch this." And so, I put my head back down in the water, which I could barely breathe. He swam down. It was called a manta ray. Some of you know this. And he grabbed on the back of the manta ray and was swimming through the ocean on the back of the manta ray. And then he came back up and he said, "Wasn't that awesome?" And I said, "No. Let's go back to the shore." Because I was in this uncertainty and I didn't know what to do. And I wanted to get back where I felt comfortable again. We, as a culture are swimming in a sea of uncertainty, specifically, when it comes to gender. Our culture has decided to take God's word and pitch it to the curb, and won't talk about what God has to say about gender. And so, I think it's really important even before we get in this text in 1 Timothy chapter two, starting in verse nine, today, that I tell you a little bit about gender from God's perspective, because you can't even make it through the first chapter of the Bible in Genesis chapter one, without God talking about gender from his perspective. And since he's the one who created life, he's an authority on gender. And here's what God says in Genesis chapter one and verse 27, he says, "God created man in his own image. In the image of God, he created him, male and female. He created them." So, God makes crystal clear in his word that he created humankind. There's no doubt about it. But he also created two genders, male and female. Those are the only two genders that exist. Now, for some of you, you know this, but I feel like I need to teach this. And I'm not trying to give shock value to this, but not everybody believes this. Okay? So, when a woman is pregnant, as her term develops, you can go in and take what's called a sonogram. And when they take a sonogram, sometimes they check the sex of the baby. When we say sex, we mean sex. We mean gender. It's all one and the same. And because there's two, they're looking for one specific area, okay? Here's how it works. This is science. If the child in utero has a penis, it's a boy. And if the child in utero has a vagina, it's a girl. When that child is birthed, that boy will come out a male and grow into a man, that girl will come out a female and grow into a woman. That's science. That's also the word of God. God makes it crystal clear, not only did he create two different genders, but he has distinction for each one of those genders. And whether you know it or not, I'm here to tell you on the authority of God's word, men and women are different. They're different. And I'm telling you that as a backdrop to our text, because when we get into 1 Timothy chapter two, God has designed roles and distinctions in our world based upon this gender. So, if you don't get gender right, if you don't get male and female right, you won't get the church ripe. If you don't get the church right, you won't get the culture right. And if you don't get the culture right, we have a big mess on our hands. Friends, we have a big mess on our hands because we don't believe the entirety of God's word. So, that in mind, I want you to turn to 1 Timothy chapter two, starting in verse nine. We're going to take a look at verses nine through 15 today. And where we left off last time, we were talking about the men. And what should be seen in the church, which is God's kingdom embassy on this planet is men who raise holy hands, who pray without wrath or dissension. And so, what should be going on in a local church is men who pray. That's one of the distinctives of what it means to be a church. That's one of the distinctives of what it means to be male, that we should be leading the church in prayer. Now, he's going to address the females. He's going to address the women. And here's what he says. He says, "Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discretely, not with braided hair and gold, or pearls, or costly garments, but rather by means of good works as is proper for women making a claim to godliness. A woman must quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness. But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet, for it was Adam who was first created and then Eve, and it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. But women will be preserved through the bearing of children, if they continue in faith and love, and sanctity with self restraint." And here, what we're going to read about today is God's design for women in the church, what that's supposed to look like. And we're going to talk about four truths about God's design for women in the church. Now, it used to be when we started this church and I would preach a text like this, I would tell Kim, "This is going to be a congregational tremor. People are going to leave after this message." I don't believe that's the case anymore. For 11 years, we have said that the entirety of God's word is true from Genesis 1:1, all the way through Revelation 22:21. And I know that I am teaching a group of people that desire to hear what God says, and they want to hear God speak in an undiluted way, so they can respond to God. I know that who's here. Amen. But I'm also telling you that because if you're visiting today, this may not have been the text that you would have chosen for me to preach. And I want to let you know, as a pastor, as we go through a book, I'm teaching the authority of God's word. I believe it's all God's word. I believe it's all true. And therefore, we can look at any text and say, "This is God. This is what God wants to say." God does not need a PR agent up here, apologizing for him or saying he did something wrong. God needs somebody that actually believes God means what he says, who will faithfully proclaim it, which is what I'm trying to do today. Okay. So, there's four truths about God's design for women that emerged from this text. And the first is this, when it comes to women in the church, their appearance should reflect Christ and not the culture. When it comes to women in the local church, their appearance should reflect Christ and not the culture. He says, "Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold, or pearls, or costly garments." It means this in the local church, women, you are dressing to present yourself to the Lord. That's who you're dressing for. It means in how you dress and in what you do, you are dressing in such a way that when you walk into the church, you are dressing so that God is pleased with the way that you dress, right? That's important that you understand this. Now, here's why I understand that this is important for you to understand this. For men, what we struggle with, majority of men struggle with, lust. A lot of men struggle with lust. And so, when I'm talking to men, I'm talking about them, they have to have their heart changed. And God's got to do surgery on their heart, so that they can honor the Lord and they can honor other women. Women, from what I understand and getting to know my wife, and learning about women over the years, struggle with identity and how you look, and how you appear, and how you perceive other people view you. And so, God says, "Here's what I want you to understand, Ladies. I want you to understand that when you dress in church, you're dressing for me." Meaning you're not dressing to impress other women. You're not looking at magazines and social media and the culture, which changes all the time and says, "This is what's fashionable now. And now that's fashionable. And now this is fashionable." God's standard is modesty and discretion. That's God's standard. "Well, what does that mean?" You might ask. It means this, it means you go before the Lord and you say, "Lord, when I go to church today, I want to dress in such a way that's not drawing attention to anybody else other than you. I want to present myself to you in a way where you're honored with the way I'm dressed, so I'm not a distraction to anybody else in the service, but I can come and worship you the best I know how. Lord, what does that look like for me?" It means that the Holy Spirit in you can teach you how to dress. I'm not telling you, you have to wear a burka and a head covering to come to BRAVE Church. That's not what I'm saying. But what I am saying is that women need to understand, you're not dressing so that other women notice you. Secondly this, you're not dressing so other men will notice you. Some women knowingly or unknowingly come to church and hope to get noticed by other men. That's not why you come to church. You say, "Well, what does that look like?" I'll tell you. It means you don't come to church to show off all your skin. It means you don't come to church to show off your body. It means you don't come to church to show off your availability. That's not why you're coming to church. You're dressing in such a way that you're making yourself available to the Lord to worship and honor him, and him alone. Amen. Now, guys, we don't talk about how each other dresses. I don't even notice how people dress. Most guys don't notice how each other dresses, but girls, you do. That's why it says here, it's not about the braids. It's not about the hair. It's not about the pearls. It's not about costly garments. You're not dressing, so that other people will appreciate you. You're not dressing for the compliments of others. You're not dressing for the need to feel valued and loved. Your value and your love does not come from how you dress. It comes from God's love for you that starts from the inside out. That's what he says. Now, this is a message for godly women. The culture will say, "You can't tell me how to dress. I can dress however I want. I can do whatever I do." I'm not speaking on behalf of the culture. I'm speaking on behalf of the Lord Jesus Christ that says, "I want you to dress modestly and discreetly in such a way that you're not trying to gain value from other women or other men, or anybody in the congregation. That you're coming and getting all of your value from me." That's what God says. That's what it looks like for God. It doesn't mean that you get to be the Holy Spirit in everybody else's life and tell them how to dress. It doesn't. But it does mean sometimes that some of you, older women who are more mature in the faith can pull aside somebody that's not as mature in the faith and teach them and help them how to dress appropriately when they come to church. You don't want to be a distraction for the men. You don't want to be a distraction for other women. You don't want to be here looking around and say, "Are people noticing me? Do they know how much I spent on this?" And this doesn't mean you can't braid your hair. It doesn't mean that you have to dress frumpy. It doesn't mean you can't wear perfume or makeup. Some of you wear perfume, wear makeup. It's all good. It means you're not dressing in such a way for other people. You're coming to present yourself to the Lord Jesus Christ. That's what it means. And when he talks about this, I mean, one of the companion passages for this is found in 1 Peter chapter three. In verse three, he says, "Your adornment must not be merely external, braiding the hair and wearing gold, or jewelry, or putting on dresses, but let it be the hidden person of the heart." In other words, he's going to talk about your value needs to come from within, not from without. And God cares about gender. And God cares about how men dress. And God cares about how women dress. You may not know that, he's always cared about it, because God created men and God created women. God has given standards for what that should look like. I mean, even all the way back in the Pentateuch, one of the first five books in the Bible, Deuteronomy, in Deuteronomy chapter 22 and verse five. Listen to this. See if this doesn't fit our culture today, even though this is thousands of years old. Deuteronomy 22:5, "A woman shall not wear men's clothing nor shall a man put on women's clothing. For whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord your God." Nobody heard me read that. I'm going to read it one more time, because I think it's important. "A woman shall not wear a man's clothing nor shall a man put on women's clothing. For whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord your God." Now, some of you might say, "Well, what's the difference?" It's hard to tell these days, isn't it? I'll tell you the difference. Guys, if you're really skinny and you wear jeans and they happen to be skinny jeans, that's cool. But if you're not skinny and you're borrowing your wife or girlfriend's jeans to look cool, that's not cool. Do you understand what I'm saying? In the same way, women are not to dress like men. Why? Because God wants women to be women and God wants men to be men. Now, you're not going to get that anywhere else, but that's the culture God is trying to create. Amen? So, that's why it's important. So, it's important for us to go before the Lord and ask the Lord, "What does that look like for me? What does that look like? Lord, how do I best honor you? I don't want to be a distraction in the worship. I don't want to be looking around to who notices me. I want to be looking to you, and then I'm bringing you my greatest praise." So, why your appearance should reflect Christ and not the culture. Let me give you another one. The second truth about God's design for women from this text is that their character should represent Christ and not the culture. Their characters should represent Christ and not the culture. If your appearance is to reflect Christ, then your character should represent Christ. Notice what he says, "Not with these costly garments," verse 10, "But rather by means of good works as is proper for women making a claim to godliness." Meaning, women, if you claim that you're godly, there should be works that accompany your godliness. So, what does that mean? It means this, women, the same as men are saved by grace through faith. It's not your own doing. It's a gift of God, so no one should boast. None of us are saved by our works. It is a gift of the Lord Jesus Christ through his death on the cross and his resurrection from the dead that gives us life and gives us life in his name. That's it. But verse 10 of Ephesians two says, "For we are his workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, so that we would walk in them. In other words, if you truly have been saved by grace through faith, then there should be evidence that's ongoing in your life of works that reflect the character that God is changing inside of you. And that a woman is not to be known for her outward appearance. A woman is to be known for her godliness that comes out from the inside. In other words, when you see a mature woman in Christ, what you should recognize is their love for the Lord and their love for others, and their character of integrity, and honesty, and purity, and hope. And all of those things are what make a woman valuable to God. Why? Because man looks at the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart. God cares about you. He cares about how he made you. And your value to him comes from the inside, not the outside. Think about this, 1 Peter chapter three, it says, "In the same way, you wives be submissive to your own husbands, so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won over without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior." So, what does godliness look like in a marriage, if you're a woman that happens to be married? It means even if you married a man that isn't a Christian or isn't walking with Christ, the way you win him over is not by communicating and nagging him, and telling him what he needs to do. The way you win him over is by submitting to the Lord Jesus Christ and letting that man see your behavior and your godliness, and your character. And that's what will win his heart. If you're not married and you're dating somebody that's not a Christian, let me just save you a lot of time, dump them today. I'm just telling you on the authority of God's word. If they come back to Christ, you can date him again. But you don't want to be miserable. Ladies, we're talking about submission here in a minute. It's hard enough, submission for a woman to a husband is not hard, it's not difficult, it's impossible without the Holy Spirit. And it's impossible even when you're married to a godly man. If you're not married to a godly man, it's like double the impossible. So, I'm just trying to help you single ladies out. But God is looking at your character. He wants you to reflect your character, so what you do in a marriage reflects him. How you treat your husband, reflects him. How you treat people in the church, reflects him. How you serve, how you give, how you love, how you are kind, your character is what reflects God. And that's what he's asking us to do. That's what he's talking to the ladies about. This is what he's looking for. He says, again, "Your adornment must not be merely external." Like we talked about. But notice verse four, "But let it be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God." What does God find precious in the heart of a woman? A gentle spirit. A quiet spirit. Not a bossy, boisterous, cantankerous spirit, but a gentle spirit. You say, "Well, where do I get that?" The Holy Spirit has to birth that in your heart. That doesn't come about naturally. That comes about as the spirit of God matures you. He says, "For in this way, in former times, the holy women also who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands." It's always been that way for godly women. "Notice Sarah, just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him Lord. And you have become her children, if you do what is right without being frightened by any fear." Did you hear that? It's awfully quiet in here right now. I just want you to know. How was Sarah a godly woman? Because she obeyed her husband. She even called him Lord. She submitted to him with a gentle, quiet spirit. That's how she was known to everybody outside of her own household that she was godly by the way that she treated her husband. Single girls, you might be listening today saying, "Well, I don't know that I want that." Then don't get married. There's nothing wrong with singleness. As a matter of fact, singleness is a gift that's offered by God to those who want to focus all their time directly upon him. And it's not second class to be single. Singleness is a gift, if that's something that you choose, if that's something that you want. But here's what he's talking about. He's like, "Ladies, it's not from outside. It's not who's giving you kudos. It's not how you dress. It's not how you look. It's not who's appreciating you. It's your character on the inside that God is changing, giving you a quiet, gentle submissive spirit." So, let's talk about that. I'm going back to 1 Peter, I'm sorry, 1 Timothy chapter two, verse 11, "A woman must quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness." Now, based upon the first service and people that have talked to me over the last 30 years, a majority of women hate that word. Hate the word submissiveness. Like, "Let's just move on to the next point." So, that's why we're going to park it here for just a while. Listen, you say, "Well, why are we talking about submissiveness?" Let me give you some theological truths about submissiveness. Jesus Christ is eternally and has always been eternally submissive to his father. You want to be like Jesus as a woman? Submission is not a bad thing. It is a godly thing. Even the Holy Spirit has been eternally submissive to the father and the son. Submission is not a bad word. Submission is a choice, and it can only be accomplished by those who are godly enough to allow the Holy Spirit to control their lives. But let me give you a truth about submission. When it comes to equality of men and women, what we find in the Bible is that men and women are both created in the image of God, and men and women are both equal. They are. So, while man is the head of the wife, it's not this hierarchical structure of, "I'm your boss." It's in the context of our oneness in our marriage, "I am the head of our family, and my wife is submitting to my leadership, but we're one." Right? That's what it is. And I want to tell you this, equality is not sameness. Equality is not sameness. We'll talk about that as we go on. And submission is not less than. When you submit, you're not less than. Any married woman here that submits to her husband, she's not less than her husband. It's because she's equal, she's choosing to submit. That submission. And I'm telling you in our culture, we have a hard time with this, right? When it comes to marriage and a husband is called to love his wife like Christ loved the church, what does that mean? That means daily, he's willing to lay down his life for her, preference her above any other relationship, preference her above work, be willing to die for his wife, or emotionally die to his wants and desires to elevate his wife. That's not hard. That's not difficult. That's impossible without the Holy Spirit. In the same way, for a woman to submit to her husband as to Christ is also impossible, apart from the Holy Spirit, but with the Holy Spirit, God can grow you in all godliness and do that. That's what he wants you to understand. So, women is not by the outside. It's by the inside. And our culture has a hard time with this. Our culture has a really hard time with this, because women tend to be devalued in our culture unless they're compared to a man and can do what a man does. So, I just want to tell you as your pastor, especially for younger ladies here, who may have a desire to get married, who may have a desire to be a wife, who may have a desire to be a mom, you don't need to say, "I just want to get married." Or, "I just want to be a mom." Let me tell you on the authority of God's word, there's no greater calling you could ever have, if that's the desire of your heart than to be a godly spouse and to be a godly mom, if you do nothing else, you would fulfill God's call and purpose on your life. And you're doing everything that God would want you to do. Amen? That's important that you hear that. And we have a hard time in our culture. I remember when Kim and I got married. In a marriage, we have all sorts of friends that come. And one of her friends was having a little bit hard of a time, because not only was she getting married to me, but we were entering into the ministry together. And my wife is working on her doctorate. And this girl was giving her a hard time like, "You're going to give up all that. And you're going to give up all your education. And you could work in the marketplace and do all that for him." I didn't know about this. Had I known, I would have told the woman this, "My wife being COO of [inaudible 00:25:29] enterprises is a greater opportunity than any other opportunity she'd ever have in the marketplace. I promise you that." And sometimes we as men, we forget, because we don't appreciate our wives either. So, there's a lot of guys here today, they're being really silent, but on the inside, they're saying, "Preach it, brother. This is the best message I've ever heard." But they're not saying anything and they're not elbowing. But we forget that our job is to elevate our wives. And how easy it is to forget. I mean, on a recent trip back to Central Illinois, I was with my wife, and my kids needed something to eat. And so, we went cruising around. We found McDonald's. And we're pulling through the drive-through. And as we pulled through, I was telling Kim, "Working at McDonald's was the first job I ever had when I turned 16." And I remember applying for the job and they said, "Oh, you have the All-American look, we'll put you out front." And then day one, they put me on the grill. I was flipping burgers. And I was telling her this story and we're going through the drive-through, and we ordered our meal. And then I went and paid. And when I paid, after I got my stuff back and we were going, Kim is like, "I don't know how to tell you this." She's like, "I used to date that guy in high school." And I was like, "You dated a dude that's still working at McDonald's?" I'm like, "I did it when I was 16, but I mean, I'm almost 50 now." And so, I went and got into it, I was like, "Well, I mean, listen, I mean, aren't you glad I came along. I mean, now you're the wife of the senior pastor of BRAVE Church. We have a growing ministry. I mean, you're really lucky, I came along. I mean, if I hadn't come along, you'd be married to a dude working in the drive through at McDonald's." To which she said, "No, that ain't true." She's like, "If I'd have married him, he'd have been the senior pastor of BRAVE Church. You'd be working the drive-through." I mean, we forget. We forget. I mean, all kidding aside, my wife is awesome. I mean, my wife speaks into my life about all sorts of things. My wife prays for me. Why? My wife knows me. My wife is able to share things with me sometimes when I want to hear them and other times when I don't, but she knows me better than anybody. And men, we have to understand when we're doing this and we're teaching the word of God. We're going to get to the men and talk about what men need to be. This is hard for women to hear. I get it. But this is the word of God and it's important. It's really important, that women, your value would not come from the outside, but your value would come from the inside. Let me give you a third truth about God's design for women in the church. And that is that their significance should be responsibilities designated by Christ and not the culture. Ladies, when it comes to your significance in the church, it should be responsibilities that Jesus Christ wants you to have, and not what the culture says that you need to be and do. Notice what he says in 1 Timothy chapter two, starting in verse 12, "But I did not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet." Now, everybody is quiet now, but let me read it again. Paul says, "I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet." Now, over the last 30 years, I've read several different authors. I've read people on all sides of every single argument. For me, I don't really care what other people think. I really care about what the word of God says. If you take the word of God serious and you take the word of God literal, it means exactly what it says it means. Some people will say, "Well, that's dated. It's not true anymore. There's no cultural relevance to it. And it demotes women." Other people just want to reject this text outright. And it's been amazing to me even this week, as I studied the text, looking at different people in the evangelical world that I trust with God's word, they just don't talk about this at all, all together. I mean, there's this cowardly feeling of, "I can't preach this because if I preach this, I might make somebody upset." I don't believe that that's true. I believe the women in our church want to be the fullness of everything that Jesus Christ created them to be. And so, what the prohibition is, is women teaching men or having authority over a man. But that's what he says. Now, why is this so important? I'll tell you why it's important, because in the church culture, when women step forward, men step back. If you go to the majority of churches in our culture, you will find 60% to 70% of them are women. They're all godly women, hopefully, doing these things. And about 30% are men. And they're just there because they got dragged by their wives. And we wonder why the church is not flourishing. Here's why, because so go the men, so go goes the church, and so go goes the church, so goes to the world. So, Paul says, "I forbid it. I'm not having women teach men in the church." That's not what happens. Women are not called to do that. Now, if you study the life of Jesus, you'll see that he elevated women during his entire ministry. Paul did the same. I mean, we see that when Jesus was being crucified on the cross, who was there? Majority of women. Who are the people ministering to Jesus' needs all throughout his three years of ministry? A lot of them were women. As a matter of fact, they're the ones that went to the tomb after his burial. The two women were the first person to hear the angel. The two women there were the first two evangelists to go tell the men that the gospel was being shared. We read about women in the New Testament that had a gift of prophecy, and they were prophetic and sharing truth. We see women pray. So, in 1 Corinthians chapter 11, we see that women have gifts of prayer and prophecy. That they're to be used in the church. What Paul is forbidding is the teaching in the church of women to men, or having authority over men. Now, for those of you, that would say, "Well, that was just temporary. That doesn't mean anything." That's why I love that Paul continues his argument, because Paul is going to go all the way back to Genesis chapter two in the order of creation. You say, "Well, Paul, why is that?" It says verse 13, "For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve." So, why aren't women teaching? Here's why? Because in God's order of creation on day six, if you'll remember when we went through the study of Genesis, God created male and female on the same day, but God created Adam. And then there was a lag of time before he created Eve. God created Adam from the dust of the earth, and he put him in the garden to do what? Help me out, man. What were men called to do? Work. Nobody knows this. I'm going to say it again, man, you're called to work. That was your responsibility. Not only were you called to work, but God gave specific instructions to the man. He gave the word of God, his own word to man, so that man could teach his word. That's what he did. It's always been God's design for men to receive the word of God and to teach the word of God. That's his design. Men are called to teach the word to the church. Women are not called to teach the word to the church. "Well, I feel like I am called." Well, you're wrong. Women are called to teach other women. Women do have gifts of teaching. Some of the women that, you know may have stronger gifts of teaching than me. That doesn't change the word of God. The word of God is the word of God, that God wants men in the church teaching. And you say, "Why is this important?" Now, listen up men, because you've been all day, "Preach it, preach it, preach it." Let me tell you why this is important, because in 1 Corinthians chapter 14, when Paul tells the Corinthians the exact same prohibition in 1 Corinthians 14:34, he says the women are to keep silent in churches, for they're not permitted to speak, but are to subject themselves just as the law also says. Now, why? If they desire to learn anything, let them ask their own husbands at home, for it as improper for a woman to speak in church. What does that mean? It means, men, it is your responsibility to know the word of God and be able to teach it in your home. It means when your wife is tucking in the kids, she shouldn't be the only one praying for them. She shouldn't be the only one answering questions. Your wife should be able to ask you, "Hey, how come Pastor Jeff said this, and what does this first mean?" And it shouldn't be, "I don't know." It should be, "I may not know, but I'm going to find out it's my responsibility to teach my family the word of God." Men, it's our responsibility. "Well, I'm not called to be a pastor." It does not matter, because when you arrive in heaven, you're going to give an account to how well you as a man taught the word of God to your family, in your example, and in what you taught, right? So, that's why women are forbidden. So, at the end of the day, we're not going to have a woman that comes and preaches the word on a Sunday to our congregation because it goes against the teaching of God's word. I mean, you can't get around it. "Pastor Jeff, and how come so many other churches do that?" I don't know why other churches do what they do. But here's what I do know, I am not going to punt the word of God to make you feel more comfortable. I'm going to herald the word of God, because I want to honor him in everything that we're called to do. Amen? Now, for some of you that would say, "I'm going to fight you on that, Pastor Jeff. You haven't read this. You haven't done this. If you're not going to let us teach, I'm gone." Here's what I would say to you, we're going to miss you. And we love you. We will. And you can go somewhere else where somebody will let you and neglect the teaching of the pure teaching of scripture to do that. That's fine, but we're not going to do that here. We will not do that here. And you say, "Well, what about these gifts that women have to teach?" Notice what it says in verse 14, "Not only he was Adam created first, not only was he the one that God gave the word to." But remember what happened to Adam, God paraded all the animals before him. So, God showed him how he had dominion over all the animals. And then he was to name them. And he also learned in naming the animals that there wasn't somebody suitable for him. So, it's not until later in the day that God causes Adam to fall asleep. And God creates the woman, not from his brain and not from his feet, but right from his side, because she's his helper. And God brings the woman to the man, and the two become one flesh, and they were both naked, and they felt no shame. So, even before the fall, the man is the head of the woman and the woman is submitting to the man. And there's no problems in marriage. Do you know why? Because there wasn't any sin yet. So, Paul is going back to the pre-fall condition of man and saying, "Here's still God's design. Men, you're still going to teach the word. Women, you're still going to be submissive to your husbands." And the only way that's ever going to be possible is through the Holy Spirit in your life. That's what he's saying. So, here's what we have in verse 14. It says, "And it was not Adam who was deceive, but the woman being deceive fell into transgression. Now, some of you were here when I taught this in Genesis chapter three. Some pastors will say, "Well, the reason the woman was deceived is because you know what women are like. They're a little more deceivable. They're a little more emotive." That's not what the text is saying at all. Why was the woman deceived? Because God gave a direct command to Adam. He knew exactly what to do and what not to do. And he deliberately disobeyed. Why was the woman deceived? Because Adam did a poor job of explaining to his wife the word of God and what God taught. And even as she's listening to the serpent, she's hearing a great argument for how she's going to become like God and it's going to be good. And she's looking over to Adam, like say, "What do you think?" I don't know if he was picking his nose or what he was doing, but he didn't say anything. So, she eats and gives some to him and he is like, "Don't hog it." And he eats it too. So, Adam wasn't deceived. Adam was in full out rebellion. That's why when you get to the Book of Romans in Roman chapter five and verse 12, it says, "For sin entered the world through one man, Adam." Why? Because he was to teach the word of God and he didn't do his job. It was the passivity of the man that brought sin into the world. Eve was deceived because she had heard Adam teach her a little bit about this, that they shouldn't eat off the tree, can't touch it either. God never said that. But she's hearing all this legalism from her husband. And then she's hearing Satan say, "But yeah, but y'all can't really eat this? I mean, isn't God good and all the stuff?" So, she's listening to the argument of Satan versus the word of God. And her husband is doing such a poor job of teaching the word, that she succumbs and is deceived because Satan's argument seems better than Adam's. So, she was deceived and fell into transgression. What does this mean? Again, Paul is going back and saying, "That's why men were called to teach the word. God hasn't changed his mind." So, we're looking for a few good men, that's why we plant churches with men. That's why senior pastors are called to be men, because of the order of creation. You say, "Well, Pastor Jeff, I'm a woman. I know God has given me gifts to teach the Bible. I know he's given me gifts to teach, and I want to use my gift. How do I do it?" Did you know that God put a curriculum in the Bible for what you want to do, if you're called to teach as a woman? Turn over to Titus two, it's two books over to your right. Titus two, versus three through five. And listen to this. You say, "I'm called to teach." He's going to tell you how to do it. He says, "Older women, likewise." Now, who's an older woman? Somebody who's older. Women, you don't talk about your age. If you're my age, you're probably older, right? Older women, likewise, how are you to be? Reverent in their behavior. You're to be known by your respectable behavior before the Lord. Notice what else. Not malicious gossips, nor enslaved to much wine. Friends, this was written 2000 years ago. Women, listen to me. I tell you all the time, I do not hang out with men that speak ill of their wives. I will not do it. I may be in a conversation with them, but they're not going to be my posse. That's not out who I'm going to hang out with. In the same way, women, do not hang out with women that bash their husbands. Don't do it. It's interesting for me because I hear all these things, where women, they gather during the day and they drink a lot of wine, and then they bash their husbands. Don't do that. Don't get together with a bunch of women... Now, the Bible says nothing about abstinence. If you want to have a glass of wine, fine. But the purpose of getting together is not so that you drink yourself to death, and then gossip about your husband and what a bad husband you have. "Oh, you think that's bad. Let me tell you about my husband. Let me tell you what he did." Now, that's sinful behavior, that is disqualifying to be a teacher in the church of Jesus Christ. If you're known for your gossip and your slander of your husband, you're automatically disqualified. Teaching what is good. Well, what does that mean? He's going to tell us. So, that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands and to love their children. The top two teachings that should be taking place in women's ministry is the older woman teaching the younger women to love their husbands and their kids. That's number one and number two. That's the number one thing that should be going on in women's ministry according to the word of God. "Yeah, but I always want to study Revelation, again." Great study Revelation, but love your husband and your kids first, and be an example, so you're not just teaching words from the Bible that you yourself aren't living. Live it. Then what else? To be sensible, which means to be prudent and self controlled, pure. And then there's one word that makes up these next four that we have in our Bible, workers at home. It doesn't say that about men. It does about women. What's your domain? Home. "Well, that's so sexist." No, it's God's design for gender, if you're a woman. Be busy at home, not go gossiping, not out doing all this. So, it doesn't prohibit you from having a job in the marketplace. It doesn't at all, as a matter of fact, but it does say your most important responsibility, if you're married and a woman and have kids is to your husband and your kids first. And then if all of that is taken care of and you want to do something on the side, great, but that's not nearly as important for you gaining value as it is being a wife and a mother, according to the word of God. That's definitely not true according to our culture. Definitely not true according to our culture. Being kind, subject to their own husbands, so that why? So that the word of God will not be dishonored. So, you say, "Hey, what's the curriculum for women's ministry?" It's tied as two, three to five. God spells it out. You say, "Well, I'm more valuable than just what I can do in my home." Friends, I'm telling you, women, listen to me, all your value, if you've chosen to get married is going to come out of your home. "Pastor Jeff, haven't you ever read Proverbs 31?" I have. So, let's talk about Proverbs 31, because all of Proverbs 31 is in the context of family. An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels. The heart of her husband, trust in her and will have no lack of gain. She does him good, not evil all the days of her life." She's known for her character in the family. Verse 16, "She considers a field and buys it. And from her earnings, she plants a vineyard." What is she? She's a real estate agent and a gardener, in her home, to profit the family. "She guards herself with strength and makes her arms strong." She works out for her family. Drop down to verse 27, "She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. She's not sitting around doing nothing. Her children rise up and bless her. Her husband also, and he praises her." Men, praise your wife verbally, tell her how awesome she is. The husband praises her saying, "Many daughters have done nobly, but you excel them all." And here's why it says it, because charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. All of it's in the context of the home. This doesn't mean if you're single, you're less than. Single women, single men, you have a responsibility to honor the Lord Jesus Christ with everything in your life and to live for him, and him alone. But if you choose to get married, that all changes. You're not just honoring the Lord, you're honoring your spouse and you're honoring kids, if he gives you kids for the sake of the gospel. Here's why. Listen to me. Because Jesus Christ thinks the family is really important. He thinks the family is really important. He thinks the family is more important than what we accomplish in the marketplace. That's true of men and women, by the way. I mean, what good does it do me as a man, if I pastor a church and the church continues to grow, and we talk about the number of salvations, but one day you hear that my wife no longer wants to be married to me and my kids can't stand me. Have I done a good job? No, I'm a complete failure. Family is what Jesus honors. Amen? Now, why is this so important? Because women in our culture and it's creeped its way into the church, they have bought the lie of feminism. And let me tell you what feminism preaches, that women, you need to be able to act like a man. You need to be like a man. You need to earn money like a man. You need to be strong like a man. And you'll only be satisfied if you become like a man. You can't be a man. So, quit trying to say you have to become a man to be valuable, is to say that, "I'm not valuable just being a woman." You're totally valuable as a woman. You don't need to become something else or somebody else to prove your value. God values you as a woman. Be the most feminine woman you can possibly be. Amen? See, we play this game. I mean, what's more valuable a car or an airplane? It just depends, right? I mean, if a car was driving up and down I25, I'm like, "I can't get high enough. I have no wings. I can't go as fast as an airplane. I guess, I'm not valuable. I need to get a bigger motor. I need to grow wings and do all this stuff to be valuable." That'd be silly. It'd be silly for a plane to complain because like, "I only go fast, but it takes me forever to take off. And every time I'm on I25, I can't get under the overpass. I'm worthless." They were created for different things. Women, you were created differently than a man. If you try to act like a man, you'll never be satisfied. Men, you are created as a man. If you try to act like a woman, you'll never be satisfied. Can we please, for the sake of Jesus Christ, let men be men and women be women to the glory of God. And men have a responsibility in teaching and in leading to elevate women the same way Jesus Christ did. There was nobody in his ministry that felt put down. And we read about women all throughout the Bible that made a stay significant impact. Moms, I just want to tell you something. You may not feel like you're making an impact with your kids. I'm married. I watch my wife with our kids. I know there's days or sometimes months on end like, "Am I getting anything done around here? I feel like all I'm doing is cooking and cleaning and doing, and doing. And does anybody care?" You're making the most significant impact in your kids. If you ever had any impact from my public ministry of preaching the word, thank my mom. She's the one that spent all the time with me. She wasn't praying for me to become a pastor. I think she was just praying to get through the day with me. Right? I mean, it's hard. But invest yourself in the things of the Lord and the Lord blesses those things. We're living for eternity. We're not living for here. We're not living for people to notice how good we are. We're living to honor the Lord Jesus Christ in everything. And men, if we're teaching right and leading right, we will elevate women. Jesus Christ did, and so did the Apostle Paul. We should do the same. But here's what you won't see in the Bible. If you read through your Old Testament, you'll never see a woman who's a priest in Israel. And if you read through the New Testament, you won't see a woman who's an Apostle, one of the 12. And you might say, "Well, Jesus was just trying to be, keep the culture the same." Have you ever read about Jesus? Jesus was the most culturally insensitive leader that's ever lived. All Jesus would've had to do is make Mary Magdalene one of the apostles. And we would say women can be apostles too. He never did. But did he honor Mary Magdalene? Cast demons out of her. She's following him around. She's ministering to him. He elevated women everywhere he went. Women at BRAVE Church, you should feel honored and privileged to be the best woman that you can ever be. You should feel honored by me as your pastor. You should be honored by our men to be elevated, to do everything that you ever want to do. The only thing I believe scripture forbids is you being an elder and overseer, or the proclaimer of God's truth to the whole body. That's it. That's it. Women, you have gifts, use them. Be free to use them. Feel honored to use them. We're so grateful for the women in our church. I mean, we even read in the New Testament that Aquila's wife, Priscilla, I mean, they got Apollo, who was a great speaker one time. And they, them aside together as a couple and started ministering to him. But it was done in private. It wasn't a public ministry where Aquila stood up and said, "Let me rebuke that guy. Let me tell you." No, they did it privately. I've had lots of women in my life speak into my life. I appreciate that. Women, because you see the world differently than we do as men, it's important that we as men hear women speak into us. Guys, if you're married, it's important. It's essential that you listen to your wife, because she's usually right about... I found about 99 and a half percent of the time that she sees things that you don't see. So, we value that. It doesn't mean that we're men and we're elders, and we lead and we don't listen. No, we're going to listen and we need to listen, and we need to hear, and we need to respond. But the office of pastor and teacher, and evangelist, and proclaimer that belongs to men, not because of any other reason, that God created gender and that's his design and his desire. Amen? That's what he wants for us. And then he ends by saying this, he gives one final truth. And honestly, this verse, I think I read about 14 different interpretations of this verse this week. It says, but women will be preserved through the bearing of children, if they continue in faith and love, and sanctity with self restraint. Some people have said, "Well, that means that women will be saved, if they have kids." Which goes against everything in the New Testament. You can be saved without ever having kids. You can be saved without ever being married. So, that can't be it. Some say, "Well, they'll be saved or preserved while they give birth to their children. And no harm will come to them." But we know from science and what we see in the medical community, sometimes women give birth and it's such a difficult challenge. They don't always make it through. That can't be it. Some people say, "Well, they're talking about the child. They're talking about Jesus Christ himself, that women will be saved by Christ just like men are." And I agree with that, but I don't think that's what the text is saying. I mean, I spent a lot of time on this, this week to talk about what it means. I do think there is some significance that the curse to the women was that there was going to be pain in childbirth. Right? My wife has had three children. I know there's pain in childbirth. My mom is a labor and delivery nurse. I know there's pain in childbirth. Part of the curse is true. There's pain in childbirth. But it's interesting that God only, even through the curse, allows women to propagate the human race in a way that men can't, despite the popular belief. Women have babies. Men don't have babies. Okay? So, in spite of the curse, women can still be preserving the line because you're able to have babies and raise up other offspring that are godly to the Lord. But I think it's saying something even more simple than that. I was looking this week to say, what does it mean to be preserved through? What does it mean to be saved through? I don't know. And I found another passage where Paul wrote to the Corinthians in 1 Corinthians chapter three, and he was talking about work, and what it's going to be like on the day of judgment, whether your work is going to be with gold and silver, or precious stones, or wood, hay and straw. And he says, "On the day of judgment, even if you have stubble to produce, you'll be saved, but there is only one escaping through the flames or saved through the flames." That's what he says. 1 Corinthians 3:15, "If any man's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, but he himself will be saved or preserved, yet as through fire." What does that mean? It means this. It means, even if you're saved and you don't live for the Lord, you'll be delivered out of the flames. You'll be saved in spite of the flames or in spite of the fire. If we take that as a metric to what Paul is talking about, then I believe it's really simple what Paul is saying here. He's talking to a group of women who wonder in the first century, "Can I truly be saved like a man can be saved?" Answer, 100%. And you can be saved to the full. Women are not teaching, but women will be saved through the bearing of children. In spite of the curse, women will be saved or delivered from the curse of childbirth. Or in spite of the curse of childbirth, they'll still be saved if they continue in faith and love, which we're saved by faith, that we continue in love with sanctity and self restraint. In other words, women, here's what he's saying. You may not be the one up front teaching the word, but you can be saved to the full by the word. That's what he's telling you. It means there's no such thing as second class citizens when it comes to gifting. And there's no such thing as second class citizens when it comes to gender. That both men and women are equal in the sight of God, but God established gender for gender to accomplish different things in the church and in the world. And if the church doesn't get this right, the culture will never get it right. And the whole feminist movement that we have, where now we got men wanting to compete in women's sports, and men wanting to be transgender, and women wanting to be trans this, and nobody can figure it out. It's just so much easier if you say, "This is how God made me. This is who I am. And I'm going to own my identity as a woman or as a man, because I know regardless of my gender, I am fearfully and wonderfully made. And I'm going to honor the Lord Jesus Christ and all of that." Amen? And that's what he's teaching us. It means no matter what, every single person, man, woman, boy and girl can be saved to the full. And isn't that what the gospel's all about? It means don't be upset by what God prescribes in his word or what God forbids in his word. Receive what he says in his word and own what he says in his word, and become who he says in his word. We have some of the finest women I've ever been around that attend BRAVE Church, great women that love the Lord, that want to honor him in everything. I think we have a lot of great men that want to honor the Lord and love him in everything. This is not meant to be divisive. This is meant to give us clarity on how we're supposed to live, so that together we can accomplish Christ's purposes in this world. Amen? Amen. And that's what he has for us. Would you pray with me? Lord Jesus, we give you all the glory, honor and praise. Lord, we give you honor for a text that in our culture is so hard to hear because we've drifted so are from your truth. And yet Lord, we thank you for your word. Lord, I thank you for the women who are here, that they can hear how to be full of your spirit as a woman, to be everything that you designed her to be. And I thank you for the men who are here, that being filled with your spirit, they can be everything that you designed them to be. But Lord, we don't presume that we have a relationship with you, just because we attend a church. And perhaps today you're here and you recognize that maybe I don't have a relationship with Jesus and I want to have a relationship with Jesus. And if that's you, here's how you can pray. "Dear Jesus, I believe I'm a sinner and I'm separated from you, but I believe you died on the cross for all my sins, and that you rose from the dead. Right now, I'd want to turn from my sin and by faith trust you alone for my salvation. Come into my life, Lord Jesus." Lord, we give you praise. Lord, we ask you to grow us. Lord, we ask for your Holy Spirit to fill us and use us as your children for your glory. That we would appreciate the equality we share as human beings and the distinctions that we have in our gender, that we would honor you with all that we have for your name and for your name only, the beautiful name, the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. And it's in your name that we pray today, amen and amen. Can I ask you to stand as we sing?