Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Genesis 1:26-27 NKJV
The passage this week in 1 Timothy 2:9-15 is one of those passages in scripture that can be polarizing in a congregation. Many teachers would seek to quickly pass over this passage or to leave it out of their teaching schedule altogether. The reason we primarily teach verse by verse/chapter by chapter at Calvary is so that we get to hear the ‘whole counsel of God’, that we don’t just pick and chose what we want to hear.
The growing point this week remains focused on the ‘what do we take away from this’ and not a re-examination of the whole text. You can watch the message again if you need that.
Something that we need to remember is the fact that God created male and female in His image and therefore neither was imperfect or lesser in His perfect creation. See Gen 1:26-27 above.
Paul reminds us of the fact that in Christ we are equal:
For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:26-28 NKJV)
The gospel freed women in the society of the day, and Jesus was the tide change in that regard.
What needs to be said though is that even though we are created equal, males and females are distinctive in their own ways with different functions and abilities. Interestingly, God said “It is not good that man should be alone”, and so women balanced out that void.
It is observable in nature and science that men excel in some areas and women excel in some areas. Our culture is struggling with this right now with the inclusion of a male weightlifter in the female Olympic event!
During the sermon I read aloud a list of the many observable differences. Things like emotions, physical strength, focused priorities, multitasking, rational decision making. Differences of the X chromosome and the Y chromosome. The left side of the brain and the right side of the brain. Our very own Brian Elliston wrote a great paper exploring these things.
All this to say; when you put Male and Female together you have something which is “GOOD”! The idea of the two becoming one in marriage says it all. Male and Female complement each other.
Paul implies in his letters that this translates into the different roles of males and females within the church and also in the family model.
Paul says the men need to stand up and act like men:
I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting; (1 Timothy 2:8 NKJV)
This is an area where many men struggle to take initiative. The Pew Research statistics I shared on the screen showed that fact.
Paul also instructs the women to not concentrate so much on the outward appearance, but focus on:
… godliness, with good works. (1 Timothy 2:10 NKJV)
What those good works include are mentioned later in this letter to Timothy.
All in all, when the church operates in the way God intends, it works in a wonderful way, both men and women bring things that is vital to the health of the church body. Kat’s reading from Corinthians about the body of Christ highlighted this fact.
This week I would encourage you to pray about how God would want you to live your life and in what ways you can serve Him best in His church.