Controversial: Canada very egalitarian. In order for us to be able to hear this passage, we need to get under the hood – probe deep under the surface before we can understand a text like the one we read today. So we’re going to rehash a few basic principles, reviewing a biblical theology of marriage.
Every marriage images God
1) God created male and female in his image and likeness (Gen 1:27)
Three words associated with this idea: Dignity, Unity and Diversity.
a. Dignity: Both male and female are created in the image of God. There is an essential equality between male and female. Both were specially created by God, both were fashioned not simply with his word, but with his own hand – woman was taken the man’s side as a partner, not from his feet as a servant.
b. Unity and Diversity: As God is One and Three, so marriage reflects this.
i. God is One and God is Three
ii. Notice the pronouns: Singular and Plural
iii. Differential of roles does not indicate lesser personhood
2) God created male and female to complement one another in their task
a. Adam was given a task he could not complete (2:18)
b. God made him a helpmeet suitable
i. A complementary strength (Adam still accountable) The New Testament gives this the name headship
3) The battle of the sexes was initiated by our fall from grace (Gen 3:16)
a. The desire of woman would be to rule over, to dominate man, but man would rule over her.
b. The hope of the curse is that through the woman, the savior Messiah would come.
4) At the cross the equality of male and female was affirmed: (Gal 3:28)
5) The cross ended the battle, but not the image: Should bring us back to the complementary roles that we were designed to express.
A Christian marriage images the relationship between Christ and the Church (Ephesians 5:21ff)
1) Christian Marriages are to be marked by submission and sacrifice
The Church is modeled after a family structure (Ephesians)
The implications of the family structure in relation to leading the church
Big Idea: the church is to be overseen by faithful and mature husbands and fathers, who shepherd the church as they shepherd their wives and kids.
1) Family faithfulness is the #1 qualification of an overseer/elder (1 Tim 3:1-7)
2) Every married man should aspire to be a faithful husband/father
3) The role of deacon(ness) (helpers) reflects that of the wife: complementary helper (1 Timothy 3-8-12).
a. Younger men (elders in training) after they have been tested
b. Older men without desire to oversee: if married must manage household well.
c. Female Helpers: Wives or women
4) As the church is based on family structures, we are to preserve the family structure in our leading and discipleship ministries (2:11-15)
a. They are to learn
b. They are to teach (notice Titus 2:3-5)
c. They are not to teach from a position of authority over a man – not to desire to be overseers (2:12). Why? Paul goes back to our Biblical Theology of marriage.
i. Because man was formed first and because it was by usurping the role of her husband that she was led into sin.
ii. 2 Timothy 3:15: Eve is saved through the bearing of the Messiah, they (women) by continuing on faith and love and holiness, with self-control.
Application: Can a woman teach Sunday School? Yes. could she speak in a church meeting? Yes. Should she lead a ministry in which she is directly overseeing her husband. No. Should she disciple a guy? No. Should a guy disciple her? Probably not. Can she serve as a deacon? Yes, particularly is she is single, a widow or if her husband is an elder or deacon. Can she serve as an elder? No.
What does this mean in our church today?
1) Titles aren’t as important as important as fulfilling the biblical functions are
2) The lead pastor of each congregation should be a male Timothy/Paul leader
a. Ministry team members working with that pastor or other pastors may be women (as long as they are not serving in positions of authority over their husbands.
3) The Chair of our Board should meet the “overseer” requirements
a. The rest of our board must meet the “deacon” requirements
4) Women are encouraged to use all of their ministry gifts, with respect to their husbands.
What does the Holy Spirit wish to see in our church? (1 Timothy 2:8-10)
a. Spiritual men, united in prayer
b. Modest women concerned with inner beauty rather than outward beauty or position