This Biblical Christianity website encourages people to know and to live, God’s Word; thus enabling us to live now as God intended for us to live, and preparing us for eternal life in God’s kingdom.
Site Navigation:This left-column outline contains links to website pages and sources pertaining to helping the Body of Christ gain the potential for which God designed it. The menu below pages down to the individual sections of this outline from which you can navigate to other web pages. There is a fourth level to some of the third level or decimal elements of this outline that is hidden, to view this level click on the symbol in the outline; to hide the fourth level, double-click upon it (I found out, the last time I checked, that Mozilla's Firefox browser doesn't support this fourth level expansion feature, sorry).
The departure from the Biblical fundamentals of family life opened up the way for many of the destructive forces that have followed. The areas that we are going to touch upon in this article are highly contested in society today. We cannot expect those who have been indoctrinated into the present world mind-set and accustomed to this life style to quickly agree with what we are about to present, but if correction and restoration are to come, the truth of God’s Word must be faithfully and accurately proclaimed in order that new converts may learn the right way, and hopefully the older ones will come to their senses and gradually make the change back to a Biblical world-view (2 Tim. 2:24-26).
1 CORINTHIANS 6:12-20.... Everything is permissible (allowable and lawful) for me; but not all things are helpful (good for me to do, expedient and profitable when considered with other things). Everything is lawful for me, but I will not become the slave of anything or be brought under its power. Food [is intended] for the stomach and the stomach for food, but God will finally end [the functions of] both and bring them to nothing. The body is not intended for sexual immorality, but [is intended] for the Lord, and the Lord [is intended] for the body [to save, sanctify, and raise it again]. And God both raised the Lord to life and will also raise us up by His power. Do you not see and know that your bodies are members (bodily parts) of Christ? Am I therefore to take the parts of Christ and make [them] parts of a prostitute? Never! Never! Or do you not know and realize that when a man joins himself to a prostitute, he becomes one body with her? The two, it is written, shall become one flesh. But the person who is united to the Lord becomes one spirit with Him. Shun immorality and all sexual looseness [flee from impurity in thought, word, or deed]. Any other sin which a man commits is one outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is the temple (the very sanctuary) of the Holy Spirit Who lives within you, Whom you have received from God? You are not your own. You were bought with a price [purchased with a preciousness and paid for, made His own]. So then, honor God and bring glory to Him in your body.
Clearly, what we do with our bodies is a very important issue, what we take into them, how we take care of them, and how we use them. Paul was determined that he would never become a slave to any of the desires of the flesh, or anything else except Christ. These fleshly desires will one day lose their attractiveness when we receive our new immortal bodies; apparently even food and drink will not be necessary at that time, and it is doubtful that toilets or sewer systems will be needed in heaven or the New Jerusalem. Our new bodies will evidently be of flesh and bone as was Jesus’ resurrection body, but without the blood system that nourishes and removes waste material from our present bodies (1 Cor. 15:49-51). We are so accustom of thinking only in terms of this life that it is hard for us to realize just how significantly different eternity with Christ will be. We will probably not be able to understand how or why we were so strongly tempted to satisfy the desires of our previous bodies.
One of the bodily appetites that we humans possess is the desire for sexual gratification. This is an area very successfully exploited and perverted by the devil and mankind; and the one that is most prevalent in Paul’s instructions to us in chapters five through seven of 1 Corinthians. God probably gave this strong desire so that we would be sure to carry out his command to multiply and populate the earth (Gen. 1:28; 9:7; 35:11), it is doubtful that it was given primarily for pleasure. It is probably true that most men would rather hunt and fish than raise a family, so the incentive they received from God gave them a strong attraction and appreciation for the female body; females seem to be more stimulated by wardrobe and words of affection. These characteristics and differences are intended to bring us together to carry out God’s will for our lives. The wording of Paul’s instructions in 1 Corinthians 6:18 and 7:2 forbid all kinds of sexual perversion – "Shun immorality and all sexual looseness" (6:18), and "the temptation to impurity and to avoid immorality" (7:2). So the subject of sexuality is pretty well covered in these three chapters, along with the basics of marriage relationships in every or most situations. We will consider individual conduct of husband and wife, a little further, in the next section on authority structure.
As we consider God’s instructions through His servant Paul regarding marriage, sexuality and authority we will see how very important it is to carefully examine all issues before we enter into a marriage covenant. It is doubtful that many couples examined and agreed upon these issues before the wedding, or even after.
1 CORINTHIANS 7:1-7.... Now as to the matters of which you wrote me. It is well [and by that I mean advantageous, expedient, profitable, and wholesome] for a man not to touch a woman [to cohabit with her] but to remain unmarried. But because of the temptation to impurity and to avoid immorality, let each [man] have his own wife and let each [woman] have her own husband. The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights (goodwill, kindness, and what is due her as his wife), and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not have [exclusive] authority and control over her own body, but the husband [has his rights]; likewise also the husband does not have [exclusive] authority and control over his body, but the wife [has her rights]. Do not refuse and deprive and defraud each other [of your due marital rights], except perhaps by mutual consent for a time, so that you may devote yourselves unhindered to prayer. But afterwards resume marital relations, lest Satan tempt you [to sin] through your lack of restraint of sexual desire. But I am saying this more as a matter of permission and concession, not as a command or regulation. I wish that all men were like I myself am [in this matter of self-control]. But each has his own special gift from God, one of this kind and one of another.
Paul seems to be saying that the sexual urge is so strong in most people that the only way that an unmarried person can avoid immorality is by the special grace of God. No one has ever been known to die from a lack of sexual activity, but they may feel like they are going to.
1 CORINTHIANS 7:8-11.... But to the unmarried people and to the widows, I declare that it is well (good, advantageous, expedient, and wholesome) for them to remain [single] even as I do. But if they have not self-control (restraint of their passions), they should marry. For it is better to marry than to be aflame [with passion and tortured continually with ungratified desire]. But to the married people I give charge – not I but the Lord – that the wife is not to separate from her husband. But if she does [separate from and divorce him], let her remain single or else be reconciled to her husband. And [I charge] the husband [also] that he should not put away or divorce his wife.
Marriage is a permanent arrangement; I see no permission given in the New Testament, regardless of the circumstances, for another marriage while a previous partner still lives. There are however, passages that might be understood or taken to give permission in special cases, which we will examine, briefly, in the following passages.
1 CORINTHIANS 7:12-16.... To the rest I declare – I, not the Lord [for Jesus did not discuss this] – that if any brother has a wife who does not believe [in Christ] and she consents to live with him, he should not leave or divorce her. And if any woman has an unbelieving husband and he consents to live with her, she should not leave or divorce him. For the unbelieving husband is set apart (separated, withdrawn from heathen contamination, and affiliated with the Christian people) by union with his consecrated (set-apart) wife, and the unbelieving wife is set apart and separated through union with her consecrated husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean (unblessed heathen, outside the Christian covenant), but as it is they are prepared for God. But if the unbelieving partner [actually] leaves, let him do so; in such [cases the remaining] brother or sister is not morally bound. But God has called us to peace. For, wife, how can you be sure of converting and saving your husband? Husband, how can you be sure of converting and saving your wife?
MATTHEW 19:3-9.... And Pharisees came to Him and put Him to the test by asking, is it lawful and right to dismiss and repudiate and divorce one’s wife for any and every cause? He replied, have you never read that He Who made them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, for this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be united firmly (joined inseparably) to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder (separate). They said to Him, why then did Moses command [us] to give a certificate of divorce and thus to dismiss and repudiate a wife? He said to them, because of the hardness of your hearts Moses permitted you to dismiss and repudiate and divorce your wives; but from the beginning it has not been so [ordained]. I say to you; whoever dismisses his wife, except for unchastity, and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.
It has been argued that in the two above situations; where an unbeliever has walked out or where adultery has been committed (Matt. 5:32), Jesus would not only allow divorce but a remarriage as well, but this is debatable; 1 Corinthians 7:39 says, "A wife is bound to her husband by law as long as he lives." Special cases like this would have to be taken to and decided in the following way by the Lord Himself, as would be the following subjects.
It might be well, at this point, to give some thought to sexual techniques or practices such as: foreplay, fondling, handling, caressing, and positions during intercourse. There is no specific instruction in the Word of God on these subjects, except caressing which we find in Song of Solomon 2:1-7 & 8:1-4. In making a determination about any of these or other practices, we must be sure that we do not violate any instruction in God’s Word that would have a bearing on, or that would regulate that particular activity.
There are many things that we need to do in private, in the normal course of living: such as bathing, eliminating bodily waste, and sexual intercourse between husband and wife, but God knows, sees, and approves. It is expected of us, in our daily walk with the Lord through prayer and Bible study, that we should find out what is or isn’t acceptable to Him, and then to make the proper adjustments in order to please Him and live a good life. "And try to learn [in your experience] what is pleasing to the Lord [let your lives be constant proofs of what is most acceptable to Him]" (Eph.5:10).
As already stated, if we indulge in any of these practices, we must be certain that we do not violate any of God’s commandments, such as, "But I say to you that everyone who so much as looks at a woman with evil desire for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart" (Matt. 5:28). To think about, or fantasize about an illegitimate sex partner while preforming any of these activities is clearly prohibited by this commandment, and the same is true of indulging in any other sexual perversion mentioned in the Bible such as sodomy. If the Bible clearly prohibits it, or we are not convinced of its approval by God and our hearts condemn us, that settles it, it is forbidden to us.
The general teaching that regulates all our thoughts, words, and actions is found in the following Scriptures: "I know and am convinced as one in the Lord Jesus, that nothing is [forbidden as] essentially unclean (defiled and unholy in itself). But [none the less] it is unclean to anyone who thinks it is unclean. But if your brother is being pained or his feelings hurt or if he is being injured by what you eat, [then] you are no longer walking in love. [You have ceased to be living and conducting yourself by the standard of love toward him.] Do not let what you eat hurt or cause the ruin of one for whom Christ died! Do not therefore let what seems good to you be considered an evil thing [by someone else]. [In other words, do not give occasion for others to criticize that which is justifiable for you.] [After all] the kingdom of God is not a matter of [getting the] food and drink [one likes], but instead it is righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. He who serves Christ in this way is acceptable and pleasing to God and is approved by men. So let us then definitely aim for and eagerly pursue what makes for harmony and for mutual upbuilding of one another. You must not, for the sake of food, undo and break down and destroy the work of God! Everything is indeed clean and pure, but it is wrong for anyone to hurt the conscience of others or to make them fall by what he eats. The right thing is to eat no meat or drink no wine [at all], or [do anything else] if it makes your brother stumble or hurts his conscience or offends or weakens him. Your personal convictions [on such matters] – exercise [them] as in God’s presence, keeping them to yourself [striving only to know the truth and obey His will]. Blessed is he who has no reason to judge himself for what he approves [who does not convict himself by what he chooses to do]. But the man who has doubts (misgivings, an uneasy conscience) about eating, and then eats [perhaps because of you], stands condemned [before God], because he is not true to his convictions and he does not act from faith. For whatever does not originate and proceed from faith is sin [whatever is done without a conviction of its approval by God is sinful]" (Rom. 14:14-23).
As can be seen from the Scripture above, it would be wrong to endanger someone else’s relationship with God by condoning or condemning any of these questionable practices by your personal approval or disapproval. These are all very personal and private interactions between the married couple and God, or the individual and God; also, it would be very inappropriate and potentially harmful to use oneself as an example or to discuss with others, your personal convictions in these areas, others could be wrongfully influenced to decline or participate and could suffer as a result.
Do the tears flow down your cheeks unbidden?
Tell it to Jesus, Tell it to Jesus.
Have you sins that to men’s eyes are hidden?
Tell it to Jesus alone.
Tell it to Jesus, Tell it to Jesus.
He is a Friend that’s well known.
You’ve no other such a friend or brother.
Tell it to Jesus alone.
1 CORINTHIANS 7:25-38.... Now concerning the virgins (the marriageable maidens) I have no command of the Lord, but I give my opinion and advice as one who by the Lord’s mercy is rendered trustworthy and faithful. I think then, because of the impending distress [that is even now setting in], it is well for a person to remain as he or she is. Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be free. Are you free from a wife? Do not seek a wife. But if you do marry, you do not sin [in doing so], and if a virgin marries, she does not sin. Yet those who marry will have physical and earthly troubles, and I would like to spare you that. I mean, brethren, the appointed time has been winding down and it has grown very short. From now on, let even those who have wives be as if they had none, and those who weep and mourn as though they were not weeping and mourning, and those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing, and those who buy as though they did not possess anything, and those who deal with this world [overusing the enjoyments of this life] as though they were not absorbed by it and as if they had no dealings with it. For the outward form of this world (the present world order) is passing away. My desire is to have you free from all anxiety and distressing care. The unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord – how he may please the Lord; but the married man is anxious about worldly matters – how he may please his wife – and he is drawn in diverging directions [his interests are divided and he is distracted from his devotion to God]. And the unmarried woman or girl is concerned and anxious about the matters of the Lord, how to be wholly separated and set apart in body and spirit; but the married woman has her cares [centered] in earthly affairs – how she may please her husband.
35Now I say this for your own welfare and profit, not to put [a halter of] restraint upon you, but to promote what is seemly and in good order and to secure your undistracted and undivided devotion to the Lord. But if any man thinks that he is not acting properly toward and in regard to his virgin [that he is preparing disgrace for her or incurring reproach], in case she is passing the bloom of her youth and if there is need for it, let him do what to him seems right; he does not sin; let them marry. But whoever is firmly established in his heart [strong in mind and purpose], not being force by necessity but having control over his own will and desire, and has resolved this in his heart to keep his own virginity, he is doing well. So also then, he [the father] who give his virgin (his daughter) in marriage does well, and he who does not give [her] in marriage does better.
I doubt that there has ever been a time in history when the average citizen has had more distractions to contend with, and most people seem to think that they are unavoidable. But I think that the real reason that people don’t live a more simple and godly lifestyle, without all the worldly things and involvement, is because they really don’t want to. We are not willing to disengage from worldly practices and part with its merchandise. We want things and do things without giving adequate thought to the consequences. Whatever we acquire we become responsible for; there is the original cost, sometimes insurance, upkeep, storage, and disposal; in marriage we have to add the human factor, additional time spent in negotiation and appeasement. Most people are not willing to make the required commitment to Christ in order to avoid the trouble that accompanies a worldly lifestyle.
Paul was concerned that the distractions of married life would be so great for some people that their devotion to the Lord would be grievously affected. And I believe that the divorce rate among "Christians" is good evidence that his fears were warranted, Christians who love the Lord learn to love one another. We must first be one with Christ, before we can be one with one another. Too often our so-called fellowship in Christ is no more than mere human association. How much time do we really spend prayerfully searching the Scriptures to examine our lifestyle or to make future decisions, and to seek God’s will instead of our own? What are the things in our lives that keep us from growing in grace? These are more than distractions; they are idols.
God is not suggesting that we should abandon our wives or our businesses (verses 29-31), but that we should be watchful against becoming overly occupied with the things of this world. Our first love and consideration should be the Lord Himself and His will for our lives, not the things of this world. "Do not love or cherish the world or the things that are in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him." (1 Jn. 2:15). If both marriage partners put God first, then we can know a little bit of heaven on earth, but if one begins to lavish undo affection upon the things of this world the opposite becomes true. God designed the family structure so that we would be able to prevent the world from having an undue influence upon the members of our families, in the next section on authority we will see how this can be accomplished.
1 CORINTHIANS 7:39-40.... A wife is bound to her husband by law as long as he lives. If the husband dies, she is free to be married to whom she will, only [provided that he too is] in the Lord. But in my opinion [a widow] is happier (more blessed and to be envied) if she does not remarry. And also I think I have the Spirit of God.
GENESIS 3:1-19.... Now the serpent was more subtle and crafty than any living creature of the field which the Lord God had made. And he [Satan] said to the woman, Can it really be that God has said, You shall not eat from every tree of the garden? And the woman said to the serpent, We may eat the fruit from the trees of the garden, except the fruit from the tree which is in the middle of the garden. God has said, You shall not eat of it, neither shall you touch it, lest you die. But the serpent said to the woman, You shall not surely die, for God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing the difference between good and evil and blessing and calamity.
6And when the woman saw that the tree was good (suitable and pleasant) for food and that it was delightful to look at, and a tree to be desired in order to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she gave some also to her husband, and he ate. Then the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves apron like girdles.
8And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, Where are you? He said, I heard the sound of You [walking] in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself. And He said, Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat? And the man said, The woman whom You gave to be with me -- she gave me [fruit] from the tree, and I ate. And the Lord God said to the woman, What is this you have done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled (cheated, outwitted, and deceived) me, and I ate.
14And the Lord God said to the serpent, Because you have done this, you are cursed above all [domestic] animals and above every [wild] living thing of the field; upon your belly you shall go, and you shall eat dust [and what it contains] all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her Offspring; He will bruise and tread your head underfoot, and you will lie in wait and bruise His heel. To the woman He said, I will greatly multiply your grief and your suffering in pregnancy and the pangs of childbearing; with spasms of distress you will bring forth children. Yet your desire and craving will be for your husband, and he will rule over you. And to Adam He said, Because you have listened and given heed to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, saying, You shall not eat of it, the ground is under a curse because of you; in sorrow and toil shall you eat [of the fruits] of it all the days of your life. Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth for you, and you shall eat the plants of the field. In the sweat of your face shall you eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you shall return.
At the time that God established this order and function for husband and wife, He would undoubtedly also have given them the distinguishing qualities or traits to carry them out. To the females He gave traits wherein they would recognize their need to rely upon their husband for leadership, protection and sustenance; traits also to love, nurture and care for children. Men would need the traits enabling them to be the leaders, protectors and providers that they should be. Whatever God requires of us He has also given us the ability to do.
God seems to have given the men greater ability to reason unhindered by the subjective feelings and emotions that women have and need to love their husbands, nurture their children, and manage the home. This equips the men to be the leaders God meant them to be by being able to make objective decisions based upon the facts instead of subjective feelings and emotions. This type of leadership protects the whole family from rash and hasty judgements such as Eve made when tempted by the devil. The husband is warned by Adam’s example not to allow the undue desires of his wife to sway his judgement, and the wife is cautioned by Eve’s example to rely upon her husband instead of going her own way.
Having been equipped to function in the above manner, it seems very evident that life would be better for us if we remained within these roles in obedience to God. We shall see in the following Scriptures that God’s intentions for male and female remains the same, God has not changed and neither does He want us to in this regard.
1 CORINTHIANS 11:3-16.... But I want you to know and realize that Christ is the Head of every man, the head of a woman is her husband, and the Head of Christ is God. Any man who prays or prophesies (teaches, refutes, reproves, admonishes, and comforts) with his head covered dishonors his Head (Christ). And any woman who [publicly] prays or prophesies (teaches, refutes, reproves, admonishes, or comforts) when she is bareheaded dishonors her head (her husband); it is the same as [if her head were] shaved. For if a woman will not wear [a head] covering, then she should cut off her hair too; but if it is disgraceful for a woman to have her head shorn or shaven, let her cover [her head]. For a man ought not to wear anything on his head [in church], for he is the image and [reflected] glory of God [his function of government reflects the majesty of the divine Rule]; but woman is [the expression of] man's glory (majesty, preeminence). For man was not [created] from woman, but woman from man; neither was man created on account of or for the benefit of woman, but woman on account of and for the benefit of man.
10Therefore she should [be subject to his authority and should] have a covering on her head [as a token, a symbol, of her submission to authority, that she may show reverence as do] the angels [and not displease them]. Nevertheless, in [the plan of] the Lord and from His point of view woman is not apart from and independent of man, nor is man aloof from and independent of woman; for as woman was made from man, even so man is also born of woman; and all [whether male or female go forth] from God [as their Author]. Consider for yourselves; is it proper and decent [according to your customs] for a woman to offer prayer to God [publicly] with her head uncovered? Does not the native sense of propriety (experience, common sense, reason) itself teach you that for a man to wear long hair is a dishonor [humiliating and degrading] to him, but if a woman has long hair, it is her ornament and glory? For her hair is given to her for a covering. Now if anyone is disposed to be argumentative and contentious about this, we hold to and recognize no other custom [in worship] than this, nor do the churches of God generally.
1 CORINTHIANS 14:33b-38.... As [is the practice] in all the churches of the saints (God's people), the women should keep quiet in the churches, for they are not authorized to speak, but should take a secondary and subordinate place, just as the Law also says. But if there is anything they want to learn, they should ask their own husbands at home, for it is disgraceful for a woman to talk in church [for her to usurp and exercise authority over men in the church]. What! did the word of the Lord originate with you [Corinthians], or has it reached only you? If anyone thinks and claims that he is a prophet [filled with and governed by the Holy Spirit of God and inspired to interpret the divine will and purpose in preaching or teaching] or has any other spiritual endowment, let him understand (recognize and acknowledge) that what I am writing to you is a command of the Lord. But if anyone disregards or does not recognize [that it is a command of the Lord], he is disregarded and not recognized [he is one whom god knows not].
EPHESIANS 5:22-33.... Wives, be subject (be submissive and adapt yourselves) to your own husbands as [a service] to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife as Christ is the Head of the church, Himself the Savior of [His] body. As the church is subject to Christ, so let wives also be subject in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the Word, that He might present the church to Himself in glorious splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such things [that she might be holy and faultless]. Even so husbands should love their wives as [being in a sense] their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself. For no man ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and carefully protects and cherishes it, as Christ does the church, because we are members (parts) of His body. For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is very great, but I speak concerning [the relation of] Christ and the church. However, let each man of you [without exception] love his wife as [being in a sense] his very own self; and let the wife see that she respects and reverences her husband [that she notices him, regards him, honors him, prefers him, regards him, honors him, prefers him, venerates, and esteems him; and that she defers to him, praises him, and loves and admires him exceedingly].
COLOSSIANS 3:18-19.... Wives, be subject to your husbands [subordinate and adapt yourselves to them], as is right and fitting and your proper duty in the Lord. husbands, love your wives [be affectionate and sympathetic with them] and do not be harsh or bitter or resentful toward them.
1 TIMOTHY 2:11-15.... Let a woman learn in quietness, in entire submissiveness. I allow no woman to teach or to have authority over men; she is to remain in quietness and keep silence [in religious assemblies]. For Adam was first formed, then Eve; and it was not Adam who was deceived, but [the] woman who was deceived and deluded and fell into transgression. Nevertheless [the sentence put upon women of pain in motherhood does not hinder their souls' salvation, and] they will be saved [eternally] if they continue in faith and love and holiness with self-control, [saved indeed] through the Childbearing or by the birth of the divine Child.
This Scripture gives credibility to our previous comments to the effect that God did not equip women to confront or be confronted by this evil world system. Eve was deceived and tricked into making a disastrous decision, Adam probably choose to go along with Eve because of his concern for her. Eve apparently thought that no harm would result, and that some good would come from eating of this fruit; Adam was not deceived, he knew better. There is no sadder or truer example of – we may get what we want, but not like what we get; and wives should remember this before they put undue pressure upon their husbands in an attempt to change his mind.
The whole of God’s Word shows that God neither equipped nor sanctioned women to hold leadership or teaching positions over the men, either in the home or Church, and this should be a pattern for all of society.
2 TIMOTHY 3:6-7.... For among them are those who worm their way into homes and captivate silly and weak-natured and spiritually dwarfed women, loaded down with [the burden of their] sins [and easily] swayed and led away by various evil desires and seductive impulses. [These weak women will listen to anybody who will teach them]; they are forever inquiring and getting information, but are never able to arrive at a recognition and knowledge of the Truth.
TITUS 2:3-5.... Bid the older women similarly to be reverent and devout in their deportment as becomes those engaged in sacred service, not slanderers or slaves to drink. They are to give good counsel and be teachers of what is right and noble, so that they will wisely train the young women to be sane and sober of mind (temperate, disciplined) and to love their husbands and their children, to be self-controlled, chaste, homemakers, good-natured (kind-hearted), adapting and subordinating themselves to their husbands, that the word of God may not be exposed to reproach (blasphemed or discredited).
1 PETER 3:1-6.... In like manner, you married women, be submissive to your own husbands [subordinate yourselves as being secondary to and dependent on them, and adapt yourselves to them], so that even if any do not obey the Word [of God], they may be won over not by discussion but by the [godly] lives of their wives, when they observe the pure and modest way in which you conduct yourselves, together with your reverence [for your husband; you are to feel for him all that reverence includes; to respect, defer to, revere him -- to honor, esteem, appreciate, prize, and, in the human sense, to adore him, that is, to admire, praise, be devoted to, deeply love, and enjoy your husband]. Let not yours be the [merely] external adorning with [elaborate] interweaving and knotting of the hair, the wearing of jewelry, or changes of clothes; but let it be the inward adorning and beauty of the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible and unfading charm of a gentle and peaceful spirit, which [is not anxious or wrought up, but] is very precious in the sight of God. For it was thus that the pious women of old who hoped in God were [accustomed] to beautify themselves and were submissive to their husbands [adapting themselves to them as themselves secondary and dependent upon them]. It was thus that Sarah obeyed Abraham [following his guidance and acknowledging his headship over her by] calling him lord (master, leader, authority). And you are now her true daughters if you do right and let nothing terrify you [not giving way to hysterical fears or letting anxieties unnerve you].
REVELATION 14:1-5.... Then I looked, and behold, the Lamb stood on Mount Zion, and with Him 144,000 [men] who had His name and His Father’s name inscribed on their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven like the sound of great waters and like the rumbling of mighty thunder; the voice I heard [seemed like the music] of harpists accompanying themselves on their harps. And they sang a new song before the throne [of God] and before the four living creatures and before the elders [of the heavenly Sanhedrin]. No one could learn [to sing] that song except the 144,000 who had been ransomed (purchased, redeemed) from the earth. These are they who have not defiled themselves by relations with women, for they are [pure as] virgins. These are they who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These are they who have been ransomed from among men as the firstfruits for God and the Lamb. No lie was found to be upon their lips, for they are blameless (spotless, untainted, without blemish) before the throne of God.
There were no women writers of the Holy Scriptures, and Jesus never chose any women to be disciples or to be in places of leadership, although there where other ministries that they performed. Neither are there any women among these 144,000 that God chose, because it specifically says that these were those who had not had any relations with women.
The testimony of the whole Word of God is that, except for very rare occasions, God has ordained that men, not women, should be in leadership positions. Some have tried to use Galatians 3:22-28 to support their claim that the Scriptures that we have just reviewed no longer are true and valid. Let us examine this passage to see why their assumption is a false one.
GALATIANS 3:22-29.... But the Scriptures [picture all mankind as sinners] shut up and imprisoned by sin, so that [the inheritance, blessing] which was promised through faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe [who adhere to and trust in and rely on Him]. Now before the faith came, we were perpetually guarded under the Law, kept in custody in preparation for the faith that was destined to be revealed, so that the Law served as our trainer [our guardian, our guide to Christ, to lead us] until Christ [came], that we might be justified by and through faith. But now that the faith has come, we are no longer under a trainer. For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God through faith. For as many as were baptized into Christ [into a spiritual union and communion with Christ, the Anointed One, the Messiah] have put on (clothed yourselves with) Christ. There is [now no distinction] neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is not male and female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ [are in Him Who is Abraham’s Seed], then you are Abraham’s offspring and [spiritual] heirs according to promise.
To begin with, this passage is not speaking of earthly functions or administration, but with the spiritual benefits of salvation. As regards our earthly life there is still male and female, we can usually still recognize the difference. It is still wrong to have same sex sexual relations, and it is still wrong for the woman to usurp authority over the man. Jesus, in this earthly economy, was not inferior to God or any less than God, but He was subordinate to, submissive to, and obedient to the Father. In fact, that is the exact position that the early Church took in explaining the doctrine of the Trinity.
Philip Schaff has an excellent paragraph on this subject in his History of The Christian Church: "Notice, too, the moral effects of the gospel in the female characters of the New Testament. Christianity raises woman from the slavish position which she held both in Judaism and in heathendom, to her true moral dignity and importance; makes her an heir of the same salvation with man, (1 Pet. 3:7; Gal. 3:28) and opens to her a field for the noblest and loveliest virtues, without thrusting her, after the manner of modern pseudo-philanthropic schemes of emancipation, out of her appropriate sphere of private, domestic life, and thus stripping her of her fairest ornament and peculiar charm." To know our God-given place and station in life and to remain there is not demeaning, but rather a glory to God as well as to ourselves.
Secondly, to incorrectly interpret Galatians 3:28 to nullify all the previous Scriptures violates several rules of hermeneutics or Scriptural interpretation. We have already mentioned the first one, but have not explained the rule. Proper interpretation of Scripture demands that we draw out (exegesis) of the passage the true meaning, not read into (eisegesis) the passage something that is not there. The area where male and female distinctions no longer exist is in regards to salvation, but the distinctions still exist in regard to our earthly existence.
Another primary rule of interpretation is "Scriptural harmony," or Scripture is to interpret Scripture. This rule states that no part of Scripture can be interpreted in such a way as to render it in conflict with what is clearly taught elsewhere in Scripture. This also has been alluded to in the above paragraph, and is a clear example of the violation of this rule.
Also illustrated in the preceding comments, is a third primary rule: the implicit is to be interpreted by the explicit, and nothing could be more explicit than for the apostle Paul to say that the instructions in 1 Cor. 14:32-38 are the commands of God! Also, the Scriptures given to affirm the headship on man are very explicit in this regard, therefore, they should be used to arrive at a correct understanding of Galatians 3:28.
The following is from Walter Martin’s book, The Kingdom of the Cults 1985 edition, which was left out of the 1997 edition edited by Hank Hanegraaff.
It should be remembered that the Apostle Paul strictly enjoined the Christian Church to forbid women to usurp the authority of her male head, and leadership roles should more properly be filled by men where available to meet this need:
"Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression" (1 Timothy 2:11-14).
It can be clearly seen from the study of non-Christian cults, ancient and modern, that the female teaching ministry has graphically fulfilled what Paul anticipated in his day by divine revelation, and brought in its wake, as history tells us, confusion, division and strife. This is true from Johanna Southcutt to Mary Baker Eddy to Helena Blavatsky and the Fox sisters, all of whom were living proof of the validity of our Lord’s declaration that "if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch" (Matthew 15:14b). (pp. 249-250)
Hank Hanegraaff, by removing Walter Martins’s above comments has contributed to the disregard for the clear teaching in God’s Word concerning the woman’s role in the home and church. The following paragraph, from the foreword of Harold O. J. Brown’s book Heresies, points out the reason and the dangers of such conduct. The foreword was written by George H. Williams, professor of Divinity at Harvard University.
Heresies is the work of an irenic Evangelical scholar who deplores the cruel treatment meted out to past heretics and heresiarchs with torture, fire, and sword but who also strongly deplores heresy and the facile toleration of it and the failure on the part of mainstream Protestantism and other groupings to recognize that in updating the creeds under various pressures, including the women’s liberation movement, to eliminate the gender terminology in Triadology, Christology, and elsewhere, they could unwittingly forfeit the essence of the faith as a system of coherent beliefs, which was cast in language once acceptable to women as well as men in less sensitized age.
The following is from Norman L. Geisler’s book, Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics.
Creation Grounds Roles and Authority. Male leadership or headship is a contentious issue in churches where members hold to the biblical view of creation. It is not that conservative Christians (men and women) are misogynists (haters of women), as feminist-rights advocates frequently charge. Equal value and respect of men and women and an order that stresses male headship are taught in Genesis and applied to the church in the New Testament.
Paul states the principles strongly in 1 Timothy 2:11-14: "A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner." In regard to the family authority structure, Paul wrote: "Now I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God . . . . For man did not come from woman, but woman from man; neither was man created for woman, but woman for man" (1 Cor. 11:3, 8-9). It is evident here that the order of creation is given as one basis for the authority structure within a family.
Both by order of creation and Adam’s role as head of the covenant between God and humanity, the authority structure in home and church was established through the male. Adam’s was the ultimate responsibility to keep the provisions of the covenant. It was his sin that brought death to the human race (see, for example, Rom. 5:12-14).
In a brief mention of a complex issue, it must be stressed that this mandate must not be considered grounds for denying the essential equality of male and female (see above). God’s plan for separate roles does not speak to relative importance or value in the spiritual body of Christ where "there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus" (Gal. 3:28). p. 170.
Another excuse that is frequently used to suggest that God approves of female leadership is the example of Deborah and Barak (Joshua 4:4), where Deborah, a prophetess and also a judge of Israel, advised Barak to attack the enemies of Israel. Barak refused to go unless Deborah went with him, which can be seen as an illustration of the condition that the men of Israel were in at that time. It is a sign of God’s judgement upon a people when women and children rule over them, as the following passage reveals.
ISAIAH 3:1-13.... FOR BEHOLD, the Lord, the Lord of hosts, is taking away from Jerusalem and from Judah the stay and the staff [every kind of prop], the whole stay of bread and the whole stay of water, the mighty man and the man of war, the judge and the [professional] prophet, the one who foretells by divination and the old man, the captain of fifty and the man of rank, the counselor and the expert craftsman and the skillful enchanter. And I will make boys their princes, and with childishness shall they rule over them [with outrage instead of justice]. And the people shall be oppressed, . . .
8For Jerusalem is ruined and Judah is fallen, because their speech and their deeds are against the Lord, to provoke the eyes of His glory and defy His glorious presence. Their respecting of persons and showing of partiality witnesses against them; they proclaim their sin like Sodom; they do not hide it. Woe to them! For they have brought evil [as a reward upon themselves].
10Say to the righteous that it shall be well with them, for they shall eat the fruit of their deeds. Woe to the wicked! It shall be ill with them, for what their hands have done shall be done to them. As for My people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O My people, your leaders cause you to err, and they confuse (destroy and swallow up) the course of your paths. The Lord stands up to contend, and stands to judge the peoples and His people.
Paul and Peter, though undoubtedly well aware of the Old Testament account of Deborah and Barak, were moved by the Holy Spirit to pen the several passages we have already examined to prove without a doubt God’s commandments in this regard. Many believe that just because there have been several prominent women’s ministries in the history of the Church, therefore, God must now approve of women in leadership. There has been a great deal of mischief recorded in the Bible and in Church history that God has not approved of, that has caused much harm and grief to the cause of Christ. Just because something seems to work at the time, does not excuse our disobedience to the revealed will of God in His Word. We are to live by every word that has proceeded out of the mouth of God, and not by tradition! Any departure from God’s instructions displeases God, and will have a harmful effect, and will eventually lead God’s people astray and into excess as it has done in these days. You can’t force people to live by God’s Word, they must be taught the necessity; if they will not be taught there is nothing you can do but pray.
EXODUS 4:24-26.... Along the way at a [resting] place, the Lord met Moses and sought to kill him [made him acutely and almost fatally ill]. [Now apparently he had failed to circumcise one of his sons, his wife being opposed to it; but seeing his life in such danger] Zipporah took a flint knife and cut off the foreskin of her son and cast it to touch Moses's feet, and said, Surely a husband of blood you are to me! When He let Moses alone [to recover], Zipporah said, A husband of blood are you because of the circumcision.
EXODUS 18:1-6.... Now Jethro, the priest of Midian, Moses' father-in-law, heard of all that God had done for Moses and for Israel His people, and that the Lord had brought Israel out of Egypt. Then Jethro, Moses' father-in-law, took Zipporah, Moses' wife, after Moses had sent her back [to her father], and her two sons, of whom the name of the one was Gershom [expulsion, or a stranger there], for Moses said, I have been an alien in a strange land; and the name of the other was Eliezer [God is help], for the God of my father, said Moses, was my help, and delivered me from the sword of Pharaoh. And Jethro, Moses' father-in-law, came with Moses' sons and his wife to the wilderness where he was encamped at the mount of God [Horeb, or Sinai].
NUMBERS 12:1-14.... Now Miriam and Aaron talked against Moses [their brother] because of his Cushite wife, for he had married a Cushite woman. And they said, Has the Lord indeed spoken only by Moses? Has He not spoken also by us? And the Lord heard it. Now the man Moses was very meek (gentle, kind, and humble) or above all the men on the face of the earth. Suddenly the Lord said to Moses, Aaron, and Miriam, Come out, you three, to the Tent of Meeting. And the three of them came out. The Lord came down in a pillar of cloud, and stood at the Tent door and called Aaron and Miriam, and they came forward. And He said, Hear now My words: If there is a prophet among you, I the Lord make Myself known to him in a vision and speak to him in a dream. But not so with My servant Moses; he is entrusted and faithful in all My house. With him I speak mouth to mouth [directly], clearly and not in dark speeches; and he beholds the form of the Lord. Why then were you not afraid to speak against My servant Moses? And the anger of the Lord was kindled against them, and He departed.
10And when the cloud departed from over the Tent, behold, Miriam was leprous, as white as snow. And Aaron looked at Miriam, and, behold, she was leprous! And Aaron said to Moses, Oh, my lord, I plead with you, lay not the sin upon us in which we have done foolishly and in which we have sinned. Let her not be as one dead, already half decomposed when he comes out of his mother's womb. And Moses cried to the Lord, saying, Heal her now, O God, I beseech You! And the Lord said to Moses, If her father had but spit in her face, should she not be ashamed for seven days? Let her be shut up outside the camp for seven days, and after that let her be brought in again.
We may speculate that the reason Miriam only was smitten with leprosy and not Aaron was -- while Aaron was wrong, Miriam was completely out of her element or sphere of activity.
NUMBERS 30:10-13.... And if she vowed in her husband's house or bound herself by a pledge with an oath and her husband heard it and did not oppose or prohibit her, then all her vows and every pledge with which she bound herself shall stand. But if her husband positively made them void on the day he heard them, then whatever proceeded out of her lips concerning her vows or concerning her pledge of herself shall not stand. Her husband has annulled them, and the Lord will forgive her. Every vow and every binding oath to humble or afflict herself, her husband may establish it or her husband may annul it.
ISAIAH 3:12-14.... As for My people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O My people, your leaders cause you to err, and they confuse (destroy and swallow up) the course of your paths. The Lord stands up to contend, and stands to judge the peoples and His people. The Lord enters into judgment with the elders of His people and their princes: For [by your exactions and oppressions you have robbed the people and ruined the country] you have devoured the vineyard; the spoil of the poor is in your houses.
When this is allowed to happen wrongdoing and confusion reign, and judgement follows -- being the price that we must pay. How much better and richer the whole world would be if we would just live according to God’s instructions.