Isaiah 1 & 2
1 Corinthians 14.21-40
Let your women keep silent? … Me?!
Me … keep silent?!
Verses 34, “Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak; but they are to be submissive, as the law also says.”
Not a popular thought in today’s world! So what does it mean? Does it mean, as women we do not have spiritual gifts or that we should not use them in church?
God has called women to be in a role of submission in the church, as well as, in the home. That does not mean that women cannot teach and use their gifts, but Scripture does forbid us from being in authority over men in the church. In part, that means women should not be elders and pastors exercising authority over men.
In our culture, we view submission as a lesser role, but Scripture does not back that up. Galatians 3.28 says:
28 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. 29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
The role of submission whether in the family, in the church, or in civil society does not reflect the value or importance of the person in submission. In fact, while all three members of the Trinity are co-equal, there is submission within the Trinity. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are all equally God, all eternal, all omniscient, all omnipotent, and more. But the Son willingly submitted to the Father:
“I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me” (Jn. 5.30).
“ And He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and prayed, saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.” (Lk. 22.41-42).
And the Holy Spirit submits to and glorifies the Son. John 16.13-14:
13 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. 14 He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.
Submission is a matter of function, not worth.
Submission is something we are all, men and women, called to in various ways and in various circumstances.
Within the family, while the husband is to be the leader, he is not to be a harsh, self-serving one, but a servant-leader, laying down his rights and preferences for the good of his wife and children.
Within the church, pastors and elders are also to be servant-leaders, as well, not trying to build themselves a kingdom, but submitting to Christ’s authority and building His kingdom.
Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. 4 For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. 5 Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake. 6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God’s ministers attending continually to this very thing. 7 Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor.
Because of the fall, those in authority often rule sinfully, but unless they ask us to sin, we are to submit and trust that God will deal with it as He sees fit.
This is an important chapter and there is so much more that could, and probably should be said, but would require much more time and space. If you have questions, study these things out. A good place to start might be The MacArthur Study Bible, or any good study Bible, and Matthew Henry’s commentaries. Dr. Henry’s commentaries may be found free of charge at www.studylight.org where you will find both the complete and the concise version.
Today’s Other Readings:
Empty Ritualistic Religion & Salvation by Faith
The book of Isaiah is the first of the “Major Prophets,” so called because of their size, not necessarily their importance, since “all Scripture is inspired by God and profitable …” (2 Tim. 3.16). He prophesied during the time when Israel was divided into the Northern and Southern kingdoms. He condemned the empty, ritualistic religious practices and the spiritual idolatry of the people and warned of God’s coming judgment. Come to think of it, he could just as easily be preaching today!
He also prophesied of God’s salvation by grace:
“’Come now, and let us reason together,’ says the LORD, ‘Though your sins are as scarlet, they will be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they will be like wool’ (v. 1.18).
But salvation is not automatic. Just because it’s true that Jesus died so we could be forgiven of our sins, doesn’t mean everyone is!
It is only those who come to saving faith in Christ and Christ alone, not in our own goodness or in religion, but in the Gospel—that is repentance from sin, asking for God’s forgiveness, accepting His grace, and turning away from sin (Is. 1.19; 2 Cor. 7.10).
Turning to God in faith and repentance changes everything. We become a child of God, adopted into His family (Gal. 4.5). We enter into a relationship with Him. And by spending time with Him in prayer and reading the Bible, His Word to us, we grow to know Him better and better.
All That God Has Done
Verse 5, “Remember His wonders which He has done, His marvels and the judgments uttered by His mouth.”
We are so prone to forget all that He has done for us. It is so much easier to focus on what we think has been withheld, even though the Word says, “… no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly” (Ps. 84.11). He knows, so much better than we do, what we need and what is good for us!
Don’t let fear keep you from speaking the truth in love!
Verse 25, “But those who rebuke the wicked will have delight, and a good blessing will come upon them.”
There is a huge temptation in our world today, to refrain from rebuking the wicked, either out of an unbiblical understanding of “judging” or out of fear of appearing narrow minded or of being called politically incorrect. We must remember our responsibility is to speak the truth in love (Eph. 4.15) and that includes rebuking and reproving when necessary.
Speaking to Edify, Not Impress
Matthew Henry in his Complete Commentary on the Bible says about verses 22-33, “It should be the concern of such as pray in public to pray intelligibly, not in a foreign language, nor in a language that, if it be not foreign, is above the level of his audience. Language that is most obvious and easy to be understood is the most proper for public devotion and other religious exercises.”
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