The Redeemed Woman
This message of restoration because of Christ’s death on the Cross is a major theme throughout the New Testament. It is the message the Apostle Paul preached. He taught what the Lord before Him had taught in word and action, that both men and women are equally sinful and equally in need of a Saviour and that Christ’s death on the Cross provides total redemption for both men and women. He taught that this redemption had been made possible because, at the cross, Christ had reversed the effects of the Fall by becoming a curse for both men and women as we can read in Galatians 3:13
Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.”
As a result of Christ’s death on the Cross both men and women can now become the righteousness of God in Christ according to II Corinthians 5:21
God made Him who had no sin to become sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.
This means that every believer, be they male or female, has now become a new creation, as the Apostle Paul taught in II Corinthians 5:17
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come.
Furthermore, there is now no condemnation for the man or the woman who is in Christ as we can read in Romans 8:1-2
Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the Law of the Spirit of Life has set me free from the Law of Sin and Death.
Such a person is to forget the past according to Philippians 3:13
This I do, forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead.
Such a person is to live unto God as Paul wrote in Romans 6:11
In the same way count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God.
Paul wrote in Romans 8:17 that men and women who belong to Christ are co-heirs with Christ “Now if we are children, then we are heirs - heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ."
He wrote in Galatians 3:28 as well that men and women are one in Christ Jesus.
There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
Moreover, any man or woman, who is in Christ, has been raised with Him and is seated with Him as we can read in Ephesians 2:6
And God raised us up with Christ and has seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus.
Both men and women, who are in Christ, have been blessed with every spiritual blessing as we can read in Ephesians 1:3
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.
The Gifted Woman
Paul taught in I Corinthians Chapters 12, 13 and 14 and in Romans 12:4-8 as well, that every believer, be they male or female, was a part of the Body of Christ and was to function as part of that Body with the gift or gifts given by the Holy Spirit for the benefit of others. These gifts were given as the Holy Spirit determined without race, class or gender distinction.
Let’s look at I Corinthians 12:4-11
There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working but the same God works all of them in all men. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and He gives them to each one just as He determines.
I would like for us to read Romans 12:4-8* as well:
Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one Body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy let him do it cheerfully.
[*In the original text of Romans 12:4-8 no specific gender is mentioned.]
Therefore a better translation would be:
For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so, in Christ, we, though many, form one Body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, then do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully .
One example of the gifts of the Spirit working through both men and women can be seen in I Corinthians 11:4-5
Every man, who prays or prophesies with his head covered, dishonours his head. And every woman, who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered, dishonours her head.
This verse is part of a larger segment of Scripture beginning with I Corinthians 11:3 and ending with I Corinthians 11:16. This is quite a complicated passage of Scripture and because of it we may not realise that in this passage Paul allowed both men and women to pray and prophesy in public.
And he explained in I Corinthians 14:29-31 that the function of prophecy, which was a gift given to both men and women, included teaching:
Two or three Prophets should speak and the others should weigh carefully what is said. And if a revelation comes to someone who is sitting down, the first speaker should stop. For you can all prophesy in turn so that everyone may be instructed and encouraged.”
From this we can see that one of the main functions of prophecy is in fact instruction, or teaching, so Paul obviously expected women to instruct, to teach both men and women.
Furthermore, in I Timothy 2:8-10, Paul encouraged both men and women to pray in public.
I want men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer, without anger or disputing.
I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair, or gold, or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God.
In this chapter, Paul wrote about the issue of prayer as we can read in I Timothy 2:1-2
I urge then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone - for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness.
In I Timothy 2:8-10, the verses we have just read, Paul was still talking about prayer. He first dealt with men in relation to prayer and he then addressed women in relation to prayer. We may not understand this because he did not specifically mention the words “in prayer” when writing about women. However, the word “also”, or “likewise”, indicates that he was still talking about prayer, for Paul desired that women, when praying as part of their worship of God, displayed proper behaviour. Therefore, according to Greek grammar, the words “in prayer” did not need to be repeated in verses 9-10 because they were to be understood from the context of verse 8.
There is at least one other example in Scripture of this particular type of sentence structure in the Greek language and we’ll look at that example later on. We can see then that Paul encouraged both men and women to pray and prophesy in public.
THE REDEEMED WOMAN
1. The Holy Bible, Today’s New International Version, (TNIV) Grand Rapids, Michigan 49530, USA: Zondervan,
2. Bruce C.E. Fleming. Familiar “leadership” heresies uncovered by an inside look at the Bible. The Eden
heresies (Gen 2-3, I Tim 1-3). The headship heresies (I Pet 3 Eph 5-6). The legalist heresies (I Cor 11 & 14).
(Eugene, OR 97401: Resource Publications, 2005), p. 107.