Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah . . . has conquered . . . Revelation 5:5
But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ . . . Galatians 6:14
You have been very angry with your Anointed One. Psalm 89:38
For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. 1 Corinthians 2:2
Let the motto upon your whole ministry be - "Christ is All!" - Cotton Mather

Saturday, August 6, 2022

Titanic: John Harper's Last Convert

Pastor Mark Dever opens his excellent book on the Gospel and personal evangelism with this inspiring, true story:

Let me tell you an amazing story about a person you want to be like. And please hang in there through some of the details. I can’t tell stories any other way.

John Harper was born in a Christian home in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1872. When he was about fourteen years old, he became a Christian himself, and from that time on, he began to tell others about Christ. At seventeen years of age, he began to preach, going down the streets of his village and pouring out his soul in passionate pleading for men to be reconciled to God. 

After five or six years of toiling on street corners preaching the gospel and working in the mill during the day, Harper was taken in by the Reverend E. A. Carter of Baptist Pioneer Mission in London. This set Harper free to devote his whole time and energy to the work so dear to his heart—evangelism. Soon, in September 1896, Harper started his own church. This church, which he began with just twenty-five members, numbered over five hundred by the time he left thirteen years later. During this time he had been both married and widowed. Before he lost his wife, God blessed Harper with a beautiful little girl named Nana.

Harper’s life was an eventful one. He almost drowned several times. When he was two-and-a-half years of age, he fell into a well but was resuscitated by his mother. At the age of twenty-six, he was swept out to sea by a reverse current and barely survived. And at thirty-two he faced death on a leaking ship in the Mediterranean. If anything, these brushes with death simply seemed to confirm John Harper in his zeal for evangelism, which marked him out for the rest of the days of his life.

While pastoring his church in London, Harper continued his fervent and faithful evangelism. In fact, he was such a zealous evangelist that the Moody Church in Chicago asked him to come over to America for a series of meetings. He did, and they went well. A few years later, Moody Church asked him if he would come back again. And so it was that Harper boarded a ship one day with a second-class ticket at Southampton, England, for the voyage to America.

Harper’s wife had died just a few years before, and he had with him his only child, Nana, age six. What happened after this we know mainly from two sources. One is Nana, who died in 1986 at the age of eighty. She remembered being woken up by her father a few nights into their journey. It was about midnight, and he said that the ship they were on had struck an iceberg. Harper told Nana that another ship was just about there to rescue them, but, as a precaution, he was going to put her in a lifeboat with an older cousin, who had accompanied them. As for Harper, he would wait until the other ship arrived.

The rest of the story is a tragedy well known. Little Nana and her cousin were saved. But the ship they were on was the Titanic. The only way we know what happened to John Harper after is because, in a prayer meeting in Hamilton, Ontario, some months later, a young Scotsman stood up in tears and told the extraordinary story of how he was converted. He explained that he had been on the Titanic the night it struck the iceberg. He had clung to a piece of floating debris in the freezing waters. “Suddenly,” he said, “a wave brought a man near, John Harper. He, too, was holding a piece of wreckage. 

“He called out, ‘Man, are you saved?’

“‘No, I am not,’ I replied.

“He shouted back, ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.’ [Acts 16:31]

“The waves bore [Harper] away, but a little later, he was washed back beside me again. ‘Are you saved now?’ he called out.

“‘No,’ I answered. ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.’ [Acts 16:31]

“Then losing his hold on the wood, [Harper] sank. And there, alone in the night with two miles of water under me, I trusted Christ as my savior. I am John Harper’s last convert.”

(Mark Dever, The Gospel and Personal Evangelism (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2007), 13-15. For more on John Harper, see Moody Adams, The Titanic’s Last Hero: Story About John Harper (Columbia, SC: Olive Press, 1997), 24–25. Thanks to Nick Roark for posting this on his blog.)

For another great article on evangelism, read "Go To Hell!"

To listen to the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ, please watch: American Gospel: Christ Alone

Twenty Reasons To Sell Everything With Joy To Receive The Treasure Of The Kingdom Of Heaven!

 
The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Jesus (Matthew 13:44)

1. The Kingdom Of Heaven Is A Treasure That Brings Greatest Joy And Is Worth Sacrificing Everything To Receive Because It Is A Kingdom That Will Never End

Luke 1:32-33: He will be great & will be called the Son of the Most High. & the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, & he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, & of his kingdom there will be no end.

Hebrews 1:8: But of the Son he says, "Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom. 

Revelation 11:15: Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, "The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever." 

2. The Kingdom Of Heaven Is A Treasure That Brings Greatest Joy And Is Worth Sacrificing Everything To Receive Because The Least In This Kingdom Is Greater Than The Greatest Man Ever Born At Jesus' First Coming

Luke 7:28: I tell you, among those born of women none is greater than John. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.

3. The Kingdom Of Heaven Is A Treasure That Brings Greatest Joy And Is Worth Sacrificing Everything To Receive Because It Is Our Father’s Kingdom

Luke 11:2: And he said to them, “When you pray, say: ‘Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come.’”

1 John 3:1: See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.

4. The Kingdom Of Heaven Is A Treasure That Brings Greatest Joy And Is Worth Sacrificing Everything To Receive Because If You Seek First This Kingdom, Everything Else Will Be Added To You

Luke 12:22-34: And he said to his disciples, "Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest? Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass, which is alive in the field today, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried. For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you. "Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. 

5. The Kingdom Of Heaven Is A Treasure That Brings Greatest Joy And Is Worth Sacrificing Everything To Receive Because You Will Receive Great Reward In This Life And In The Life To Come Eternal Life

Luke 18:18-30: And a ruler asked him, "Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" And Jesus said to him, "Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. You know the commandments: 'Do not commit adultery, Do not murder, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother.'" And he said, "All these I have kept from my youth." When Jesus heard this, he said to him, "One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me." But when he heard these things, he became very sad, for he was extremely rich. Jesus, looking at him with sadness, said, "How difficult it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God! For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God." Those who heard it said, "Then who can be saved?" But he said, "What is impossible with men is possible with God." And Peter said, "See, we have left our homes and followed you." And he said to them, "Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, who will not receive many times more in this time, and in the age to come eternal life." 

6. The Kingdom Of Heaven Is A Treasure That Brings Greatest Joy And Is Worth Sacrificing Everything To Receive Because You Will Be With Jesus In Paradise

Luke 23:42-43: And he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." And he said to him, "Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise."

Philippians 1:21: For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 

Luke 14:26: If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. 

Philippians 3:8: Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ 

7. The Kingdom Of Heaven Is A Treasure That Brings Greatest Joy And Is Worth Sacrificing Everything To Receive Because It Is A Matter Of Righteousness, Peace, And Joy In The Holy Spirit

Romans 14:17: For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. 

John 3:3: Jesus answered him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God." 

8. The Kingdom Of Heaven Is A Treasure That Brings Greatest Joy And Is Worth Sacrificing Everything To Receive Because There Will Be No Sin There

1 Corinthians 6:9-11: Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. 

9. The Kingdom Of Heaven Is A Treasure That Brings Greatest Joy And Is Worth Sacrificing Everything To Receive Because All Of God’s And Our Enemies Will Be Destroyed

1 Corinthians 15:23-26: But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 

10. The Kingdom Of Heaven Is A Treasure That Brings Greatest Joy And Is Worth Sacrificing Everything To Receive Because We Will Receive New, Glorified, Immortal, Imperishable Bodies

1 Corinthians 15:50-57: I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: "Death is swallowed up in victory." "O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?" The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 

11. The Kingdom Of Heaven Is A Treasure That Brings Greatest Joy And Is Worth Sacrificing Everything To Receive Because It’s The Kingdom Of God’s Beloved Son Where There’s No More Darkness, There’s Redemption, And There’s The Forgiveness Of All Our Sins

Colossians 1:13-14: He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. 

12. The Kingdom Of Heaven Is A Treasure That Brings Greatest Joy And Is Worth Sacrificing Everything To Receive Because The LORD Will Always Stand By Us And Ensure We Make It There Safely

2 Timothy 4:16-18: At my first defense no one came to stand by me, but all deserted me. May it not be charged against them! But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was rescued from the lion's mouth. The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

13. The Kingdom Of Heaven Is A Treasure That Brings Greatest Joy And Is Worth Sacrificing Everything To Receive Because It Is A Kingdom That Cannot Be Shaken

Hebrews 12:28-29: Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.

14. The Kingdom Of Heaven Is A Treasure That Brings Greatest Joy And Is Worth Sacrificing Everything To Receive Because There You Will Worship The King Forever And You Will Reign On The Earth

Revelation 5:9-10: And they sang a new song, saying, "Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth."

15. The Kingdom Of Heaven Is A Treasure That Brings Greatest Joy And Is Worth Sacrificing Everything To Receive Because The Accuser Of The Brothers Will Be Thrown Down And Accuse You No More Forever

Revelation 12:10-11: And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, "Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death."

16. The Kingdom Of Heaven Is A Treasure That Brings Greatest Joy And Is Worth Sacrificing Everything To Receive Because God Is There

Psalm 16:2, 11: I say to the LORD, "You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you." . . . You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

17. The Kingdom Of Heaven Is A Treasure That Brings Greatest Joy And Is Worth Sacrificing Everything To Receive Because There You Will Enter Into The Very Joy Of God

Matthew 25:21: His master said to him, “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.”

18. The Kingdom Of Heaven Is A Treasure That Brings Greatest Joy And Is Worth Sacrificing Everything To Receive Because In This Kingdom You Will Realize That All Suffering, Tragedies, Losses, And Sadness's Will Only Multiply Your Everlasting Happiness

Genesis 50:20: As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good

Romans 8:28: And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 

Romans 8:18: For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 

19. The Kingdom Of Heaven Is A Treasure That Brings Greatest Joy And Is Worth Sacrificing Everything To Receive Because In This Kingdom You Will Be Given Everything Needed To Fill You With Greatest Joy And Satisfaction That Will Never End And Will Increase Forever

Romans 8:32: He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?

1 Corinthians 3:21-23: So let no one boast in men. For all things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future - all are yours, and you are Christ's, and Christ is God's. 

Ephesians 2:6-7: and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 

20. The Kingdom Of Heaven Is A Treasure That Brings Greatest Joy And Is Worth Sacrificing Everything To Receive Because There Will Be No More Tears, Death, Crying, Or Pain There Anymore Forever

Revelation 21:4: He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.

Christ Jesus Is The Treasure Great
We Will Sell All And All Else Hate
Compared To Him Who’s Joy Innate
To Live Is Christ For He’ll Elate
To Die Is Gain For He’s The Gate
To Greatest Joys We Await
He Died And Rose There’s No Debate
A Whole New People To Create
Who Find In Him Our All And Wait
On Him, His Word, He Cuts It Straight
He Shall Forever Fascinate
In Him All Pleasures Culminate
He Is The Kingdom’s Treasure Weight
So Trust The Son And Contemplate
His Boundless Beauty Celebrate!

That's my King! Do you know Him?!

Please watch American Gospel: Christ Alone to hear the Gospel of the Kingdom.

You can watch the whole documentary here with a free, 3 day trial.

Sunday, July 24, 2022

"That's My King!" Who's Better Than Any Lover Who Deeply Loves The King!


"If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple." King Jesus (Luke 14:26)

I love the way she loves King Jesus.
But our King Jesus is better than her love for our King!

I love the way she writes poetry about our King.
But our King is better than her poetry about our King!

I love the way she is so eager to tell lost sinners about our King.
But our King is better than her evangelistic zeal for our King!

I love the way she knows the Word of our King.
But our King and His Word are better than her knowledge of the King's Word!

I love the way she studies the Word of our King.
But our King is better than her study of the King's Word!

I love the way she memorizes the Word of our King.
But our King is better than her memorization of the Word of our King!

I love the way she speaks the Word of our King.
But our King is better than the way she speaks the Word or our King!

I love the way she seeks to obey the Word of our King.
But our King is better than her obedience to the Word of our King!

I love the way she prays the Words of our King.
But our King is better than her Bible-saturated prayers to our King!

I love the way she teaches the Word of our King.
But our King is better than her teaching about our King!

I love the way she loves studying and talking about the theology of our King.
But our King is better than her love for the theology of our King!

I love the way she makes sacrifices for our King.
But our King is better than any sacrifice she ever makes for our King!

I love the way she gets excited about our King.
But our King is better than her excitement about our King!

I love the way she delights to read books about our King.
But our King is better than her delight in reading books about our King!

I love the way she enjoys listening to sermons about our King.
But our King is better than her enjoyment of listening to sermons about our King!

I love the way she bows down to worship our King.
But our King is better than her bowing down to worship our King!

I love the way she seeks to serve the poor for our King.
But our King is better than her seeking to serve the poor for our King!

I love the way she praises our King.
But our King is better than her praise of our King!

I love the way she weeps over her sin against our King.
But our King is better than her weeping over her sin against our King!

I love the way she's committed to the church of our King.
But our King is better than her commitment to the church of our King!

I love the way she prays to our King.
But our King is better than the way she prays to our King!

I love the way she loves missions for our King.
But our King is better than the way she loves missions for our King!

I love the way she loves the Psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs of our King.
But our King is better than the way she loves the Psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs of our King!

I love the way she told me she hates me, compared to her love for King Jesus.
But our King Jesus is better than her telling me she hates me compared to her love for King Jesus!

I love the patience and forgiveness she showed me, even when I disobeyed our King.
But our King is better than the patience and forgiveness she showed me, even when I disobeyed our King!

I love the way she loved me because I belong to our King.
But our King is better than her love for me because I belong to our King!

I love the way her life and time with her pointed me to our King and encouraged me to delight in Him and trust and obey Him.
But our King is better than the way her life and time with her pointed me to our King and encouraged me to delight in Him and trust and obey Him!

Our King is better than any lover! 

Our King is better! Our King is best!

That's my King! Do you know my King today?!

"Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!" Mark 9:24

I prayed: 

I'm also praying for us - that God would lead us into His good, pleasing, and perfect will. That He would bring us together or keep us apart - whatever would bring Him most glory; whatever would help His church the most; whatever would be used by Him to save the most sinners; whatever would help the most poor, needy, and helpless the most; whatever would conform us most to the image of Jesus; and whatever would conform those to whom we minister into the image of Jesus most - may God do that in our lives by bringing us together to achieve those goals or may He keep us apart if those goals would be accomplished better if we are not together. May His will be done. For Jesus' sake. Amen.

Again, God has chosen to keep us apart. Again, His will be done. Again, may He be most glorified.

And again: "Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!" Mark 9:24

Saturday, July 23, 2022

Biblical Reasons You Should Go To Church


A couple great articles here from Allendale Baptist Church and Earl Blackburn:

1) Go to church regularly because God tells you to
“Not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some.” (Hebrews 10:25a)

2) Go to church so you won’t be hardened by sin
“Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin” (Hebrews 3:12-13)

3) Go to church because you need the encouragement and you need to encourage others
“But encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:25b)

4) Go to church to hear God’s powerful Word preached
“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)

5) Go to church to be sharpened and to sharpen others
“Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” (Proverbs 27:17)

6) Go to church to exercise your spiritual gifts
“Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them.” (Romans 12:6a)

7) Go to church because you want to be used by God for good
“To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good” (1 Corinthians 12:7)

8) Go to church because you are a part of the body of Christ
“So we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.” (Romans 12:5)

9) Go to church to partner in the gospel
“Because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.” (Philippians 1:5)


10) Go to church to mentor others and be mentored
“Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness. Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled.” (Titus 2:2-6)

11) Go to church to train up your child
“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6)

12) Go to church to love one another
“So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith” (Galatians 6:10)

13) Go to church to show the world the love of Jesus
“By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:35)

14) Go to church to bear one another’s burdens
“Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2)

15) Go to church to stir up one another to love and good works
“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works.” (Hebrews 10:24)

16) Go to church to celebrate baptism and fulfill the great commission
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” (Matthew 28:19-20)

17) Go to church to celebrate the Lord’s supper
“Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, 'Take, eat; this is my body.' And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, 'Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.'” (Matthew 26:26-28)

18) Go to church to care for one another
“That there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another.” (1 Corinthians 12:25)

19) Go to church to suffer together
“If one member suffers, all suffer together.” (1 Corinthians 12:16a)

20) Go to church to rejoice together
“If one member is honored, all rejoice together.” (1 Corinthians 12:16b)


21) Go to church because the body needs you in order to grow
“Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.” (Ephesians 4:15-16)

22) Go to church because every part of the body is indispensable
“The eye cannot say to the hand, 'I have no need of you,' nor again the head to the feet, 'I have no need of you.' On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable.” (1 Corinthians 12:21-22)

23) Go to church to remind one another of what we were created for
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10)

24) Go to church to live out the reality of who you are
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation.” (1 Peter 2:9a)

25) Go to church because we proclaim his excellencies better together
“A people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” 1 Peter 2:9

26) Go to church to remember who you belong to
“Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people.” (1 Peter 2:10a)

27) Go to church to get equipped
“And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ.” (Ephesians 4:11-12)


28) Go to church because we are going to live in glorious unity with God and each other for all eternity
“And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, 'Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.'” (Revelation 21:3)

29) Go to church to pray, sing, and worship the LORD with God's people
“I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling” (1 Timothy 2:8)

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” (Colossians 3:16)

“Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.” (Hebrews 12:28-29)

30) Go to church to be reminded of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which is of first importance
“Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you - unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep.” (1 Corinthians 15:1-6)

31) Go to church to delight yourself in the LORD Jesus Christ and declare that He is all in all
“Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:4 )

“But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ” (Philippians 3:7-8)

“Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.” (Colossians 3:11)

(28 of these reasons were taken from the Allendale Baptist Church article: 28 Biblical Reasons To Go To Church)


By Earl Blackburn

Being faithful and consistent in attending a true church of Jesus Christ and worshipping God is extremely important; more important than you may realize. Irregularity and unfaithfulness in attending church conveys a certain message and produces definite short term and far-reaching effects. Failure to assemble yourself with the Lord’s people at all stated meetings for worship, unless you are sick or legitimately hindered:

1. Reveals a cold heart and lack of fervent love to Christ who instituted local churches (Revelation 2:4 & 3:20).

2. It shows disregard for the apostolic example and command of God’s Holy Word (Acts 2:41 ff.; Hebrews 10:25).

3. It robs you of blessing and help for the days ahead.

4. It cheats the brethren of blessings and help they would receive from your mutual ministry to them (see 1 Thessalonians 5:14; Hebrews 10:24, “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good works.” NIV).

5. It grieves the Holy Spirit who dwells in each believer individually, and in the church as a whole.

6. It grieves the Elders who oversee you and minister the Word of God to you (Hebrews 13:7 & 17; cf. I Thessalonians 5:12, 13).


7. It can influence others, by your poor example, to become unfaithful, lazy, indifferent and selfish. (Many young Christians have said, “Brother or Sister So-and-So do not come regularly, why should I?’’). You are a letter known and read by all men (2 Corinthians 3:2,3a).

8. It discourages brethren in the body with whom you are joined.

9. It is a poor testimony to unbelievers who see your inconsistency (see John 13:35; cf. 1 John3:13, 14).

10. It demonstrates your lack of vision for the future of that particular church of Jesus Christ in which you are a member (see Jeremiah 29:10,11).

11. It makes you a covenant-breaker in your commitment to God and to the church where you are a member.

12. It is a dreadful and empty step toward backsliding and apostasy (study Hebrews 10:25 in its context of verses 19-39).

13. It shows disrespect for the best and the brightest day of the week, Sunday-the Lord’s Day, the day on which the Lord Jesus rose from the dead. 


A Christian is saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone and this saving grace causes one to love Christ’s churches, (see Psalms 27:4, 84:1,2 & 10, 87:1-3). If there is no love for Christ’s churches or no concern to be identified with a local church, then one’s faith is suspect. True and saving faith creates a love for the things Christ loves. He “loved the church and gave Himself for it;” (Ephesians 5:25). John Owen puts it well when he says: 

It is the duty of everyone who professes faith in Jesus Christ, and takes due care of his own eternal salvation, voluntarily and by his own choice to join himself to some particular congregation of Christ’s institution . . . no particular person is to be esteemed a legal, true subject that does not appear in these His courts with a solemn homage to Him. (Works, Vol. 15, ‘Duty of Believers to Join Themselves In Church Order,’ pp. 319-327).

May each of us say from his heart, as David said of old, “I was Glad when they said to me, Let us go into the house of the LORD” (Psalm 122:1).

Thursday, July 21, 2022

The "But God's" Of The Bible


Genesis 7:24 - 8:1: And the waters prevailed on the earth 150 days. But God remembered Noah and all the beasts and all the livestock that were with him in the ark. And God made a wind blow over the earth, and the waters subsided.

Genesis 31:7: yet your father has cheated me and changed my wages ten times. But God did not permit him to harm me.

Genesis 45:8: So it was not you who sent me here, but God. He has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house and ruler over all the land of Egypt.

Genesis 48:21: Then Israel said to Joseph, "Behold, I am about to die, but God will be with you and will bring you again to the land of your fathers.

Genesis 50:20: As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.

1 Samuel 23:14: And David remained in the strongholds in the wilderness, in the hill country of the Wilderness of Ziph. And Saul sought him every day, but God did not give him into his hand.

Psalm 49:14-15: Their form shall be consumed in Sheol, with no place to dwell. But God will ransom my soul from the power of Sheol, for he will receive me.

Psalm 64:1, 6-8: Hear my voice, O God, in my complaint; preserve my life from dread of the enemy . . . They search out injustice, saying, "We have accomplished a diligent search." For the inward mind and heart of a man are deep! But God shoots his arrow at them; they are wounded suddenly. They are brought to ruin . . . .

Psalm 73:25-26: Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

Acts 7:9-10: And the patriarchs, jealous of Joseph, sold him into Egypt; but God was with him and rescued him out of all his afflictions and gave him favor and wisdom before Pharaoh, king of Egypt, who made him ruler over Egypt and over all his household.

Acts 10:38-40: how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. And we are witnesses of all that he did both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree, but God raised him on the third day and made him to appear . . . .

Acts 13:28-30: And though they found in him no guilt worthy of death, they asked Pilate to have him executed. And when they had carried out all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree and laid him in a tomb. But God raised him from the dead . . . .

Romans 5:7-8: For one will scarcely die for a righteous person - though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die - but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

1 Corinthians 1:26-31: For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, whom God made our wisdom and our righteousness and sanctification and redemption. Therefore, as it is written, "Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord."

1 Corinthians 3:6-7: I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.

2 Corinthians 7:5-7: For even when we came into Macedonia, our bodies had no rest, but we were afflicted at every turn - fighting without and fear within. But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus, and not only by his coming but also by the comfort with which he was comforted by you, as he told us of your longing, your mourning, your zeal for me, so that I rejoiced still more.

Ephesians 2:1-10: And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience - among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ - by grace you have been saved - and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Philippians 2:27: Indeed he was ill, near to death. But God had mercy on him, and not only on him but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow.

Monday, July 18, 2022

Should Women Be Pastors?: The Bible Is Crystal Clear

 

I hate false doctrine. False doctrine takes away what is precious. False doctrine ruins people's lives. Most importantly, false doctrine leads to disobeying God's Word and justifies disobedience to God. It justifies sin and belittles the glory of God. It steals joy. But on the other hand, doing doctrine, life, and church God's way is always what brings the most delight, joy, and satisfaction. As John Piper says, God gets the glory, and we get the joy! If you truly love women, you will desire to teach them what God says about their God-given role in the church, and you will hate all false teaching that contradicts God's clear Word to them.

I was recently studying the question, "Should women be pastors?" again, but not because I wasn't already convinced. I was and am very convinced. I was studying it again because others I deeply care about wrongly believe the Bible allows women to be pastors. This post briefly explains how God answers this question and responds to some objections from my friends.

1 Timothy 2:11-15

Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. Yet she will be saved through childbearing - if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control. 
1 Timothy 2:11-15

The context of these verses is the Holy Spirit’s instructions for how worship should be conducted in the local church (among believers) so that God's people reverence and honor the LORD when gathered together. God gives a very clear command: women are not to teach or to exercise authority over men in that context. What God forbids women to do here (teach and exercise authority) are at the heart of the pastoral calling: teaching God's Word to God's people and exercising spiritual authority over them for their good, for their growth in Christ, and for God's glory (Hebrews 13:17, 2 Timothy 4:2, 1 Peter 5:2). God says in 1 Timothy 2:11-14 that women are not to do this. Therefore, women should not be pastors.

Notice the context after the command: God does not ground or base that command on any other reason than the very order and fabric of creation and the fall of man at the very beginning. The “For” in verse 13 gives the ground or basis or reason for God’s command. Why does God say women are not to teach or to exercise authority over men? Because Adam was formed first, then Eve, and Adam was not deceived but Eve was. Ligon Duncan captures well the meaning of verses 13-14 here:

In other words, Paul says that the reversal of roles that is contemplated when the all male qualified teaching office is violated in the church is precisely the same circumstance that we see played out in the Fall of man where Adam abdicated his responsibility as the covenant keeper and Eve started a chain that led to the fall of man. So, this is his rationale for women not teaching or exercising authority in the public assembly.

In his very helpful article, "Why Did Satan Target Eve?", David Mathis writes:

Perhaps the most puzzling question here for many Bible readers is, “What does Paul mean that Adam was not deceived?” Isn’t all sin deception in some form, as in Hebrews 3:13, “the deceitfulness of sin”? And in saying “Adam was not deceived” in 1 Timothy 2:14, is Paul implying that women are more easily deceived than men?

The answer lies in seeing verses 13–14 as one main argument, not two separate ones. Adam was formed first (verse 13) and yet it was the woman who sinned first. It’s not that Adam didn’t sin (he most certainly did), or that he wasn’t deceived (at some level), but that he wasn’t deceived by the serpent. She was the recipient of the serpent’s deception; then Adam listened to her voice (Genesis 3:17). Which speaks to the serpent’s path: he approached and deceived Eve first, rather than approaching the man.

Of course, we do have much we can say about the differences in men’s and women’s nature corresponding to God’s design. But that’s not what’s in view here. God laid down an order in creation, and Satan subverted that order and it led to the fall. And in it, both man and wife are at fault. As Ray Ortlund writes, “Eve usurped Adam’s headship and led the way into sin. And Adam, who (it seems) had stood by passively, allowing the deception to process without decisive intervention — Adam, for his part, abandoned his post as head. Eve was deceived; Adam forsook his responsibility” (Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, 107).

Were there specific differences in Eve that Satan sought to exploit? Her nurturing and empathetic strength? Was she more vulnerable in some way to the devil’s deception? Whether she was or not, that is not Paul’s point here. Satan subverted God’s order, but now God’s order endures, and redemption will come on God’s terms, not Satan’s. Readers might bring their own senses of what attendant male and female strengths and weaknesses may or may not have been relevant, but what is clear and striking is that God worked one way: man to woman. Satan worked the other way: woman to man.

These verses make it clear that the reason for this command is not because of the church situation then in that local church; the command wasn’t given because women at that time were unruly or uneducated; the command wasn’t given because the Bible was simply written in a patriarchal society. No. The reason for this clear command from God goes all the way back to the creation of man in Genesis. That means it is a timeless, relevant principle for the church in all ages and at all times. In the Bible, grounding arguments in the creation narrative signifies transcendent, moral commands for all times, all peoples, and all places. Tom Schreiner writes:

The fundamental reason that women should not serve as pastors is communicated here, and so the argument from creation cannot be dismissed as culturally limited. Moreover, the New Testament contains many similar appeals to the created order. For instance, homosexuality is not in accord with the will of God because it is “contrary to nature” (Rom. 1:26); that is, it violates what God intended when he made human beings as male and female (Gen. 1:26-27). Similarly, Jesus teaches that divorce is not the divine ideal since at creation God made one man and one woman, signifying that one man should be married to one woman “till death do us part” (Matt. 19:3-12). So, too, all food is to be received gratefully since it is a gift from God’s creative hand (1 Tim. 4:3-5).

God's Word is very clear in 1 Timothy 2:11-15. And nothing else written in the Bible can contradict this command because the Bible never contradicts itself.

Furthermore, notice the verses that sandwich verses 12-14:

Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. 1 Timothy 2:11

and

Yet she will be saved through childbearing - if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control. 1 Timothy 2:15

Many egalitarians have tried to dispute God's clear command in verse 12. But notice how God's Word in verses 11 and 15 are in total harmony and agreement with the command in verse 12 and even clarify its meaning. Verse 11 states that women are to learn quietly with all submissiveness - so not to teach or exercise authority over a man. And verse 15 states that women will be saved, not by a teaching ministry to men in the church, but through childbearing - they will be saved through living out the Biblical role that God has given women, not in the sense of being justified, but in the sense of being sanctified and finally being glorified. In Men And Women In The Church: A Short, Biblical, Practical Introduction, Kevin DeYoung helpfully explains verse 15:

If we understand that "salvation" in the New Testament does not necessarily mean justification, we can make more sense of the verse. Most of us read "salvation" and think of giving our lives to Christ and getting saved. But salvation has a much broader scope in the New Testament, covering the entire life of the Christian, not just a single definitive moment of faith and repentance. Elsewhere, we are commanded to work out our salvation with fear and trembling (Phil. 2:12), not as meriting favor with God, but as a striving for Christian obedience. This is the sense of salvation Paul has in mind when he says that women will be saved through childbearing.

Giving birth is one of the ways in which a woman demonstrates obedience to her God-given identity. Instead of casting off all order and decency, a godly woman embraces her true femininity in dressing modestly, learning quietly, bearing children, and continuing in faith, love, and holiness. Understandably, some women will not have children because of medical reasons or singleness, but in so far as it is possible, childbearing is one of the unique ways in which a woman can accept, in obedience, her God-given design (Pages 86-87). 

John Piper has a helpful interpretation of verse 15 as well. God's Word is very clear on this matter. Women are to learn in quiet submission, not to teach or to exercise authority over men, and give themselves to the role God has assigned them (childbearing) as they pursue Christ in faith, love, and holiness, with self-control. Women should not be pastors.

1 Corinthians 14:33-35


As in all the churches of the saints, the women should keep silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission, as the Law also says. If there is anything they desire to learn, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church. 1 Corinthians 14:33-35

The context of these verses concerns conducting the corporate worship of the gathered church in a way that is decent and in order (1 Corinthians 14:40). Many modern, complementarian interpreters believe women are allowed to prophesy in the church gathering because of Paul's words in 1 Corinthians 11:5. Those who hold this view understand Paul's words in 1 Corinthians 14:33-35 to be restricting women from the authoritative interpretation of prophecy or teaching: women are not allowed to speak in an authoritative way in the interpretation of prophecy, to teach what those prophecies mean, or to teach God's Word at all. Other complementarians believe women are not allowed to prophecy at all in the church assembly, but only in other, more private settings. They argue 1 Corinthians 14:33-35 makes this abundantly clear. In either of these interpretive views, the central point is the same: women must remain silent, meaning they are in no way to teach or to exercise authority over men in the gathered church assembly. Notice God’s ground or basis for this command: the end of verse 34 says: “as the Law also says.” This command is not a cultural command. This command is given because God’s Holy Word, the Law, teaches this. Notice also this was not a command specifically for the church in Corinth. According to the end of verse 33, this was a command “As in all the churches of the saints.” These verses are in complete harmony and agreement with what God says in 1 Timothy 2: women are not to teach or to exercise authority over men. Women should not be pastors.

1 Timothy 3:1-7 And Titus 1:5-9

There are only two places in all of Scripture that give the qualifications for pastors/elders (1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1), and there we see qualifications written for men:

The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God's church? He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil. 1 Timothy 3:1-7

This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you - if anyone is above reproach, the husband of one wife, and his children are believers and not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination. For an overseer, as God's steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it. Titus 1:5-9

Again note, these are the only two places in all the Bible that God gives us qualifications for elders/pastors, and it is evident that all of these qualifications are for men and men only. Women should not be pastors.

Husbands Are The Heads And Leaders Of Their Wives And Homes

We see the New Testament, over and over again, testify to the truth that husbands are the heads and leaders of their wives and homes (we already saw this in the qualifications for elders above):

But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God . . . For a man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God, but woman is the glory of man. For man was not made from woman, but woman from man. Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. 1 Corinthians 11:3, 7-9

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her . . . .  Ephesians 5:22-25

Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them. Colossians 3:18-19

Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives - when they see your respectful and pure conduct. Do not let your adorning be external - the braiding of hair, the wearing of gold, or the putting on of clothing - but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious. For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening. Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.
1 Peter 3:1-7  

If God commands husbands to lead their wives and families in the earthly family and earthly home, how much more crucial is it that Biblically qualified men lead God's heavenly family the church - the very household of God: "the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of truth" (1 Timothy 3:15). God has clearly established the same pattern of qualified male leadership in both the church and in the home.

Objections

Now I will answer some objections I've received concerning this clear prohibition in Scripture that women should not be pastors. (Ligon Duncan has a great sermon here answering many objections to God's Biblical order as well.) There is a common similarity in almost all of the Scriptures cited in these objections - every Scripture cited is a descriptive passage not a prescriptive (command) passage. The passages cited simply describe what was being done. There are no commands of God given. But I have given two very clear commands (prescriptive) from passages in 1 Timothy 2 and 1 Corinthians 14 that clearly command a woman not to teach or to exercise authority over men. The many descriptive passages cited in these objections cannot contradict God’s clear commands because the Bible cannot contradict itself. We must interpret the descriptive passages in light of the clearer prescriptive passages that give clear commands from God.

Objection #1: Women prophesied in the Bible so they can be pastors

Just because women prophesied in the Bible does not mean then can be pastors. The gift of being a pastor and being a prophet are different gifts:

And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ . . . . Ephesians 4:11-12

Furthermore, one of the required qualifications for being a pastor is the gift of teaching, not the gift of prophecy (see 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1 above). In his excellent book on this subject (Men And Women In The Church: A Short, Biblical, Practical Introduction), Kevin DeYoung writes:

. . . it is undoubtedly the case that teaching and prophecy in the early church were not identical kinds of speech. As we will see later, elders do not need the gift of prophecy, but they must be able to teach (1 Tim. 3:2). Likewise, the first pastors may or may not have been prophets, but they certainly were teachers (1 Tim. 4:11; 6:2; 2 Tim. 2:2; Titus 1:9; 2:1-10). Teaching - passing on the apostolic deposit while explaining and applying Scripture - was authoritative instruction in a way prophecy was not. (Pages 60-61)

In a very instructive article ("Why It Is Important Not To Conflate Prophecy And Teaching In Discussions About Women Preaching") Denny Burk further explains the difference between prophecy and teaching: 

. . . we have to understand what the difference between prophecy and teaching is. The gift of prophecy consists in spontaneous utterance inspired by the Spirit. Prophecy therefore consists of divine revelation. The gift of teaching, however, is different. Teaching does not consist in new revelation but in instruction based on revelation that has already been given.

This difference between teaching and prophecy is crucial because the gift of teaching is not merely passing along information from one person to another. The gift of teaching in Paul’s writings has a certain content and mode. The content of the gift of teaching is the authoritative apostolic deposit, which is now inscribed for us in the New Testament (Col. 2:7; 2 Thess. 2:15; 1 Tim. 4:11; 6:2; 2 Tim. 2:2). This teaching therefore is done in the imperative mood. It contains explanation, but it also includes commands and prohibitions. For that reason, it is always authoritative because it instructs people what they are to believe and to do. 

1 Timothy 4:11, “Command and teach these things.”

2 Timothy 4:2, “Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.”

It is very clear that when Paul has the gift of teaching in mind, he is thinking of instruction given with imperatives and commands. As Douglas Moo concludes, “teaching always has this restrictive sense of authoritative doctrinal instruction.”

That is why Paul issues the prohibition that he does in 1 Timothy 2:12. Women must not teach men. Why? Because of the order of creation (1 Timothy 2:13). The role of leader in the first marriage was Adam’s. His leadership was established in part on the basis that God created him first (a principle of primogeniture). The order of creation establishes male headship in marriage (cf. 1 Cor. 11:3; Eph. 5:23), and a woman teaching and exercising authority overturns this order. After all, how can a wife submit to her husband if she is telling him what to do when she preaches? Avoiding this potential conflict is the reason why Paul bases the gender norms for teaching upon the gender norms for marriage.

This also explains why Paul commands women to be silent in 1 Corinthians 14:34-36. Paul is not commanding absolute silence, or else he would be contradicting his allowance of female prophesying in 1 Corinthians 11:5. No, Paul is specifically commanding female silence during the judgment of prophecies. What happens if a husband prophesies, and his wife is a prophet as well? Is the husband supposed to be subject to his wife during the judgment of prophecies? Are husbands and wives supposed to suspend male headship during corporate worship? Paul’s answer to that question is a clear no.

Paul does not want anything to happen during corporate worship or in any other setting that would upset the headship principle that he so carefully exhorted his readers to obey in 1 Cor. 11:2-16. For that reason, Paul enjoins women to refrain from the judgment of prophecies. He’s not commanding an absolute silence on the part of women. Indeed he expects them to be praying and prophesying. He does, however, command them to be silent whenever prophesies are being judged. And the women are to do so out of deference to male headship.

Notice that the explanation in verse 34 indicates that headship is indeed the issue: “The women… should be in submission…” The Greek word translated as “submission” is the same one from verse 32. A woman cannot be subject to her husband while simultaneously expecting him to submit to her judgments about his prophecy. To avoid this conflict, Paul says that while women may prophesy, they may not participate in the judgment of prophesies. In this case, the judgment of prophecies is tantamount to teaching, which Paul absolutely prohibits in 1 Timothy 2:12.

What is the bottom line here? The fact of female prophecy in the Old and New Testaments is no argument in favor of female teaching/preaching. The gifts of prophecy and teaching are distinct in Paul’s writings, and Paul therefore regulates them differently. While Paul allows women to prophesy in the presence of men, he does not allow them to teach men (1 Tim. 2:12; 1 Cor. 14:34-36). This feature of the New Testament’s teaching about gifts and ministry is lost whenever the gifts of prophecy and teaching are conflated. This is a confusion that careful readers of scripture should wish to avoid.

Finally, we must note that just because God uses someone to speak His word (like a prophet), it doesn't mean they are automatically qualified to be a pastor. Ligon Duncan makes this point powerfully:

God used a lot of folks in the Scripture as conduits to speak to His people that were not taken to be role models for how the offices of the church were to be operated. For instance, Balaam, the enemy of God's people was used to prophecy to God's people. And friends, without being offensive to my dear sisters in Christ, let me remind you that Balaam's ass was also used to prophecy to the people of God. He used a donkey to speak His word to Balaam. So, God can use anything He wants to prophecy, and is may or may not have any implication whatsoever with regard to the issue of office in the Church.

In summary, the calling and gifting of a prophet is different from the calling and gifting of a pastor and a teacher. Women are allowed to prophecy. The Bible says they do. But the Bible also says women are not to authoritatively interpret prophecies or to teach or to exercise authority over a man. The Bible cannot contradict itself. There are female prophets in the Bible, but there are no female pastors. There are no commands for women to be pastors, and there are no qualifications given to women so that they can be pastors. Women should not be pastors.

Objection #2: The woman at the well in John 4 told people about Jesus, so women can be pastors

Jesus calls women to go and tell others about Him. Jesus calls women to bring people to Himself. But this woman at the well did not teach or preach in a church setting; she did not exercise authority over a man; and she was not a pastor. There is nothing in this passage that contradicts God’s Word in 1 Timothy 2 or 1 Corinthians 14. Women can and should tell people about Jesus and seek to bring people to Jesus. They can and should do evangelism. They can and should be missionaries all over the world. But that is not being a pastor of a church. Women should not be pastors.

Objection #3: Mary sat at Jesus' feet and learned from Him, so women can be pastors

Women should learn from Jesus, study about Jesus, and be interested in learning theology and studying the Word of God. Mark Dever points out in this excellent sermon that the audience in Paul's day would not have found the command for women not to teach or to exercise authority over men very odd at all in 1 Timothy 2:12. Rather, they would have found the encouragement for women to learn more surprising in verse 11. So the Bible encourages women to learn! Women should learn theology to know God more and to teach – but to teach whom? The only command given in the Bible for women to teach is in Titus 2:

Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. Titus 2:3-5

They are to teach other women. They are to teach children. They are to evangelize as seen in other places in Scripture. They are to encourage their fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. But nothing about Mary sitting at Jesus’ feet contradicts 1 Timothy 2 or 1 Corinthians 14. Women should not be pastors.

Objection #4: Galatians 3:28 teaches that men and women are equal, so women can be pastors

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 3:28

In the context, this passage is not destroying all distinctions between these groups mentioned. For example, the Holy Spirit still made statements about the Gospel going to the Jew first and then to the Greek: 

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. Romans 1:16

The Holy Spirit still made distinctions between slave and free:

Slaves, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ . . . Masters, do the same to them, and stop your threatening, knowing that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and that there is no partiality with him. Ephesians 6:5, 9

And the Holy Spirit still made distinctions between male and female and husbands and wives: 

Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head, but every wife who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head - it is the same as if her head were shaven. 1 Corinthians 11:4-5

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her . . . . Ephesians 5:22-25

So God, through the Apostle Paul, is not doing away with all distinctions between men and women. If you take that idea to its extreme, you have the problem where men are claiming to be women and women are claiming to be men and men are sleeping with men and women are sleeping with women - all practices that are evil and all clearly forbidden by God. 

What then does God mean in Galatians 3:28? He means that through Jesus Christ and His finished work, Jews, Greeks, slaves, free, men, and women - all of them - have access to God, forgiveness of sins, and are rightful heirs according to the promise made to Abraham and are the very offspring of Abraham (verse 29). It doesn’t matter if you are male or female, in Christ you are equal heirs of the promise and the offspring of Abraham! That is the point he’s making in Galatians. It’s a book about the fact that we can all equally be justified by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone according to the Bible alone, all for the glory of God alone. It’s not a book focused on who can and can’t be a pastor. This verse in no way contradicts what God says in 1 Timothy 2 or 1 Corinthians 14 but is in total harmony with them. Women should not be pastors.

Objection #5: Women were the first to tell others about Jesus' resurrection, so women can be pastors

Yes, women are called to evangelize others. Evangelizing others is not teaching or preaching in the church or exercising authority over a man. Merely evangelizing is not being a pastor. Women doing evangelism does not contradict 1 Timothy 2 or 1 Corinthians 14. Women should not be pastors.

Objection #6: Women helped finance Jesus' ministry and allow Him to use their homes, so women can be pastors

This is a wonderful ministry that women did. But this is not teaching or preaching in the church to men or exercising authority over men. It does not mean women can be pastors just because they helped finance Jesus’ ministry. This does not contradict 1 Timothy 2 or 1 Corinthians 14. Women should not be pastors.

Objection #7: Phoebe delivered the book of Romans and explained it to the church there, so women can be pastors

There is nothing in Scripture that says Phoebe explained the letter to the church in Rome. There is no place in Scripture that says Phoebe taught or exercised authority over men. This is just not in the Bible. Therefore, this does not contradict 1 Timothy 2 or 1 Corinthians 14. Women should not be pastors.

Objection #8: Priscilla corrected Apollos when he was in error, so women can be pastors

Let's look at the text:

Now a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was an eloquent man, competent in the Scriptures. He had been instructed in the way of the Lord. And being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things concerning Jesus, though he knew only the baptism of John. He began to speak boldly in the synagogue, but when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him and explained to him the way of God more accurately. Acts 18:24-26

First of all, notice it was not just Priscilla who corrected Apollos. She AND her husband Aquila took Apollos aside and corrected him. She did not do this on her own - she did it with her husband. And this is absolutely Biblical for any woman to do, even if she did do it on her own. If I was preaching a sermon and said something that was unbiblical and contradicted the Gospel, I would expect any woman in my church to come to me and show me my error. That does not contradict 1 Timothy 2 or 1 Corinthians 14 at all. It is not the public teaching and preaching of God’s Word or exercising authority over me. It’s seeking to correct error by rightly explaining the Gospel and the Bible. It’s a kind of evangelism, which is perfectly lawful for a woman to do. And Priscilla was in no way being a pastor. It’s just not in the text of Scripture. Please ladies, take men aside and correct those teaching the false prosperity gospel by teaching and instructing them to embrace the true Gospel. That is absolutely right for you to do, even if you are confronting a male pastor who is a false teacher. Please, confront Benny Hinn, T. D. Jakes, and Joel Osteen all you want. They are wolves in sheep’s clothing and need to be confronted by bold, loving, humble women of God Who know their Bibles - they need to be confronted in love so that they might turn from their errors and be saved. But women should not be pastors.

Objection #9: Women have taught me the Scripture, so women can be pastors

I totally agree that God uses women to teach certain people the Scriptures. In all the ways that the Bible says are lawful for women to be used by God to do ministry - they should do ministry and teach. My mom taught me the Scriptures. Women are to teach their children and other children in the church the Scriptures. Eunice taught Timothy. Women should teach other women. Husbands should learn truths about God and His Word from their wives. I have benefited from reading books about God's Word written by women. But that is not being a pastor of a church and exercising authority over men. That is not a contradiction of 1 Timothy 2 or 1 Corinthians 14. Women should be engaged in private, personal encouragement using the truths of God's Word to encourage their husbands and to encourage all in the body of Christ. But that is not being a pastor. That is not exercising authority over a man. That is not a contradiction of 1 Timothy 2 or 1 Corinthians 14 but in total harmony with them. Our own personal experiences never finally determine God's standard or what is true and right - God's Word does. Women should not be pastors.

Objection #10: Deborah was a judge, so women can be pastors

Deborah was a judge, not a New Covenant, New Testament pastor. Ask yourself this question: how many of the judges God used in the book of Judges are qualified to be pastors according to the qualifications for pastors in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1? Was Sampson a one-woman man? No! He would not be qualified to be a pastor according to God's standards in the New Testament. Just because God used those judges for His particular purposes in that time period of redemptive history does not mean this translates into being qualified to be a pastor of Christ's church in the New Covenant. For an excellent, more detailed analysis of Deborah, see Scott LaPierre's article: "Male Leadership In The Bible Is God's Pattern," and Barbara Mouser's article: "The Womanliness of Deborah: Complementarian Principles from Judges 4–5". Women should not be pastors.

Objection #11: Junia was an apostle, so women can be pastors

Romans 16:7 states: "Greet Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen and my fellow prisoners. They are well known to the apostles, and they were in Christ before me." Some translations translate this verse as "well known among the apostles" and therefore some argue from this translation that Junia was an apostle and therefore women can be pastors. It is clear that "well known to the apostles" is the correct translation/interpretation. See Michael Burer's article on this issue here. Furthermore, in Men And Women In The Church: A Short, Biblical, Practical Introduction, Kevin DeYoung writes:

First, it is likely that Junia (iounian in Greek) is a man, not a woman [See Esther Yue L. Ng's persuasive article: "Was Junia(s) in Rom 16:7 a Female Apostle? And So What"] Second, "outstanding among the apostles" suggests that Junia was held in esteem by the apostles, not that she was an apostle. Third, even if Junia was a woman and was an apostle, it is not clear that she was an apostle like the twelve. Apostle can be used in a less technical sense as a messenger or representative (2 Cor. 8:23; Phil. 2:25) (Page 112).

With the cases of both Deborah and Junia, people seem to be searching the Bible for one or two exceptions to the rule and then make that exception the rule, which they should not do. This is begging for evidence to support their false view. God has established a clear pattern of male leadership in the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. All the covenant heads in the Bible were men (Adam, Noah, Abraham, David, Jesus); All the priests in the Old and New Testaments were men; All the kings of Israel were men; Jesus was a man; God is overwhelmingly referred to in masculine terms (Father, for example); All of Jesus’ disciples were men; All the writers of the books of the Bible in which we know who the authors were, were men. All the examples of elders/pastors mentioned in the Bible are men. The six deacons chosen in Acts 6 were men. Husbands are the heads and leaders of their homes. From Genesis to Revelation, God has established a deep pattern of male leadership in His Word. He has set it up this way, and to turn away from this in His church is to turn away from God’s command and pattern. And this pattern is what is best for both men and women. This is how women will experience the most joy, peace, and satisfaction - by doing what God has commanded - by using their gifts of teaching and leadership in the ways that God’s Word commands and allows. God’s way is always best. And it is what most glorifies Him. As I wrote before, we get the joy, and He gets the glory! This happens when Biblically qualified men do what they are called to do: be faithful pastors. But women should not be pastors.

A Serious Matter

This is a very serious matter. I've walked out of a church because a woman was preaching the Sunday morning sermon. I went to the bathroom and stayed there until she was done. I've had to speak to the pastor of a church that rented our building from us for their church service, and they eventually left because they were allowing women to preach the Sunday sermon. It is a serious sin to disobey God’s clear commands. And there is not a clearer command in the Bible than those found in 1 Timothy 2:11-14 and 1 Corinthians 14:33-35. God will hold me and you accountable for what we believe, allow, practice, and tolerate.

The authors, pastors, teachers, and churches I recommend believe that the Bible teaches women should not be pastors: Martin Luther, John Calvin, the Puritans, the Westminster Assembly, Charles Spurgeon, Martyn Lloyd-Jones, John Piper, R. C. Sproul, Kevin DeYoung, Elisabeth Elliot, Voddie Baucham, Mark Dever, Al Mohler, Conrad Mbewe, Ligon Duncan, Paul Washer, John MacArthur, Dane Ortlund, Sinclair Ferguson, Alistair Begg, H. B. Charles, David Platt, Tim Keller, D. A. Carson, Douglas Moo, Thomas Schreiner, Wayne Grudem, John Frame, Michael Horton, the teachers on Monergism.com, and all the rest. I basically never recommend authors, pastors, or churches who would teach that women can be pastors. If they cannot rightly divide the Word on such a clear command in Scripture (and God only has to say things once), I do not trust them to rightly interpret all the other parts of Scripture. The teachers who believe women should not be pastors span from all denominations, backgrounds, and cultures: yes Baptist and Reformed Baptist, but also Presbyterian, United Reformed, Anglican, Lutheran, Evangelical Free, and Reformed Charismatic.

The Testimony Of Church History

The practice of the church after the times of the New Testament is not our final authority for matters of faith and practice, the Bible alone is. But we should be slow to act contrary to the uniform practices of the early church, especially when those practices are grounded in the Word of God.

Pastor/theologians in the early church and the great Reformers, like Martin Luther and John Calvin, understood that women should not to be pastors. Women pastors is a more modern twisting of Scripture, which I think is primarily due to the sinful feminist movement, and the church wanting to look more like the culture than simply obeying the clear commands of Scripture. 

In this very helpful book, online for free here: Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood: A Response To Evangelical Feminism (Edited by John Piper and Wayne Grudem), one chapter testifies to the uniformity of the church on the question of women serving as pastors. In his chapter, “Women In The History Of The Church: Learned And Holy But Not Pastors,” William Weinrich, writes:

Women have done almost everything men have, and have done it just as well. The significant exception to that generalization is that, until the very recent past, the “office” of teaching and of the sacramental ministry, with the jurisdictional powers this implies, has been reserved for men. Of course, there have been historical anomalies, and there have been sects and peripheral groups that accepted women preachers who may also have offered the eucharist. Yet, in its broad central tradition and practice, the church - East and West and in a multiplicity of cultural and social settings - has consistently maintained that to men alone is it given to be pastors and sacramental ministers (Page 343) . . . The evidence shows that the Pauline statements against women speaking in the church were consistently upheld. Contrary practices were regarded as innovative and opposed to the truth and were, by ecclesiastical discipline and censure, excluded from the church. The practice of the early and medieval church was followed without question by the churches of the Reformation, both Reformed and Lutheran, and by virtually all other communions until the most recent past (Page 350).

God's Word is clear. Church history is clear: women should not be pastors. Many churches in America that allow women pastors are deeply plagued with other, more serious errors - like the full acceptance of the transgender movement and homosexuality. Ignoring clear prohibitions in the Bible helps set a trend that undermines Biblical authority (as Wayne Grudem argues).

What Women Can And Should Do 

In the book, (again, read it free at this link!) Recovering Biblical Manhood And Womanhood: A Response To Evangelical Feminism, John Piper gives a great list of all the ministries the Bible does call women to be involved in at the end of his excellent first chapter called, "A Vision Of Biblical Complementarity". On page 70 you find this list:

Kevin DeYoung has a great section in his book, Men And Women In The Church: A Short, Biblical, Practical Introduction, where he lists ministries women can and should do. He writes: 

Before I touch on some of the activities reserved for men, let me stress many of the things women can do. Women can minister to the sick, the dying, the mentally impaired, and the physically handicapped. They can share their faith, share their resources, and open their home to strangers. They can write, counsel, mentor, organize, administrate, design, plan, and come alongside others.

They can pray.

They can serve on committees of the church. They can come alongside the elders and deacons in difficult situations involving women or those needing a woman’s perspective. They can minister to single moms, new moms, breast cancer survivors, and abuse victims. They can bring meals, sew curtains, send care packages, and throw baby showers. They can do sports ministries, lead women's Bible studies, teach systematic theology to other women, and plan mission trips. They can teach children. They can raise their kids to the glory of God, and they can embrace singleness as a gift from God.

I pray for women who love to cook and quilt and work in the nursery. I pray for women (not the male elders, but women) to counsel almost-divorced wives and mentor young ladies and teach the Bible and good doctrine to other women (oh, how we need women who love the Bible and good doctrine!). Women can help widows; they can care for those struggling with the remorse of abortion; and they can show the glory of the gospel in racial and ethnic reconciliation. And they can do all of the above cross-culturally in unreached places and with the unwanted peoples of the world. In other words, there are ten thousand things women can be doing in ministry. Pastors especially need to make this point abundantly and repetitively clear.

I trust the reader can tell that this is not mere throat clearing to get on to my real point about all the things women can’t do in the church (in fact, there are many things woman can do - from incubating human life to caring for other women - that men can't do). In both of the congregations I’ve had the privilege of serving as senior pastor, I've ministered alongside godly, capable, strong, humble, smart, kind, gifted, complementarian women. I've learned from them and benefited from their ministry on staff, in prayer, on committees, and in dozens of informal - but no less important - ways.

What about the boundaries then? For starters, the offices of the church are reserved for capable, qualified men. The very nature of the office of elder/pastor/overseer is one of teaching and authority, which precludes women from holding this office. With my understanding of polity, the office of deacon is reserved for men as well, but I understand some churches do not accord any authority to deacon, nor do they have the high view of office that Presbyterians do. Women should not preach in our worship services nor teach men. The principle of 1 Timothy 2:12 is clear enough, but the application takes a lot of wisdom and wrestling, and even complementarians may apply the principle differently. It would be nice if there were no gray areas of biblical obedience, but there are. We must find ways to argue for our application of complementarian principles without being argumentative.

Women can teach a children's Sunday school class. That seems clear to me; they teach their own kids, after all. What women should be doing with teenage children and older gets less clear. The question is, when does a boy become a man, or when is he no longer under his parents' authority but on his own? In our culture the transition time for this seems to be after high school, usually in college. Again, I realize there is ambiguity here, and some of you may feel that this is just splitting hairs, but this is the sort of thinking we have to do when applying biblical principles to real life. It seems to me that the older a boy gets, the more important it is for him to be instructed by men. He will be more receptive and more likely to grow into mature manhood this way. I wouldn’t have a problem with women teaching high schoolers, but even then, I would not think it wise if a woman was the main teacher on a weekly basis. I would believe this more strongly for students in college.

Sunday school and small groups are two areas where complementarians often disagree on how to apply their principles. My basic rubric is to think about Paul's two categories in 1 Timothy 2:12 - teaching men and exercising authority over men. While these categories easily map on to the eldership, it’s striking that Paul’s argument is first of all about function and activity, not office and ordination. Paul’s prohibitions lead me to think that the regular teaching in mixed Sunday-school classes and the regular leading of a mixed small group should be done by men. Of course, there are all sorts of possible variables at play - the topic, the way the content is delivered, who else might be leading or teaching -  but as a general rule we have men teach the mixed adult classes at our church and men (or couples) lead mixed adult small groups.

I believe godly women can pray or share in a church service, provided they are not taking up responsibilities that most people in that context would associate with pastoral duties. I believe godly women can serve on task forces and committees, provided those bodies do not exercise de facto (or explicit) authority over men in the church or in the broader network or denomination. Finally, I believe that in all of this the most important message is not what women cannot do but what men must do. Almost every pastor will tell you that the women in his church are more spiritually minded, more interested in reading their Bibles, more eager to grow in their faith, and more open to serving in the church. No doubt, many times where women have ventured into areas of teaching and authority reserved for men, they did so not out of a rebellious heart but because men had already relinquished their God-given mandate to spiritually lead, protect, and provide. It is all too common for the reversal of the garden to play out in our churches. Yes, women bear responsibility in that reversal, but, as we saw with Adam, God holds men ultimately responsible.

I’m convinced that in most cases if men behave and lead as godly, humble, self-sacrificing biblical men, then women will happily live and flourish in the responsibilities God has designed for them. The biblical burden of this chapter, this first section, and really this whole book, rests primarily with men. Complementarianism is often caught before it is taught, and men are the ones who do the most to make complementarianism look like catching the flu or winning the lottery. So, guys, let's not make the heartbeat of our message, "Women, sit down," when it should be, "Men, stand up." (Pages 94-98)

Amen! May men stand up and get this issue right! I've heard someone compare God's teaching on women in ministry to Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden: God told them they could eat of all the trees in the garden, but do not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. He gave them all the trees to eat from except one. It's the same in women's ministry: God has given a plethora of ways women are allowed to teach the Word of God and lead and serve in women's ministry, but He has made one restriction - the office of pastor is not to be held by women.

Conclusion

Whether women should be pastors or not is such an important matter that our brothers who founded the Together For The Gospel conference made getting the roles of men and women right in the home and in the church a requirement for getting together for the Gospel because they "deny that any Church can confuse these issues without damaging its witness to the Gospel." Read the whole affirmation and denial, article 16 here:

We affirm that the Scripture reveals a pattern of complementary order between men and women, and that this order is itself a testimony to the Gospel, even as it is the gift of our Creator and Redeemer. We also affirm that all Christians are called to service within the body of Christ, and that God has given to both men and women important and strategic roles within the home, the Church, and the society. We further affirm that the teaching office of the Church is assigned only to those men who are called of God in fulfillment of the biblical teachings and that men are to lead in their homes as husbands and fathers who fear and love God.

We deny that the distinction of roles between men and women revealed in the Bible is evidence of mere cultural conditioning or a manifestation of male oppression or prejudice against women. We also deny that this biblical distinction of roles excludes women from meaningful ministry in Christ’s kingdom. We further deny that any Church can confuse these issues without damaging its witness to the Gospel.

Mark Dever says that to hold the position that women can teach and exercise authority over men is a serious undermining of the authority of Scripture and ". . . when the authority of Scripture is undermined, the Gospel will not be long acknowledged." This is a serious matter.

Christian friend, as followers of the LORD Jesus Christ, we are not merely to tolerate God's Word or begrudgingly obey Him saying: "Yes, God said it, but I don't like that He said it, and I wish He never said that part about women not being pastors." No. We are to delight in every part of God's Word as sweeter than honey (Psalm 119:103) and as better than thousands of pieces of gold and silver (Psalm 119:72). We delight in every commandment because we know that God knows what is best for us, He is good, He is loving, and His way brings us the most joy and satisfaction as we glorify Him.

If we trust and love God; if we love His Word; if we love His Gospel; and if we love women and want what will bring them most joy, satisfaction, and delight, then we will seek to obey God's clear commands about women in ministry and help others to do so as well. May God, by the power of His Holy Spirit, lead us into all truth concerning this matter, and may He give us eyes to see and ears to hear and hearts to understand what the Spirit says to the blood bought church of Jesus Christ for the glory of God the Father. For Jesus' sake I ask for this. Amen!

Resources For Further Study 

1. May Women Serve As Pastors? by Thomas Schreiner

2. 50 Crucial Questions: An Overview Of Central Concerns About Manhood And Womanhood by John Piper and Wayne Grudem

3. What's The Difference: Manhood And Womanhood Defined According To The Bible by John Piper

4. Designed for Joy: How the Gospel Impacts Men and Women, Identity and Practice by various authors

5. Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood: A Response to Evangelical Feminism Edited by John Piper and Wayne Grudem

6. Other resources from Desiring God on Biblical manhood and womanhood

7. The Council On Biblical Manhood And Womanhood

8. Is it Biblical for Women to be Pastors or Elders? by Costi Hinn

9. Only Men May Be Pastors by Tom Hicks

10. Why I Am a Complementarian by Colin Smothers

11. Why I’m Complementarian by Gavin Ortlund

12. Charles Spurgeon, Women’s Ministry, and Female Preachers by Alex DiPrima

13. 9 Marks Journal: Complementarianism: A Moment of Reckoning

14. Gender Roles In The Church, a sermon by Mark Dever

15. Thinking and Living Biblically in a Gender-neutral Society – 19 Objections to Complementarianism by Ligon Duncan

16. The Charles Simeon Trust equips both men and women to better teach God's Word.

17. A discussion with John Piper, Tim Keller and his wife Kathy Keller, D. A. Carson, and Kathleen Nielson on Complementarianism

18. A discussion with John Piper, Ligon Duncan, and Greg Gilbert at T4G on Complementarianism

19. Evangelical Feminism And Biblical Truth: An Analysis Of More Than 100 Disputed Questions by Wayne Grudem

20. Women In The Church: An Interpretation And Application Of 1 Timothy 2:9-15/Revised by Andreas J. K√∂stenberger, Thomas R. Schreiner, S.M. Baugh, Denny Burk