Todd briefly teaches a Biblical perspective on the value and role of men and women in the Church.

Scripture References: 1 Corinthians 11 , 1 Corinthians 12 , Galatians 3 , 1 Peter 3

Todd Wagner

About Todd Wagner

In 1999, a group of friends and I desired to be the same awe-inspiring community that we saw in the Scriptures and to connect God's people with opportunities to know... Read more

Message Transcript
I want to take a moment and address something that comes up every now and then, and it fits well with today. In 2009 and 2012, I spent Mother's Day talking about the role of women, specifically. They're available through our app and other things. You can go back online and take a peek at them. I want to take a moment, on the heels of that incredible teaching from Scripture on the significance of the unique, God-given role of women in the life of the church, to speak to something. If you know much about what's going on in Dallas lately, another church that calls itself a Bible church has joined others in saying there really isn't a difference between the roles of men and the roles of women. That's a problem. I have many friends at that church. I'm really close to these men, I love these men, and they love Jesus, but I think they're making a significant error. I'm going to talk to you about how we believe Scripture, when rightly interpreted and understood, celebrates women, but it doesn't make women men. We are called to honor women. Whenever I do a marriage ceremony, I always, at a certain point, give a charge. It's not the vows, when they commit to loving each other, but it's when they take on very specific roles. I look to the man, and I say, "Will you give your life for this woman, as Christ gave his life for the church? Will you treat her with all the dignity and honor and glory that is deserving of her, because she is your co-heir in Jesus Christ? Will you treat her with patience and understanding, because she is a weaker vessel (quoting from 1 Peter 3:7 and Ephesians 5)?" To the woman, I say, "Will you give all the input in the world, as your husband confidently listens to you, but will you let him be what God has intended him to be, which is the head of your home?" What I ask them both to do is be committed to the roles God designed them to play. In 1 Peter 3:7, it says again we are to honor women as co-heirs. Specifically, there, it's men to their wives, but it's true all through Scripture that men are to honor women. The way you honor something is not by telling it it would be more valuable if it did something it wasn't created to do. We're not going to honor moms by saying, "If we really loved moms, we'd wait until June to celebrate them on Father's Day." That's crazy. We are not trying to raise our young women at Watermark to be godly fathers, husbands, or elders. We need them to be godly women. This is why they sometimes get confused. In Galatians 3:28, there's a passage that says, "There is neither Jew nor Greek." Really? It seems to be there is Gary the Greek, as my friend David just said, and there is Eunice the Jew, and there is a distinction between the fact that they are Jew and Greek. "There is neither slave nor free man." Really? When you're a slave, you know you're not free. Right there in Galatians 3:28, Paul writes, "There is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Jesus Christ." Let me tell you what he means right there. Paul isn't acting like there are not races. He's not acting like there is not economic disparity in life. He's not acting like there is no gender. He's saying, in regard to position, dignity, equality, and opportunity to be fully used and celebrated and near God, there is no distinction, but when it comes to specific roles, there is clear distinction. You need to know this about slaves in the Bible. It's not always what we had going on in America in the early part of our country where there were people who were bought and owned property. It could also be said these were employer/employee relationships. There are management and labor relations, if you will. There are roles, and the roles are there for a purpose. God is a God of design, beauty, and order. He is not a God of chaos, and where there are no roles, it's chaos. The way you honor something is not by telling it it would be more valuable if it would do something it wasn't created to do. The way you honor something is not by acting like it's less valuable because it's doing something different than you. It would be awful if I told you, "If David were really valuable, he would have my job," or, "If David really were a gifted servant of Christ, he would do what I'm doing." That would be a terrible tragedy. We would have a huge hole in our Tuesday night ministry where there are thousands of young adults across the country who are being discipled, equipped, encouraged, and set free to be all Jesus wants them to be. We honor it by making sure we don't act like, because I'm doing one thing, and they're doing something else, they're not as important as I am. This is exactly what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 12. When he's writing and talking about what's going on in the church, in verses 4-6, it says, **"Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons."** It says in verse 14 of that same chapter, "For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot says, 'Because I am not a hand, I am not a part of the body…' Come on, that's crazy. We need our foot, and we need our hand. If the ear says, 'I'm not an eye; therefore, I'm not a part of the body,' that's crazy. It's not any less a part of the body because it has a different role." There is a real error that's going on in our society, and, unfortunately, it's bleeding into the church. Even those who say they honor the Bible would tell you if we don't all do the same thing, we're not all equally valuable. That's a problem. It's also a problem if the eye or the hand says to the foot, "You're not as big a deal as me." The Scriptures exhort us to model the relationship in the Godhead. The Real Truth. Real Quick.this week is on the Trinity. This is what it says in 1 Corinthians 11:3. It says, **"But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ."** Listen. If you want to tell me the reason God is the head of Jesus, the reason the Father is the head of the Son, is because of his dignity, his essence, and his eternal position, you are a heretic. What it's talking about here is, in turn, a function. Jesus says, "I am happy to do what my role is in the Godhead, but we are one." There is unity in the Godhead, and there is distinction in the persons of the Godhead, but there is equality. To compromise any one of those three things makes you a heretic in terms of what the Bible reveals about the nature of God, and the same thing is true about man and woman. The Father does not lord his position over the Son. He says, "This is my Son, in whom I am well pleased. Every knee will bow at his name. He will be highly exalted and given the name above all names." The Son says, "The Father is greater than I. I don't do anything that isn't in his will." The Son says, "It is better for you that I go, that the Spirit might come." The Spirit says, "All I want to do is remind you what the Son said." The love of the Trinity is a model of the positions and roles of men and women in the church. We don't need to make the Son the Father or the Father the Son to give either one of them dignity, glory, and essence. You don't need to make a woman a man and tell her if she doesn't have a certain role in the headship of the church, she is not valuable. That is errant, and it leads to all kinds of confusion that is destroying our country. Heather doesn't need two mommys. She needs a dad and a mom. The grace of God is such that when Dad isn't there, Eunice, you can still be everything God wants you to be, but we're not going to honor women by saying you should be like men. We're going to honor women by saying, "We can't do this without you." It's why we, as elders, meet with women. It's why we listen. It's why we are one with our wives. Our wives speak into the leadership of this church with us. We meet with other godly women and learn from them. It's not a problem for us to say, "What insight do you have, as a woman, on this text?" but we don't need to ask them to be men. Ladies, let me tell you something: If this is a church where the men take their position as head over you to lord it over you and act like they're more important than you, as if you're not as valuable as they are because you have a different role, leave this church, because it's not a biblical church. If you find the men here loving and serving you the way the Father loves, serves, and exalts the Son, you're just exactly where you should be. We want to exalt you and exhort you to do everything God wants you to do. We're here to protect you, provide for you, lead you, serve you, and celebrate you. We need you, but we're going to give you honor not by making you men. Godly women don't become fathers and dads, and godly dads don't confuse their headship, which is a role, with their rank. The same is true of me in the position of elder at this church. I don't look at myself as better than other men who aren't in this role. It's just the role God has me in here. What I want to do with my role is serve other men. I want to equip them up for ministry success. I want to give them credit and glory. I want to say, "We couldn't do this without you, and that's a fact." The same thing is true with our women here. Don't let society tell you that unless you can do what somebody else is gifted and called uniquely by God to do, you're not as valuable as they are. That is small-minded. It's unbiblical. It's error. If there's anything going on here where there are men who are lording their headship over a woman, we want to know about it. We're going to rebuke it, call it out, and ask those men to repent. We're going to tell them to do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind to consider others as more important than themselves, to not merely look out for their own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. If our elders aren't doing that, rebuke them. If they don't repent, leave this church, but don't, for a second, think we have to put women in roles God didn't design them for for us to give honor to women. Amen? God bless Eunice. Let me tell you something. This stuff trickles down, and I know you may not think it, but this whole transgender confusion starts when the people who are supposed to remind them God designed and created us male and female say, "That's a bad design." It's not a bad design. It's God's design. The pieces fit, and God wants the tenderness, nurturing, kindness, and beauty of a mother to be blended perfectly with the strength and protection a father can bring. I hope you're encouraged this morning that, even where that's not working the way God wants it to, the grace of God is available. Where the church is, the grace of God ought to be manifest. I'm going to tell you something here, women. We love you and need you, but we don't need you to be men. We need to know if we're not doing the things we should do to help you become the woman God created you to be. We love you. God bless you, not just moms. God bless you, single, godly women. God bless you, moms who have not yet had a chance to bring forth children for whatever reason. You might have fertility issues. We have a ministry here called Shiloh. You ought to know about that. You are beautiful, not because you have babies, because you're married, or because you're men. You're beautiful because you're God's design. Father, I thank you for this church. I thank you for this fellowship here that allows us to love and care for and exalt each other. We don't think the foot needs to be the hand or the hand needs to be the foot or the eye needs to be the ear or the woman needs to be a man. We believe we need to avail ourselves to the grace of Jesus Christ. I thank you there is no limiting factor on women to be full of glory, fully useful, fully called into ministry, and fully supplied all the grace necessary to hear, "Well done, good and faithful servant." May we, as men, in the position we're in at this church, love them, serve them, honor them, protect them, encourage them, nourish them, and unleash them. May we do our job so well they don't need to do it, and may we do our job so well they celebrate that they are under our servant leadership, which gifts to them the way Christ has modeled for us what servant leadership looks like. Would you help us? We need your help. Thank you for the grace we'll extend to each other as we overstep our bounds and as we're abusive in them. May we repent of that and walk as you have destined us to walk. Thank you, God, for your grace. Thank you for gifted men like David. Thank you for the beauty of your Word. May we live in the grace of it. In Jesus' name, amen. May God bless you. Have a great week of worship. We'll see you.