Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Women in the Life of Jesus: Women and Ephesians 4

I hope if you have made it this far with me, that you have enjoyed my series, Women in the Life of Jesus.  It was a lot of fun to write, and I learned so much along the way. Women are valuable to God, and He takes great delight in us.  We are not inferior to men, but equal in humanity and in the call He has on our lives.  That is so important to know in the age of the Church.

The Lord spoke to me earlier this year and told me that the reason there are people in opposition to women in leadership in the Church, is that they don’t understand Kingdom dynamics.  We are not called to Lord it over individuals but to serve.

But Jesus called them to Himself and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them.  Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant.  And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all.  For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”-Mark 10:42-45

All women have been given gifts in the Body of Christ.  Some of them are called to the list in Ephesians 4. If you will see my post about Mary the Evangelist, I explain more about this passage there.

And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers,  for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, -Ephesians 4:11-12

Examples of women from the Bible who possibly walked in the ministry gifts in Ephesians 4 include:
Apostle-Junia (Romans 16)
Prophet-Deborah (Judges 4), Anna (Luke 2), Phillip's daughters (Acts 21)
Pastor (Shepherd)-Lydia (Acts 16), Priscilla (Romans 16)
Teacher-Priscilla (Acts 18)
Evangelist-The Samaritan Woman (John 4), Mary Magdalene (Mark 16)

This is a short list. There are many other women listed in the Scriptures, and down through Church history that served this way. If you find these women in Scripture, you find them in the Body of Christ today.  All of these woman are a picture of how other women are supposed to be functioning in the Church.

Jesus loves women. We see Him teaching women great spiritual truths throughout the Gospels. We see them functioning and active in the Early Church. And we should see them ministering to others in whatever way the Lord has gifted them today.

I believe there are lots of women out there who, though they may not have a job in a physical church building, you may not see yourself doing anything for the Body of Christ.  That is not true. The Body of Christ is not in a building.  It is in the people who come in the building. Jesus lives within you. Much of the ministry that took place within the Early Church as found in the book of Acts happened outside of a building. I am not saying that it is not important for Believers to meet together because it is. Connection to the Church encourages and strengthens us.  But you carry the Kingdom of God wherever you go.  He has placed you where you are now with purpose and given you gift of the Holy Spirit and ministry gifts to carry out His plans for your life, to tell others are about Jesus and to call other people into the Kingdom of God.  Just keep stepping forward and get to know Him and all that He has done for you. Then you will be able to lead many others to Him.

Recently, I wanted to look up some information about women in the book of Romans, so I pulled this book off my shelf called, "What the Bible is All About" by a woman named Henrietta Mears. This is a very well known book, and I highly recommend it for your Bible study. It contains a short synopsis of each book of the Bible along with some other information about Biblical history for your study.

As I was flipping through the pages I came to the section on Judges, and my eyes fell on this, a commentary by Ms. Mears about the prophetess Deborah. It was so cool that I had to share. It reads,

"Now a prophetess arises in Israel (Judges 4:4) She was one of those rare women whose heart burns with enthusiasm when people's hearts are despondent. Many a queen, like England's Elizabeth II, has reigned with honor and wisdom, and often a woman's voice has struck a deep note that has roused nations." (page 113, "What the Bible is All About")

Isn't that an amazing tribute? There are many woman in the Bible whose voice has changed circumstances and turned the tide of events for people. There are many countless women throughout Church history whom this could also be said about. And God is still raising up women for this purpose today!

Many blessings to you as you grow in grace, peace, and love in Him,

To read more posts in this series, go here to Women in the Life of Jesus. 

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