Sermon Ouline 08/30/09 Women of Faith or Fiction? By Richard Daughtridge

richard2Sermon Series  “Lessons learned from the first disciples.”

Women of Faith or Fiction? By Richard Daughtridge

The Dignity Christ gave to Women

It’s hard to believe that in today’s world unborn and newly born babies when found to be female gender are aborted or sold into slavery because of that gender. Many religions, and even sometimes Christianity allows the female to be treated as less valuable than the male.  Such bias has resulted in violence against women and poor self esteem for many. Sadly many times such behavior is birthed right in the home under the guise and ambiguities of religion.

Respect and appreciation for the female were brought to a new level when Christ (God in the flesh) walked on this earth. It is apparent that the attributes that women bring to society were a part of God’s plan. The tender, feeling, paying attention to detail, and emotional gifts that God gave us through woman is unequaled in any of the other gifts of creation.

Imagine the beautiful creation of woman. Then add intellect, emotion, God’s love and character. Connect such strengths with a husband that adores her and children that bless her and you are poised to see the miracle of life.

In ancient Israel, one of the three routine declarations Jewish men made when praying was, “Thank God I am not a woman.”

Sadly I think they missed the point cheating themselves out of one of God’s greatest of gifts for society.

Words that we hear today like equality and superiority seem to encourage competition and distort our understanding of the gift women bring to our world. Completion and complementary are words that better define God’s intention. We are completed and complemented in the relationship.

Sometimes I wonder if Adam would have even noticed the fruit, as men focus the headlines while women the details. The women bring our attention to the beauty, the color and the emotions of life that we as men would never see.

Are men and women different?

Absolutely, but they have the same brain and given the same learning opportunities as men they both offer a wealth of information and wisdom. They, men and women, were created in the likeness of God meaning they were spiritual beings.

Frankly, I think the term “weaker sex “ is a bit chauvinistic.

The collective power that praying women, mothers, wives, and church members bring to the table has changed our world.

The Bible teaches us to love our wives as ourselves. Christ became the example of such impartiality tearing down walls that separate us.

The Apostle Paul compares such love and respect with the same love Christ had for the church reminding us that Christ died for the church.   Ephesians 5:25-29

Women were highly involved in Christ’s ministry as well as the ministry of the early church. One writer wrote this about women in the New Testament:

“Women traveled with and helped support Jesus and the disciples, and that women, not men, were the last at Jesus’ cross and the first at his tomb, Paul in various letters greeted women as co-workers.”

Jesus was willing to step across traditions because he saw the contributions to humanity that man had missed by building walls and limitations. He saw women not as a possession but an essential part of society, that had not only a will but a contribution to it’s good.  Some applauded while others were threatened. These are only a few of the examples.

Samaritan Woman

John 4:9 “ Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.

(She was amazed that he handed to her not only eternal life but respect. He crossed the prejudice line of both sex and race.)

Sadducees viewed women as a possession.

Matthew 22:23: Therefore, in the resurrection, whose wife of the seven will she be? For they all had her.” Jesus answered and said to them, “You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God.

(Jesus set out to correct the law of contract and possession and institute choice and covenant.)

Elizabeth

Luke 1:5b-6: His wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. 6 And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.

(The Bible emphasized the completion of two walking together in faith. This must have been  like a return to the Garden of Eden to find two a man and woman communing with God. This was an example of  completion not competition)

Mary

Luke 1:46-48: And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour  for, he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.

(We were blessed not only by Mary’s worship but by God’s choice to be born out of her womb. Could he have not chosen a religious leader to declare salvation or even dropped off a baby at the temple? God chose rather to have a mother. He showed us the feminine side of this story, motherly love, right to the very foot of the cross.)

Certain Women

Luke 8 1-3:  Now it came to pass, afterward, that He went through every city and village, preaching and bringing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with Him, and certain women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities. Mary called Magdalene, out of whom had come seven demons,  and Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others who provided for Him from their substance.

(Christ ministry was redeeming and caring for the needs of women who became a large part of the foundation of the early church.)

John 20:11:  Then they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.” Now when she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” She, supposing Him to be the gardener, said to Him, “Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have laid Him, and I will take Him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to Him, “Rabboni!”

(Is it any wonder God chose women to detail his cross and resurrection? Notice what we said before they were the last at Jesus’ cross and the first at his tomb.)

Many Christian women were persecuted:

Acts 8:3: As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering every house, and dragging off men and women, committing them to prison.

(I’m sure we’ll find many feminine martyrs listed in God’s hall of Fame when we get to heaven. They died and passed forward our faith.)

God saw the important part Women would play in the future evangelism.

Acts 2:14-18: And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions,Your old men shall dream dreams. And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days;And they shall prophesy…” .

(Women were a large part of the plan.)

Aquila and Priscilla

1 Corinthians 16:19: The churches of Asia greet you. Aquila and Priscilla greet you heartily in the Lord, with the church that is in their house.

(Hospitality was a big part of their evangelism.)

Lydia

Acts 16:14-15: Now a certain woman named Lydia heard us. She was a seller of purple from the city of Thyatira, who worshiped God. The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul. And when she and her household were baptized, she begged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay.” So she persuaded us.

(God used them where they were.)
(Note the generational blessings that came from faithfilled women.)

(What can we learn from the women of the Bible? Volumes)

Matthew 9:37-38: The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.

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