FROM THE DESK OF WILL SPOKES, SENIOR PASTOR
Words For Reflection:
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
11In the Lord,…, woman is not independent of man, nor is man independent of woman. 12 For as woman came from man, so also man is born of woman. But everything comes from God.
For next Sunday:
Sermon Text: Hebrews 13:7,17
How Firm a Foundation - Adoration
Psalm 130 - Confession
My Jesus has Done All Things Well - Grace
The Lord’s Prayer
In Christ Alone - Response
Take My Life and Let it Be - Communion
Doxology - Old 100th
The Bible Project:
As a way to help you grasp the over-arching story of the Bible, I am going to include each week a link to one of The Bible Project videos.
This week check out The Bible As Jewish Meditation Literature.
If you are looking for help to read the Bible in a more regular way, you may find this approach and this app helpful.
Here is a recent blog Meg and I came across and found very helpful and encouraging entitled Cares & Consolations.
Singing To God (Psalm 95:1-5)
The Christian's Hope Can Never Fail
Sometimes we’re tempted to despair,
But Jesus makes us then His care;
Though numerous foes our souls assail;
O, The Christian’s hope can never fail.
Bowing Before God (Psalm 95:6-7b)
Prayer of Confession
Gracious God, we confess that we daily sin against you and our neighbors in our thoughts, in our words, and in our actions. Our sins are too heavy to carry, too real to hide, and too deep to undo. Forgive what our lips tremble to name, what our hearts can no longer bear, and what has become for us a consuming fire of judgment. Set us free from a past that we cannot change; open to us a future in which we can be changed; and grant us grace to grow more and more into the likeness of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, in whose name we pray. Amen.
Words of Grace
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
Hearing From God (Psalm 95:7c-11)
Sermon Text - 1 Timothy 3:1-13; Romans 16:1; Acts 6:1-6
1. A Gender Framework (Gen. 1:27; 3:16-19; 1 Cor. 11:11-12; 1 Tim. 2:12; 1 Cor. 11:3)
2. One Interpretive Question (1 Tim. 3:11; Rom. 16:1; Acts 6:1-6)
3. Keeping The Main Thing The Main Thing (Matt. 28:18; Phil 2:6-8)
The Heart of the Message
Authority and submission. Two seemingly incompatible ideas. And yet Jesus Christ embodies both at the same time. In doing so he teaches us that the job of a person in authority is to sacrificially serve to meet the needs of others (Rom. 15:2-3; Eph. 5:25). At the same time, he teaches us that to submit doesn’t mean inferiority or inequality (1 Cor. 11:3; Phil. 2:6-7). Therefore, the New Testament teaching on submission and authority is derived from Jesus and is intended to be another means by which we experience the life and power of Jesus at work in the midst of marriage and in the Christian Community. Perhaps this is why Paul uses the metaphor of a household to describe God’s people in community (1 Tim. 3:15; Eph. 2:19). Admittedly the teaching of the New Testament that church office is open to qualified men only grates against many of our modern sensibilities. And it is understandable that for some this teaching by definition comes across as antiquated and oppressive. At the same time, Jesus appointed 12 men to be his Apostles and treated women in radically dignifying and respectful ways contrary to common cultural norms and expectations (John 4). How should we navigate this difficult and challenging question of gender and the church? One approach is to look for help and answers outside the bible. But if we were to do that we would be moving away from Jesus and how gospel-centered authority and submission can thrive in God’s household. In other words, we would be missing out on all that Jesus has done and what he intends for us.
What features of these passages stand out to you the most? What words or phrases or ideas grab your attention?
If you could change what the Bible seems to say about gender and church office how would you change it and why?
Do you think it’s possible for submission and equality to be mutually compatible ideas? Why or why not?
What do you think of the following statement: “In the church, women should be free to do anything any non-ordained man is free to do.” How can RMC get better at honoring and dignifying women as a way of following after Jesus?
Why is it so important to start with Jesus and his authority and submission for wrestling with the issue of women and men and church leadership?
Confession of Faith: The Westminster Shorter Catechism, c. 1648
Q. 4. What is God?
A. God is a Spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable, in His wisdom, power, holiness, goodness, justice, and truth.