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December 20, 2021 7:00 pm
Dr. Sam Horn continues a series entitled “Divine Design” with a message titled “The Case for Biblical Complementarianism pt. 1,” from Acts 20:26-27.
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Welcome to The Daily Platform from Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina. The school was founded in 1927 for the evangelist Dr. Bob Jones Senior's intent was to make a school where Christ would be the center of everything, so he established daily chapel services today. That tradition continues with fervent biblical preaching from the University travel platform today on The Daily Platform or continuing a study series entitled divine design which is a study of Biblical manhood and biblical womanhood today will explore the concept of complementarity and as him.
This position affirms that men and women are created equally and both equally enjoy the blessings and grace of God, but had distinct roles in marriage and in the church be to your president, Steve Pettit will introduce today's message what we are continuing our series on divine design and for the next two weeks.
Dr. Sam Horn will be the delivering the message and I and are working through Biblical manhood and womanhood.
One of the key issues is to have to deal with the roles. The God ordained roles of men and women and so Dr. Horn is going to come out and lay out for you the position that were going to teach here at the University. We realize that there are differences of interpretation and we understand that but we also know that we have to teach you. We have to be clear and we have to teach with conviction, and so that's what were going to do and so Dr. wants to come out this week and next week and teach the position of complementarity and is him and of course, you learn what that is. Is he comes to speak this morning. Thank you Dr. Pettit again asked you this morning to take your Bible to the book of acts chapter 20. I told Dr. Pettit this just before we came out. I have had more in my own soul more internal pressure and perhaps fear about coming to this text and so I'm just saying to you this morning as we look at this together that we are going to be talking about something of very very significant importance because it affects the way we relate to one another. It it affects the way we relate to the body of Christ. It affects the way that we honor and glorify God. And so this is a very serious very sobering topic for me and I'm to ask you in just a minute to pray with me about this.
I want to begin with this text in acts chapter 20 beginning in verse 26 and 27. This tax records Paul's final words to the elders and spiritual leaders at the church of Ephesus.
This was a church that he founded and for two years he served and loved and taught them the word of God and the Holy Spirit had revealed to Paul that this should be the very last time that he would have any interaction with these beloved elders and the words were looking at our parts of his final statement to them filled with tears and prayers and and deep affection and love, and in this communication. Paul reminds them how he fully communicated to them, not just the good news of the gospel of the grace of God, but he also reminds them that he did not hesitate to declare the whole counsel of God, to them, and that part of the teaching that involved the whole counsel of God, to them had to do with the difficult doctrinal instruction and the even harder application of the roles that God assigned to Christian men and women in marriage and in the church it significant that the two primary passages that speak to the roles that we play in marriage are in Ephesians 5 and the primary passage that speaks to the role that God is given to those who teach and preach in the church is in first Timothy two chapter 11 through 15, and that tax was written to Timothy while he was pastoring a church in Ephesus. So this statement in acts 20 is is given in the context of the instruction that Paul had not shrunk back from giving to them. I would say to you today that the teaching that Paul talked about in his day is not become any easier in our own day and in our own culture. What appears to be the clear playing teaching of Paul on this has resulted in strong and often intense controversy among evangelical believers, especially over the last 60 years. This conversation sits at the heart of what it means to live his men and women in ways that honor God one another and that conform to the teaching of Scripture. So it is no small conversation. It is not a mere tempest brewing in some evangelical teapot. It speaks to the realities that God is given to us.
And so, since this topic is both culturally difficult and evangelical. He debated I want to speak in ways this morning that are helpful that are gracious, that are biblical and that are clear and to that end, I pray this morning and I want to pray together with you about this. So would you would you just pray for me as I pray together with you to the Lord about this Lord as we come to this topic. I asked that you would help me to speak and help us to receive your word out of a meek and quiet soul with a gracious spirit, not a contentious one and from a gracious heart that's displayed in grace filled speech with words that faithfully conform to the truth in your words the Lord we need your help.
To that end. In Jesus name, amen.
Here's what I want to do today I want to lay out if Dr. Pettit said a case for biblical complement tearing as we talk about that word here in just a minute.
Maybe I can summarize this way. I would like to lay out for you. The beginnings of a biblical theology of equality and authority. As I see it laid out in the Scripture and I want to make sure we packed we caught what Dr. Pettit mentioned that this matter is not one that rises to the level of a salvific truth. It is not a cardinal doctrine of the Christian faith. You can be a Christian and not hold to the view that I'm going to lay out for us this morning, however, because the I believe the Scripture teaches plainly clearly and repeatedly on this topic, particularly with regard to the primary spiritual leadership that God is assigned to the roles in marriage and in church.
I don't see it is just a matter of personal preference. I actually think it's a matter of faithfulness to the authoritative teaching and to the consistent practice of Jesus and the apostles, which is why what you believe on this matters greatly and so let's begin today with the central question.
What exactly are we talking about and the question is this.
Does the Bible in its clear and normative teaching. Establish unique aspects of primary leadership in marriage and in the church that are restricted to biblically qualified men and by leadership in that question.
I'm specifically talking about authority over and responsibility for does the Bible in its clear normative teaching establish unique aspects of leadership in marriage and in church that are restricted biblically to biblically qualified men. Now let's let's make sure we understand the question. The question is not asking whether the Bible teaches that men are superior and women are inferior to one another. The Bible clearly states that men and women were created with equal value equal standing equal blessing and equal participation in the promises of God to Abraham and she was church.
Genesis 1 2728 Galatians 328 all establish this and they also are co-heirs equally with the rest of the body of Christ. All of us coheirs equally to the grace of life. Peter makes a big point about this in first Peter chapter 3 verse seven. So this is not a question that deals with whether one of the genders is superior to the other, nor is this question implying somehow that women are less qualified or less equipped than men to participate in vocational or spiritual ministry to give some examples of this women in the Bible clearly participated in ministry with men, and even to men. Miriam in Exodus 15 verse 20 would be an example Deborah in Judges 4 verses four through five would be another example. Here's another thing Jesus received the ministry of women during his life and in two of women that are most noted for this are Mary and Martha. Women were permitted in both the old and the new Testaments to prophesy and to take part in the worship of God among his people. The prophet's hold and second Kings 22. For example, the writer of acts, Luke and acts chapter 2 verses 17 and 18 references a prophecy out of Joel in which God says he will pour out his Spirit on men and women in the New Testament church and that women would prophesy and Phillip's four daughters fulfill this prophecy in acts 21 verse nine in first Corinthians 11 verse five women are permitted to prophesy and to pray in the public assembly of the church with proper decorum.
Women clearly understood and at times participated in the instruction of others in the word of God.
For example, Priscilla and acquittal in acts 18 and older women teaching younger women in Titus two in the New Testament, even potentially affords the service of women deacons in the early New Testament church.
Depending on how you view first Timothy chapter 3 verse 11 and the role that Phoebe played in Romans chapter 16 verse one so want to be real clear that the position we articulating is not implying in any way that women are less equipped and less qualified than men to participate in ministry and the notice.
Finally, this question is asking whether the Bible establishes and restricts certain aspects of primary leadership in spiritual authority to qualified men in marriage and in the church and want to give you two examples of this in the Old Testament the priesthood of Israel was that limited to men or was it open to women. And secondly, what about the pastors and teaching elders of the church did Paul and the New Testament apostles open that office to women or was it restricted to men. That is the essence of the question now. The answer to that question comes into contrasting views and saw want to put the views out before you. If you believe that the clear plain reading of Scripture does in fact reflect that God in some way has established and restricted certain aspects of leadership and spiritual authority to men than you are complementarily not all complementarily and's are good agree on how that flushes out and where the contours and the boundaries of that are, but if you believe that the plain teaching of Scripture and the plain reading of the text in question layout that in some way.
God is restricted certain unique aspects of primary spiritual leadership and authority and responsibility in marriage in the church demand in you to biblically qualified men than you are a compliment. Now if you don't think the Bible restricts certain aspects of leadership in spiritual authority to men than you may be on the egalitarian side of this debate.
So let's look at the complementarity and perspective probably summed up in the counsel for Biblical manhood and womanhood established in 1987 and 19 888 and and articulated in the statement called the damper statement in 1987.
They believe complementarity is believed that from beginning to and the Scripture and its inspired authors speak clearly cohesively and authoritatively that men and women are created equal. In the image of God. They have equal standing before God. They enjoy equally the blessings and the grace of God, but they have been created for and assigned to different and distinct roles with regard to marriage, and the leadership the spiritual leadership of the church. In other words, the primary responsibility spiritual authority to lead in the marriage and to teach authoritatively and spiritually govern the church has been assigned and restricted to biblically qualified men. So that's the complementarity in position there are believers who deeply desire to be faithful to God who desire to come to the Scriptures, they would see the Scriptures as authoritative, they would understand the Scriptures to be inspired and accurate, but they would say that in this particular area. The Scriptures actually reflect a different thing. The egalitarian position, sometimes known as biblical feminism, which is very different from the feminism that you may be aware of for the sake of our own talk here on can refer to it as egalitarian, but you may you may hear the biblical feminist idea expressed and in conversations, especially as you go to the literature. The egalitarian position would agree with the complementarity in that men and women are created with equal value and equal standing is not a question about that.
They also would recognize and embrace that men and women are created with distinct differences in gender and personhood that they have very different roles to play in God's plan, they would embrace that they do not agree that primary leadership and authority in marriage and in the church are restricted only to men but that biblically qualified women can lead equally with biblically qualified men in the home and in the church and so that's the egalitarian position. It exists in their own not language to promote biblical justice and community by educating Christians that the Bible calls women and men share equally in service and leadership in the home church in the world's and I have these two positions. Now let let's make sure before we move on quickly that we understand what the egalitarian position is not saying they agree that the Scriptures do report that men do exercise leadership and authority over women in the old and New Testament worlds, but this was a consequence of the fall and not at all what God originally intended that that what you're reading in the Scriptures we find men leaning over women is is actually because of the corruption of the fall, not as a design by God from the beginning. They believe that Jesus came to establish a new order and a new creation in which men and women are equal before God in relation chapter 3 verse 28, which I referenced earlier in this equality affords me in this, and women the same opportunity to lead in the home and in the church and and here's an important point.
Finally, while certain text seem to restrict the leadership of the church to men egalitarian's argue that these tax are either mistranslated textually there misinterpreted contextually or there. He misunderstood culturally. In other words, they accommodate a cultural situation limited to the first century, but do not reflect the ultimate trajectory that Jesus and the apostles intended for the church to take over time so where do we go for an answer when you have a question it's really clear and you have two people to groups of people who both desire to be faithful to the texts that speak to this.
They believe the Scriptures are inspired, they have a deep love and a passion for God. They are trying to obey the Scriptures as they understand them. So where do we go for an answer and I would suggest to you that there are four terms that are debated that that really provide the trajectory for a biblical case for complementarity doesn't let me get them to you quickly and that I want to and with the theological flow of this are four primary terms that are found in Scripture that shed immense light and when interpreted plainly and applied contextually and taken collectively in my opinion they establish clearly a complementarity in position. The first of those terms is the term helper.
It's the first term that we encounter in this debate or in this discussion occurs before the fall in the description that God gives when he creates Eve and and this is what the text actually says I'm actually giving you the new American Standard text here for clarity. Then the Lord said it is not good for man to be alone I will make him a helper suitable for him. God uses this term to describe and to define the primary role that Eve was to play in her relationship to Adam and as I said a moment ago. This is prior to the fall to make sure you catch something is not as an image bearer. She was of equal standing with Adam in her relationship to God. But in her relationship to Adam. She was uniquely designed and created in a way that would perfectly correspond and match what was missing or lacking in Adam, Eve was made from Adam.
The New Testament is gonna come back to this point and for Adam to help fulfill the role and responsibility that God is assigned to him policy and explain it this way in first Corinthians 11 man was not created for the woman say but the woman for the man saying other words, there was a need in man and God intended for the woman to meet that need. This walk this word helper is used for God, and it shows that this is not a slavish or inferior role that is unworthy or disrespectful to women.
God himself comes alongside to those he is placed in authority, and dignified's and honors this term by rendering service to them and I want all of us who are men to realize that it is through this helper that God is gonna deliver all the race from the sin that the man the man Adam is accountable and responsible for so if you think this word helper is a demeaning word. Actually it's a word by which God is going to deliver the entire race. That brings us to the second word which is a little more difficult. If the word helper helps us understand the design of God. Submission is here to help us understand the context in which God intends for this to happen.
First Peter chapter 3, verse one. Ephesians chapter 5 verses 21 to 24 in Colossians chapter 3 all talk and use this term and it's a very, very difficult term in this debate. First Peter 31. Likewise, the wives be in subjection to your own husband. Ephesians 21 submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God and then wives, submit yourselves in your own husband and he's going to go on to give an explanation of that in then Colossians 3 wives, submit yourselves on your own husband's so let's talk about this difficult or when this term submission shows up in the Scripture. It always depicts someone subjecting themselves, arranging themselves under the authority of another. For example, the citizens are to do this to a king. Children are to do it to parents servants to Masters Christians to their pastors and elders Jesus to the father and all three of these tax submitting one to another has different aspects. The way you arrange yourself man you to do it this way.
Children here to do it this way masters and servants your to do it this way and and when it comes to this term with relationship to marriage.
Men are to lovingly alert lien through serving and women are to support that leadership. And so when we come to the final turn head which speaks to fly head in authority. These are the final two terms in Ephesians chapter 5 verse 23 and in first Corinthians 11 verse two through four. Paul explains why this is sell for the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church and then in first Corinthians 11 pulses the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the wife is her husband and the head of Christ is God so clearly hear the word head does not mean source or origin. It's actually speaking to someone who has been granted by God.
The responsibility for the relationship in a unique way. And that's really what Paul is talking about in first Timothy chapter 2 when he talks about the fourth word.
The word authority and it's probably the most difficult word and if you will allow me to give you the word and then I'm in a come back to this text.
Next Monday and were to look at this text but I'm letting you know that there's there's a piece in here that could potentially be very difficult for us. Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness and then pulses this I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man.
Rather she is to remain quiet and then he goes back to the creation account to give his reason for this and again I want to come back next Monday and want to talk about this verse, but these four words clearly in the context of how the apostles and the New Testament and Old Testament writers laid out seem to be restricting certain aspects of leadership in the home and marriage and in the church to biblically qualified men and that brings in the final thing today and that is what is the theological flow of all of this is to let me quickly give it to you. It's rooted in the creation order. Paul made the case for women not exercising spiritual authority over men on the grounds that Adams formed first, and unlike Eve, he send willingly. He was not deceived and therefore the full weights and accountability and responsibility for the fall, rested on Adam. He had been given the responsibility for the race in a unique way. Eve is never blamed for the fall, Adam is given the full accountability and the full weight of that even though Eve was present and in time ate the fruit first. This is reflected throughout the Scripture, the priesthood, at all, limits our at all levels was limited to men the kingship of Israel was limited to men, the prophets who wrote inspired, authoritative scripture were all men in the sin sacrifice and took away the sins of Israel had to be a male lamb or a male goat and when Jesus came to fulfill that in the take away the sins of the world, he came as a man. This was confirmed by the practice of Jesus. He highly honored and deeply respected when it he chose 12 apostles. He could have chosen six men and six women and he wasn't doing this to culturally accommodate the people around him. He literally came to blow certain cultural traditions, and so he chose 12 apostles and the apostles actually taught the same thing and was practiced in the church in Paulson very clearly in the church. We have no such practice nor do the churches of God in first Corinthians 14 when he assigns this leadership to many says, as in all the churches of the saints, and so this is clearly the practice of the early church and its reflected in the consummation of the new heaven. When you have the throne were four and 20 seats or 24 thrones, and there are 12 Old Testament and 12 New Testament names and they are the names of the tribes and the names of the apostles. So I think the Scriptures layout a very clear trajectory and a clear path for the fact that in certain roles. God has restricted primary responsibility to biblically qualified men now. The reason this is difficult is because of the way that men have applied that in their relationships to woman and so next week I want to come back and I want to look at what it actually looks like when it is done in a Christ honoring way. Let's pray. Shall we Lord, thank you for our time this morning. I pray that you would help us to embrace this truth and to see it in Lord not to be in any way fearful of it but to recognize that in the beauty of your creation. You created us and you gave us distinctives and roles that when we fulfill bring great honor and great glory to you and great beauty around us a great fulfillment and will pray these things now Jesus name, amen. You've been listening to a sermon preached by Dr. Sam Horn which is part of the study series about Biblical manhood and biblical womanhood entitled divine design.
Join us again tomorrow as we continue the series here on The Daily Platform