Welcome to the Truth Pulpit with Don Green, Founding Pastor of Truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio.
I'm Bill Wright. Today Don continues teaching God's people God's Word in our current series titled, Living as God's People. Here's Don now with part two of a message called, The Mature Christian Woman from the Truth Pulpit. What does the Bible say about the role of women in the church?
Go to Titus chapter 2. Now that Christ has saved you, how does a Christian woman aim for spiritual maturity? First, it starts with her self-assessment. Her self-assessment.
Second point is your speech. In a particular way for women, the application of salvation, particularly for mature older women, because that's who he's addressing here in verse 3. In a particular way for women, the application of living out a life set apart for God starts with your tongue. Think of James chapter 3.
We won't take the time to turn there. But it starts with your tongue. Paul says in verse 3, women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior. Look at this next clause. Not malicious gossips.
Not malicious gossips. Ladies, one of the aspects of starting an earnest period of growing in Christ in your life is stepping back and taking a long, hard look at the way that you use your tongue. You must consciously use your voice for high purposes. Ladies, now that you are in Christ, especially those of you mature women realizing that that's the primary focus today, God has not given you a tongue or a voice box so that you can engage and talk about worldly things, live life with a sarcastic, cutting demeanor, live as close as you can on the edge of inappropriate humor and things like that. No, God has given you your tongue so that you would use your voice for high, elevated, exalted purposes that advance the kingdom of God. You've been called out of worldly talk. You've been called out of sensual conversations. You've been called out of that so that God would work through you and use your tongue to be an instrument of encouragement and edification to the people that are in your circle of relationships. That's why you have a tongue.
It's not for these other things. Proverbs chapter 31 verse 26 speaks about the godly woman, and it says this in Proverbs chapter 31 verse 26. It says, She opens her mouth in wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. Ladies, there is a particular role, a particular accent of your life that is given to you in Christ. It is an accent to bring quiet wisdom, to bring quiet gentleness, to bring a balm of encouraging words to those that Christ brings into your path. Ladies, does your tongue speak kindly to others, or are you known for sarcasm, complaint, and criticism?
Those two things are mutually exclusive. James chapter 3 verse 8 says, But no one contain the tongue. It is a restless evil. James chapter 3 verse 8.
No one contain the tongue. It is a restless evil and full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men who have been made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, which in today's context we could say my sisters, these things ought not to be this way.
What comes out of your mouth, ladies? Understand that your speech reflects what's going on in your heart. A gentle, peaceable heart yields itself to peaceable, conciliatory, edifying, encouraging speech. When it's otherwise, beloved, your mouth is showing what's going on in your heart.
There's no avoiding this. Jesus said that what comes out of the mouth reflects the heart in Mark chapter 7. Ladies, Scripture warns against the contrary of Proverbs 31, woman. It warns about the impact that you can have on those around you. In Proverbs chapter 21 verse 19 it says, It is better to live in a desert land than with a contentious and vexing woman. Chapter 25 verse 24 says, It is better to live in a corner of the roof than in a house shared with a contentious woman.
Ladies, the power of blessing and the power of curse lies in your tongue. What are you going to do with it? How are you going to respond to those around you? More importantly, how are you going to respond to the one who calls you to be reverent and set apart for his purposes?
And let me say this as well. What's true in the home is true also in the church, in the body of Christ. The church goes no higher than the character of its men. Well, beloved, speaking to all of you, a church is vulnerable to damage as deeply as its most divisive woman in the congregation. And I'll say this. Pastors talk about this amongst themselves.
They don't often say it publicly, but it needs to be said. And I've worded this very carefully. Perhaps the majority of practical problems in a local church are caused by opinionated women who are either unmarried or have spiritually passive husbands. Listen, ladies, I'm speaking out of a pastor's heart to you, appealing to you, warning you if you've been like this, and giving those of you that have not been stained by the things of which I'm about to speak the opportunity to recognize it and turn it away before it manifests itself in your own life.
You know what, ladies? You do not need to correct every perceived slight to you, your husband, your family, or your children. You don't need to do that. It's not necessary.
You know why it's not necessary? You know why that's not the spirit of a true Christian woman? It's because forgiveness, not retaliation, is at the heart of biblical Christianity. Look over at Ephesians chapter 4, for example. Ephesians chapter 4.
We're going to spend a little time here. Ephesians chapter 4, beginning in verses 31 and 32. Paul speaking to the whole body of Christ, which includes women.
You get a sense of when he says not malicious gossips. As you compare Paul's inspired writings with other inspired writings, you get a sense of what he's addressing. He says, let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. You say God has forgiven you of your entire sinful past?
You rejoice as we spoke earlier about the position in Christ that is yours by faith in him? Well, understand that the vertical way that God has forgiven you becomes the standard by which you forgive those around you. Jesus said in Matthew, you don't need to turn here for the sake of time. In Matthew 5, 38, he said, you've heard that it was said, an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. But I say to you, do not resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.
If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also. Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him too. What he's saying here is reject that spirit of retaliation and desiring to strike back for personal wrongs that have been done to you. And so, ladies, I am going to say what are in front of my notes here to say, when it comes to your families, when it comes to dealing with your children and the little spats that children can sometimes get into, do everyone a favor. Do yourself a favor. Honor Christ and do this. Spare us. Spare us all the mama bear routine. I'm going to protect my kids.
You know what? In significant matters, I understand that. You protect them and guard them from the evils that this world has. But, beloved, your example, the call on your life is Christ, not an unreasoning animal to proudly call to yourself, I'm a mama bear when it comes to my kids.
That's a boast that is really a cause for shame. You're not an unreasoning animal. You are a Christian woman called to be set apart and you need to help your children navigate and to understand principles of non-retaliation, principles of forgiveness. And if you teach them that while they're young, you teach them that when they've been wrong, perhaps in little ways, rather than always demanding the ounce of flesh in response.
Mama bear is not, I'm not impressed by that. And I'll just say it again. You are not an unreasoning animal in the body of Christ, and so don't act like one. There is a way to calmly, patiently, lovingly work through issues without creating division when things come up.
Secondly, let me say this. Ladies, you really do not need to voice every criticism that you may feel in your heart about your circumstances, your culture, or even your church. Beloved, grace and gratitude are the marks of a quiet and gentle spirit. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, those are the fruit of the spirit. Philippians 2, verse 14 and 15 says this, do all things without grumbling or disputing so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation. All things without grumbling and disputing. Beloved, grace and gratitude, not grumbling, is the spirit of biblical Christianity. How do we ever get off and into the areas of conflict and dispute that, broadly speaking, the church of Christ is so often known for?
How do we ever lose sight of these basic principles? You older ladies, you mature Christian woman, those who call yourself and think of yourself in those terms, understand this, the voice of the mature Christian woman should calm troubled waters, not agitate them. Jesus said in Matthew 5, verse 9, blessed are the peacemakers, for they and they alone shall be called the sons of God. So you see, beloved, it is urgent for the sake of your soul. It is urgent for the sake of your family.
It is urgent for the sake of the example that you set for your children. It is urgent for the body of Christ that women embrace Titus 2 and say that sets the path that I'm going to walk. Let others do whatever they're going to do. I'm going to walk the path laid down for me in the word of God.
Though none go with me, still I will follow. And so let me just say this. If you are a lady with an outspoken tongue, in one sense that's okay. You know, the people are quiet, people are outspoken, verbal, no problem.
No problem. Not saying that a woman shouldn't be verbal. What we're saying here from the word of God is that your verbosity, your outspoken tongue, must be brought under the authority of Scripture and under the influence of the Holy Spirit.
Don't boast in being a woman who speaks her mind if you're not conscious of being a woman that is under the authority of God and consciously dependent upon the Spirit of God to promote sanctification in your heart. We've seen Scripture address your self-assessment, address your speech. Thirdly, your sobriety.
Your sobriety. Drunkenness is a problem in our culture, and it was a problem back then as well. Go back to Titus chapter 2 verse 3 with me. Titus chapter 2 verse 3. Paul goes on to say, Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips, nor enslaved too much wine. Ladies, the further you separate yourself from this alcohol-soaked generation, the more you will reflect the reverence of a Christian woman. I'm not making absolute statements about alcohol or wine that would not stand up to Christians in France, for example, or in Italy. I've been there. I'm simply saying to be mindful of the fact and being mindful of what Scripture says here, not to be enslaved to much wine. And that's a more searching statement than you might realize. Not enslaved to much wine has a positive biblical counterpart over in Ephesians chapter 5.
I think we looked at it Tuesday night. If so, some of you will remember it more specifically. But in Ephesians chapter 5 verse 18, understand that when Scripture is giving us these practical applications, it's usually giving us negatives to avoid and positives to embrace. And such is the case as we allow Scripture to interpret Scripture. Ephesians 5 verse 18, Do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation. But, by contrast, be filled with the Spirit.
See what I just said about the tongue. I said it's okay to be outspoken if your tongue is under the authority of the Holy Spirit. This is what Scripture is teaching. Be filled with the Spirit. And what does the tongue that is under the control of the Spirit look like? Verse 19, Speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord, you see the inner spirit, the gentleness, the joyfulness of that inner spirit that is the counterpart of being enslaved to alcohol.
So, ladies, don't be satisfied simply with avoiding drunkenness. Fill your heart with Christ-centered songs, with Christ-centered gratitude, with Christ-centered love. Beloved sisters in Christ, this is the unique role. This is the accent, better stated, the accented role that God gives to you. This is your contribution to make to life in the body of Christ.
It's that role that He assigns to women. Fourthly and finally, your sympathy. Your sympathy. We've seen your self-assessment, your speech, your sobriety. And fourthly, your sympathy.
And this will bleed over into next week. What does a mature Christian woman do? Where does she recognize that her prime ministry opportunities lie? Godly women, godly mature women, understand that they have a unique role to help and to encourage younger women in the church. Younger women in the church. Titus chapter 2, verse 3. Not malicious gossips, nor enslaved to much wine. Negatives, now here's the positive.
Teaching what is good. You older ladies, those of you that have been raising children even for a while, you understand uniquely the challenges and trials that are set apart for younger women. Some of you know by sad personal experience what it is like to live with a difficult husband. My wife does. She knows what it's like to live with a difficult husband. Some of you know what it's like to be betrayed. You know what it's like to have sick, crying children and staying up all night and trying to maintain your sanity when you're reaching for another bowl for them to throw up into.
You know what that's like. You know how hard it is for a mom, young mom, to maintain her composure under circumstances like those. You have a unique opportunity that God specifically gives to you as a privilege, as an opportunity for ministry to help those younger ladies around you with sympathy, to encourage them, to tell them that it's going to be okay, to tell them they can call you, to assure them that you are there for them. Teaching what is good, verse 4, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, and on and on it goes.
This particularly pictures private interaction. You know, ladies, you don't need a big platform. You don't need a Bible study of your own in order to exercise this kind of ministry. There is all kinds of opportunity to reach out to young ladies and see how you can help and encourage them. You know, the young ladies today, and it's just going to get worse, you know, now they're dealing with, you know, my friend is transgender, and I'm wondering about myself.
You know, and I've got these difficulties, and my parents are difficult to live with, and they're not Christians. And young ladies trying to find their way, probably having sinned somewhere in their past, like some of you older women have done. You have a profound opportunity if you will just embrace it and focus on being reverent in your behavior, using your tongue to encourage and manifesting the sympathetic heart of a woman who has been there yourself.
And let me say this as well. You know, ladies sometimes come to the elders, I need counsel, I need help. Listen, we are going to send you to ladies in our congregation that we know are qualified to give you good counsel, to minister to you in particularly this way. It does not take a college degree in biblical counseling to be an effective counselor in the body of Christ. That is so important to understand, especially in this day and age in the church.
So we'll look at that private interaction and how it plays out for younger women more next time. But ladies, as we close, first of all let me just say to men, men, if God has given you a woman like this, you fall on your knees this afternoon and thank Him that He's given you one like that. And ladies, understand this, that Jesus Christ in defining roles in the body of Christ, He has not called you to a second class status in His kingdom. Your lofty goal, your lofty opportunity, your lofty privileges in the days that the Lord has left for you is to live the life of one that Christ has set apart for Himself and for you to say, I am set apart for Him.
I am His and He is mine and that defines me. And I'll gladly embrace this role that He has given to me. And as you do that, you will manifest the glory of Christ in the circle that God has given to you.
And ladies, there is no higher privilege than that. That's Don Green with part two of a message titled, The Mature Christian Woman, part of his series, Living as God's People. Now before we go, here again is Don with a closing word. Well friend, there is nothing more encouraging to our staff here at The Truth Pulpit than to hear from people who have benefited from the ministry of God's Word through this medium. You know, maybe it's our ministry has helped you, has encouraged you, perhaps even led you to Christ in the hands of the Holy Spirit. If in any way you have benefited from our broadcast, let me just ask you to contact us and let us know that it would be a great encouragement to everyone who makes this broadcast possible. You can email us at info at thetruthpulpit.com.
Again, that's info at thetruthpulpit.com. Let us hear from you and be sure to include the station or the delivery device on which you listen to our broadcast. God bless you. Thanks Don, and thank you friend for joining us today. I'm Bill Wright, and we'll see you next time as Don Green continues teaching God's people God's Word on The Truth Pulpit.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-20 06:38:53 / 2023-02-20 06:47:21 / 8