All About Women

1 Timothy

All About Women

July 13th, 1958 @ 7:30 PM

1 Timothy 2:8-15

I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting. In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works. Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.
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ALL ABOUT WOMEN

Dr. W. A. Criswell

1 Timothy 2:8-15

7-13-58    7:30 p.m.

 

 

We turn now to the first letter of Paul to Timothy, the second chapter.   We read beginning at the eighth verse to the end: First Timothy 2, eight to the end – 8 through 15.  We all have it?  First Timothy 2:8-15.  Everybody?  Now let’s all read it together – First Timothy 2:8-15:

 

I will therefore that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting;

In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly array,

But, which becometh women professing godliness, with good works.

Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. 

But I suffer not a woman to teach nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. 

For Adam was first formed, then Eve.

And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, was in the transgression. 

Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing if they continue in faith, and charity, and holiness, with sobriety. 

 [1 Timothy 2:8-15]

 

And the title of the sermon is All About Women.  I have scoured in vain for any man in any generation, in any era, in any period, who has ever preached on that passage.  I cannot find a single illustration or instance.  They all skip it.  I would have skipped it too except that I’m preaching through the Bible, and it would have been very noticeable had I skipped it. 

All About Women.  A fellow facetiously said, "No man really understands women no matter how young he is."  Another fellow said he was going to speak on the "Sphere of Women," namely, this one on which we live. 

I have a very unusual little thing that I copied out of a discourse.  A New York jury had just awarded a $40,000 damage suit and had given the $40,000 to a woman who had lost her leg in an accident.  So this fellow, who had read about the awarding of the court, went through all the records of the court to find out just exactly what a woman is worth when she is all assembled together.  So here’s what he found out according to the judgments of the court.

Her legs, according to this jury, are worth $40,000 apiece, so that’d make $80,000 for two of them.  Now in another court judgment, her arms are worth $42,500 apiece; and she’s got two of them, so that’s $85,000.  Now her hair, in a court judgment, that had been destroyed’s worth $20,000.  Her nose that got clipped in a court judgment was awarded $15,000.  Her eyes that were gouged out in one of the judgments cost $10,000 apiece, so that makes $20,000.  And in a "breach of promise" suit for a broken heart, the court awarded a girl $250,000.  So this fellow added it all together, and he came to the conclusion that an assembled woman was worth $470,000 according to the courts.  Then he wrote this little moral at the end of his little essay.  He says, "This teaches us that a first-class woman should be given at least as much attention and care as an automobile." 

Now, when we enter into this discussion about the apostle Paul and what he thinks about women, we get the wrong idea mostly because of a lack of ability to put in the English language the spirit, the finesse, the courtesy, that fineness of feeling that a man would write in using the beautiful Greek language.

Now, we start off – and this message tonight is an exegesis of this passage.  I don’t know what else to do. I’m afraid to do anything else.  So we’re just going to exegete the passage: this is what Paul said. 

Now, he starts off in the pericope here that we’ve just read – he starts off with how it is we ought to worship the Lord.  So he says: "I will that men everywhere pray" [1 Timothy 2:8] – that is, in Dallas, in Fort Worth, in Hong Kong, in Calcutta, everywhere – that when they gather together for their public services of worship, that men pray "lifting up holy hands without wrath and," you have it translated, "doubting" [1 Timothy 2:8].

He’s referring there to the Jewish custom of lifting up the hands.  They did it when they took an oath; they did it when they blessed; and they did it when they prayed. Several times in the Psalms, you will find reference to the psalmist who says: "I will lift up my hands unto the Lord and pray" [Psalm 63:4, 141:2].  So he says in these public assemblies, men are to pray without doubt and dialogismos.  You have it translated "doubting."  Dialogismos means "disputing, debate."

He is referring to angry, contentious developments in those early churches, and it is hard for us to realize that all those people back there that were called saints were just as pestiferous, and contentious, and recalcitrant, and incorrigible, and obstreperous as they could possibly be.  That’s the reason I know they were Baptist churches back there.

Now, he’s talking about when we come to worship, he wants us to leave off our angriness and our contentiousness and our disputations, and, in reverence and holiness, in peace and in quiet, to pray to God.  Then, that leads Paul to talk about how women are to come to church. 

"In like manner" [1 Timothy 2:9] – as these men are to come to church and pray without wrath and disputation and contentiousness – "in like manner also," he says, the women, when they come to church – the public services of the house of God – how is a woman to appear?  How is she to dress? 

Now, the reason Paul wrote this – and we shall emphasize this several times tonight – the reason Paul wrote it is on account of these little churches were peculiar things in the days of the Roman Empire.  They had never seen anything like it in the history since the dawn of creation of the world, and they were watched.  And what they did, and what they said, and how they acted, and how they dressed, and everything about them was very, very noticeable.

And Paul was eagerwith all of the things that overwhelmed those little churches – their divisiveness, the Judaizers that came, the Sophists that came, the Gnostics that came, the philosophers that came – oh, they had an endless succession.  We’ve had two thousand years’ experience in guiding the destiny of our church.  They were new and composed of people from every faction, and section, and race, and creed of life; and they were subject to endless controversy, and disputation, and contention.  So Paul is so eager for those little churches that in everything there be among them and in them beautiful decorum.

So he’s going start talking about the women that come to church. "In like manner" – that is, when the women come to public worship – "that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety, not with broidered hair or gold or pearls or costly array, but, which becometh women professing godliness with good works" [1 Timothy 2:9-10].

Now, let’s see what he says there about a woman’s dress.  First of all, he says: "In like manner."  As the men come to church and the women come with them to worship, the women adorn themselves in modest apparel [1 Timothy 2:9].

Now, that word there – he’s got three words there by which he describes how a woman ought to dress.  The first one is used twice.  The word translated "adorn" and "modest" is the same word in the Greek.  The one’s in the verbal form, and the other is in the substantive form.  Then, he’s got a second and a third word.  So let’s look at those three words.

Now, when the woman comes to church, she is to adorn herself in modest apparel.  Now the Greek word translated "adorn" there is kosmiō.  The word "cosmos" comes from that, and the word "cosmetic" comes from that.  The word kosmiō means "to put in order, a thing that is orderly arrayed."  And when the ancients looked at the universe, it seemed to them that it was beautifully arrayed: these planets swinging around the sun and all of the glories of the heaven.  So they gave it the word "the kosmos" – the orderly arrangement of God.But it was an ordinary Greek word meaning to array in beautiful, seemly order. 

Now the substantive there that is translated "modest apparel" – kosmios – means "seemly, orderly."  The woman is to dress orderly, seemly, acceptably.  She has to adorn herself. 

Now, that word means adorn [kosmein].  And you don’t dress nearly so much to cover up yourself as you do for adornment. Did you know that?  If you were just interested in covering up yourself, why, any old bag or any old sack would do.  I couldn’t help but laugh at that Dr. McKinley who was here, you know.  And his wife came in with one of those new dresses, and he looked at her and he said, "All I’ve got to say is there’s many an old bag in a new sack!"  Most of the time, we dress according to an adorning.

 A man wouldn’t have a suit without a lapel, and he wouldn’t have a lapel without that little notch right there.  Does every one of you male members have a notch in your lapel?  I don’t know any earthly use in the world for that notch in the lapel, but no man’d be seen in public without that little notch there. 

All of us are slaves to fashion, and it is for adorning that we dress: the way you cut your hair, and the way these men’ll just brush and put axle grease on it and comb it back and – oh, we just all that way.  Now he says that’s fine.  He says we are to do it.  We are to adorn ourselves orderly, seemly.

Then his second word there is aidos which means "modestly."  The woman is to be dressed – she is to adorn herself in seemly apparel, modestly: aidos.

And then that word translated "sobriety" – sōphrosunē.  Sōphrosunē actually means "soundness of mind."  She is not to dress like an idjit.  She’s to dress as though she had some sense.

Then he describes that sōphrosunē – how a woman with some sense is to come dressed: not with gold all embroidered into her hair, plaited hair, plaited strands of gold – gorgeous, motley array [1 Timothy 2:9].  He says, "But that which becometh a woman in the church:" with beautiful manners, wonderful courtesies, warmth of spirit [1 Timothy 2:10].

Now, Paul is just saying that good Christianity is good taste.  When you see a woman come into church and she’s got ornaments dangling from every joint and every suspension, and she is gaudily arrayed like Mrs. Astor’s horse, and when she comes by, people says, "Well, there goes Mrs. Christmastree herself.  She just ruins everything.  She ruins the services.  People quit listening to the preaching and start looking at her hats and all those dangling things around."

Good taste is acceptable anywhere.  Any woman of sōphrosunē – of "sobriety" it’s translated there – soundness of mind, moderation, is a woman who is always acceptable.  And he says her adornments are not to be these outlandish, braided, golden hair, and all of those things that those women did that day and what some of them tend, try to do today: gaudy pomposity, a sparkling ostentation.

Oh, it’s easy to see when a woman breezes in and the way she’s dressed, she’s trying to do just what you know she’s trying to do.  It’s easy to see that.  He says the finest woman of sōphrosunē, the soundness of mind, is a woman whose charm does not lie in her ornaments, in her braids, in her gold, and her costly habiliments and embellishments, but it lies in the warmth of her spirit.  It lies in the graciousness of her manner.  It lies in the works – the good works, the gracious things – that she does and says [1 Timothy 2:9-10].

That’s all Paul meant there, and I submit it to you that Paul is just saying a fine thing that could be repeated in any fashion magazine.  You could put it on the front of Vogue and say, "That’s how a woman ought to dress."

When you come to church, that’s the way Paul says you ought to adorn yourself.  Put on your finest smile.  Put the love and warmth of God in your heart.  Put an interest in somebody else, a sympathy in your soul.  Come in a gracious spirit, and it’ll be the most beautiful adornment, Paul would say, that a woman could ever choose.

Then, he begins to speak about the services.  When you have church services, how are your services to be conducted? 

Now, he starts again, after having spoken of her apparel: "Let the woman learn in silence" – hē suchia – in quietness, in tranquility, in ceasing from altercation and contention.  Hē suchazō means "to cease from labor, to cease from quarreling and altercation and contention."  So the woman is to learn in hē suchia – in abstinence from contention and raucous quarreling, in quietness and tranquility.  For, he says, "I suffer not a woman to teach nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in hē suchia" [1 Timothy 2:12].

Now, what he’s talking about is this.  We go back to the kind of services they had in those first Christian churches.  Those first services must have been bedlam.  Everybody stood up and they would quarrel, and they would say things.  If you want to see how those churches were, just read what Paul says in trying to quiet down that church in Corinth.

The churches were filled with contention [1 Corinthians 3:3].  They were filled with quarreling [1 Corinthians 1:11].  They were filled with people getting up and interrupting everybody else, and everybody had his idea and everybody wanted to have his way.  Paul’d say everybody has a revelation and everybody has a prophecy and everybody and on and on, and they were having bedlam in those churches [1 Corinthians 14:26-33].

Now, there is a reason for that, and I want us to look at it.  These churches were, I repeat, a brand new thing in the world.  These churches had everybody in them equal: the man and the woman.  For example, Paul would say: "In the church, there is neither bond nor free.  There’s neither Greek nor Jew, there’s neither barbarian nor Scythian, there is neither male nor female; but you’re all one in Christ" [from Galatians 3:28].  For the first time in this world, there was a pronouncement, a preachment, that a woman was to be received in the same way as equal to the man.  That was an amazing development and revelation.  The world had never seen anything like that.

The Greek woman – all over the Greek world, the Greek woman was just a little higher in her freedom than the woman in an Oriental harem.  The Greek woman was nothing other than a domestic slave.  She ruled over her own household in her quarters, but she never dared to get beyond them.  She was not educated.  She was not given an education.  You look at the history of Athens.  In all of the glory of Athens – in art and science and literature and history and oratory and law – in every field, there is never one single Athenian woman who ever achieved the slightest distinction in any of them.  The Greek woman was a domestic slave. 

Now, the Roman woman had a little more freedom, but when those days of freedom came, they plunged the Roman Empire into licentiousness. 

Now, the woman in Judaism is an anomaly.  She’s a paradox.  The woman in Judaism was accepted like any man in the covenant of God.  She was saved and was a part of the congregation of the Lord, but I couldn’t illustrate the difference between a Christian church and Judaism than in how you get into it.  You become a Jew by the circumcision of the male.  The female has nothing to do with it.  But when you join a Christian church, the woman is baptized just like the man.  Both of them come alike.  Both of them are received alike.  Both of them are in the household of the faith alike.

Now, that was a new thing and a startling and an unusual thing here in these churches: these women liberated and free for the first time in the history of the world.

Now, Paul was so eager and anxious that the services in the house of the Lord be conducted with great decorum and order and sobriety and worthiness [1 Corinthians 14:23, 33, 40], and yet, there they were in the middle of those frightful contentions and the women on the inside of ’em.

Well, I don’t know how to describe it when you have a situation like that.  Paul says two or three things.

One he says here about speaking in tongues.  Over here, in the eleventh chapter of the Book of Corinthians, he said how a woman ought to dress when she prays and when she prophesies in the church [1 Corinthians 11:5-6].  Then, over here in the fourteenth chapter of the first Corinthian letter, in the middle of this great chapter on speaking in tongues, he says: "Let your women keep silence in the churches; it’s not permitted unto them to speak in a tongue; they are to be in obedience . . . " [from 1 Corinthians 14:34].  And if they want to learn anything about the furor, and the prophesying, and the talking in tongues that’s going on, let them ask their husbands at home but not to speak in the church [1 Corinthians 14:35].

Now, he has two reasons for that.  One of them I named first.  One of them is those little churches were built in the presence of pagan idol temples. There in Corinth, just up there, that tremendous Acro-Corinthia overlooking the city was a great world-famed temple to Venus.  And up there in that temple to Venus, the men went up to worship the god of love, and they did it with women who were dedicated to her service.  You would call that prostitution.  They called it the worship of the goddess of love.  It was an orgy of vice and of sex.

And when those women went up there and they worshiped Venus in all of those rituals and orgies, the women were carrying on, and they were talking, and they were singing, and they were doing all those things that enter into the worship of the goddess of love.  And Paul says, "And a stranger walking by, look in there and see your women carrying on like that, they’ll just say, ‘Well, I see we’ve got another little Aphrodite shrine here.  I see we’ve got another little Astarte shrine here.  I see we have another little Venus shrine right here.’"  Paul says, "When that’s going on, your women are to keep silence" [1 Corinthians 14:34].

He says, "I think you men ought to keep silent about speaking in tongues."  He said: "I’d rather speak [five] words with my understanding in the church of God, that by my words of understanding I might encourage people, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue" [from 1 Corinthians 14:19].  But, he says, if you are bound and determined to speak in an unknown tongue, then do it one at a time, and only when an interpreter is present [1 Corinthians 14:27] – and I haven’t seen that in my life that I thought it was legitimate.  And Paul says: "And it’s no good.  Let’s leave it off.  Let’s leave it out" [1 Corinthians 14:28].  So that’s one thing about women speaking in the church.

Now, the other thing was in those churches of contention, of quarrelsomeness: he said, "It is just better when you’re having a hullabaloo free-for-all, it adds to the decorum of the meeting if the women don’t enter into it."  Well, you get to thinking about that.  Contention – that’s an awful thing.  That’s an awful thing in the church.  That’s an awful thing in a business.  That’s an awful thing in a house and a home.

This husband and this wife sat down, side by side, to eat supper, and they were just as mad and they didn’t say a word.  And after supper was over, they were seated in front of the fire, and his face softened a little.  Then, he turned to her, and he said – he said, "You know, my dear, I’ve just been thinking."

She barked at him, "What you been thinking?"

"Well," he said, "You know, I’ve been thinking.  You’re right after all.  I’m on your side."

She retorted, "Not going to do you any good. I’ve changed my mind!"

A new preacher was talking to a little group of boys, and he said, "Who’s the first man?"

"Adam," they all chorused.

"Who’s the first woman?"

"Eve," they all chorused.

"Who’s the meekest man?"

"Moses," they all chorused.

"Who’s the meekest woman?"

Blank stares at one another.  One little fellow held up his hand, and he said, "Please, sir, there wasn’t any."

The last thing we ever want to do is to get in a dogfight, and the last thing in the world in a dogfight is to get our women at one another’s throats, pushing and pulling and mad and angry and carrying through personal war [Philippians 4:2-3].  All of those things enter into the decimation of the church of God.

So what Paul says is this.  In the public worship of the Lord, let the woman be in quietness: "I do not suffer a woman to teach men or to usurp authority over the man, but to be in quietness and tranquility" [1 Timothy 2:12].  According to the Word of the Lord, the public worship of God is to be conducted by men.  That is the plain, unvarying revelation of the Word of the Lord.

That doesn’t mean a woman cannot pray in public.  In the eleventh chapter of First Corinthians, Paul describes how the woman ought to appear when she prays [1 Corinthians 11:5, 13].  Doesn’t mean she shouldn’t prophesy, that is, to speak – speak forth.  If she has a message from the Lord, it doesn’t mean that she cannot speak her message.  But God says that the conduct of public worship is to be always in the hands of men.

A woman can teach women [Titus 2:4].  A woman can teach little children.  A woman can share in the service of the Lord, in the public house of Jesus, but the authority of the service, the organization of the church in the Old Testament, in the New Testament is always the same.  The high priest is a man.  The Levite is a man.  The people who offer the sacrifices – actually, the sacrificial offerer is always the priest who is a man.  In the New Testament, the apostle is a man.  The pastor is a man.  The deacon is a man.  The authority of the house of God is always invested in the man.

And if you have a strong church and a worthy church and a church that has in it the best and finest possibilities of the blessing of God upon it, you will have a church where the women are happy to see their men in the forefront.  Lot of times, a woman’s got to push him.  Lot of times, he’s got to keep a hatpin back of him.  Lot of times, she’s got to do a lot of private praying.  But the best and finest services in the house of God are always those where the women are seeking to encourage and to bolster up and to strengthen the hand of their men.

Now, he gives a reason for it.  Paul says: "For Adam was first formed and then Eve.  And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, was in the transgression" [1 Timothy 2:13-14].

Now, that may be a little unusual kind of a reasoning for us today, but it was cogent for Paul and, therefore, for us.  In First Corinthians 11:9, Paul says that the man was not made for the woman, but the woman was made for the man.  And he quotes back there from Genesis [2], and I think it’s verse 16 or 15 or 14 – in the middle of the chapter [Genesis 2:18].  Paul’s account says thatGod said it isn’t good for the man that he live alone, and he made for the man an helpmate meet for him, adequate for him [1 Timothy 2:13].  And the woman was made in order to be a helper, a strengthener, an encourager to the man.  She was made for that purpose.

Then he gives another reason in that story.  "And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, was in the transgression" [1 Timothy 2:14].  Adam knew exactly what he was doing.  When Adam took of that forbidden fruit from the hand of his wife, he chose to die with her.  He knew what he was doing.  Eve was deceived.  Satan attacked one of them.  He attacked the woman, and she gave herself in gullibility to the subtlety of the innuendoes and insinuations of Satan [Genesis 3:4-5].  And, being deceived, she took of that forbidden fruit [Genesis 3:6].  Adam knew exactly what he was doing.  He was not deceived.  Eve was [1 Timothy 2:14].

I read where one of these feminists was ranting and raving before an audience, and she said, "I ask you: where would the men be without the women?"  And there was silence.  And she repeated it again and said, "I ask you again.  Where would the men be without the women?"  When she stopped the second time, a fellow in the balcony hollered out and said, "I’ll tell you. We’d be in the garden of Eden."

I don’t know.  All I do is just read the Story, and the Story says that Eve was deceived [1 Timothy 2:14].  Satan hoodwinked her.  Satan led her into a trap.  Satan slew, and when Adam saw that his wife was to die, rather than live without her, he took of the forbidden fruit that they might die together.

I would submit another thing.  I don’t think you’ll find a finer thing in recorded history than that – than that.  That’s been true ever since: a man give his life for a woman that he loves.  That’s been true through the ages since.  A man rather die by the side of the woman he loves than to live without her.  He knew what he was doing.  Eve was deceived [1 Timothy 2:14].

Now, he is saying that that man is the leader over the woman, and he refers back here to one of the parts of the curse.  "God said unto the woman: ‘I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow shalt thou bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee" [Genesis 3:16].

That’s one of the parts of the curse of God.  Now, when that is used, the superior strength – physical, at least – of the man, and the opportunity of the man to crush the woman, it is a tragic thing.  But you can’t change it.  It’s true in history, and it’s true today.  These women who are borne down by a godless, drinking, fierce, unloving, unsympathetic husband,it’s a part of the fall.  It’s a part of the depravity of human nature.

I was moved to tears a week ago as I heard one of our men out at Truett Chapel knocking, he said, at the door of a home out there right next to our chapel.  And he said the nicest, modestly-dressed, clean-dressed little woman came to the door.  She had a black eye.  She apologized for the way that she looked for she said her husband had just beat her up.Those things happen all the time.  They happen everywhere.  It’s a part of the fall.  It’s a part of the depravity of human nature: a man take advantage of the lesser strength of his wife.

Oh, how Christianity has given her a break in the church of God!  "There’s not any male; there’s not any female.  We’re all one in the Lord" [from Galatians 3:28].

Then, Paul pays to her a great tribute, and it isn’t quite, I do not think, like you’d get the idea as you read it here in this English translation.  "Notwithstanding, she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith, and charity, and holiness with sobriety" [1 Timothy 2:15].  Now, when you look at that thing in the Greek, it looks altogether different.  This woman that he’s talking about who’s been made subservient to the man: "Notwithstanding," you have it translated, "she shall be saved in childbearing" [1 Timothy 2:15].

Now, that thing in Greek is dia tēs teknogoniasDiatēs – and that article tēs is very, very prominent.  She shall be saved in the childbearing, teknogonias, in the childbearing.  Wonder what he’s talking about: "the childbearing"?  I know what he’s talking about.  He’s going back there to that same third chapter of Genesis out of which he’s made two illustrations already.  He’s going back to the time when God said to the woman: "And thy seed – and thy seed shall crush this serpent’s head" [Genesis 3:15].  She shall be saved in the childbearing – the seed not of the man, the seed of the woman.

Then, lest anybody think that just in childbearing she would be saved, he adds that word: "But they also must believe" [1 Timothy 2:15].  Even a mother must believe – faith, charity, holiness, sobriety.  Paul pays there a great tribute to the woman.

Now, give me time, just for a second, to summarize all of this.  Paul – as we read the Bible, Paul gives us a picture of the church as God founded it and as the apostles fashioned its life.  And one of the things that you will see from the life of that early church is that the women had a tremendous part in it.  They were very prominent, very prominent.  That’s why they’re spoken of and referred to so much. 

So Paul says when the woman comes to church, she is to come dressed in the finest of taste.  And you honor the Lord when you come to God’s house in good taste.All you may have is a cotton dress, but make it real clean and iron out all the wrinkles.  And look nice when you come to the house of the Lord – not ostentatiously to parade down the aisle, not to be dressed gaudily, emptily, vainly, but to be dressed in the finest of taste [1 Timothy 2:9].  And let your ornaments be the beautiful spirit, the gracious word, the happy heart [1 Timothy 2:10].

Then he says in the house of the Lord, let the men be the authorities in the conducting of public worship [1 Timothy 2:11-12]. Your pastor is to be a man.  The deacon is to be a man.  The one in charge of the services is to be a man.  The women help and they come, but let the men direct the services – the public worship of God.

Then he pays that marvelous tribute to the woman.  And how well could Paul do it, and with what cause could he say it.She – she, not he – she shall bring to this world the hope of our souls [Genesis 3:15; 1 Timothy 2:15]: Mary, the mother of Jesus [Luke 1:26-38]; all the women who ministered to Him [Luke 8:2-3], who were first at the sepulcher, to whom He appeared raised from the dead [Matthew 28:1-10]; the 120 in prayer meeting with Mary and the other women [Acts 1:14-15].  "At Pentecost and in that day, I will pour out My Spirit upon your sons and your daughters; upon My servants and upon My handmaidens, will I pour out My Spirit" [from Acts 2:16-18]. 

When Simon Peter was liberated by the angel from prison [Acts 12:5-11], instinctively, he made his way to the home of the mother of John Mark in Jerusalem, Mary, a great woman in the church of God [Acts 12:12].  In the first convert in Europe, the man of Macedonia that called [Acts 6:9-12]turned out to be a woman’s prayer meeting [Acts 16:13], and he, the first convert,was named Lydia, a woman [Acts 16:14-15].

 In Thessalonica and Berea, those honorable, noble women listened to the Word of the Lord and were saved [Acts 17:4, 12].  In Athens, one woman, Damarus, was converted [Acts 17:34].  At Corinth, six times you have it named of Priscilla and Aquila [Acts 18:2, 18, 26; Romans 16:3; 1 Corinthians 16:19; 2 Timothy 4:19], and four times Priscilla is first [Acts 18:18, 26; Romans 16:3; 2 Timothy 4:19].  In the sixteenth chapter of the Book of Romans, Paul sends greeting to twenty-six people; eight of them are women [Romans 16:3-15]. Simon Peter in his epistle says: "And they are joint heirs of eternal life" [1 Peter 3:7].

Oh, the debt that womanhood owes to Christ and to the churches of our blessed Savior!  That’s why I’ve never been able to understand why a woman, of all creatures under God’s blue sky, why a woman would refuse the overtures of the love and grace and mercy of Jesus.  How He lifted womanhood out of slavery, degradation, oppression, ignorance, and made her a joint heir in the household of the faith.

Now, while we sing our song, somebody you, give his heart to the Lord.  A family you, put your life in the church. Somebody answer a call of God.  While we sing, would you come as the Lord shall open the door, shall lead the way?

I do not call.  If it’s mine its nothing; if it’s God, it’s everything.  If the Spirit bids you come, would you come?  A girl, a boy, a youth, a family you, somebody: "Tonight, I give my heart and faith and trust to Jesus," or, "Tonight, I put my life in the church," or, "Tonight, I’m answering a call of God."  While we sing this song and make the appeal, would you come?  Would you make it now while we stand and sing?  

 

 

 

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