GOD'S ROLE FOR WOMEN
By David J. Riggs
A. We studied in our last lesson God's role for men.
B. In this lesson, let's consider God's role for women.
C. Women are within the priesthood of believers, citizens of the
kingdom, and enjoy all of the privileges and blessings therein.
Gal. 3:26-29; 1 Pet. 3:9
1. Women share many responsibilities common to men; e.g.,
in building a happy hone, and in rearing up faithful
D. In today's society there is growing pressure to have women in
leadership roles in the churches.
1. Much of this has come from the change of roles of men
and women in our society.
E. To faithful Christians, God's word is the final authority on
the acceptable roles for both men and women.
I. GOD PUT MAN IN THE LEADERSHIP ROLE.
A. God placed man as head over the woman. 1 Cor. 11:3
1. This was ordained from the beginning. Gen. 3:16; 1 Tim.
2:13-14; 1 Cor. 14:34
2. Man is head of his wife. Eph. 5:22-24; Col. 3:18; 1 Pet.
a. "Head" means "supreme, chief, prominent" (Thayer,
p. 345). Compare Christ as head over the church.
3. Headship implies leadership.
a. Since men have been given the headship, it
necessarily follows that men are the leaders and
women are the followers.
B. Chart #1. (All charts are below this sermon outline).
1. Titus (a man) was to "speak, and exhort, and rebuke with
all authority." Titus 2:15
a. "With all authority" - Greek: epitage, from epi, with;
2. Women are to "learn in silence with all subjection." 1
a. "With all submission" - Greek: hupotage, from
hupo, under; tage, authority.
3. Thus, again, women are to take a "learner's" role rather
than a "leader's."
a. She is to learn in silence under authority.
II. WOMEN CANNOT BE APPOINTED AS ELDERS OR DEACONS. 1 Tim. 3:2, 4-5;
3:12; Titus 1:6
A. We learn not only from the positive instruction of the
Scriptures, but from the silence as well.
1. If God had wanted women to have an active part in the
decision making and leadership roles of the church, He
would had appointed them to these offices.
III. WOMEN ARE TO LEARN IN SILENCE WITH SUBMISSION. 1 Tim. 2:11-15
A. First, she is to learn in "silence." The same Greek word is
used in both verses 11 and 12.
1. The Greek word for "silence" is "hesuchia" (hay-soo-
khee'-ah) and is defined:
a. "Stillness, i.e. desistance from bustle or
language:--quietness, silence." (Strong)
b. "...Associated with 'meek,' and is to characterize the
spirit or disposition." (Vine)
2. Chart #2 - This word is found four times in the N.T.
Acts 22:2; 2 Thess. 3:12; 1 Tim. 2:11-12
a. By looking at the context surrounding the usage of a
word, we can better understand it.
b. "Hesuchia" indicates a quiet manner (in disposition
and speech) as opposed to a loud, clamorous,
boisterous, noisy one.
B. Not only is the woman to learn in silence with all subjection,
but she is not to teach nor usurp authority over the man.
1. In both cases, the second phrase qualifies the first.
a. "Let woman learn in silence" is extended "with all
b. "But I suffer not a woman to teach" is qualified by
"nor to usurp authority over the man." See chart #3
- 1 Tim. 2:11-12
c. Paul is saying that a woman is not to teach a man in
such a way as to have dominion over him.
2. Notice also that the context of 1 Tim. 2 is not confined
to the assembly.
C. Here are some ways a woman is to teach.
1. First of all, she is commanded to teach. 2 Tim. 2:2
a. "Men" is Greek "anthropos" - a human being
whether man or woman.
b. Thus, both men and women are to be able to teach
2. She is commanded to teach other women. Titus 2:3-4
3. She is to teach her children as shown in the example of
Lois and Eunice. 2 Tim. 1:5; 3:15
4. She is to teach in congregational singing. Col. 3:16
5. Women taught in the private situations. Acts 18:26; 21:9
a. Our Bible classes should be considered as private
situations. If each Bible class assembled in different
places, e.g., in people's homes, it would not be "the
b. When we bring that same situation under one roof, it
is still not "the church" together.
6. In all of these situations, the woman is not to teach in
such a way as to disregard her subjection to man.
a. All arrangements in which she takes the lead over
men, or exercises a position over men, are
b. Modern man is not authorized to "give" her such
IV. WOMEN CANNOT SPEAK WHEN THE CHURCH IS TOGETHER. 1 Cor. 14:34-35
A. The word "silence" is from the Greek: sigao, (see-gah'-o) and
is used nine times in the N.T. Luke 9:36; 20:26; Acts 12:17;
15:12,13; Rom. 16:25; 1 Cor. 14:28,30,34. Chart #4
B. The Greek word for "silence" means:
1. "...Keep close (secret, silence), hold peace." (Strong)
2. "To keep silence, hold one's peace." (Thayer)
C. The word "church" here is the Greek word "ekklesia" and
means "assembly, church."
1. See chart #5 "In The Church"
2. "As also saith the law." - Probably from Gen. 3:16 -- "he
shall rule over thee."
D. See chart #6 - Common Objections.
A. We review our main points:
1. God placed man as head over the woman.
2. Women cannot be appointed as elders or deacons.
3. Women must learn in silence with submission.
4. Women cannot speak when the church is together.
B. Women can glorify God by humbly doing the work God
1. She should never "usurp authority" where none has been
given to her by God.
2. There are a mountain of good works that a woman can
do in her God given role.
Titus (a man) was to "speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all
authority." (Titus 2:15)
Greek: epitage, from epi, with; tage, authority
Women are to "learn in silence with all subjection." (1 Tim. 2:11)
Greek: hupotage, from hupo, under; tage, authority
The Greek word "hesuchia" (silence)
11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.
12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over
the man, but to be in silence. (1 Tim. 2:11-12)
2 (And when they heard that he spake in the Hebrew tongue to them,
they kept the more silence: and he saith,) (Acts 22:2)
12 Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus
Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread. (2
1 Tim. 2:11-12
Let women learn in silence------with all subjection
But I suffer not a woman to teach------nor to usurp authority over
Thus, Paul is saying that a woman is not to teach a man in such a way
as to have dominion over him.
The Greek word "sigao" (keep silence)
And when the voice was past, Jesus was found alone. And they kept it
close, and told no man in those days any of those things which they
had seen. (Luke 9:36)
And they could not take hold of his words before the people: and they
marveled at his answer, and held their peace. (Luke 20:26)
But he, beckoning unto them with the hand to hold their peace,
declared unto them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison.
And he said, Go show these things unto James, and to the brethren.
And he departed, and went into another place. (Acts 12:17)
12 Then all the multitude kept silence, and gave audience to Barnabas
and Paul, declaring what miracles and wonders God had wrought among
the Gentiles by them.
13 And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men
and brethren, hearken unto me: (Acts 15:12-13)
Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel,
and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the
mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, (Rom 16:25)
28 But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the
church; and let him speak to himself, and to God.
29 Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge.
30 If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the
first hold his peace.
31 For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all
may be comforted.
32 And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.
33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all
churches of the saints.
34 Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not
permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be
under obedience, as also saith the law.
35 And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at
home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church. (1 Cor.
"in the church"
vs. 4 - "he who prophecies edifies the church"
vs. 5 - "unless indeed he interprets, that the church may receive
vs. 12 - "let it be for the edification of the church that you seek
vs. 19 - "yet in the church I would rather speak five words with my
vs. 23 - "Therefore if the whole church comes together in one place"
vs. 26 - "Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm"
vs. 28 - "if there be no interpreter, let him keep silent in church"
vs. 33 - "but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints"
vs. 34 - "Let your women keep silent in the churches"
vs. 35 - "for it is shameful for women to speak in church"
Thus, it would not include the private situations (when the church is
not together). Acts 18:26; 1 Tim. 2:2; Titus 2:3-5
Even in private situations, she is not to teach over a man. 1 Tim.
Answering Common Objections:
I. "The word 'your' means the prophet's wives."
A. The word "your" is not in most manuscripts.
B. Even if Paul said, "your women," it does not mean prophet's
II. "Paul was regulating a spiritually gifted assembly, and we do not
have such assemblies today."
A. Paul did not say that "the prophets wives" or "the inspired
women" should keep silence in the churches.
B. Paul said it shameful for a woman (any woman) to speak in the
III. "Paul's instructions do not apply to all women because all women
do not have husbands."
A. Normally, young women do not seek leadership roles; thus, Paul
addresses those who normally would have husbands.
B. It is the same as "call for the elders" (James 5:14) when
there are no elders. Thus, call for the spiritually strong to
pray in your behalf.
C. Paul instructions simply mean that if they have any questions,
let them ask them in the private situations, not when the
church is together.
IV. "Paul's words do not apply to us today, because it means that a
woman could not sing or confess Christ."
A. Couldn't the Corinthian women sing or confess?
B. Couldn't the prophets who were told to keep silent, sing?
C. The context (ch. 14) has to do with addressing the
congregation, and Paul instructs women to be silent in the