New Testament Church Proliferation Digest


Spreading the Gospel via House Churches



NT Church Proliferation Digest Thursday, August 29 2002 Volume 02 : Number 154
Re: [NTCP] Concerning Women Elders/Apostles/and associated roles
[NTCP] RE: NT Church Proliferation Digest V2 #153
Re: [NTCP] Concerning Women - response continued
[NTCP] Women
Re: [NTCP] Concerning Women - response
Re: [NTCP] NEW TOPIC!!! Equipping And Releasing Seminars
[NTCP] Having visions
Re: [NTCP] Concerning Women - response

Date: Thu, 29 Aug 2002 09:42:25 +0200
From: "Deborah" <deborah.millier * juccampus>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Concerning Women Elders/Apostles/and associated roles

David A. wrote:

> Further, consider that the Greek
> language has many verb forms that
> English does not employ. It is thus
> far more precise. Surely, you would
> acknowledge that the KJV missed
> the verb tense in the place where
> "those born of God do not sin." "Sin
> continually" or "sin habitually"
> would have be more exact.
>
> So: let women not "speak habitually"
> or "speak continually" is much more
> suitable and accurate in this husband
> to wife setting at the gatherings. Paul
> wanted order amidst the spontaneity.
> Quite likely, he was telling these
> previously uneducated women (wives)
> not to go on and on in I Cor 14. And
> not to dominate over their husbands
> in 1 Tim 2. Notice how the two
> separate elements (1.-taking
> domination or authority over + 2. being
> silent) merge in both passages.

You are right to observe that both the verbs in 1 Joh. 3:6, ...

"No one who lives in him *keeps on sinning*. No one who *continues to sin*
has either seen him or known him" (NIV, emphasis mine).

... I Cor. 14:33, 34, ...

"As in all the congregations of the saints, women should remain silent in
the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as
the Law says" (NIV, emphasis mine).

... and in 1 Tim. 2:11 ...

"A woman *should learn* in quietness and full submission" (NIV, emphasis
mine).

... are all present tense actives which, when applying the paradigm of 1
Joh. 3:5 to 1 Cor. 14:33, 34 and 1 Tim. 2:11, could suggest the meaning of
continuous action, allowing for periodic lapses. Interesting thought. I
like it. However, I still think our first line of evidence should be
garnered from seeming NT "contradictions" to this "absolute(?)" injuction
upon all women of total silence.
For instance (as you mentioned), in 1 Cor. 11:5-- the very book that
*seems* to call for absolute silence from women-- we read:

"And every woman who prays or prophesies ..."

Both 1 Cor. 11:5 and 1 Cor. 14:34 are in the context of public worship, as
indeed are most items mentioned in the letter. So it seems illogical for
Paul to be expecting, or even just allowing, prayer and prophecy by women on
the one hand, and then on the other to be calling for absolute female
silence. The one verse (11:5) can then be used to temper-- not counter!--
the other (14:34) so that we do well to look for clues regarding Paul's
intent there in writing about silence for women ... and later in 1 Tim.
2:12. Add to this our other knowledge of:

1) NT prophetesses (Act. 21:9), and ...

2) .. Sapphira herself speaking with Peter before the Jerusalem church, with
the Apostle's approval, ... even initiative (Act. 5:1-11. Notice that:

A) the "young men came forward" (Gk. ANASTANTES-- "got up," vs. 6)
from somewhere nearby that was inside with Peter (vss. 6, 7).

And that:

B) TON EKKLESIAN ("the church," vs. 11) is distinguished from those
who "heard" about the couple's deaths. Why? Because in all likelihood the
saints assembled there that day witnessed God's wrath upon A & S!

Now we add to the mix your (David A.'s) contribution and it is even
more certain that women were not expected to be silent during every aspect
of NT worship. But apparently there were some times when this was so ...

> Obviously, Christians - many fine
> Christians such as Michael - do not
> see eye to eye on the "silence issue."

You're right that there are many. But I'm not one ... at least one
who thinks Paul is teaching absolute silence for women in the congregational
gathering. I pretty much agree with you. Now that "fine Christian[]" part
I'll leave for someone other than myself to decide. ;-)

Michael
Jerusalem


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Date: Thu, 29 Aug 2002 06:51:43 -0000
From: Theo Kuster <theokuster * usa>
Subject: [NTCP] RE: NT Church Proliferation Digest V2 #153

Thanks for the message, I will respond soon.

Home page:
http://kuster-web/
Sermon Notes for Lutheran Church Workers:
http://buls-notes.bravepages/
Alternative Mission Fellowship:
http://servingthrougheducationandmusic
USA Mail address: 3446 1st Ave S. Minneapolis MN 55408
USA Home fone: 612-825-6281


------- <><><> -------


Date: Thu, 29 Aug 2002 08:30:30 -0400
From: jferris <jferris154 * mac>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Concerning Women - response continued

DISOBEDIENCE

ROM 5:12-14 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man,
and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because
all sinned--for before the law was given, sin was in the world. But sin
is not taken into account when there is no law. Nevertheless, death
reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who
did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who was a pattern of the
one to come.

ROM 5:17-19 For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned
through that one man, how much more will those who receive God's
abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in
life through the one man, Jesus Christ. Consequently, just as the result
of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one
act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men. For
just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made
sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be
made righteous.

ROM 11:30-32 Just as you who were at one time disobedient to God have
now received mercy as a result of their disobedience, so they too have
now become disobedient in order that they too may now receive mercy as a
result of God's mercy to you. For God has bound all men over to
disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all.

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you
used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler
of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in the children
of disobedience . All of us also lived among them at one time,
gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires
and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature the children of wrath.

To obey is to "hear under". To disobey is to get out from under our hearing.

LISTENING TO YOUR WIFE

In saying to the man "Because you listened to your wife...", God was not
saying that men should not listen to or respond to their wives. This is
clear in another context:

GEN 21:10-12 ...and she said to Abraham, "Get rid of that slave woman
and her son, for that slave woman's son will never share in the
inheritance with my son Isaac." The matter distressed Abraham greatly
because it concerned his son. But God said to him, "Do not be so
distressed about the boy and your maidservant. Listen to whatever Sarah
tells you, because it is through Isaac that your offspring will be
reckoned."

The problem in the garden prior to the fall, was that Adam listened to
his wife on a matter about which God had already clearly spoken. She may
have been deceived, but Adam knew better. He defaulted on his
responsibility under God, and, in disobedience, put himself under his
wife as indicated by his response to God: "The woman you put here with
me--she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it." Adam claimed it
was her fault, and by implication that he was under his wife's authority
when he ate, and secondarily that it was God's fault. In truth it was
default, and the default was Adam's.

This is not to say that husbands are to go around telling wives what to
do. Rather we are saying that all of us, male and female need to be able
to hear God, and when we see someone else, be it husband or wife, doing
something which is clearly contrary to the God's will, we have a
responsibility to bring to their attention, the will of God in the matter.

In doing so, we are serving them, not lording it over them. In the
process, we are to have a servant's heart. Our object is to help them in
their ability to hear God, not to create, or maintain dependence on
intermediaries:

1TI 2:5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the
man Christ Jesus." In His capacity as mediator, He is the greatest
servant of all.

FIRST & LAST

If we look at the Kingdom of God as a continuum of authority, rank,
place, status, or position, it is clear that service or submission to
others, determines one's place on the continuum.

"The servant of all", that is to say, the one who by Gentile standards
of authority, would be considered lowest or last, turns out to be the
"first" in the Kingdom of God. In service to all, no one has ever gone
lower, or been more inclusive, than Jesus. Many of us have a great deal
of difficulty serving others, submitting to others. Some of us are able
to submit ourselves to those we consider greater than ourselves. Few of
us are able to serve, or submit ourselves to those we consider inferior.
For us to submit to Jesus, is to be seated in heavenly places. For Jesus
to submit to us, was to go to Hell.

We should also point out that this "over lording" mentality would seem
to be a distinctly male problem. We do not find any occasions in the New
Testament, of females arguing over who is going to be the greatest. This
is not to say that females are immune, or not interested in the status
of the males in their lives, "the mother of Zebedee's sons...", for
example. It is likely, however, that a female's interest is more related
to being a victim, than it is to personal ambition. There are exceptions
of course, Jezebel, being perhaps the most notable example.

Jesus finally summarizes the matter of authority in the context of
family relationships:

Mark 10:29-31"No one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother
or father or children...for me and the Gospel will fail to receive a
hundred times as much in this present age...brothers, sisters, mothers,
children...and with them persecutions, and in the age to come, eternal
life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first."

It is apparent in this passage, using family relationships as an
example, that a willingness to be reoriented toward old creation blood
relationships, opens up the possibility of receiving a hundred times new
creation blood relationships in this present age. However, even with
these new creation blood relationships, there will be persecution,
including that which comes as a result of a Gentile approach to, or
abuse of, authority. This is to say, that the pecking order among those
who are living in new creation blood relationships, will still be out of
order, when contrasted with the age to come. In the age to come, those
who continued to be first, as Gentiles understand authority, will
finally be put in their place, according to God's reckoning. Likewise,
those who continued to be abased, either by choice or by imposition,
will also finally be put in their place, according to God's reckoning.

It is clear from the inclusiveness of the passage, where gender is
concerned, that this reordering of place will not reflect any respect of
persons on the basis of gender. It would be wise for men and husbands,
who believe God, to take a hard look at the vitality of their
servanthood, especially in relationship to that of women, and their
wives in particular. Clearly in the Gentile scheme of things, women and
wives are way ahead of men and husbands when it comes to serving"...the
least of these His brethren..." We are living in a crises of male
default, especially where the excercise of Kingdom authority is concerned.

What then becomes of authority, specifically as it concerns men and
women, and generally as it concerns all of us, in its horizontal
outworking in the Church?

In the resurrection, authority will finally be put in its proper place.
This is to say, that for the present, there is, not only much abuse of
authority, but much false, or man made authority. Our consolation, in
the face of this confusion, is that, in the end, it will all be put
right. The abuse of authority based on gender will be one aspect of the
problem that will be put right. For the present, we must neither grasp
authority, nor be deceived about authority. We are to approach the
subject with an attitude of submission:

We do believe, however, that there is a dimension of accountability
resident in the male, which may explain God's first calling him to
account, and that this is the underlying reason for the New Testament's,
use of the word "submission" in the instruction to wives, and love, in
the instruction toward husbands. Part of a husbands accountability is to
provide a protective and enabling environment for his wife. No part of
his accountability includes "overlord", neither in thought, word nor deed.

HUSBAND- - WIFE

Below we have provided some insight into the meaning of the words
"husband" and "wife" as indicated in the Hebrew and Greek dictionaries
of Strong's Concordance of the Bible. We have attempted to glean from
the information provided, the real heart of the matter.
Hebrew Greek

Husband: iysh, eesh;
aner, anayr:
a male person
prime word;
enowsh, enoshe;
individual male,

mortal fellow
anash, awnash;
anthropos;
prime
root; countenance,
to be frail,
feeble man-faced,
desperate, incurable,
appearance
sick, woeful.
Husband:
Romans 7:2 only

hupandros, hoop-an-dros

in subjection under a

aner, anayr; male

Wife: ishshaw, ish-shaw;
gune, goo-nay;

woman, a woman

burnt-offering, ginomai, ghin-om-ahee
sacrifice by
fire prime verb;
enowsh, enoshe;
to cause to be,

mortal generate
fem. of iysh, eesh

There are several things which are of special interest. The first, and
perhaps most to our point, is the fact that there is nothing in the
meaning of the words "husband" and "wife", in either the Hebrew or the
Greek, that suggests either superiority or subordination. In the first
instance, "a male person" and "a female person", fellow persons, would
seem to be the heart of the matter.

In Romans 7:2, however, the word "married" as it applies to a woman, has
her in a clearly subordinate position. While Strong's has the Greek word
listed under "husband, it is also found under "hath", the word in the
K.J.V. indicating the marital status of the woman. The point here is
that it describes her position as being analogous to those who are under
the law. The letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

While there is no question that we have a sin problem, our most
foundational problem is that we are " frail, feeble, desperate,
incurable, sick, and woeful". Our real problem is that we are not fit
for the Father's house, we are the wrong species, But, praise The Lord,
if any man is in Christ he is a new creation, a new race, a new species,
a partaker of the divine nature. There is therefore no disablement in
Christ Jesus.

It is interesting, that as descriptive of male and female persons, there
is a focus on the mortality, or weakness of them both, but in the case
of the woman, the added dimensions, first in the Hebrew, as being a
"sacrifice by fire", and in the Greek, a "generator". Certainly she is a
generator, in her roll in the process of redemption. It is her seed
which will be at war with, and ultimately victorious over, the seed of
the serpent. As the "Bride of Christ", she is the living sacrifice out
of which comes new life. Peter encourages us, not to think it
"...strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you..", and
finally Paul makes it clear that "...death is at work in him that life
might be at work in us."


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Date: Thu, 29 Aug 2002 09:31:39 EDT
From: JoelBRJr * aol
Subject: [NTCP] Women
While I understand the desire to completely comprehend the Word(s) being
debated in the Women/Silence/Leadership issue, I can't help but think that
the discussion has gotten so deep that it is more concerned with semantics
than in the Spirit of the Word.

Would the Same God that has said that in the last days His Spirit will be
poured out on all - Women as well as Men (Joel 2:28-29, Acts 2:17-18), deny
leadership positions to half of His creation after having gifted some for
those positions?

Would the same God who told us that among Christians He sees neither male nor
female (Galatians 3:26-29) then turn around and silence half of His creation?
Would the same God who declared that a double minded man is unstable in all
of his ways (James 1:8), desire to appear double minded?

Would not those specific circular letters to specific situations (Corinthians
& Timothy) if applied universally instead of specifically, be contradictory
to His blanket proclamations that all flesh would receive His Spirit
(including leadership gifting) and that He doesn't even recognize gender
among the Spiritual aspects of His children?
I think by my posting that it is obvious which side of the subject I come
down on, but this will be my final posting on this subject.

Waiting (and accepting) edification.
Joel


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Date: Thu, 29 Aug 2002 10:09:27 -0400
From: jferris <jferris154 * mac>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Concerning Women - response

Deborah wrote:

>However, where doctrinal instruction is involved, we're
>getting close to the core issues Paul is addressing in 2 Tim 2. So I
>personally don't like to receive biblical or theological training--
>particularly that which requires submission from me (pastor, professor,
>discipleship leader, SS teacher) from a woman. In the church. At
college.
>Anywhere ...
>
Dear Michael,

How about at home?
Yes, we are getting closer.
I hope this is my last effort on this subject.

INTIMACY & AUTHORITY IN THE GARDEN

The two most critical concerns which have surfaced in the Body of Christ
in our time are intimacy and authority. The desire for intimacy can be
seen in the broad based trend to meet from house to house, and the
importance of authority can be seen in the leadership crises which has
attended meeting in the home.

In the face of this current distress, we can take heart that we are
getting back to basics. These two matters, intimacy and authority, can
be found in the earliest chapters of Genesis, and as the first
appearance, we can draw great insight from a deeper exploration of these
chapters.

IMAGE

GEN 1:26 Then God said, "Let us make man in our image..."

Both intimacy and authority are implicit in this statement. That God
referred to Himself as "us "suggests the intimacy of the Godhead. That
God said "Let us make..." suggests authority within that intimacy. It
is that intimacy and that authority that has the creation of male and
female as its image.

GEN 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he
created him; male and female he created them.

FREEDOM & PROHIBITION

GEN 2:15-17 The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden
to work it and take care of it. And the Lord God commanded the man, "You
are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from
the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you
will surely die."

VULNERABILITY FOR THE SAKE OF THE WORK

GEN 2:18 The Lord God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I
will make a helper suitable for him."

GEN 2:22-25 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out
of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said, "This is now
bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called 'woman,' for
she was taken out of man." For this reason a man will leave his father
and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.
The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.

In the same instant that two would be one, would be intimate, the matter
of authority is present. The reason that "a man will leave his father
and mother, and be united to his wife", is so that they can become one
flesh. The Bible says "For this reason..." because it is referring to
the fact that before she was taken out of the man, they were one flesh
in perfect union, in perfect unity.

The perfect union was broken, because God had work for man to do, that
he could not do alone. At that point God said "It is not good for the
man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him."

When ever unity is broken for any reason, both the parts and the whole
are put at great risk. For the sake of the work, this unity was broken.
For the sake of the unity, God has provided us His rest. We will discuss
God's rest a little later on.

DISASTER IN THE GARDEN

Every man made disaster in human history can be traced to this disaster
in the garden. From GEN 3:1-19, we would like to pick out several
things related to intimacy and authority:

First, the main thrust of the serpent's attack was to offer equality
with God. This was designed to create an identity crises. The offer also
contained the implication that she was presently less than she was meant
to be, and that God wanted it that way. She was thereby deceived in, at
least two aspects, first, she was led to believe that she was not the
object of God's best, and second, she was led to believe that she could
make something of herself by her own action.

Nakedness speaks to us of the possibility of intimacy. Intimacy can have
a right or a wrong object. By attempting to make something of herself,
intimacy was ruined. The nakedness which prior to the fall, was other
conscious, after the fall became self conscious. The root of the problem
lay in the conscience, or consciousness. We will look at this in some
greater depth in connection with the meekness of Jesus as contrasted
with the meekness of Moses.

FALLEN DOMINION

God said; first to the woman, "...your husband...will rule over you."
and then to the man; "Because you listened to your wife and ate from the
tree about which I commanded you, 'You must not eat of it,.."

Whatever is in view as being the content of the word "rule", in God's
declaration to the woman, it must be contrasted to any rule that the
husband may have had in relation to his wife prior to the fall. It is
clear that in saying "...he will rule over you.", God was identifying a
kind of ruling or an aspect of ruling, which had not been present prior
to the fall. Looking back at this disaster through the Gospels, it is
clear, that there are, at least two basic types of ruling:

In Luke's Gospel, Luke being a Gentile prior to his conversion, we see
repeated focus on this issue:

LUK 22:24-30 Jesus said to them, "The kings of the Gentiles lord it
over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves
Benefactors. But you are not to be like that.

Gentile authority is over lording authority, it works by imposition. In
the Kingdom of God authority works by submission. We see it in its
clearest revelation, in The Person of The Lord Jesus Christ. And
particularly as it operates in the context the relationship between a
man and his wife:

EPH 5:21-33 Submit to one another... "For this reason a man will leave
his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will
become one flesh." This is a profound mystery--but I am talking about
Christ and the church.

Male and female oneness, speaks to us of a great mystery, "...Christ and
the Church." Any nakedness which is not consistent with this "profound
mystery" is sin. This is to say, that any sexual intimacy which is
inconsistent with God's intention, is shameful.

In the resurrection, sexual intimacy will be done away, because the
Divine intimacy which it represents, will be fully ours.

LUK 20:34-36 Jesus replied, "The people of this age marry and are given
in marriage. But those who are considered worthy of taking part in that
age and in the resurrection from the dead will neither marry nor be
given in marriage, and they can no longer die; for they are like angels.
They are God's children, since they are children of the resurrection..."

We must conclude that the relationship between the man and the woman
when they were right with God and each other, was typical of the
relationship between Christ and His Church. More, when a man is right
with God in Jesus Christ, no understanding of his relationship to his
wife is derived from God's declaration to the woman after the fall.

We must also conclude, that when the relationship broke down, Adam, the
father of all living, became the first gentile. It was in his gentile
approach to authority that he would now "rule over" his wife.


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Date: Thu, 29 Aug 2002 18:22:20 +0200
From: "Keith Smith" <castillofuerte * airtel>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] NEW TOPIC!!! Equipping And Releasing Seminars
I too am pleased with the change of subject

And I also think that Church should be so much more than meetings. I =
actually had one new person in our church ask me if it was alright for =
them to visit with church members. Apparently in their previous church =
this was discouraged as it "caused cliques". I encourage a community =
mentality. As a "past it" hippie, part of me still longs for a flower =
power type commune. ; ) But our other than meeting type activities do =
include, a buying co-operative (every house church should have one!), BBQs, =
hairdressing sessions, clothes making session (Can you believe that I =
made my own best suit? Folk complement me, and ask me where I bought it, =
I just tell them that I got it from a very exclusive place). Church =
should be what we are, not what we do!

As far as inclusive training sessions They are vital, We have been =
invloved in Weekend type training sessions, for Organic (House) Churches =
for more that 25 Years, both in the UK and here.=20

Blessings to all,
Keith


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Date: Wed, 28 Aug 2002 11:48:51 +0200
From: "Ampe Pronk" <marcusampe * tiscalinet.be>
Subject: [NTCP] Having visions

Dear Vanessa,
March 1999 I had a serious car accident of which I am still recovering. When
it happened, what I had strangely dreamt already three times before, I
asked God to stay alive to be able to take care of my wife and little son. I
am convinced that the incredible white light and the Words I heard was my
communication with Jehovah. Others brush it aside, as being the lights of
the MUG, dreams of my unconsciousness. But I am convinced that on the
turning point of life, our Creator has given me an other chance. He kept
giving me the hand. Walking with me He did surprise the doctors with me
progressing so well. It was such a short moment perhaps, for me it took my
whole life and the exalting moment of saving, is one which give me the
feeling that I really had contact with our Father. Never again did I have
such a close feeling.
Can we trust our feelings about receiving replies or answers from God?
Bless you.
Yours sincerely,
Marcus Ampe


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Date: Thu, 29 Aug 2002 08:30:06 -0400
From: jferris <jferris154 * mac>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Concerning Women - response

Deborah wrote:

>However, where doctrinal instruction is involved, we're
>getting close to the core issues Paul is addressing in 2 Tim 2. So I
>personally don't like to receive biblical or theological training--
>particularly that which requires submission from me (pastor, professor,
>discipleship leader, SS teacher) from a woman. In the church. At college.
>Anywhere ...
>
Dear Michael,

How about at home?
Yes, we are getting closer.
I hope this is my last effort on this subject.

INTIMACY & AUTHORITY IN THE GARDEN

The two most critical concerns which have surfaced in the Body of Christ
in our time are intimacy and authority. The desire for intimacy can be
seen in the broad based trend to meet from house to house, and the
importance of authority can be seen in the leadership crises which has
attended meeting in the home.

In the face of this current distress, we can take heart that we are
getting back to basics. These two matters, intimacy and authority, can
be found in the earliest chapters of Genesis, and as the first
appearance, we can draw great insight from a deeper exploration of these
chapters.

IMAGE

GEN 1:26 Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness,
and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds ofthe air, over
the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move
along the ground."

"Let us make man in our image..." both intimacy and authority are
implicit in this statement. That God referred to Himself as "us
"suggests the intimacy of the Godhead. That God said "Let us make..."
suggests authority within that intimacy. It is that intimacy and that
authority that has the creation of male and female as its image.

GEN 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he
created him; male and female he created them.

GEN 2:7 And the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground and
breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living
being.

FREEDOM & PROHIBITION

GEN 2:15-17 The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden
to work it and take care of it. And the Lord God commanded the man, "You
are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from
the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you
will surely die."

VULNERABILITY FOR THE SAKE OF THE WORK

GEN 2:18 The Lord God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I
will make a helper suitable for him."

GEN 2:22-25 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out
of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said, "This is now
bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called 'woman,' for
she was taken out of man." For this reason a man will leave his father
and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.
The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.

In the same instant that two would be one, would be intimate, the matter
of authority is present. The reason that "a man will leave his father
and mother, and be united to his wife", is so that they can become one
flesh. The Bible says "For this reason..." because it is referring to
the fact that before she was taken out of the man, they were one flesh
in perfect union, in perfect unity.

The perfect union was broken, because God had work for man to do, that
he could not do alone. At that point God said "It is not good for the
man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him."

When ever unity is broken for any reason, both the parts and the whole
are put at great risk. For the sake of the work, this unity was broken.
For the sake of the unity, God has provided us His rest. We will discuss
God's rest a little later on.

DISASTER IN THE GARDEN

GEN 3:1-19 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals
the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God really say, 'You
must not eat from any tree in the garden'?" The woman said to the
serpent, "We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did
say, 'You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the
garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.'" "You will not
surely die," the serpent said to the woman. "For God knows that when you
eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing
good and evil." When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good
for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom,
she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was
with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and
they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and
made coverings for themselves. Then the man and his wife heard the sound
of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day,
and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the
Lord God called to the man, "Where are you?" He answered, "I heard you
in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid." And he
said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree
that I commanded you not to eat from? "The man said, "The woman you put
here with me--she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it." Then
the Lord God said to the woman,"What is this you have done?" The woman
said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate." So the Lord God said to the
serpent, "Because you have done this, "Cursed are you above all the
livestock and all the wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you
will eat dust all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between
you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush
your head, and you will strike his heel." To the woman he said, "I will
greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give
birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will
rule over you ." To Adam he said, "Because you listened to your wife and
ate from the tree about which I commanded you, 'You must not eat of it,
' "Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will
eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles
for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your
brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from
it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return."

Every man made disaster in human history can be traced to this disaster
in the garden. From the above, we would like to pick out several things
related to intimacy and authority:

First, the main thrust of the serpent's attack was to offer equality
with God. This was designed to create an identity crises. The offer also
contained the implication that she was presently less than she was meant
to be, and that God wanted it that way. She was thereby deceived in, at
least two aspects, first, she was led to believe that she was not the
object of God's best, and second, she was led to believe that she could
make something of herself by her own action.

Nakedness speaks to us of the possibility of intimacy. Intimacy can have
a right or a wrong object. By attempting to make something of herself,
intimacy was ruined. The nakedness which prior to the fall, was other
conscious, after the fall became self conscious. The root of the problem
lay in the conscience, or consciousness. We will look at this in some
greater depth in connection with the meekness of Jesus as contrasted
with the meekness of Moses.

FALLEN DOMINION

God said; first to the woman, "...your husband...will rule over you."
and then to the man; "Because you listened to your wife and ate from the
tree about which I commanded you, 'You must not eat of it,.."

Whatever is in view as being the content of the word "rule", in God's
declaration to the woman, it must be contrasted to any rule that the
husband may have had in relation to his wife prior to the fall. It is
clear that in saying "...he will rule over you.", God was identifying a
kind of ruling or an aspect of ruling, which had not been present prior
to the fall. Looking back at this disaster through the Gospels, it is
clear, that there are, at least two basic types of ruling:

In Luke's Gospel, Luke being a Gentile prior to his conversion, we see
repeated focus on this issue:

LUK 22:24-30 Also a dispute arose among them as to which of them was
considered to be greatest. Jesus said to them, "The kings of the
Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them
call themselves Benefactors. But you are not to be like that. Instead,
the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who
rules like the one who serves. For who is greater, the one who is at the
table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But
I am among you as one who serves. You are those who have stood by me in
my trials. And I confer on you a kingdom, just as my Father conferred
one on me, so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and
sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

Gentile authority is over lording authority, it works by imposition. In
the Kingdom of God authority works by submission. We see it in its
clearest revelation, in The Person of The Lord Jesus Christ. And
particularly as it operates in the context the relationship between a
man and his wife:

EPH 5:21-33 Submit to one another... Husbands, love your wives, just as
Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy,
cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present
her to himself as` a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any
other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought
to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves
himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and
cares for it, just as Christ does the church--for we are members ofhis
body. "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be
united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh." This is a
profound mystery--but I am talking about Christ and the church.

Male and female oneness, speaks to us of a great mystery, "...Christ and
the Church." Any nakedness which is not consistent with this "profound
mystery" is sin. This is to say, that any sexual intimacy which is
inconsistent with God's intention, is shameful.

In the resurrection, sexual intimacy will be done away, because the
Divine intimacy which it represents, will be fully ours.

LUK 20:34-36 Jesus replied, "The people of this age marry and are given
in marriage. But those who are considered worthy of taking part in that
age and in the resurrection from the dead will neither marry nor be
given in marriage, and they can no longer die; for they are like angels.
They are God's children, since they are children of the resurrection..."

We must conclude that the relationship between the man and the woman
when they were right with God and each other, was typical of the
relationship between Christ and His Church. More, when a man is right
with God in Jesus Christ, no understanding of his relationship to his
wife is derived from God's declaration to the woman after the fall.

We must also conclude, that when the relationship broke down, Adam, the
father of all living, became the first gentile. It was in his gentile
approach to authority that he would now "rule over" his wife.
 


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