Gender, the Pastorate, and Galatians 3:28

Gender, Responsibility, and Galatians 328There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:28).

She objected. The Bible says that there is neither male nor female in Christ.

I’d just told the students in the Berean School of Ministry that the New Testament permits a woman to do anything in the church except be the pastor. First Timothy 3:1 says that the position of pastor is for a man, then Paul adds that a pastor must be the husband of one wife (1 Timothy 3:2 and Titus 1:6); an impossibility for a woman – even in gender confused America.

I then asked the simple question: Who does the Bible say is to be the head of your household? She sheepishly replied, My husband. The man.

Galatians 3:28 is also being misused by homosexuals to say that since there is neither male nor female in Christ, anyone can marry anyone as long as there is love.

Any familiarity with Scripture reveals vivid distinctions between men and women. Paul addresses the two sexes separately throughout his teaching (Ephesians 5:25; 1 Timothy 2:8-9, 12), as did Jesus (Matthew 19:4; Mark 10:6; Luke 12:45). The distinctions, roles and responsibilities of men and women are different, both in the home and in the church. So when Paul wrote about our unity in Christ, what was he saying?

The context of Galatians 3 is simple: when standing before God in need of salvation, the distinctions of race, social status, and gender are not obstructions. Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners (1 Timothy 1:15) no matter who those sinners may be.

We have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). Each of us needs a Saviour and faith in Jesus alone is what binds people of different social standings together in one spiritual body (Galatians 3:26-27). God’s promises apply to each of His children equally in Christ (Galatians 3:29), yet our roles in society and the church remain vastly distinct.

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