Today is February 13, 2019

Verse of the Day — 1 Corinthians 1:30

But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus . . .


We did nothing to earn our salvation.


When Christians gather in heaven’s equivalent of the “water cooler break,” if ever asked how we got to heaven, we’ll all have the same answer: “By God’s grace. I did nothing to get here. God did it all.” You were saved not because you did anything right, but because God had mercy on your soul.

He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy . . . —Titus 3:5

So there will be no boasting in heaven. And while we’re on earth, we can practice “not” boasting:

Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord. —1 Corinthians 1:31


Dear Compass,

Our church has a policy of not letting women speak in church or teach men in Sunday School class based on 1 Timothy 2:12:

But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet.

What are your thoughts on this rather outdated position?


Paul is not suggesting that a woman may not open her mouth when men are present. The literal translation of the Greek is “be in quietness.” The term implies women should be “settled down, undisturbed, not unruly.” A different Greek word would have been used to mean “to be silent, to say nothing.”

There are some who have tried to translate this verse as “to teach in a domineering manner.” This is simply an incorrect translation of the text. Correctly translated, it categorically declares women are not to teach or exercise authority over men.

The expression “to teach” in the Greek referred to the type of teaching found in the Jewish community from where Paul had come. It was more than the dissemination of information. It was a call by a rabbi or teacher to have his disciples listen, believe and practice what was learned. The elders (restricted to males: “An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach —1 Timothy 3:2; see also Titus 1:5-6) who had the gift of teaching were expected to teach.

Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching —Romans 12:6-7

This verse should never be understood to diminish the role of Christian women, single or married. Women are full and equal members of the Body of Christ: gifted, valued, ministering members. Scripture records many prominent roles for women.

  • Women can pray in public (if they were properly attired).

    Every man who has something on his head while praying or prophesying disgraces his head. But every woman who has her head uncovered while praying or prophesying disgraces her head, for she is one and the same as the woman whose head is shaved. —1 Corinthians 11:4-5
  • Women were instrumental in the formation of the New Testament church.

    I commend to you our sister Phoebe . . . Greet Prisca . . . Greet Mary . . . Junias, . . . Tryphaena and Tryphosa, . . . Persis, . . . also his [Rufus] mother and mine. Greet . . . Julia, . . . his [Nereus] sister, and Olympas . . . —Romans 16:1-15
  • Women approvingly taught Timothy scriptural truths.

    For I am mindful of the sincere faith within you, which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am sure that it is in you as well. —2 Timothy 1:5

    and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. —2 Timothy 3:15

  • They were permitted to teach children.

    and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. —2 Timothy 3:15
  • They were permitted to train younger women.

    Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children —Titus 2:3-4
  • Priscilla and Aquila taught Apollos.

    and he [Apollos] began to speak out boldly in the synagogue. But when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately. —Acts 18:26
And we all are to witness and share our testimony.

But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. —2 Timothy 4:5

A woman’s work in the home and influence on children by motherhood are of the utmost importance. And honest men will admit they learn a great deal from their wives every day.

The prohibition of teaching and exercising authority over men is not “outdated.” The verses immediately following 1 Timothy 2:12 prove this instruction is not based on culture but on Creation. Since Paul used Creation/Adam/Eve, his point carries doctrinal authority in the church even today.

In Genesis, the principle of male headship was violated through the reversal of authority roles in the Fall with devastating consequences. By the woman succumbing to deception, it revealed a tendency which disqualifies her for leadership. God wants us to avoid similar problems in the church by following the order demonstrated in Scripture.

But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ. —1 Corinthians 11:3

But food will not commend us to God; we are neither the worse if we do not eat, nor the better if we do eat. But take care that this liberty of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. —1 Corinthians 8:8-9

For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. —Ephesians 5:23


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