Sermon on Women in the Church | Role of Women in the Church



1 Timothy 2:8-15


A. There is an important need in our day and time to discuss the role of women in the church.

1. The denominational world has thrown off the limitation of biblical authority and have gone head-long into error concerning the proper role of women.

2. I have been in the Lord’s church long enough to know that whatever the denominationalists do will sooner or later appeal to some of our brethren.

3. I know of several “Churches of Christ” who have allowed women to occupy positions of authority over men in the church…

4. Thus it is very critical for us to understand what the Bible teaches concerning a woman’s role in the church.

B. I want to acknowledge at the outset of this study that a woman’s role in the church is significant

1. Women ministered to the Lord of their substance (Luke 8:3)

2. Dorcas was known for her good deeds among the widows (Acts 9:36)

3. A husband and wife team, named Aquila and Priscilla taught Apollos the way of the Lord more perfectly (Acts 18:26)

4. On repeated occasions Paul spoke of the church in the house of Aquila and Priscilla (1 Cor. 16:19; Romans 16:3-4).

5. Phoebe was a servant of the church in Cenchreae (Romans 16:1-2).

6. Mary worked among the Romans (Romans 16:6)

7. Tryphaena and Tryphosa labored in the Lord (Romans 16:12)

C. If it were not for worthy women God’s church could not exist in this or any generation.



1. Ephesians 5:22-24

a. By Divine decree, man is to be the “head” of the woman in the church and in the home.

b. This headship rests upon two things:

1) The original constitution of the sexes as created

2) The woman’s role in the fall of man

2. Concerning the original constitution of the sexes, notice what the Bible teaches:

a. In Genesis 2:18-20 we are informed that the woman was made for the man, not the man for the woman.

b. 1 Corinthians 11:8-9

3. Concerning the woman’s role in the Fall, Eve believed Satan’s lie that she might become as God, and hence was beguiled and deceived

a. Genesis 3:13; 2 Corinthians 11:3

b. Adam, though, labored under no such deception (1 Timothy 2:14; Genesis 3:12)

c. Accordingly, woman’s subjection was increased after her Fall – Genesis 3:16

4. These facts do not suggest that women are inferior to men, but it does means that they are to be subordinate in rank to man.

a. Neither does this mean that women are inherently more gullible than men, but it does illustrate what happens when God’s chain of command for society is broken

b. It ought to be noted that as Christ’s subjection to the Father involved no removal of dignity (Philippians 2:5-11), so there is none inherent in the woman’s subjection to man.


1. 1 Timothy 2:8-15 is a crucial text relating to the issue of the role of women in the church.

a. This text offers us a general statement of the will of God on the subject of women working with men in the church.

b. Many try to limit this context to public worship, but the scope is much broader than that.

1) Certainly the instructions about modesty (v. 9) and childbearing (v. 15) are related to the woman’s perspective on her total responsibility to the Lord.

2) Likewise, the comments about her relationship to male members of the body of Christ apply more than just to the worship assembly.

c. In this context we learn that women are not to pray publicly when men are present, are not to teach when men are present, and are not to usurp authority over a man.

2. Man and woman’s relationship in prayer … 1 Timothy 2:8-10

a. “Men” comes from aner and has reference to “males”

b. Men are to “pray in every place” (“every where” KJV)

c. Here we learn that wherever Christians gather and engage in prayer – whether the whole church is assembled or a group of teenagers having a devotional or a prayer of thanks is being offered at the dinner table – males are to be the leaders of the prayer.

d. This priestly function is reserved exclusively for males when they are present with women.

3. Women are not to be placed in a leadership role over a man … 1 Timothy 2:11-12

a. Many misunderstand these verses and/or misapply these verses because they do not understand the phrase “usurp authority.”

b. Phrase means to “have authority over, to govern one, or to exercise dominion over one”

c. Rather than a woman having authority over a man, the Bible says she is to “learn in silence with all subjection … to be in silence.”

1) The word translated “silence” has reference not so much to one’s speech as to a total manner of life – NOT total silence or they could not sing in worship

2) It enjoins not the total absence of speech but a quiet life and a peaceful demeanor in which one fulfills his or her proper role.

d. Thus women, by command of God, are not allowed to preach or to assume a formal teaching role in relation to men in spiritual matters, for such a role would put her in authority over men.

4. Paul shows that this command is not cultural in nature … 1 Timothy 2:13-14

a. This principle applies to all times and places and not just to the time in which it was written

b. In these two verses we have the reason for a woman’s subjection to the man.

c. By creation man has a natural position of authority over women in the church and home


A. Women are not:

1. To preach or teach when men are present

2. To pray publicly when men are present

3. To be elders or deacons

4. To wait on the Lord’s Table or lead in song

5. To usurp authority in the church or in the home in anyway

B. This in no way degrades the woman anymore than Christ is in His subjection to the Father.

C. Women have an important place in the church, but it must be in subordination to the man.

D. In this position she will glorify God.

9 Responses to “Sermon on Women in the Church | Role of Women in the Church”

  1. Steve says:

    Women voting in a congrational meeting concerning trustees and church bylaws. Scriptural?

    • I’m not going to go into it. There are too many variables. I know of one congregation who was adopting bylaws and made the trustees adopt roles that were reserved for the elders. That congregational meeting could have been done scripturally but they listened to lawyers instead of the Bible. So, it depends on what they were voting for. If it was on things that didn’t involve divinely mandated roles of elder, deacon, preacher, teacher, of course it’s not authorized. If the vote was on things that involve legal incorporation, perhaps so.

  2. Elton says:

    To Steve:
    Your question is interesting to me because in the First Century Church, no such questions are asked. The reason that such question are not asked is because the First Century Church has neither trustees nor church bylaws.

    Nevertheless, there is nothing in NT Scripture that prohibits a believing female who is a member of a local congregation from participating in church-wide activities such as a special meeting in which members may vote on an issue.

    It seems that a participation/voting event occurs in Acts several times:
    Regarding the question about circumcising gentiles, Scripture states that the CHURCH (which includes FEMALES) decides to send Paul and others (OTHERS does NOT exclude women) to counsel with the elders and apostles at Jerusalem, Acts 15:3.

    In Jerusalem, the travelers are greeted by the CHURCH (church includes women), vs. 4.

    “…the whole assembly became silent….” NIV Vs. 12. This language does not exclude women from hearing/participating/becoming silent in this special assembly to review this issue of doctrinal importance.

    “…it pleased …the whole church to send men…” The WHOLE CHURCH (includes females) made this decision, Vs. 22.

    The messengers were dismissed by the brethren, Vs. 33. Brethren, adelpho, is gender inclusive.

    From language used in this Text, it seems that believing women who are members of these congregations do participate in some way in making these decisions.

  3. Rev. Jessica N says:

    I found some good stuff on your site but I totally disagree with you on this. Do you read Joel 2 that translates and fulfilled in Acts that your young women will dream or see visions and your older women will prophesy?
    Jesu said that,
    “I can guarantee this truth: Those who believe in me will do the things that I am doing. They will do even greater things because I am going to the Father.” John 14:12
    “In Christ there is no male or female…” Spirituality based on Genitalia is not what God is looking for.

    We the women who have been ordained in the Church, and those who are lay minsters, we don’t need affirmation from people like you. God has spoken clearly to us and those who believe in us. Yet others have had to let in the Holy Spirit into their lives and God has shown them things extraordinary. “If God is for us, who is against us?”

    How about the Samaritan woman who preached to a whole village and led it to Jesus?
    How about Mary the Mother of Jesus who found grace with God? Her prayer has been sang through the ages. “My soul magnifies the LORD…” Why would God let his own Son to be brought into this world by a humble virgin woman with no man’s help?

    I will stop here for God warns us not to involve in foolish arguments.

    • Jessica N.

      Makes no difference if you disagree with us. Your argument is with God. We teach what we find in the scriptures on the subject. Passages which you and so many others have ignored.

  4. Rev. Jessica N says:

    To me this is like Islam. And you know very well the god of islam. For your information there is so much in the Bible that is interpreted to anyone’s fancy. Apartheid was used to suppress and rob and displace Black Africans in their own country by Bible verses! Slavery like in USA was enforced to Blacks by the Whites using the Bible. Discrimination of Blacks and suppression and oppression was based on Bible verses! Many times those who wish to exclude or silence people have deep issues in themselves which they have not given to God to address. So they even assume to be God and are so bitter about something! One wonders do these people have Mothers, Aunts, Grandmothers, Sisters, Cousins, Daughters, Nieces, or even Women friends? The God I know is much different from what people like you are which is a relief. And you are entitled to your opinions, just on’t impose them on us.

    • Anyone can use words and call it Bible. We haven’t done that. We have given the references for people to read. This is not an issue of imposing. I don’t have the power to do that. I will not back down on telling the people the truth of the matter, however.

      You say this is like Islam. This is nothing like Islam. We are nothing like any of those you mention trying to paint with a broad brush. You have been presented with the truth. Instead of showing us the truth by interpreting those scriptures rightly you attempt to sully our character. Shame on you.

  5. Craig Simon says:

    The issue at hand is not “what you (or we) believe” but rather what the Bible teaches on every subject. The references used in the lesson are cut and dry concerning Bible standards. The miraculous aspect of the Holy Spirit was offered to all Christians on whom the apostles laid hands. The inference made that women had to have been taking an authoritative role in the New Testament, based on the reference from Joel 2 is simply the misuse of the word “prophesy.” While it can refer to foretelling of the future, a prophet is simply one who declares the message of God, thereby women surely can prophesy in the right setting. A woman can teach her children or an unfaithful spouse. A woman can teach her friends about Christ. A woman can even write a book or study material but is not AUTHORIZED to do so in the assembly of worship where God has instructed man to take the position of leadership.

    We don’t have one single example of a woman preacher, elder, deacon or apostle, rather the complete opposite. It is God who has placed the roles of men and women in the Bible clearly enough to be seen. Notice the reasoning from Scripture, man was created first thus always possessed the role of authority. He was always set as the head of the household as well. A woman glorifies God when she humbly accepts her role, lives it proudly and chooses not to start a revolt. Sure, women can do great things for the Lord, but God still determines how he wants to be worshiped and vain or empty worship is not accepted. I guess the hardest part for human-kind is realizing that God needs no help in determining what is acceptable worship. However our songs and prayers and sermons become worthless when they’re offered in a manner which He has not prescribed. Preach the Truth!!!!!

  6. Lloyd says:

    I appreciate the “stirring up” of the truth. Another fresh reminder that our modern society sees every matter of divine order as another issue of equality. May we not become like those spoken of by Paul in 2 Tim chapt 4, “they will not endure sound doctrine, but will heap to themselves teachers having itching ears.”

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