Galatians 3 – Woman Ordination
“For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There 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 3:26–28).
The verse in Galatians 3:28 presents equal access of men and woman to God through Christ. Here, Paul is stating that all believers are united in one family by baptism and that all have the same benefits as children of God. This passage does not mean all Christians have been given the same spiritual gifts or the same roles in the body of Christ nor does it mean that one Christian can now demand the office that Christ has assigned to another.
This passage does not change the biblical requirements for the offices of elder and bishop: “This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach; not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous; one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God; not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil” ( 1 Timothy 3:1-5).
Paul’s message does not mean there is no gender differentiation in leadership roles, because that would contradict other clear passages of Scripture which state: “But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God” (1 Corinthians 11:3); ” And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence” (1 Timothy 2:12); “Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives…For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord” (1 Peter 3:15,6).
Galatians 3:28 does not represent a change in Paul’s thinking about gender roles in the church and the issue of ordaining women. For the change to be true, Galatians would need to have been written after his first letter to Timothy, but it was written well before. The Bible does not contradict itself. In fact, the verse after Galatians 3:28, shows the biblical patriarchy, and that all believers descend from Abraham: “If you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Galatians 3:29).
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