Tonight we're going to consider a rather hot button issue. That is the topic of gender.
You would have to be hiding under a rock to not know of this pressure we have from society concerning gender and gender roles. It's swirling around us, it's in the news, the media all the time. What once was a simple definition is now apparently yet another application of relativism. And a glaring example of what once was objective now being subjective.
If we're honest, this has been an issue with God's people, really, from the beginning, gender issues. But, has changed, and evolved, over time, into what it is today, I think because of both changes in science and culture.
We need to look to the scriptures to understand so that we can look to people with compassion.
What Did God Intend Gender to Be?
- Genesis 2:18-25
When I deal with difficult topics like this it's helpful to go back and see how God created things. It's helpful to see how God intended things to be from the beginning. This gives us then, relevant perspective as to what God made, and said was good, for humanity, he called very good.
Why didn't God make two males in the beginning? Why didn't he make two females? Why make a man and woman? What's special about that?
It seems that woman is the complement to man. That is, she is everything that he isn't. She is literally a helpmeet to him, in every way. In ways that God designed for us to complement each other.
For the sake of children, sure, there is a biological need for males and females. But, also there is an emotional element beyond just the physical that man and woman, made by God were made to complement each other.
He doesn't ask them what they want to be. He doesn't give them the opportunity to choose. He creates them, as it says, to be male and female that they may be joined together to be one flesh, as the text says.
When we think about the roles of men and women, we should start here.
The Change Which Brings Sin
- Genesis 3:6-7
Notice the sequence of events. Eve was deceived by the serpent and she sinned first. She then gave the fruit to Adam and he sinned. They nearly sinned at the same time. I wonder at what point was Eve's eyes opened. Were they opened after they both had eaten it, or immediately after she ate?
- Genesis 3:3-4
This is the selling point of Satan to Eve. But if you look at the words there in Hebrew, that YOU will not die, that YOU will be like God. The yous in the text are plural. As if he's saying you guys, you two when you do these things.
We might think that Adam is there and he sees the conversation, that maybe he witnesses this.
- Genesis 3:8-13
Notice, this seemingly awakens their conscience. They realize their nakedness because of their knowledge. They realize their sin because of this knowledge. And, when God comes looking for them, they hide.
We know this situation, we've been there before. We know what it's like to sin and know that we're wrong. And, we want to hide from God. We understand the guilt of sin. Adam and Even experienced that guilt and pain too.
That phrase at the end of verse 13, I believe, highlights the pain of God. You can turn over to chapter 4 verse 10, and see that it's the exact same question He asks of Cain after he kills Abel.
"What have you done?"
Both of these events are terrible. They are defiant against God. It almost sounds as if God is in disbelief. What have you done? Because He's completely heartbroken. He's heartbroken because of His creation's choices.
Look at what happens with Adam and Eve. Chapter 3 talks about His righteous judgments on them.
- Genesis 3:14-19
Both individuals here sin. Both are punished through changes that God allows to come into their life. Life now brings pain and eventually death. The life that they once knew, once had, is now gone. They're removed from the only home they ever knew, that being the garden with God literally keeping them from returning.
This sin unleashes death on all of mankind to follow.
The Conduct and Role of Christians
- 1 Timothy 2:8-15
The differences between men and women does not merely rest upon their gender. But it's also linked back to their sins. Yes, they were designed, we are designed differently. But there's something more to it than mere chromosomal differences that sets them apart.
Paul here highlights the creation order and the sin order and that these two variables are then linked in God's decision-making. Paul says the roles of men and women go back to the Garden events. Eve was deceived, tricked by Satan. While Adam, it says here, wasn't tricked by Satan but that Adam followed Eve. He submitted his will to her words and sinned.
Both gave up the roles that God designed for them. Adam failed because he didn't lead as he should. Even failed because she didn't follow as she should.
They both fell because they gave up the roles that God gave them at the beginning which led to sin, and their demise.
Notice the unity of genders as found in Galatians chapter three.
- Galatians 3:26-28
Maybe you've heard that verse being used as a wedge issue verse. That men and women are equal in all ways. That equality in salvation must lead to equality in everything. In most ways, especially in Christ, we are equals.
On Tuesday, Coleman will look at God's View of Marriage with you.
We are human beings created by God, in His image, created with a soul that God jealously wants back. Men and women are also different in ways that stem from creation that will never change.
- Ephesians 4:22-24
Here we see God outlining the husband's role. Notice the differences. Notice the incredible calling of a husband. He is to be to his wife a type of Jesus in the church. Husbands think about that. You are to be to your wife as Christ is to the church.
That is a tremendous responsibility. It is a tremendous burden.
For the wife, and the decision to marry, willingly yields to her husband in regards to leading the family closer to God, ultimately to Heaven. This is for the sake of the marriage. It is not because a woman is a lesser human being or that she is inferior to a man. It is an act of love and free will.
To the men, make sure that you are a man that is ready to do this before you marry. To women, make sure that the man you are to marry is ready for this responsibility. We don't, often, let young people dwell on those things long enough.
Are you ready to lead your family to Heaven? And, to the woman are you ready to allow him to lead you to heaven?
- 1 Peter 3:1-7
To the women, I hope you see the charge here in Peter's letter. For some, your husbands will fail you. They will not lead you and your family closer to Christ. Though the Bible doesn't suggest you take over the family, it does say that your humility be such that you draw him back to God.
Talk about extreme responsibility. Your life is to be such that your actions speak louder than your words. This goes beyond the home setting. Both men and women are to be examples to those around them.
- Titus 2:1-8
The World's View of Gender
But the world, mankind around us, would have us believe something different than what we've read tonight. They would have us believe that gender is a more dynamic and fluid reality. This can be seen in just simple examples of definitions.
The state of being male or female. In other words, your sex. — Webster's Dictionary for English Language Learners
Your sex, either male or female. 2) the behavioral or psychological state generally associated with one sex or another. — Webster's Dictionary
The state of being male or female, (typically used with reference to social and cultural differences rather than biological ones.) — Google
Do you see how those changed? It's almost completely flipped over. Think about this and how culture and society would like us to believe that gender doesn't link to our biological sex, that it's not that we're born male or female, that it's something else. It then begins to change, it's not how we're born, but how you feel.
Society would have us believe that it's not the binary male or female. That is outdated. It's better to let people decide what makes them feel better. Society says it's a spectrum.
This is not new.
An interesting passage that some in the world take and distort to apply to today's society.
- Deuteronomy 22:5
Is this really about clothes? For example, if my wife finds my Ohio State sweatshirt and puts it on, is that an abomination to God. No, that's not a sin when my wife wears my sweatshirt. Surely this is speaking to actions that are linked to perversion, then just wearing simple garments. It's perversion linked to sexual immorality.
- Romans 1:18-32
There are so many things in the passage, as the inventors of evil. They're looking for things they can do that are wrong. You have the language at the end that they know it's wrong, and God will judge them for it, yet they give hearty approval for it. Like, good job, good job for doing evil.
Some might be eager to point out that God doesn't mention anything about transgenderism, or sexual reassignment surgery. Some of the things available to mankind now are a result of scientific advancements.
We can surgically change a person's anatomy, and inject hormones by pumping chemicals into a person to cause biological processes that are not natural. The science to develop these things, to help a person with chemical imbalances, perhaps to help a person with a pregnancy, has been taken and used, in a heartbreaking way.
You have a man, for example, who decides to become a woman. Who then, walks into a church. Does God still love them? Does God love their soul? Is God happy with their decision? Can they be forgiven?
Sexual sin is realized in many different ways. All of which are against God's will for our lives. But, if we are willing to yield to God's will and repent then we can always find forgiveness. Sexual sin, like any other sin, will separate us from God, and condemn our soul. But, God's power to save is still there.
One of the results of freedom in our country is increased activity in sin. Whether it be drugs or sex, or murder, or thievery, or slander or hate, all of these things harm our relationship with God. We need to appreciate the evils of sin. We need to appreciate the trappings of the Devil.
But we also need to appreciate and shout to the world of God's mercy and love.
The Bible says that we as Christians are not to judge those in the world. But, we are to call them to Christ. We are to judge those in the church, to rebuke them for their sins, that they should know their sins and they need to repent. The Bible says to love them all, as God does.
As it does, let that sin, break our hearts, what have you done? Let that be our motivation that we have compassion for their souls. That we model God's unending compassion from above. May we be more active in bringing people to God.
All sinners are dying in this world without a Savior.
We've talked about God's love, His mercy, and He's created us to do wonderful amazing things in this world. If you need to repent, if you can't be effective for God because of the sin in your life, or you're struggling with your faith, maybe tonight you are reminded that God loves you so much.
If you believe that Jesus is the Son of God, and believe what it says in scripture, considering that God loves all of us, and wants all of us to be saved. If you need to be baptized, you can have your sins forgiven, and come to know His great mercy and love.
If you'd like to know more about the roles of men and women contact us as we would love to sit down and study the scriptures with us.