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44 Days Through the New Testament – Day 23

Romans 16 – 1 Corinthians 2

One of the false statements that I often hear about Christianity is that it is oppressive to women. I don’t believe that is true. I personally believe that God created male and female to compliment one another. While there is a lot of overlap, I believe that He created males in a specific way and to fulfill specific roles, and He created females in a specific way and to fulfill specific roles. I believe that the two sexes compliment one another perfectly, as they were designed to do.

Paul, especially, seems to be labeled as a male chauvinist. I don’t believe that to be truth, but I know that many people give him that label. In rebuttal, I love the final, personal greetings from Romans 16.

I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a servant of the church at Cenchreae, that you may welcome her in the Lord in a way worthy of the saints, and help her in whatever she may need from you, for she has been a patron of many and of myself as well. Greet Prisca and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, who risked their necks for my life, to whom not only I give thanks but all the churches of the Gentiles give thanks as well. (Romans 16:1-4, ESV)

Contrary to the idea of Paul not caring about women, here we see him deeply caring about women. In fact, he puts several women first in his list of people to honor, greet, and take care of.

1 Corinthians 3-5

I love Paul’s adamant pointing to the supremacy of Christ. In 1 Corinthians 3, Paul is arguing for people to stop saying, I follow Paul”, or “I follow Apollo’s”. Rather, they should say, “I follow Christ.”

He is reminding the reader that we humans are merely doing to the work that God has both called and empowered us to do. But God is the One who is really doing the work!

What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. (1 Corinthians 3:5-7, ESV)

May we follow Christ, and be as adamant about pointing others to Him as Paul was!

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