“The vision of a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne (Revelation 7:9) certainly has women as major stakeholders. I dare say women will be in the majority. How can this vision be realized when we live in societies that do not believe in the spiritual and social worth of women? There is no gainsaying that women form a greater majority of the congregations of most churches in the world… It is undeniable that they fit perfectly in God’s redemptive plan.” – Mrs. Jane Quaye (FIDA Ghana)
As believers, our ultimate expectation is that one day we will be a part of that multitude standing before the Throne of God and the Lamb, praising and worshipping God! However, the possibility of women being in the majority is much food for thought. Women, redeemed and washed by the precious Blood of Jesus, standing side by side with men, redeemed and washed by the precious Blood of Jesus, praising and worshipping God! This is the glorious Church, the Bride of the Lamb!!! There will be no separation between the races, and no differentiation between the genders and no partition between the statuses! We will all stand on that day, bearing the same identity, gender and status…
“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. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” – Galatians 3:26-29
I love the part that says, “As many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ!” God sees us (race, gender, social status and all), covered up in Christ!!! Apparently, when He looks at the Church, He does not see race, gender or social status. God only sees His sons (children).
Women in Christ
The good news to women, therefore, is that our identity and status before God is in Christ. God see us as ones who have been redeemed and reconciled to Him through Christ Jesus!
Romans 5:10-11 tells us, “For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.” (Also read 1 Peter 1:18,19)
Women have been redeemed from the curse of sin and reconciled with God, just as men. There is no condemnation against us and we can live the full life of faith in Christ by His Spirit! We must, therefore, see ourselves as women in Christ, before anything else! Let us discuss further what it means to be women in Christ.
There is no question in scripture about the identity of women in Christ. We are sons of the living God. Sonship, in the New Testament, is not by virtue of gender, but rather is a status, position and function, which is conferred by the Holy Spirit upon all who come into Christ.
Romans 8:14-17 tells us, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs–heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together”.
Without doubt Paul’s words are true – we are sons of God, irrespective of our gender, race and social status (Galatians 4:4-7). The Holy Spirit confirms and affirms us as sons and joint heirs with Jesus Christ. Women and men share the inheritance of the Kingdom of God with Christ. Women share the possessions, blessings and benefits of our inheritance within the Kingdom, equally with men. We must therefore also share the responsibility of proclaiming and preaching the Good News of the Kingdom equally with men, which is what Jesus, the Son of God, showed us to do.
A New Status
Women in Christ receive a new status. As joint-heir with Christ, we receive authority, power and dominion.
Daniel 7:18,27 tells us that “…The saints of the Most High shall receive the kingdom, and possess the kingdom forever, even forever and ever. Then the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people, the saints of the Most High. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey Him.”
This promise is to the saints, irrespective of gender, race or status. The Book of Ephesians also gives very detailed descriptions of the status and position of dominion we have in Christ.
- We have been adopted as sons by Jesus Himself (Eph 1:5)
- We have obtained an inheritance (Eph 1:11)
- We have been sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise (Eph 1:13)
- We have been made alive, together with Christ and raised up to sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. (Eph 1:20,21; 2:5,6)
As women in Christ, together with men, our purpose has been restored to fulfil the commission and mandate given to both man and woman in Genesis 2. Men and women can rule and reign and replenish the earth again.
Jesus confirmed this when He gave The Great Commission, sending His followers, men and women, (Luke 8:1-3; Mark 16:1-8) out to proclaim the Good News of His Kingdom. Jesus said to them,
“All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” – Matthew 28:18-20
“Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.” – Mark 16:15-18
The Father endorsed our restored purpose when He sent His precious Holy Spirit upon the men and women who waited in the Upper Room. (Acts 1:14)
Jesus had promised His disciples that they would receive power when the Holy Spirit came upon them and they would be His witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the ends of the earth. When the Holy Spirit was poured out, He filled all those present, both men and women, and empowered them to preach the Gospel, fulfilling Joel’s prophecy
“Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days.” – Joel 2:29
The outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the Church is to help us live the life of victory in Christ Jesus and to be witnesses to Him by proclaiming, sharing and preaching the Gospel. In pouring the Spirit upon both men and women, God was endorsing and affirming the purpose of women as co-labourers with men, in His Kingdom. Women who are cleansed by the Blood of Jesus and filled with the Holy Spirit can work with men to proclaim and build God’s Kingdom!!!
Jesus Christ the Son of God has set women free and we are free indeed. For if the Son sets you free, you are free indeed! (John 8:36) We are free to worship and serve God in any way He chooses and leads us to.
Dr. Myles Monroe says that, “True freedom is permission to work and fulfil your potential!” Therefore, the greatest way in which women can exhibit our freedom is to work and be in effective service to the Lord. This is more than just staying in church ushering, singing and teaching Sunday School. As women in Christ, our service must reach beyond our “Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria.” It must reach beyond our churches and families to our communities, work places and social environments. The freedom Christ won for us demands that we serve Him!
In Christ First!
Unfortunately, the biases and prejudices that limit women from serving the Lord, especially within particular denominations, take away the freedom given to women by Jesus Christ. This does not only undermine and compromise the Good News that Jesus preached; it also prevents women from rising up in the fullness of liberty to serve God! The simple truth is that partial freedom is not good enough! You cannot take away someone’s freedom on one hand and expect them to walk in that same freedom on another hand. We cannot take away women’s freedom to fully serve God within the confines of Church and expect them to freely and effectively serve Him outside the walls of Church.
I am not only talking about women serving as leaders within the five-fold ministry (Ephesians 4:11-16). I am also talking about women sharing the Gospel and being salt, light and the fragrance of Christ wherever they are; women discipling and raising others; women teaching and preaching; women leading prayer and bible study groups; women raising churches; women starting ministries; women going on missions, etc! I am talking about women being proactive and showing initiative concerning the work of God’s Kingdom! I am talking about woman being leaders wherever they are, leading all to Christ!
In his book “Why Not Women,” the late Jamie Cunningham, founder of YWAM, spoke of the great benefits of sending women to the mission field. To him, the capacity, tenacity and efficiency of women on the mission field is incomparable. Unfortunately, many women are sitting in our churches, warming the pews, bored or making trouble, and the world remains unsaved…!
It is Time for Change
This redundancy of at least half the workforce has caused the work of God’s Kingdom to suffer. There is much work to be done: the Gospel to preach, souls to save, disciples to make and territories to take to extend the boundaries and influence of the Kingdom of God. Jesus Christ’s Kingdom of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit must be made available to all.
Jesus said in Matthew 9:37-38, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the labourers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into His harvest.”
We need to ‘release’ and empower women to join the workforce on all level, according to callings, anointing, gifts and talents. This is a time when all hands must be on deck to enable the Church to fulfil her task!
After a careful study of the scriptures, I have come to this conclusion: women are free in Christ to serve God. Woman, whether you know it or not, you are free in Christ. Whether you believe it or not, you have been made free in Christ. Whether you live and walk in it or not, you are free in Christ. The key is to discover and know the truth of who you are as a woman in Christ Jesus, and the truth shall set you free. (John 8:32)
The Church ought to see women as joint-heirs and co-labourers with men, and not hinder them. The Church ought to equip and empower women through accurate teaching, training, gift development and by creating opportunities for service beyond the status quo. The Church ought to recognise the anointing, gifts and callings upon women and support them, knowing that it is God who chooses, calls and gives gifts.
Women also have a part to play. We must get out of ‘church mindset’ and come into ‘Christ mindset.’ We must rise up in the freedom Christ has purchased for us to work. We must walk closer with the Lord, seeking to know Him and seeking His kingdom. We must read and study the bible and train, equip and empower ourselves in Christ. We must be constantly filled with the Holy Spirit and avail ourselves to be used by Him. Above all, must rise up and freely serve God, knowing that we can only do this effectively if we define ourselves in Christ. Discover who you are in Him, surrender yourself to Him, receive grace, strength and boldness from Him and rise up to serve Him!
By Apostle Jennifer Abigail Wallace
THIS ARTICLE CAN BE USED BY PERMISSION BUT WITH REFERENCE TO AUTHOR