We wrestle against…..How do we win?

12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places –Ephesians 6:12King James Version (KJV)

“The greatest hindrance to Christianity is NOT the worldliness outside the church, but the worldliness inside.” – Zwingli

I had a disturbing conversation with someone this morning.  After I had calmed down, I realized that this is not a human issue it is just the enemy using a situation to divide and conqueror.

 When God’s people have hope and trust in Him and others, the devil will step in and attempt to divide and conqueror.  That is what he is splendid at doing. We must always take the high road and eliminate any instance that could tarnish who we are in Christ and what we believe.  This nation is acting as if it is devoid of hope.
The enemy will try to suck the construct of “hopefulness” from families first, then spread that concept of hopelessness into the neighborhood, community, county, state, and then out into the nation.  The result? Look at anything or any group that you are involved with and see if it is growing for the sake of The Kingdom of God or growing because of what you are doing. It takes faith and hope to live this life that we are called to live. But it takes the Holy Spirit to grow any endeavor that is “Kingdom”.
  • Know that you will face roadblocks.
  • Know that although we seek to live peaceful lives we are slated to be in a continued battle that involves spiritual warfare against the evil powers of this dark world (Eph 6:10-20).
  • Know that we are in a battle between two worlds: God’s Holy Scripture and the unbelief that is riveted into the minds of humanity by the devil (2 Cor. 10:3-5). And, as every Christian knows, there is a fierce inner battle that goes on between the flesh and the spirit, the old man and the new.
  • Know that sometimes that same battle goes on within a Christian as they wages that wage against the flesh and the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:17). If we do not learn how to overcome the strong inner urge to gratify the flesh, sin will take us captive and enslave us. Paul describes this war within in
  • Know that when a believer does not hand that battle over to the Lord sin holds them captive and enslaves them. Paul identified it in Romans 7:14-25 That is how strife and division flourish within the body of Christ – James addressed it in James 4.
  • Know that we can win the war that rages within (Romans 7:21-25).
  • Know that when strife presents itself within the body of Christ, it is coming from the Devil.  Then ..
    • The hurt will not be as intense.
    • The anger is aimed at its correct source – the enemy.
    • The Christian can easily take the high road recognizing that they too are engaged in the same battle like the one who has hurt their feelings.
    • The Church can strengthen its horizontal relationship with the heavenly father.
    • The Church can heal and re-establish horizontal relationships with estranged brothers and sisters in Christ.
    • This statement will become a memory, “The greatest hindrance to Christianity is NOT the worldliness outside the church, but the worldliness inside.” – Zwingli

Hunger for the things of God and use the Scripture and prayer to fill that desire and the greatest hindrance to Christianity will cease to exist!

 

This resource is presented with the hope that women will realize their potential to lead in roles other than pastorate in their local congregations. It is to be noted that non-denominational and denominational leaders have written articles based on their pre-supposed positions of women and their leadership roles in the church.

  1. Women Church Leaders in the New Testament
  2. Bible Women
  3. The New Testament Church—The Role of Women
  4. What Does the Bible Say About Women in Ministry?
References on the history of women in the early Christian Church
  • Brock, Sebastian and Harvey, Susan, trans. Holy Women of the Syrian Orient, updated edition. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1987.
  • Brown, Peter. The Body and Society: Men, Women, and Sexual Renunciation in Early Christianity. New York: Columbia University Press, 1998.
  • Coon, Lynda. “God’s Holy Harlots: The Redemptive Lives of Pelagia of Antioch and Mary of Egypt.” In Sacred Fictions: Holy Women and Hagiography in Late Antiquity. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1997.
  • MacDonald, Margaret. “Reading Real Women through Undisputed Letters of Paul.” In Women and Christian Origins edited by Ross Sheppard Kraemer and Mary Rose D’Angelo. Oxford: University Press, 1999.
  • Stagg, Evelyn and Frank. Woman in the World of Jesus. Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, 1978.
  • Stagg, Frank. New Testament Theology. Nashville: Broadman Press, 1962.
  • Torjesen, Karen Jo. When Women were Priests: Women’s Leadership in the Early Church & The Scandal of their Subordination in the Rise of Christianity. New York, NY: Harper Collins Publisher, 1995.
  • Wiley, Tatha. Paul and the Gentile Women: Reframing Galatians New York: Continuum, 2005.
  • Witherington, Ben III. Women in the Earliest Churches. Cambridge/New York: Cambridge University Press, 1988.
    • Bechtel, Lyn M. (1996), “A Symbolic Level of Meaning: John 2.1-11 (The Marriage in Cana)”, in Athalya Brenner, A Feminist Companion to the Hebrew Bible in the New Testament (1st ed.), Sheffield, U.K.: Sheffield Academic Press
    • Fiddes, Paul S. ‘ “Woman’s head is man”: a doctrinal reflection upon a Pauline text.’ Baptist Quarterly 31.8, 1986. 370-83
    • Fiddes, Paul S. (1990), “‘The status of women in the thought of Karl Barth'”, in Janet Martin Soskice, After Eve [alternative title After Eve: women, theology and the Christian tradition] (1st ed.), London: Marshall Pickering
    • Fontaine, Carole R. (1996), “Disabilities and Illness in the Bible: A Feminist Perspective”, in Athalya Brenner, A Feminist Companion to the Hebrew Bible in the New Testament (1st ed.), Sheffield, U.K.: Sheffield Academic Press
    • Kripal, Jeffrey John. (2007), The Serpent’s Gift: Gnostic Reflections on the Study of Religion, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press

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