Abraham had faith to go where God told him to go even though he wasn’t told initially all that God would do for him. We like to see what God’s plans are for our future, but God wants us to take a small step of faith even when we don’t know what will happen.
God’s kingdom extended beyond Israel and it extends beyond our church. The kingdom extends when we have faith and are forgiving, like Naaman’s servant girl, when we are unimpressed with the things of this world and seek to heal the sick, like Elisha, and when we are obedient to God’s word, like Naaman.
There are positive accounts in the New Testament of women teaching, but what Paul has in mind is women teaching when the whole church gathers together. This is what is prohibited. This message looks at three ways in which this text is sometimes unhelpfully softened. It then looks at three key words that help us understand what Paul was specifically prohibiting, before considering three possible reactions.
When the church misses the grace of God there can be quarrels and disputing, and also an unhelpful focus on outward appearances. There are four steps to real beauty: receive acceptance from God, believe in Biblical beauty, serve God gladly and choose clothes wisely.
We are called to pray for kings and rulers, including our own MPs, for peace and health, rather than getting involved in political arguments with people who disagree with us. Like the Roman emperor, our leaders can unwittingly enable the spread of the gospel.
Faith helps us not only to look forward to our hope, but also to look back at what God has done. We can be creative with what we already have but only God creates the world out of nothing. Faith is not blind but is based on God’s revelation through his Word and through his Son.
In order to increase our faith to pray, Paul reminds us that there is only one God, who is the God of everything and is our only Saviour who cares for everyone. There is also one mediator, who takes us by the hand to take us to the Father, and there is only one ransom which was paid to set us free.
Ruth, a widow from the despised people of Moab, is embraced by the covenant love of God. She finds hope and a future through Boaz her kinsman-redeemer. Jesus is the ultimate redeemer: let us enjoy his wonderful love and faithfulness and extend his heart to the vulnerable.