Are females saved just like males?

Are females saved just like males?

Before we continue with our verse by verse through 1 Corinthians 11, I wanted to share a question that Jen had who watched my clip of “Women in Ministry Silenced or Set Free” DVD on YouTube. She said:

“Nowhere does Scripture tell us that there was a wall of separation, a wall of enmity, between males and females, or between slaves and free, that was brought about by the Mosaic Law, and that was then abolished by Christ’s death on the cross. There are plenty of verses regarding women in the Bible, but this passage in Ephesians is NOT one of them. This is twisting Scripture to make it so.”

My reply to Jen (edited to make this issue clear):

Thank you for your comments.

What I was speaking from was Galatians 3:28 – 4:7 Here Paul says that there is neither slave nor free, neither male nor female. What is Paul saying? We need to research to find out because if we only take this as salvation then we have a problem. There was no difference between male and female in salvation. Female’s received salvation in the Old Covenant just as in the New Covenant and no scripture ever questions the salvation of females so there is no point to say that females receive salvation the same way as males. So what kind of situation is Paul referring to that necessitates him saying that there is no male or female?

Paul goes on in chapter 4 to give us the answer. Paul says in Galatians 4:6, 7

“Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His son into our hearts, crying “Abba! Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God.”

Paul is talking about all of us being joint heirs together – something that was not thought possible in the Old Covenant. Salvation was available in the Old Testament to all who joined themselves with Israel but the foreigner and the women were not allowed to be heirs.  This was reserved for Jewish men. There was a tremendous separation between each group where one group had all the privileges and the other group had none. At least this is the way that the Jews understood it at the time. It was not made known yet that the Gentiles were to be fellow heirs with them. Ephesians 3:5-6 says:

“which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit; to be specific, that the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel”

Neither did the Jews understand that women were also fellow heirs. In the Jewish faith the men were able to go into the temple while the women were given only a court on three sides. There was perceived a separation from God because the women were not treated as “sons” of God. Women were not given the same closeness to God as the men, they were not involved in the services and were not allowed to read the scriptures publicly. As the Jews worked out their “privileged” state, they separated themselves from the Gentiles, from women and from the slaves. Women were assigned to their court and the Gentile’s court was outside the temple. The Jews were the heirs and they were the “son’s” of God while everyone else was not on the same standing as they were. There was a separation between the groups because there was a separation regarding their perceived position with God. But with the death of Christ, the barrier was been broken between the groups and no longer were Gentiles, slaves and women kept out of the holy of holies and it was revealed that they all are joint heirs.

It began with the gentiles who were despised by the Jews. Now the gentiles have been shown to be joint heirs with the Jews, fully reconciled to God and joined to his family. The women were also brought near in an equally close relationship and they are now called “Sons” of God, equal heirs with the men.

Slaves too were brought near to God. While slaves were allowed to experience salvation within the congregation of Israel, they were never allowed to participate in the worship services and they were never allowed to be inheritors in the nation of Israel. So Paul said in Galatians 3:28, 29:

“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise.”

Do you see that the “if” and “then” relationship? “If” they all belong to Christ “then” they are all heirs according to the promise. Scripture never once rejected any of these groups regarding salvation if they came into the nation of Israel, but the right of “heir” never belonged to the slaves, the women or the Gentiles in practice.

In Ephesians Paul talks about what the wall of separation is between the Jew and the Gentile.

Ephesians 2:14-19 “For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity. And he came and preached peace to you who were far away, and peace to those who were near; for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household.”

The key is verse 19 where Paul says that the Gentiles are no longer strangers and aliens but fellow citizens with the saints. You see salvation was always offered to the Gentiles in Israel’s midst but they were never given sonship or the privileges of sonship. They were never thought of as equals. This was a HUGE barrier between the Gentiles and the Jews. But Jesus broke down that barrier between the two and made the Gentiles joint heirs with the Jews. He made them into ONE new man and as one new man we have been reconciled both to God and to each other.

Paul states this in Ephesians 3:4-6.

“By referring to this, when you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit; to be specific, that the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel”.

What has been revealed? It is that the Gentiles are “fellow heirs”. The disadvantage between the Gentiles and the Jews and the barriers to God himself have been taken down in Christ. Both have been made into one group – one body in Christ. Has this same disadvantage been broken down for women too? Are they too to be “sons” of God? Peter agrees with Paul that it has:

1 Peter 3:7 “You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.”

The inheritance that had been denied women, slaves, and Gentiles has now been revealed that it has been given to all. All are equal in that all are “sons” of God.

So while Ephesians doesn’t specifically mention women and slaves, we see that the disadvantage has been done away with regarding the Gentiles and the barrier between them and God is taken care of by the blood of Christ and their inclusion as full “heirs of God”. Paul then tells us that women, slaves and Gentiles are all sons of God too (Gal. 4) so we know that the barrier has been broken down for women and slaves and not just the Gentiles. This isn’t just salvation, because they already had that if they were within Israel and followed God. This is talking about the equal inheritance and privileges of being in the family of God. The Holy Spirit has been given to all as a pledge of our inheritance (Eph. 1:13, 14).

I appreciated that you checked up on me. That is a good and noble thing! When someone says something about scripture they should be willing and able to prove their point from the scripture in context. I believe that I have proved that the barrier is the inheritance – “heirs of God” that kept the groups separate and if you want to see the scriptures that prove that Gentiles and slaves received salvation in the Old Testament, I can show them to you if you want. Salvation was never an issue with those in the nation of Israel. However there was an inequality as far as the inheritance in God. Praise the Lord that women too are heirs of God and “sons” of God!

9 thoughts on “Are females saved just like males?

  1. Cheryl,

    After just listening to Russell Moore’s whole lecture on the CBMW site from Feburary, this comes as a refreshing help. (He argues for male headship because of the term “sons” and not that of “sons and daughters,” but what he said made no sense to me in light of the whole book as you describe here.) Your explanation describes my understanding of Galatians and my understanding of how Christianity was markedly different from all other religions in its honor of women. This came as a pleasant washing in the water of the Word for me today. How thankful I am for this gracious love and inheritance that God offers women, slaves and foreigners through life in Jesus! (How does that or can it ever become a rejection of God’s Lordship?)

  2. “Under Much Grace”,

    Yes, Amen! The fact that it was the sons who inherited in the Old Testament and Christ has made us all sons gives us the reason that we all are joint heirs with Christ. Those who say that there is a division between “sons” of God and “daughters” of God are not being biblical. We are all “sons” all “heirs” and the Holy Spirit has been given to all of us as a down payment of our full inheritance.

    I am glad that you took the time to listen to Russel Moore’s full lecture too see how the other side (the complementarians) are living out their own “dividing wall” in not accepting women’s spiritual gifts for the edification of the entire body of Christ.


  3. Cheryl, perhaps I am being too simplistic but I do not understand the need to even mention an ‘inheritance’ if He is only talking about salvation. That was not an issue in the OT for women, was it? But it was an issue with man made traditions, right?

    So why use the word ‘heirs’ or ‘inheritance’? Seems it would encompass more than salvation alone.

    I feel like I keep missing something that everyone else is seeing but I am not.

  4. Lin,

    You are exactly right in that “heir” is something beyond salvation. Complementarians have tried so hard to make Galatians 3:28 to be nothing but salvation. However the context right flows right into chapter 4 where the full inheritance is discussed. Paul says in verse 7: “Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God.” If you are a son, i.e. if you are saved and belong to the family of God, then you are an heir of all that God has. Is this only salvation. No it can’t be. It can’t just be about women being saved, but about women being heirs. If, then, women are “sons”, then women are “heirs” of God who also inherit everything too. If women are also “heirs” then it is impossible that God holds back some of his gifts from this group. The only way one can not see the gifts in this passage is if one comes to Galatians 3:28 with a preconceived notion that women have only one thing in common with men and that is salvation. When one doesn’t have that tradition in mind, chapter 4 blows away the false tradition that women are equal to God (in salvation) but unequal to men (in God’s gifts). Praise God that he makes all of us “sons” of God so that there is no prejudice or special treat of any with God!

  5. Phrase “sons of God”
    I always throught it this way if men are “Sons of God” then women are Daugthers of God, we are all Heirs etc. But Now I see this Male imagery and why women are used in it, to show Their Full Equal Share!

    I just say this because some people teach (Take Out Of Context) that women will become men in heaven. Of course that’s not True and that is easy rebuked.

    The phrase is “Sons of God” yet in the context is applyed to women as well. Is the phrase use so that we the reader see women are equal to men as join Heirs, we are all “Sons Of God” meaning Join Heirs. This Male imagery “Sons of God” has nothing to do with gender change. It’s just used to show Womens Equal Worth. Like the Female imagery “The Bride Of Christ” which men are also included in this imagery! Yet has nothing to do with gender change(Men becoming Women), there will alway be Male and Female in His image. The Bride imagery is to show that closeness, oneness (partakers of the Divine nature),the deep love He (Christ) has for his Bride. Yet males are inculded like I said in this Female imagery! If we Link these two imagerys “Male & Female” it shows Equality of Male & Female. Right here is two witnesses, the two imagerys!

    I think I typed all this so no one on the other opposing side can say or take this out of context to mean “sameness”( only one gender) or asexual etc. No

    Male and Female will both be in Heaven and these two imagerys just show Biblical Equaliy,Fairness,Full Join Heirs For All Of Gods Children, No Hiarchy. Perfect, Just how it should be.

  6. Well said, Cheryl. I was just mentioning this issue to someone. It was a great surprise to see you discussing it. And you outlined and explained it very well.

    Michael you made some good points also. Just like we are all the bride of Christ, we are all warriars, we are a priesthood, etc. we are also all “sons”. Each of those and other points carries certain privileges and gifts from our Lord.

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