Are women's gifts for the common good?

Are women's gifts for the common good?

Today I am starting a new set of posts on the spiritual gifts which are given to each person in the body of Christ. I would like to start with 1 Corinthians 12:7. Here Paul gives us the reason for the gifts that have been given to the body of Christ. Why did God give us spiritual gifts anyways? Paul said:

1 Corinthians 12:7 But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.

The gifts, Paul says, are for the “common good”. The New King James says it this way:

But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all.

So our gifts in the body of Christ are given for the benefit of the entire body because they are “for the profit of all”. When the Holy Spirit was first poured out on the believers they were united together as a group.

Acts 2:1 … they were all together in one place.

In unity they received gifts from God.

Acts 2:3 And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them.
Acts 2:4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.

Notice that the emphasis is on unity and each one’s participation. All received and all spoke forth God’s praise. These disciples were men and women receiving and participating together. Acts 1:13 names the men who were gathered together and with them were the women :

Acts 1:14 These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer, along with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.

It wasn’t just the men who spoke God’s words and were given God’s gift for the profit of all. It was the women too who were filled and who spoke. If we are to believe God’s word then we must also accept that women’s gifts are for the common good. We must also believe that women’s gifts are for the profit of all.

But those who promote the hierarchical understanding of scripture would have us believe that women are not allowed to teach the men in the body of Christ. With this understanding then we would have to see that women’s gifts are not at all for the common good. Instead of promoting unity and the profit of all, these men end up promoting segregation and the separation of God’s gifts in the body. Is this really scriptural? Should we be creating women’s services or a women’s church so that women can use their gifts? If we segregate our women away from the men because we believe men are not allowed to receive the benefit of women’s teaching, then are we not guilty of saying to one part of the body that we have no need of them? Are we not guilty of making some members of the body of Christ second class citizens because their gifts are not for the common good?

In the next post I will reveal some interaction with CBMW (the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood) that shows their mindset regarding the secondary nature of women’s teaching.

4 thoughts on “Are women's gifts for the common good?

  1. I am continually told by many that a woman’s gifts are ‘different’ and are focused on family. Many will use the Titus 2 scripture about an older woman teaching a younger woman to make that point.

  2. Lin,

    In my next post you will see clearly how women’s gifts are downgraded by complementarians. The Titus 2 passage is not applicable to the spiritual gifts that we are talking about since the “teaching” that is being encouraged in Titus 2 is not the teaching of the word of God but the instruction in domestic skills. If we take this as the only gifts of a woman, then she can’t teach the bible at all.

  3. Don,
    Thanks for the note on the DVD resource. I looked it up on the CBE site but it appears right now that they are out of stock. That may be because of the conference.

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