Question #49

What about women teaching teenagers?

I know women should not preach on the pulpit. But what about women teaching teenagers? Most of our teens are baptized and their ages range from 15 to 20 yrs. They include both young men and women. Can you give me biblical back up? Thanks.

The Answer:

Three primary passages control public discourse by women – 1 Corinthians 7:5; 14:34-35; 1 Tim. 2:11-12. The totality of these passages establishes that a woman is forbidden to preach or teach in the assembly. For a fuller discussion of 1 Cor. 7, see the class notes on that passage on this web site. Notes on 1 Cor. 14 will follow shortly. 1 Tim. 2:11-12 proclaims that a woman is not to teach or to usurp authority over a man. “Teach” is this passage is from didasco, which means to give a didactic discourse. These passages clearly do not apply to all settings. For example, Priscilla, with her husband Aquilla, privately taught Apollos, a preacher, the way of the Lord more perfectly. 1 Tim. 2 prohibits two things – didactic discourse and usurping authority over a man. The word translated “usurp authority” means to exercise dominion over another. Some argue that a woman can even give a didactic discourse if a man or men give her permission. Not so. Man cannot give a woman the right to do something that God has prohibited.

A teenage Bible class is not private, but neither is it the assembly of the church. In this day when children of Christian parents are obeying the gospel at young ages, the young boys are just that – young boys. They are certainly not men within the meaning of the above passages. However, it is my judgment that, even though the older teenage boys are not “men” (contrary to their own opinion), it would be better for their class to be taught by a man. In fact, this would be a good time to follow Titus 2:3-5. Divide the older boys and girls. Let men teach the boys and women teach the girls. There are many lessons that are suited for each that are not suited to the other.

Finally, the upper age limit of your question is 20. By college and by the age of 20 boys have become young men. Male teachers should certainly be used.

God's Plan of Salvation

You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)

You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)

You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)

You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)

Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!

Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)