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Question #90

Must women be silent in Bible study?

I'm a little confused and maybe just misunderstood. You said that when it came to singing that used musical instruments outside the church building, it was against scripture, that assembling is worship which is all the time. But when you talk about women being silent you differentiate assembly for Sunday morning worship and Bible class. Maybe the Greek words are different and if they are please let me know. If the assembly is worshipping, then women should be silent even in Bible study.

The Answer:

The problem is that two different settings are being confused. First, the worship assembly is always worship. There may be other reasons for assembly, such as an incorporated congregation having a business meeting where under the law the members are the “shareholders.” An assembly of the entire congregation might also be called for imparting information. But the worship assembly is always worship. It is this assembly in which women are forbidden to take leading roles. They are not restricted from participating in the worship assembly. For instance, the women sing. The women participate silently in prayer, as do all men other than the one leading prayer. Women participate in giving of their means. Women worship silently in the reading and study of God’s word, as do all men other than the one leading. Women participate in commemorating the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ in the Lord’s Supper, but do so silently as do all men with the exception of those men presiding and serving.

However, not all worship is done in the church assembly. There is private worship such as family or personal devotionals. Songs sung to God in worship, whether in the assembly or in private, must be acapella according to the teaching of scripture.

The Bible class does not generally involve worship in song, but if it does, it would undoubtedly be as worship and must be acapella. The Bible class itself, however, is generally not considered to be a worship assembly of the church; rather it is an opportunity for Bible study and learning, much like a school classroom. That process often involves the asking and answering of questions. Any participant is free to ask a question or to enter into a discussion. That is the purpose for which the class has been convened. That said, as other answers on this website indicate, if believing men are present in the class, women are forbidden to teach. Questions 22, 40, 41, 44, 49, and 65 all discuss various aspects of this issue.

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) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)

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)