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Troublesome Women Preachers

We join a long legacy of prophetic witness to the gospel.
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“Aha!” Paul replies here in this text. “It is just as you say. Jesus presented himself alive to Peter. To his disciples. To James and to many more.

And then. And then. And then.

"He presented himself alive to me! To me! To me!"

"It was fitting that I bring up the rear" (1 Cor. 15:3–9, MSG).

"It was fitting that I, too, join this long legacy of prophetic witness to the holy gospel."

He goes on to say that it was fitting not because he was so holy. Not because he was so worthy. Not because he had never made any mistakes. But because God is so gracious. He says in the text, "I am not about to let his grace go to waste" (1 Cor. 15:10–11, MSG).

And so he responds: I’m sorry if proclaiming the message is troublesome to you. I’m sorry if I cause you trouble. But you see, it’s not me. It is the troublesome God who is in me. It is the troublesome God who has sent me. It is the troublesome God who presented himself alive to me.

And don’t you see that similar to Paul, a woman preacher is a woman in trouble.

Every time she lifts her voice to preach the message, she is troubling the still waters of the church.

She is troubling how things used to be.

She is troubling our understanding of 1 Timothy and Ephesians.

So it is incumbent upon all female preachers to, like Paul, stand boldly and declare: I know I am a lot of trouble. But you have to understand that it is not me.

It is the God in me.

It is the God who sent me.

It is the God who presented himself alive to me.

It is exactly as Scripture says, Jesus died for our sins.

It is exactly as Scripture says, he was buried in the grave.

It is exactly as Scripture says, he was raised from the dead.

And it is exactly as Scripture says, Jesus revealed himself to Peter, and James, and Paul.

And me! And me! And me!

Because it is exactly as Scripture says in Joel 2, “I will pour out my Spirit on all people and your sons and your daughters will prophesy(Joel 2:28).

And so it is fitting that I bring up the rear.

Not because I am so holy. Not because I am so special. Not because I have never made any mistakes. But because God is so gracious. And I am not about to let that grace go to waste.

And so I admonish you today, you women preachers, to own your space in the long legacy of prophetic witness to the holy gospel. Do not be afraid to bring up the rear.

November23, 2015 at 8:00 AM

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