What is Complementarianism?

In the wake of fourth-wave feminism, we come again to a question that has plagued womankind since the fall in Genesis: What is a woman’s role? Now hold your horses, folks, this is a much more nuanced issue than it first appears. It extends to the role of men and women in the church and in the home. (Let the record show that there is much more to this question than what is presented in this article, but here you’ll find a pretty good start.) The perspective that I intend to explore here is called complementarianism, which, simply put, means that women are not made to teach with authority or lead men spiritually. This excludes women from being pastors, elders, or spiritual decision makers for their homes.

I know this is tough, but please don’t stop reading just yet.

Why would any sane woman subscribe to such a seemingly limiting view on gender roles? Are we not just as capable as our male counterparts? What fresh misogyny is this?!?!

All good questions, ladies!!! As a self-proclaimed sane and capable woman (and a sinner saved by grace), let me offer some insight as to why this position on gender roles has persisted in the church for the last 2,000 years.   

To best understand the complementarian perspective in spite of my subconscious twenty-first-century biases, I have found it helpful to examine both what complementarianism is and what it isn’t.

Gender roles in ministry are not actually as archaic as you might think. The role of women in ministry has been hotly contested since the founding of the early church. It is incorrect to assume that now is the first time in history when women have been “empowered” enough to unveil a “better” interpretation of the scriptures on women’s role in the church. (see Daughters of the Church: Women and Ministry from New Testament Times to Present [1987]). In fact, gender roles as outlined by complementarianism are very full of biblical wisdom. That means, rather than an institute of blind tradition, gender roles are an institution set up by our eternal God.

complement...

While interpretations of passages dealing with gender roles abound, it is important to read these scriptures in context with their intended meaning intact. When we come to this scripture with humble hearts, the truth behind complementarianism becomes clear. Genesis 2 gives woman the purpose and designation of “helper” or ezer when she is first created. This Hebrew word ezer is the same one used for the Holy Spirit other places in scripture (e.g. Deut. 33:26, Psalm 33:20, Hosea 13:9). This position of the woman as a helper is therefore clearly a necessary one and an important one. “It is not good that man should be alone,” declares the Lord in Genesis 2:18, so what would have been the point of God creating another human with the same person as man separately from man? For this answer, we must continue digging in scripture.

Complementarianism also isn’t legalistic. The Bible is clear when it commands that we not add to or take away from scripture (Deut. 4:2, Deut. 12:32, Rev. 22:18), but many people claim that imposing restrictive roles on women in ministry does just that– it reads too much into the role assigned to women in the Bible. But within the appropriate interpretations of biblical gender roles, complementarianism is actually very liberating. The fall of Adam and Eve put a nasty kink in the desire of woman, that our desire would be for our husbands and they would rule over us (Gen. 3:16b). Since then we have been enslaved to a strange longing for control, whether that is being “the neck that turns the head” or “the one who wears the pants.” The complementarian perspective, along with any other renewed perspective we gain as we learn more about God through His Word, satisfies our longing for purpose in a way that is pleasing to God rather than a way which leads us to demean and reject our brothers in Christ. What on the outside might feel oppressive to women specifically (scriptures like 1 Timothy 2:11-15) actually stems from the oppression of sin on humanity, but give us hope for redemption in our God-given purpose of being uniquely created to complement our male counterparts as child-bearers, encouragers, and upright believers.

So finally, this idea isn’t anti-woman. Let me repeat it so that I am not misheard: COMPLEMENTARITY IS NOT A FORM OF OPPRESSION. Because of the oppression that women have faced throughout history (due in part to the curse of Eve in Genesis 3), it is often easy to overcorrect and attempt to throw out our God-given differences altogether. Many will argue that the place women are put in scripture is fundamentally less-than men and in fact contributes to the ubiquitous violence committed against women. But, sister, I am here to tell you: the Bible does anything but stifle women. In fact, it is very edifying to not just womankind, but humanity as a whole! There are numerous examples of strong women in scripture who hold positions in leadership (Judges 4:4, Esther 4:14, Exodus 15:20), business (Acts 16:14, Proverbs 31:18), church work (2 Kings 22:14, Romans 16:1), homemaking, and even combat (Judges 4:21, Exodus 38:8 if you want to get speculative) without compromising their role as ezer. And these are just a few examples, I could go on. Although the Bible does establish different roles for men and women in some aspects purpose, the personhood and equality of the genders is made clear throughout scripture (Genesis 1:27). We are all encouraged to use our gifts within the role we are given, being male or female.

Reading this may have hurt you. Sister, trust me, I feel your frustration. The thought that I need men to lead me in my church and in my future home is terrifying. But the burden is not mine and yours to bear alone; men need us to support them, counsel them, and mediate disputes. Man and woman comprise two halves of the whole of humanity which the Lord has created to bring glory to Himself. But zooming out, our deep and frightening need of each other becomes infinitesimally insignificant compared with the deep and raw need we have for Christ. Even more, our need for each other reminds us of our need for Him, and isn’t that the point of it all?

(Rooted and Redeemed wants to thank Shannon Mann for writing this thoughtful and insightful article for us)

Attributes of God: Creator

The thoughts weren’t the problem. The words were the problem. I typed out word after word and nothing that I said had power. Sure, the ideas were okay – even good – but the actual words weren’t holding weight. I could not communicate the ideas well. What I wanted was to create an inspirational, truthful piece that would cause others to look at the cross. What I created instead was a mess that needed to be deleted.

This is what happens when I try to create out of nothing. I do not have that power. Even the words that come out of my mouth – or onto a page – are not only from me. God is not the same. He creates without needing words created by others. His thoughts are perfect. And they perfectly executed the beginning of the world.

God alone has the power to create something from nothing. This is evident in the Biblical account of how the world came to be. Genesis 1:3 describes not only what God created but how He created. It says “And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.God did not need supplies to make the world. He didn’t have to run to Michael’s or Target to get the tools He needed to create light or animals or man. God simply spoke and it was so. He commands the universe and the universe declares His praise (Romans 1:20). This is a fact that we all know but often forget.

So what are the implications of being reminded of God’s power over creation? It’s a change in perspective and once we know it to be true– it changes the way we live our lives. If we live every second of every day knowing and contemplating the power of our God we would be more able to trust Him fully. After all, if this God that merely speaks and intricate beings are created, cares for us and is for us, what have we to fear? Romans 8:31b-32 lays this out beautifully: “If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” The Lord provides all things according to His will. We know that His will is to prosper us and not to harm us. Therefore

This is the mindset that I pray we live more of our lives in: That the God who creates effortlessly and has all authority on earth and is in heaven has plans for us (Jeremiah 29:11). He is for us and not against (Romans 8:31). When we realize this truth and live fully in the knowledge of the Lord’s omnipotence (His unrestricted power), we free ourselves up to do the work He has for us.

When we truly believe that the Lord is all-powerful we are able to trust Him because when we are weak He is strong (2 Corinthians 12:9-11). When we accept Christ the Holy Spirit dwells within us, that means  God, fully powerful, is actively living and working inside of us! This doesn’t make us all-powerful, but it does allow us to do so much more than we could ever dream of accomplishing on our own.

The same powerful God who created the world helps us. We are promised help from Him and via that help, we are able to do so much more than we can on our own. Jen Wilkin describes it beautifully: “His thoughts never wander with fatigue. His arms never grow too weary to support and protect. Our heavenly Father is strong, and perpetually so.” It is a wonderful description of the verse that describes what God’s presence on our lives accomplishes: “When I am weak; then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10b). When we are weak on our own, He enables us to be strong. He provides for us with His never-ending power.

So when I can’t find my words, He provides. He gave me a wonderful friend that is willing to make comments and edit and share ideas with me. When I feel completely inept and powerless, He promises that He will use those weaknesses. The Lord works even though I am weak. His strength is not diminished by my inability to do something on my own. He equips and enables so that He may be glorified.

Soli Deo Gloria.

If you were more conscious of the Lord’s power, how would your life look different? How could you set yourself up to be more aware of the Lord’s power?

Memorization Challenge

Last time we talked about memorization and it’s specific benefits in our lives. So instead of crossing our fingers and hoping you’ll hear what we have to say and apply it to your own lives, we are going to challenge you. It’s something we are doing with you. Seriously. Let’s memorize scripture together so that we can start to build a wider and deeper foundation.

Let’s take the time and sit down to memorize John 1:14.

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I recommend setting this photo as your screensaver on your phone. Throughout your day, you will see it and remember to learn a chunk of it. This has helped me learn countless verses and is, in my opinion, not as overwhelming as a reminder or another thing to add to your to-do list.

Other ways you can memorize would be repeating it aloud or writing it down over and over. You could post it around your house, or somewhere you often look (like a bathroom mirror). It could be some combination of these, or perhaps it is something else entirely. Find what works for you and use it!

So make your own background or use mine. Write the verse or sing it! Whatever the method, let’s start memorizing together so that we may grow in our faith personally and in a community. To join the conversation head to our Facebook.

Bible Memorization – Why Does it Matter?

I struggled with my self-image. I use the past tense purposefully, not because I never struggle with my self-image now, but because the days of despising myself are over. We have all been there! Even if the struggle is just the thought of “those extra few pounds make me look awful” or “I’ll just never be pretty enough” (you get the picture). Jesus is the one that changed this in me. It wasn’t an emotional kind of change, though. No, this change came from a single verse in the Bible by the grace of God.

We’ve all heard the verse, but try to hear me out and pretend you are hearing it for the first time. Proverbs 31:30 says “charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” Although I believed my struggle was physical, this verse showed me that my problem was a lack of trust in the Lord. Take a second to dwell on that, friends: the culturally prettiest woman is not who we are called to praise, but the one that fears the Lord. The woman that submits in awe to the living God who created everything deserves praise.

PSALM 119

I memorized this verse and hold it in my heart and repeat it to myself whenever those thoughts creep in. This very first instance of depending on scripture opened my eyes to see the power it has in our lives and how I can give glory to the Father with my thought-life. I’m not the first person to have learned this and put it into practice, of course.

It’s an impressive and daunting task, memorizing scripture, and it’s hard to have enough discipline to practice, learn, and retain one verse, let alone a whole fleet of them! As hard as it may seem (and it’s truly not all that difficult), memorizing scripture is important to our private lives a well as our communities.

The importance of memorizing and knowing the Bible is that it is useful for teaching, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16).Another reason to memorize scripture is that we are called to it! Colossians 3:16 commands us to “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly…” The Bible is not meant to be something we think about only every so often, but something that we dwell on throughout our busy days filled with hardship and temptation.

When we memorize parts of the Bible, we bring them to the front of our minds. So when, for example, I am not honoring the Lord with my thoughts and dwell too much on myself rather than Him, it is useful for me to have Proverbs 31:30 memorized. I’m still working on my selfishness and other sin patterns, but this verse has changed who I am. The importance of Bible memorization is explained well in Psalm 119:11 when it states “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” Memorizing scripture is an effective tool for resisting the temptations of our sin nature.

Storing up truth from the Bible in our minds changes the way we live our lives because it changes how we think. No military general would ever send men into a battle ill-equipped so why do we do that to ourselves? The Lord gave us the whole of the Bible to use as armor and weapons (Ephesians 6:10-17) to fight against our natures- just like I use Proverbs 31:30 to this day. And our examples don’t stop there.

Jesus was perfect. He did not have sin nature like we do, but He still utilizes this tactic in His own life. We see Jesus memorized scripture and put it into practice in this same way even though He was without sin. We can read Luke 4 (go do it now!) and see a perfect example of how and why we should be memorizing scripture! Fighting against our sin nature is not the only reason to memorize truth, though. It’s also important because it feeds our souls.

It is said in Matthew 4:4 that “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” We were made to live on the Word of God, not just on the things of this world. So when we allow God to change our personal lives to reflect Christ more clearly it creates a ripple effect into our fellowship with other believers.

Our actions matter. What we say and do effects not only ourselves but those around us. We need to serve our friends and loved ones as we are called (Philippians 2:4). One way to serve is to be wise and thoughtful in actions, deeds, and words using the truth found in the Bible. When we pour out not from ourselves, but from Christ and His Word, we serve others well.

Let’s serve others and strengthen ourselves to battle our sinful habits. Please don’t just read this and let it fade from your mind. I won’t let it fade from mine, either. I will continue to memorize and build up my arsenal so that I may be more like Christ. Next week we will be challenged on this topic. So dwell on the truth found in the Bible about such things. Pray that the Lord will enable you to push yourself to memorize and store up His Word in your minds. It has been a blessing in my life and I know it will be in yours as well.

What is the biggest excuse you use that gets in between you and the time it takes to memorize scripture? Pray about it, confess it to the Lord. What has to change in you for the challenge next week to be effective in your life?

Bible Study Resources

Choosing how to study the Bible can be a daunting task. Which one do we use? How do we know whether or not it’s trustworthy? Where do we begin? Well, those are fair and difficult questions that I can’t completely answer for you. But here are some resources to help you as you work to study the scripture.

 

We use the English Standard Version (ESV) for all our scripture references, unless otherwise noted. Bibles are translated in two ways: to convey word choice or to convey meaning. The ESV is a word-by-word translation. Here is a link to the ESV study bible. It’s helpful because it will have notes to help you understand.

The ESV Study Bible on Amazon

 

 

 

Personal Bible Study Helps

The two resources that helped me develop my every day study of the Bible are Women of the Word by Jen Wilkin and Living by the Book by Hendricks and Hendricks.

 

Living by the Book is a more complex and in-depth explanation of study. It’s a bigger book that helps lead it’s reader through in a studious way.

Living by the Book on Amazon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Women of the Word is easier to read. Her style is very conversational. She will lead you through how to study, step-by-step, and why it’s important.

Women of the Word on Amazon

 

 

 

 

 

Bible Studies

The following are Bible studies in that they are books that lead you through specific scriptures. It’s not a how-to on studying on your own, but studies of specific books of the Bible.

 

John MacArthur Bible Studies: 

This is a series of studies that include commentary and questions to help readers understand.

Bible studies on Amazon

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lara Williams Studies:

Lara looks at her personal experiences through the lens of scripture. And uses that to help you learn how to study the Bible.

Bible Studies and Books by Lara Williams

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 Peter - A Living Hope In Christ.jpg

 

Jen Wilkin Resources and Studies:

Here are Jen Wilkin Bible studies and books, including the one listed above.

Books and Bible studies by Jen Wilkin

 

 

 

 

 

Devotionals

These devotional resources are shorter, daily reads. They will help to focus your mind on the Lord while opening up some deep truths.

 

New Morning Mercies by Paul David Tripp

New Morning Mercies is a modern devotional. He is compelling and easy to read, but the truths that he unpacks are solid and will give you something to think about and meditate on throughout the day.

New Morning Mercies

 

 

 

 

 

Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon

Morning and Evening is a classic devotional. Because of the classic nature and how old this is, some of the language is difficult to read. However, if you’re willing to sit with it for a tiny bit of extra time some days, it is packed with deep truth.

Get Morning and Evening in your inbox

 

 

 

We’d love to talk to you about any of these resources or ones you’ve used in the past! Let us know what you think of this list and what we missed.

How to Study the Bible – An Introduction

I walked into the Christian bookstore and went to the section with the signs reading: “Devotionals.” Easy! Go there, grab a devotional on a book of the Bible, and leave.

Not so easy.

Looking around that section at all the different books about motherhood, womanhood, verses of the day, mostly edifying and helpful (while others unfortunately should not have been in the Christian bookstore) was confusing. As I stood there staring at the mix of books, I kept thinking that it had to be simpler than this. Why couldn’t I find a book to help me learn about the Bible?

A kind woman wearing a maroon vest turned the corner and asked if I needed anything. I told her that I was looking for a devotional to help me understand the Bible better. I explained that I wanted something to ask me questions and help me along the way as I read the Bible. She then explained that I was in the wrong section of the bookstore and lead me over to the wall of Bible studies.

The difference between a Bible study and a devotional is an important one. A devotional gives comments or encouragement on an idea or verse. There may be a handful of scripture references, but it’s mostly commentary to help you connect.

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A Bible study, on the other hand, helps you learn what the Bible says and what it means by what it says. It helps you know and understand it first, then connect and feel it second. While a good devotional is important, a full theology (your thoughts about God) cannot be established and rooted in truth without understanding the Bible in context including how the topics and ideas of the Bible flow throughout. A book on systematic theology can also help you put the categories and topics together in a coherent way, but that’s a topic for another day.

There’s not just one correct way to study the Bible. There are book options, but you can also study it yourself, at least to start.

This is a step-by-step of my preferred method – adapted from Jen Wilkin, Lara Williams, and Hendricks. Two things before you begin: research the context of the author and people to whom they are writing of whatever book of the Bible you are studying. Context is key to understanding what the writer meant by what he said. Second: Pray. Pray that the Lord would reveal Himself to you as you study His word, seeking to know Him more to love Him more.

Step One: Read the Bible.

This is the “what does it say” portion of studying. Read the Bible. That probably seems too simple. But that is the first step. Just read. Start with a book and stay there until you complete it. Read it all the way through. Multiple times. The shorter books, like Ephesians or Galatians, can be read through in a sitting. When I’m unable to read it multiple times, I listen to it. Reading through a book or multiple chapters helps you to keep it in context.

Repetition helps us see or hear things slightly differently. We’ll catch a phrase or word or detail that we’d missed the first few times. As I’m reading, I take note of words or phrases that repeat. Then lookup words that I don’t quite understand or that would make the meaning clearer with definition. This is a step that I learned reading Women of the Word, by Jen Wilkin. She looks up words, in English, and writes their definitions. Bible translators try to find the best words to communicate what was said in the original language, so we need to understand what the words mean in our own language.

Step Two: Summarize and explain

This is when I get into the “what does it mean” portion of breaking down a verse. I will rewrite it in my own words and look for verses that cross-reference and support. Sit with the scripture for a while. One urge I have is to look up a commentary as soon as I get stuck in a spot. Fight the urge! Instead, pray about it. Pray that the same Holy Spirit who inspired the writers of the scriptures and lives in you will help you understand them. Don’t worry when it’s confusing or you have to reread multiple times. Sit with it for a while before you look for help. At the same time, don’t think of commentary or sermons as a negative. They are terrific helps!

As you’re going through this step, I take note of any attributes of God that are in the passage. What is the passage telling you about God? That is- who the Bible is about. It’s not about you. It affects you and tells your story, but it’s not about you. This is also the time that I write any truths, promises, and commands.

Step Three: Application

This is the “what do I do now?” portion of the study. Take it personally. What did you learn about yourself? What sin do you need to confess? How can you glorify the Lord? There are many questions to consider, but these are a few.

Bible study is amazing because it is simple enough that you can get a grasp of the concepts. But it’s complex enough that you can study it your whole life and never run out of topics or depth.

On Thursday we’ll be sharing some of our favorite Bible study resources. The idea is to know God more by understanding His word more fully.

What are your biggest struggles or fears when trying to study the Bible for yourself?

 

Resource Engagement on the Inerrancy​ and Infallibility of the Bible

John MacArthur’s short video on the inspired word of God is a great and quick listen! It breaks down the “so-what” aspect of what we discussed a few days ago, the infallible and inerrant Bible breathed by God Himself. The video gives an eloquent and brief look at the importance of the questions of the Bible’s infallibility and authority. I enjoyed MacArthur’s explanation of the importance of never allowing ourselves to waiver on the issue of the Bible’s infallibility. It is far too important.

John MacArthur on Education – Infallible vs Inerrant:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J1TWTq7QKiE

The next resource is a short article from Ligonier ministries titled “Inspiration, Infallibility, Inerrancy”. The article gives a quick overview of the three topics contained in the title, Inspiration, Infallibility, Inerrancy”. The article also points out excellently that to say the Bible has errors is to question the very character of God. They were both quick, but still filled with useful information.

Inspiration, Infallibility, Inerrancy:

https://www.ligonier.org/learn/devotionals/inspiration-infallibility-inerrancy/

The Gospel Coalition has many articles and videos to help us understand the Bible. This video features D.A. Carson, John Piper, and Tim Keller discussing Biblical authority. I like it because it’s a conversation that allows listeners to see why it’s important to dig into scriptures without compromise.

Biblical Authority in an Age of Uncertainty:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hBbfb8Zbxn0

I hope you find these helpful and as intriguing as I did!

Happy learning!

The Bible: Our Foundation

It was my first appointment. My husband was sitting on the chair next to the wall and the doctor was getting ready to look at my uterus. Then the doctor said, “there is a pregnancy. And there is a pregnancy.”

Twins.

Two babies. At the same time. When we weren’t even planning on having one for some time. It was overwhelming and exciting and crazy! Now those twins are almost 3 years old. A girl and boy who love each other and fight over elephant vs. fish videos on YouTube. They are kind and loving and sweet. While simultaneously being my real-life example of the effects of original sin.

My son likes to climb on things. He climbs up on the sofa then tries to walk off. He’s not very tall. His little legs do not allow him to step down easily. He is not a bird and cannot fly. Yet, he attempts to do things that could hurt his little body. When standing (now is not the time to lecture me about allowing my children to stand on the sofa) on a foundation that is solid and holding him well, he often attempts to step into the air.

We do this with the Bible. The Word of God does not change. It is strong and firm and keeps us safe. It is our foundation. I once heard someone say that the problem with Christians is that they take the Bible “too seriously.” But my question for that person is, “what is too serious?”

the bible rr

If all the things the Bible says about itself are true – and they are – then what exactly is the reason we have to step off that foundation? We are kept on all sides by the truth of the scripture. When we compromise our foundation, we are like my son stepping off of the sofa with tiny legs not expecting to be broken by the crash landing. Only our crash will be much more painful and life-threatening. When we step off, we don’t break our legs, we sin against our perfect, Holy God by compromising the fact of His existence and Lordship.

Because there is no neutrality.

One game we play is that we can start in the middle, in neutral, and work our way to God. But that’s not how it works. We start with God. “In the beginning, God…” (Genesis 1:1). The first thing that happens in the Bible is the assumption of God. We can assume Him as our foundation. We do not prove Him as our foundation. We do not give up that foundation when speaking with someone who disagrees. We do not reason our way to God because without God there is no reasoning. When we feel ourselves wavering, we must return to the foundation. Let’s stand firmly on the unmovable God who created the whole world and has always existed.

This is not a matter of opinion. I like to share my opinions on many topics: politics, education, food, etc. But this foundation transcends opinion. When confronted with an idea, God uses His Word to remind us and teach us what is true. When our thoughts or ideas disagree with the foundation, we submit to the truth of scripture, because otherwise we believe the lie that we know better than God (Romans 9).

Jesus valued scripture. When He was tempted by the evil one, He quoted scripture as his defense (Luke 4). He didn’t discount the scriptures and give all the reasons for why He wouldn’t fall for temptations that were outside of the Father. He leaned into truth and trusted the Father. We want to have the same uncompromising approach to the Bible, not stepping off of our foundation.

Thursday we will share resources to help bring these thoughts together. The infallible, inerrant word of God needs to be the solid ground beneath our feet. We need to stand firmly on it, unwavering and uncompromising. When we make decisions, they stem from what we believe foundationally.

-JaQuinn

What does your foundation look like? Is it easily swayed by your emotions or do you work to ensure that you begin with God?  

The Bible: Inerrant and Infallible

I go to a liberal arts university. It’s not a “safe space” for me, but it’s a place to learn and share the gospel with people who are lost and hurting.  In my escapades around campus, I’ve had more than one conversation with students that struggle with the Bible’s authority, it’s timelessness, and it’s infallibility. These issues are worth diving into because it is true that the Bible is the word of God, breathed by Him, and incapable of being incorrect. Let’s start with the One who made everything.

God is perfect. He is infallible, meaning He is not able to make mistakes. If we take a look at the second half of Matthew 5:48 it states that  “your heavenly Father is perfect.” Another verse that talks of God’s perfection is Deuteronomy 32:4, “The Rock, His work is perfect, for all His ways are justice. A God of faithfulness and without iniquity just and upright is He.” The Bible reminds us time and time again that He is unfaltering in His flawlessness. This perfect God is what the Bible is based on. The truth is that scripture is breathed by God, the same God that cannot make mistakes.

lion rr

Scripture is God-breathed. In 2 Timothy 3:16 we see that “all scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.” This verse from 2 Timothy breaks down for its readers the source of his writings. It doesn’t say “some scripture”, but “all scripture”. It is breathed by God through His divine inspiration. God gave the words and thoughts that comprise the Bible to the men that wrote them down. They are not the thoughts and ideas of a flawed person, but the perfect work of God. This book was written down by man, and an important facet of our lives as Christians. So then, if this book is God-breathed, who gives it the power to correct and teach? God does, not man.

The Bible is authoritative. This authority goes against society’s expectations because it’s not given by man, but by God. In 2 Peter 1:20-21 it says that “knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” We see in scripture that the Bible needs no man’s claim for its authority. This book claims authority for itself through God. This foundation of knowing who gives the Bible the power to instruct mankind is pivotal in our understanding of its inerrancy and infallibility.

The Bible is never wrong. That is what we mean when we say it is inerrant, it is never wrong and will never be wrong. This is because God, our God, is an unchanging rock that stood, and continues to stand, the test of time— that is, eternity. He is the same God He was in the Old Testament, in the New Testament, and in the present day. Don’t just take it from me, though, in Psalm 102:27 the Bible clearly states the following about our God: “but you are the same, and your years have no end.” Plainly it is written that the Lord is eternal and unwavering in His consistency. Then again in Malachi 3:6, it states “For I, the Lord, do not change…” The Lord tells us Himself and through those He inspired to write the Bible that “[He] is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).

The Bible is truth. It’s plain and simple. It is given authority by the God who has never changed. The Bible is written only by those that were doing the work of God. He breathed the words into existence, but, yes, He used men. This doesn’t hurt the authority or inerrancy of the Bible but gives more glory to Him who made it possible. These truths give us our foundation. We are uncompromising in our decisions when they are based on this truth because we submit to our Father. Our foundation is a rock beneath our feet, if we use it as it was intended.

Next week we will talk more about the Bible as our foundation and explore what that means for our lives. It will investigate the importance of unshakable dependence on our foundation of the Bible. We will talk about the dangers of neutrality. So I want to leave you with these questions:

Do you believe wholeheartedly that the Bible is the infallible word of God? How and in what way does knowing all this change the way you approach the Bible?

Welcome to Rooted and Redeemed

One of my friends had rocking chairs on her porch. She was noticeably older than me – I was just out of college and she had two kids in high school. I was unmarried, but dating. She had been married half of her life. Each time I went to her house, she would make me tea and we would sit on the porch to rock and talk about our lives.

In those rocking chairs, I asked her hard questions. I asked for advice and shared my struggles and sins. She held me accountable. She preached truth to me. She didn’t leave me where I was. She loved me well.

It was in those front porch moments that I began learning what living the gospel in every moment looks like. She didn’t work it into conversation, it was her life. That’s what I wanted. How could I know God so well that He was my life – instead of a part of it that I needed to “tap into”? Where should I begin? How do I know God?

The Bible.

The Bible is where the Lord has chosen to reveal himself to us.

Isaiah 408

His word, what He was told us, is what lasts. It sustains. We can listen and meet Him in those words.

But so often instead of meeting Him there, in a complex, full space that requires a healthy dose of mental and intellectual engagement, we try to take the easy way out. We sit quietly in our spaces attempting to provoke strong feelings instead of engaging with hard, deep truth. We have believed the lie that if we know too much our faith will be shaken – as if it’s all dependent on us. We pick through the scriptures to make ourselves feel better – instead of using the scriptures to get to know God better.

That is why we’re here. Have you ever sat down to read a “hard” or “scary” passage of your bible and decided it was too much? Have you googled a verse to hit your feels just right instead of relying on the fullness of God and His attributes to sustain you? How often have you tried to listen to a sermon or podcast or read a blog or book and just couldn’t engage it? Did you feel inadequate or like that particular task or topic wasn’t for you? I’m here to tell you that is not true. We, as moms, daughters, students, career women, et cetera, can know God. We can know Him as we get to know our Bibles. We will be rooted in Him as we get to know His word.

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7-8

RR TREE

This person – the one who trusts in the Lord – has deep roots. She is not moved by every feeling or uncertainty. She is not anxious and afraid because she knows who her Redeemer is! She’s not relying on how she feels about herself or her Redeemer, but her fruit continues no matter her circumstance or feelings!

Jeremiah 17:9 goes on to say, “the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” We don’t follow our hearts because our hearts lead us readily astray. Instead, we put our trust in the Lord who saves! We seek Him with all our minds and he will renew us.

Rooted and Redeemed was started to help women get to know God. We want to not only feel strongly, but engage with the Word. We want to understand some basic theological terms and overcome the fear of learning too much or being too dumb. Because God has spoken to us. He has revealed Himself, so we should get to know Him.

I have two rocking chairs on my front porch now. If we were face-to-face, I would invite you over, make you a cup of tea, and talk about God. We would talk about a loving, kind, compassionate, just, holy God. Because we’d remember that it’s not about us. He roots us. He redeems us.

Join us as we get to know Him more, together.