There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. —Galatians 3:28
Paul worked with the women in the gospel more than any of the apostles. Priscilla and Phoebe travelled with Paul preaching and building up the churches (see Acts 18:2, 18, 26; Rom. 16:1).
He and Phoebe had been holding revivals together; but she was called to the city of Rome. Paul could not go with her, but he was very careful of her reputation, and to ensure that she was treated with respect. He wrote a letter of recommendation: "I commend unto you Phoebe our sister, which is a servant of the church [servant signified a minister of the church] which is at Cenchrea: that ye receive her in the Lord, as becometh saints, and that ye assist her in whatsoever business she hath need of you: for she has been a succorer of many, and of myself also" (Rom. 16:1-2).
Phoebe had authority to do business in the churches, and she had been successful in winning souls to Christ. Paul was not ashamed to say she had encouraged him. He spoke with the highest praise of a number of sisters who had been faithful workers in the work of the Lord, who had risked their lives in the effort to save souls; and not he alone gave them praise, but all the churches of the gentiles sent their thanks also.
Though Paul wrestled with the role of women in the church (see 1 Cor. 14:34-35; 7:1-40; 11:18), he clearly supported their ministry—and labored side by side with women. He encouraged the churches to do the same.
Lord Jesus, thank You for empowering women
to do the faithful work of ministry within
Your body of believers. Amen.
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