So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
What I am saying is that as long as an heir is underage, he is no different from a slave, although he owns the whole estate. The heir is subject to guardians and trustees until the time set by his father. So also, when we were underage, we were in slavery under the elemental spiritual forces of the world. But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir (Gal. 3:26-4:7, NIV).
Have you ever wondered what it means to reign with Christ? Scripture tells us that those who have been purchased with Christ’s blood have also been adopted into God’s family (2 Tim. 2:10-12). As family members with Jesus, we are also heirs together with Jesus—inheriting all that God extends to the Son. Because we are heirs of God through Christ, both men and women are also said to reign with Christ. In Revelation 5:10 we learn that, through Christ, God acquired “members of every tribe and language and people and nation,” making them a “kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.”
The word “reign” here means to hold dominion, influence, or sway such as a monarch’s rule. To reign is ipso facto to hold authority, and Scripture teaches that those bought with Christ’s blood will exercise authority not only over human affairs, but also over the cosmic realm. As joint-heirs, reigning with Christ, Christian women and men are to judge not only the world (1 Cor. 6:2), but as heirs of Christ’s kingdom, reining beside our Lord, we will also judge the angels (1 Cor. 6:3). If we judge the angels, Paul asks, “How much more the things of this life!” (1 Cor. 6:3). While some churches teach that women are not given authority over men, Scripture teaches that as joint-heirs with Christ, women and men will judge and reign not only over human affairs, but also over the angelic realm. This imparts not only earthly authority to women, but also grants them cosmic authority as joint-heirs with Jesus. Women do exercise authority because women, like men, have been purchased with the blood of Jesus.
Don’t miss Part 2 in next week’s Arise!