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 1 Corinthians Chapter 11 Part One

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PostSubject: 1 Corinthians Chapter 11 Part One   Tue Oct 22, 2013 3:50 am

1 Corinthians 11:1

The principle which summarized Paul’s response to the question of eating food offered as a pagan sacrifice was an application of the command to love God and neighbors. Christian behavior should be for the glory of God. Also it should build up the church of God by leading some to new birth (1Co_10:33) and others to maturity in the process of salvation (justification, sanctification, glorification; cf. 1Co_1:30). Christians should avoid behavior that would cause others — whether Jews (cf. 1Co_9:20), Greeks (cf. 1Co_9:21), or the church of God… to stumble (lit., “fall”; cf. 1Co_10:12).
The One who perfectly exemplified love for God and others was Christ (cf. Rom_15:3; Php_2:5-Cool. Paul is saying, he tried to live a life before them that they could follow. We know we have discussed, over and over, that the best sermon a person can preach is the life they live. I believe that is what Paul is saying here. He had tried to be a Christian example that they could follow. Paul is really saying, follow the pattern that I have given you, because my walk is full of Christ.

1 Corinthians 11:2

Christian Liberty In Relation To Christian Worship (11:2-14:40)
The theme of personal freedom exercised without regard for the needs of others or the glory of God (which characterized the issue about eating food sacrificed to idols [8:1-11:1]) seems no less a part of this section which deals with practices affecting the assembly of the church. Here too Paul responded to the Corinthians’ spirit of self-indulgence by stressing the principle of glorifying God and building up each other in the church. "Ordinances" here, means traditions. In the strict sense used here, a synonym for God’s Word. The definition is: Ordinance (Christian), Protestant term for religious ritual. *Baptist ordinance, Believer's Baptism and Lord's Supper
Paul is answering the letter they had written them, and says that they need to remember the traditions he had set up for them. In all of this, these are traditions of men.
2Thes. 2:15: “Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.”
The state of women in worship
Paul began (1Co_11:2-16) and ended (1Co_14:34-35) his discussion of Christian freedom as it pertained to worship with remarks directed primarily at the behavior of women in the Corinthian church. Some have questioned whether his comments in this section refer to the actual meeting of the church or to extra church occasions in which a woman might pray or prophesy. The fact that Paul appealed to church practice elsewhere as a feature of his argument in this section (1Co_11:16) suggests that he was discussing church meetings. Modern distinctions between meetings of the church for worship and other meetings of Christians seem based more on expediency than biblical evidence.
The Corinthians had expressed to Paul, either in their letter or via their spokesmen (cf. 1Co_1:11; 1Co_16:17), that they remained devoted to Paul and to the teachings, the central doctrines of the faith, which he had communicated to them (cf. 1Co_11:23; 1Co_15:1, 1Co_15:3). For this Paul commended them: I praise you.

1 Corinthians 11:3

Paul no doubt appreciated the Corinthians’ goodwill toward him. But more importantly, he wanted to see behavior in keeping with a Christian’s calling. As a prelude to his exhortation, Paul characteristically laid down a theological basis. In this instance it concerned headship. The word head (kephalē) seems to express two things: subordination and origination. The former reflects the more usual Old Testament usage (e.g., Jdg_10:18), the latter that of Greek vernacular. The former is primary in this passage, but the latter may also be found (1Co_11:Cool. The subordination of Christ to God is noted elsewhere in the letter (1Co_3:23; 1Co_15:28). His subordination to the Father is also true in His work as the “agent” of Creation (1Co_8:6; cf. Col_1:15-20). Christ is the head of the church as its Savior and Lord. He is also the Lord over every unbeliever. Someday all will acknowledge His authority.
“Man”: Men have authority over women in the basic order of creation. The husband is the head of the house. In this sense, he rules over the woman. This is in the flesh realm, and not in the spirit.
Ephesians 5:23 "For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the savior of the body."
As the Lord delivered His church from the dangers of sin, death and hell, so the husband provides for, protects preserves and loves his wife, leading her to blessing as she submits.
“God”: Christ has never been in any way inferior in essence to the Father, but in His incarnation He willingly submitted Himself to the Father’s will in humble obedience.
The family on earth is a replica of the family in heaven. Father God is over all. All believers in Christ are the bride of Christ. We are all sons of God by adoption. Male and female genders are in the flesh for the earth, and have nothing to do with the spirit of mankind. The family on earth should still observe the man being the head of his family. The law of the land at the time that Paul wrote this was the basis for part of this tradition. The problem is that many do not differentiate between the spirit and the flesh. Paul is trying to teach them a way to live peaceably upon the earth. In many of the countries in the world today, this tradition is still the law of the land.

1 Corinthians 11:4

When a man prayed aloud publicly or exercised the gift of prophecy by declaring a revelation from God (cf. 1Co_12:10), he was to have his physical head uncovered so that he would not dishonor himself and his spiritual head, Christ (1Co_11:3).
The alternate translation in the NIV margin, which interprets the man’s covering as long hair, is largely based on the view that 1Co_11:15 equated the covering with long hair. It is unlikely, however, that this was the point of 1Co_11:4. “Covered … dishonoureth”: This is probably a reference to men wearing a head covering, which seems to have been a local custom. Jews began wearing head coverings during the fourth century A.D., although some may already have been wearing them in New Testament times. Apparently, Corinthian men were doing the same, and Paul informs them that it is a disgrace. Paul is not stating a universal law from God, but acknowledging a local custom, which did reflect divine principle. In that society, a man’s uncovered head was a sign of his authority over women, who were to have their heads covered. For a man to cover his head was to suggest a reversal of proper roles.
This is also saying that a man should not pray in public with his hat on. We read that the head of man was Christ. When he is praying or prophesying, it should be very obvious that Christ is his head and show proper respect.

1 Corinthians 11:5-6

It cannot be unequivocally asserted but the preponderance of evidence points toward the public head covering of women as a universal custom in the first century in both Jewish culture Maccabees; Babylonian Talmud and Greco-Roman culture. The nature of the covering varied but it was commonly a portion of the outer garment drawn up over the head like a hood.
It seems that the Corinthian slogan, “everything is permissible,” had been applied to meetings of the church as well, and the Corinthian women had expressed that principle by throwing off their distinguishing dress. More importantly they seem to have rejected the concept of subordination within the church (and perhaps in society) and with it any cultural symbol (e.g., a head-covering) which might have been attached to it. According to Paul, for a woman to throw off the covering was an act not of liberation but of degradation. She might as well shave her head, a sign of disgrace in doing so; she dishonors herself and her spiritual head, the man. Wherever and whenever women do pray and proclaims the Word appropriately, they must do so maintaining a proper distinction from men.
“Uncovered”: In the culture of Corinth, a woman’s covered head while ministering or worshiping was a symbol to signify a subordinate relationship to her husband. The apostle is not laying down an absolute law for women to wear veils or coverings in all churches for all time, but is declaring that the symbols of the divinely established male and female roles are to be genuinely honored in every culture. As in the case of meat offered to idols in chapters 8 and 9, there is nothing spiritual about wearing or not wearing a covering. But manifesting rebellion against God’s order was wrong.
“Dishonors her head”: “Head” may refer to her own self being disgraced by refusing to conform to recognized symbols of submission or to her husband, who is disgraced by her behavior. “Shame … to be shorn”: In that day, only a prostitute or a feminist would shave her head. If a Christian woman rejected the covering that symbolized her submission in that culture, she might as well have shaved her head, the shame was similar.

1 Corinthians 11:7-9

The man, on the other hand, was not to have his head covered because he was the image and glory of God. Paul based this conclusion on Gen_1:26-27. A woman’s (a wife’s) glory and image was derived from (1Co_11:Cool and complementary to (1Co_11:9) that of the man (her husband). Though men and women were both created in God’s image (Gen. 1:27), it is man who bears the glory of God uniquely by his role. Like God, he is given a sphere of sovereignty as the earthly sovereign over God’s created order.
Genesis 3:16 "Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire [shall be] to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee."
Man, then, was God’s authoritative representative who found in woman a divinely made ally in fulfilling this role (Gen_2:18-24). What Paul is probably referring to here is the fact that God made man from the dust of the earth. He made him in His own image. Woman was taken from the rib of man next to his heart. She was not made from his heel bone, for him to walk on her, neither was she made from his head bone to rule over him. She was to walk with him side by side as his helpmeet.
The word "woman" means taken from man. They two shall be one flesh. The man and his wife are one in the flesh. Man was lonesome, and God made him a mate.
Genesis 1:27 "So God created man in his [own] image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them."
The word man, in this verse, means a human being, or mankind. Later on another word is translated man which means a male person.
Genesis 2:23 "And Adam said, this [is] now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man."
Even though the woman came from the rib of man, she was also made in the image of God. God created man {mankind} in his own image from verse 27 of chapter 1 of Genesis above.
In this sense she as a wife is the glory of man, her husband. If a married woman abandoned this complementary role, she also abandoned her glory, and for Paul an uncovered woman’s head gave symbolic expression to that spirit.

1 Corinthians 11:10

Paul offered a third reason (the first reason was the divine order — God, Christ, man, woman, 1Co_11:3-6; the second reason was Creation, 1Co_11:7-9) why womanly insubordination in the church should not exist. Angels were spectators of the church (1Co_4:9; Eph_3:10; 1Ti_5:21; cf. Psa_103:20-21). For a woman to exercise her freedom to participate in the church without the head covering, the sign of her authority (exousia, a liberating term; cf. 1Co_7:37; 1Co_8:9; 1Co_9:4-6, 1Co_9:12, 1Co_9:18), would be to bring the wisdom of God (Eph_3:10) into disrepute. The man’s head is to be uncovered, to symbolize his being made in the image and glory of God; and the woman’s head is to be covered to acknowledge that she was made of man, and that she is in subjection to him. By acknowledging such, she is not a helpless slave to her husband; but, rather, by humbling herself in such a way, she has power on her head because of the angels. God places the angels to help and protect her in her needs.
1 Corinthians 11:15 "But if a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her: for [her] hair is given her for a covering."
Women are to be submissive by wearing the symbol of authority so as not to offend these most holy and submissive creatures who watch the church (Matt. 18:10), who were present at the creation and when God designed the order of authority for men and women.
Matt. 18:10 “Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.”

1 Corinthians 11:11-12

Men and women together in mutual interdependence, complementing each other, bring glory to God (cf. 1Co_10:31). Neither should be independent nor think them superior to the other. Woman’s subordination does not mean inferiority. Man is not superior in being to woman. Eve came from Adam, and each man born in the world comes from a woman’s womb (1Co_11:12). God created them both for each other (Gen_1:27; Gen_2:18). Now we see that Paul is saying something entirely different. Surely enough one could not be without the other. Woman could not be without man, but man could not be without a woman to birth him either. All believers, male and female, are equal in the Lord and complementary in the Lord’s work. Their roles are different in function and relationships, not in spirituality or importance. We know that God is Creator of all mankind. It is not really any of our business how He goes about it. God had all of this figured out from the foundation of the world. This is all part of the plan God had for mankind. Long before the temptation in the Garden of Eden, God told man to populate the earth. There is no sin in the creative act, if it is done in the way God planned from the beginning. The sin in the garden was not the fact that this husband and wife slept together, but in the fact they disobeyed God.

1 Corinthians 11:13-15

Paul had based his previous reasoning for maintaining the head covering as a woman’s expression of her subordination on arguments rooted in special revelation. Now he turned to natural revelation (cf. Rom_1:20) for a fourth argument in support of his recommendation. Mankind instinctively distinguished between the sexes in various ways, one of which was length of hair. Exceptions to this general practice were due either to necessity (“to escape in disguise”) or perversity. No abstract length of hair was in mind so much as male and female differentiation. The Spartans, for example, favored shoulder-length hair for men which they tied up for battle, and no one thought them effeminate.
Long hair was a woman’s glory because it gave visible expression to the differentiation of the sexes. This was Paul’s point in noting that long hair was given to her as a covering. “Is it comely”: Aside from apostolic command, Paul asked, in effect, “Isn’t it evident that women should not be uncovered? Natural revelation confirmed the propriety of women wearing the physical covering. She has a natural covering, and should follow the custom of wearing a physical covering in a public meeting. The term can convey the idea of basic human awareness, i.e., the innate sense of what is normal and right. The male hormone, testosterone, speeds up the loss of hair in men. Estrogen causes women’s hair to grown longer and for a longer time. Women are rarely bald, no matter how old. This physiology is reflected in most cultures in the custom of longer hair on women. God has given her hair as a covering to show tenderness, softness and beauty.
If a man had long hair, it would be as if he is saying, he is ashamed of Christ who is his head. "Nature" in the verse above, means something within you. Your own good sense tells you long hair on a man is a shame.
I believe the reason that Paul has brought the thing about the hair up is, he is trying to explain that women should not wear their clothes and cut their hair to appear to be a man and that men should not wear long hair and appear to be a woman. He is really speaking out against homosexuality and lesbianism.
If you are a woman, be proud that you are a woman; do not try to be a man. The same goes for the man. Be proud that you are a man. Do not try to be a woman. God did not make any mistakes, when He made you. In the Old Testament, there was an occasion for a man to grow his hair long, when he took the Nazarite vow. He was humbling himself before God for a period of time. At the end of the vow, he would cut his hair and sacrifice it. This was very much like the fast Christians enter in today, when praying for some specific thing. The long hair, here, was short lived.

1 Corinthians 11:16

Paul’s fifth argument for maintaining the status quo on head-coverings came from universal church practice. Paul was not trying to foist a new behavioral pattern on the Corinthians but simply to hold the line against self-indulgent individual excess in the name of freedom. As in the case of food offered to idols (8:1-11:1), Paul dealt with the immediate issue but also put his finger on the root of the problem, the Corinthian pursuit of self-interest which was unwilling to subordinate itself to the needs of others (cf. 1Co_10:24) or the glory of God (1Co_10:31). Throwing off the head covering was an act of insubordination which discredited God. “No such custom”: Neither the Lord, the apostles, nor the churches would allow female rebellion. Women were to maintain their distinctively feminine hairdos; and when custom dictated, they should wear a covering.
Whether women today in church services should wear hats depends on whether the custom of head coverings in the first century is to be understood as a practice also intended for the present day. Many Bible students see that for today the principle of subordination (not the command to wear hats) is the key point in this passage. The intent of the custom of women wearing hats today, for fashion, seems far different from the purpose of the custom in the first century.
Again the meaning of “Uncovered” as it was explained in verse 5: In the culture of Corinth, a woman’s covered head while ministering or worshiping was a symbol to signify a subordinate relationship to her husband.
Some Bible students, however, say that the Greek anti, rendered “as” (i.e., “for” or “in anticipation of”) should be translated in its more normal sense of “instead of.” According to that view, a woman’s hair was given instead of a physical covering, for it in itself is a covering. In this view women should pray with long hair, not short hair.

1 Corinthians 11:17

The state of Christians at the Lord’s Supper
At Jesus’ institution of the Lord’s Supper with His disciples (Mat_26:26-29; Mar_14:22-25; Luk_22:15-20) the bread and cup were part of a meal, with the bread probably broken near the beginning (cf. “when He had given thanks,” 1Co_11:24) and the cup taken at the end (cf. “after supper,” 1Co_11:25). By the time Paul wrote, the Lord’s Supper was celebrated in two stages which consolidated the partaking of the bread and cup at the end of a communal meal. The worship with the bread and cup came to be called the “Eucharist” Ignatius Letter to the Philadelphians 4), from the Greek word for “thanksgiving” (eucharisteob;). The communal meal was called the Agapeb; (Jud_1:12; a Greek word for “love.”

What bothered Paul about the Corinthian celebration was that the Agapeb; meal had become an occasion not marked by love for fellow Christians but one of self-centered indulgence. Worse is a comparative Greek word which refers to moral evil.
It seems from this, that the church gathering was in error in a number of ways. A person must go to church for the right reasons and conduct themselves while they are there to make themselves better Christians. If they are practicing things that are not right in the sight of God, it would be better if they did not assemble.

In the subsequent development of the church the celebrations came to be divided (Ignatius Letter to the Smyrneans 8; 1-2; and [apocryphal] Acts of John 84), possibly on the mistaken assumption that Paul had advised the Corinthians to do that (cf. 1Co_11:22, 1Co_11:34).

As in the preceding discussion on womanly excesses in worship, Paul had no commendation (but cf. 1Co_11:2) for the Corinthians when it came to their practice of the Lord’s Supper. In fact an experience meant to build up the church was actually having the opposite effect: your meetings do more harm than good. The early church love feasts usually closed with observance of the Lord’s Supper. The worldly, carnal church at Corinth had turned those sacred meals into gluttonous, drunken revelries. Beyond that, wealthy believers brought ample food and drink for themselves but refused to share, letting their poorer brethren go away hungry.
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