08 Acceptable Worship – 1 Cor 111 Corinthians: Called to Be Saints
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After exhorting the Corinthians to imitate his faith and character, Paul addressed a crucial issue that we face today: the roles of men and women, especially in the worship assembly. Christians understand, based on God and his creation, that Christ is the head of man, man is the head of woman, and God is the head of Christ. That belief system, as countercultural now as it was then, must be reflected in the worship assembly. Then Paul corrected the abuses of the Lord’s Supper that were occurring. He called for each one to practice serious self-examination and self-judgment while remembering and proclaiming the Lord’s death until he comes.
11:1-16 Men and Women in Worship
11:1-2 Challenge and Commendation
If every Christian, the whole church, imitated you …
Received, delivered. Good tradition if from God – 11:23; 15:3.
Before correcting (11:17), focus on commending.
11:3 Heads Up!
The principle at stake: God’s established order of headship.
Gen 3; Eph 5:21-33; 1 Tim 2:11-15; Jn 14:28; 1 Cor 15:28.
How was God’s design being violated in Corinth?
11:4-7 Covered or Uncovered?
Equal value (Gen 1; Gal 3:28); different order, position, role.
Men covering their heads disgraced their head (God).
Women uncovering their heads … their heads (husband).
Women prayed and prophesied, though they were to remain silent in the worship assembly. 1 Cor 14:34-35; 1 Tim 2:11-15
The church allowed this behavior, defying God’s order.
A woman’s shorn head was a mark of humiliation and shame.
11:8-12 Creation and Purpose
Man was created first, as “the image and glory of God.”
Woman, formed from man, was created for the man.
Equal in value, yet the order and their roles are not reversible.
“Because of the angels” (who defied authority?) (2 Pet 2:4).
Interdependence: every man got here through a woman
And all things are from God. That’s the key to everything.
11:13-15 It’s Only Natural!
Men and women are to maintain male-female distinctions, even (especially) when the prevailing culture may seek to blur them.
We are not to “feminize” men or “masculinize” women.
Men and women are not identical or interchangeable.
Throughout history, women and men have been readily distinguished in appearance by the length of their hair.
11:16 The Real Issue: Contentiousness
φιλόνεικος (philoneikos) – loving strife. Cf. Lk 22:24.
“If anyone is inclined to be … seems to be … thinks to be …”
What??? Contentious people in the church??? Can it be???
Why do people pick a fight? Do they just love to argue?
11:17-34 The Lord’s Supper
11:17-22 The Problem
“I cannot commend you!” Earlier issues emerging once more:
Divisions and factions. 1:10ff
“Me-first” spirit. Chs. 8-10
Disregarding others. 8:1
Excluding, shaming others. 8:9-13
Like former pagan revelry.
11:23-26 The Pattern
Received, delivered. Good tradition. Cf. 11:2. 2 Thess 2:15; 3:6.
Anchored to the Past: The Lord’s death.
Central to the Present:
Pointed to the Future: Until He comes.
11:27-34 The Prescription
11:27 Partaking in an unworthy manner.
11:27 Therefore, guilty of the body and the blood.
11:29 Eating and drinking judgment to oneself.
11:30 Weak – sick – “asleep” (dead).
Self-appraisal, inventory. Self-judgment and self-discipline.
Judging one’s own sin now, to avoid judgment then.