1 Corinthians 11


Joel King


1 Corinthians 11:1-34


· Paul encourages the church to follow his example (giving up his rights for the good of the gospel) as he follows the example of Jesus (who gave up his position on the throne of heaven to die for us)
· Paul is thankful that they have held to his teachings as he was instructed by the Lord
· He wants them to understand that “headship”
    o Head of Christ was God the Father
    o Head of man is Christ
    o Head of woman is man
· Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered (a symbol of human submission) dishonors his head (which is Christ – man is not his head but Christ is)
· Every woman should have a sign of authority on her head whether it be covered or her head is shaved (both these things were symbols of authority in this cultural context)
· Man does not cover his head, because his direct authority is God
· Woman should cover her head, because her direct authority is her husband/father
· Woman came from man
· The woman was created to be a help for the man (Lord knows we needed it)
· Paul concludes because of these facts, in the Corinthian worship service, a woman should have a sign of authority on her head

· Paul’s first point is a cultural one to that church and in that cultural context. He makes a point to establish now, the relationship between man and woman “in the Lord”
· Woman is not independent of man. Likewise, man is not independent of woman
· The first woman was made from man’s rib, but ever since then, every man has be born from a woman. Ultimately, we both come from God
· Paul encourages them to judge for themselves whether it is appropriate for a woman to have her head covered or not.
· Paul then argues that the very nature of thing (the way things are in that culture) suggest that a man should not have long hair, but that if a woman has long hair it if good.
· For her long hair is a sign of her covering and commitment to her husband
· He says if anyone wants to argue about this practice that he teaches this to all the churches he has started, and that all the churches he knows of practice this as well.

· He now wants to address some issues that have brought great harm to the gathering (church) in Corinth
· First, when they gather there are divisions between different kinds of people
· He simply states that some division should be evident because some people have God’s approval and others don’t
· One of the problems is when they gather, eat together, and take communion some people are eating before everyone arrives and others are getting drunk off the wine
· If they are going to practice such things they should do it at home
· Because by doing it so openly they show they despise God, and that they don’t really care about the poor in their midst (who miss the meal because they have to finish work while the others start without them)
· Paul them reminds them about the heart and purpose of being together and taking communion
· Their master and Lord, Jesus, on the night he was betrayed took the bread and thanked God for it.
· He broke the bread and told the disciples to eat it in remembrance of his body
· In the same way after dinner Jesus took the cup and had his disciples all drink telling them to remember that the cup represented his blood which established a new covenant (agreement between us and God for the forgiveness of our sins)
· Paul reminds them that whenever they eat the bread and drink the cup they are proclaiming the good news of Jesus death. And that they will do this until Jesus comes again.
· Based on this teaching, he tells them that when they gather if anyone celebrates communion with the disdain that they have been they are guilty of sinning against Jesus’ very body and blood (the very things that communion represents)
· Before taking the elements a person should examine their own heart
· For if you take it casually and not in thankfulness for what Jesus gave for you, their will be judgement for that person
· Paul states that many of them have gotten sick or even died because they have so treated the Lord’s supper with contempt.
· Paul wants to make sure they understand that this judgement is about God disciplining them, not them losing their salvation
· Therefore, when they gather they should wait for everyone to get there.
· If you are so hungry you can’t wait, then eat at home so you won’t find yourself under God’s discipline


· I need to be careful in today’s culture of egalitarianism not to forget that men need to be Godly leaders and women should respect their husbands in that God given role.
· Each culture is different in how it expresses manhood and womanhood; but within those cultural expressions, men should reflect masculinity and woman should reflect femininity. Gender identity matters.
· I praise God that Lyn has allowed me to lead her, and always respects my charge by God to lead her and the family. I need to communicate that to her more.
· I am reminded that Lyn and I stand as equals before God. And that she “leads me” as much as I lead her, even though we have different roles.
· Our gatherings should reflect equal access and honoring treatment to everyone.
· I need to give special care and attention to whether we are including or excluding the poor by the way we worship or celebrate Christ.
· Communion is to be taken in a way that reflects we understand what Jesus has done for us. We don’t need to have it all together when we take communion, we simply need to take serious that Christ gave his life for us because we don’t have it together.


Today was a tough one. There is so much about the first part of the passage that I don’t completely understand. I need your wisdom to honor the roles that you have given men and women. But I also need wisdom to not take it too far and limit women from exercising the gifts and abilities that you have given them to be used for your glory. Will you please help us find that balance, and be gracious with one another as we seek you in this.
If there is any way that we are dishonoring you or your people in the way we are gathering would you please show us. Help us to more and more be inclusive of all kinds of people, and help us reflect the good news in the way we treat each other.
In Jesus Name I pray. AMEN

1 comment (Add your own)

1. Rob Schulze wrote:
Thanks Joel for taking the time to diligently SOAP this chapter. In today's Silicon Valley culture it is challenging to contextualize "how exactly does this apply" but your applications were very helpful. Thank you!

Amen-- Father, will you unite us to be your peculiar people balancing grace & truth as we strive to be your extended family on mission here in our valley where there is so much hopelessness as well as so much denial of how hopeless we are apart from you. In Jesus name, Amen

Mon, April 13, 2015 @ 7:33 AM

Add a New Comment


Comment Guidelines: No HTML is allowed. Off-topic or inappropriate comments will be edited or deleted. Thanks.