I. The Order of Christian Worship:" Headship to Followers": and "Christain Communion"
“Follow me as I follow Christ” ( Paul (pastor) said to the Corinthian church)
Chapter 11 is a continuation of a question and answer session Paul has with this church in the first letter he wrote to the Corinthian church.:
Point A. What Paul addressed in chapter 11 to Corinth had absolutely nothing to do with the social custom in Corinth. However,asa a chilf of God we must scrutinize what we wear as the type of clothing (satyle) is a reflection of the social norms of the day and may reflect carnality that is detrimental to the image of Christ that now dwells in the believer. thye Apostle used those Corinthian customs as an example of comparing the difference in “spiritually” doing things out of order in the church and propeerly reporesenting Jesus christ in every manner of our living.: He is addressing “HEADSHIP” not “Lordship” Adam is "headship" not lordship so far as man is concern, yet… ELOHIM God (Lord God) is both “HEAD AND LORD” of all and over all!
Point B. When men advocate their authority by acting independent of God’s protocol they create seedbed for disorder in 4 areas of life: personal, family, ecclesiastically (the institution church), and in government.
II. Christian Headship: Christ- ` (verses 2-16)
A. Remember the Order: Jehovah God is First
Jesus Christ (for the sake of the Gospel- salvation and redemption of man) is covered by Jehovah. (Even though he is equally God (2nd person in the TRINITY) Christ is “HEAD of the CHURCH” first and foremost (This is His church and He sets up the order)
B. Adam- the man (Refer to Titus 2:1-8) God is Christ’s covering- Christ is Man’s covering (Adam as both the man and Adam as the race) and Adam, the man is Eve’s covering.
Remember this: Man is Woman’s "covering", not her God, especially in marriage and in the church: Problems will always arise when those who are covered act is if they are independent of that covering. .
1. Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonors his head.
The man does dishonor to Christ as his head that is, he does not, in HIS presence and in HIS service, observe the usual and proper custom by which a subordinate station is recognized, and which indicates respect for a superior. In the presence of a prince or a nobleman, it would be considered as a mark of disrespect should the head be covered. So in the presence of Christ, in whose name he ministers, it is a mark of disrespect if the head is covered. This illustration is drawn from the customs of all times and countries by which respect for a superior is indicated by removing the covering from the head. This is one reason why a man should not cover his head in public worship. Another is given in A covered head was a sign of being under subjection. In public worship, and in public ministry, whenever he was preaching or teaching the Word of God, he was representing Christ as his advocate or spokesperson conveying the message Christ gave him through the Holy Spirit to give to the congregation. This was diametrically opposite of the Jewish canon laws that required that a man veiled or covered his head with either a cap or a turban if he was to pray publicly. Their reasoning: This shows you are ashamed before God and unworthy to behold HIM. God wants us to behold HIM through Christ and the Holy Spirit (vs. 4)
2. When a woman prophesies or pray with her head uncovered, she dishonors her head that is, she shows a lack of proper respect to man, to her husband, to her father, to the sex in general.
The veil is a token of modesty and of sub-ordination. It is regarded among Jews, and everywhere, as an emblem of her sense of inferiority of rank and station. It is the customary mark of her sex, and that by which she evinces her modesty and sense of subordination. To remove that, is to remove the appropriate mark of such subordination, and is a public act by which she thus shows dishonor to the man. And as it is proper that the grades and ranks of life should be recognized in a suitable manner, so it is improper that, even on pretence of religion, and of being engaged in the service of God, these marks should be laid aside.[
Note: Women wore their hair long because her hair is her glory. (For that is even all one as if she were shaven] Long hair is, by the custom of the times, and of nearly all countries, a mark of the sex, an ornament of the female, and judged to be beautiful and comely. To remove that is to appear, in this respect, like the other sex, and to lay aside the badge of her own. This, says Paul, all would judge to be improper. You yourselves would not allow it. And yet to lay aside the veil-the appropriate badge of the sex, and of her sense of subordination-would be an act of the same kind. It would indicate the same feeling, the same forgetfulness of the proper sense of subordination; and if that is laid aside, ALL the usual indications of modesty and subordination might be removed also. Not even under religious pretences, therefore, are the usual marks of sex, and of propriety of place and rank, to be laid aside. Due respect is to be shown, in dress, and speech, and deportment, to those whom God has placed above us; and neither in language, in attire nor in habit are we to depart from what all judge to he proprieties of life, or from what God has judged and ordained to be the proper indications of the regular gradations in society.
The woman had hers covered, because she was placed by the order of God in a state of subjection to the man, and because it was a custom, both among the Greeks and Romans, and among the Jews an express law. This was, and is, a common custom throughout the east, and none but public prostitutes go without veils. And if a woman should appear in public without a veil, she would dishonor her head-her husband. And she must appear like to those women who had their hair shorn off as the punishment of whoredom, or adultery. (vs.5)
III. Judge for yourselves and act accordingly (verses 13-16)
a. By common sense and Christian practice.
b. By the laws of nature.
c. By God’s standard verses the radical antichristian movement.
d. Examine yourself to see if you have adopted pagan standards and incorporated them into the church.
IV. Divisions in the Church (verses 17-22)
a. Heresies (False teachings crept in and being accepted) (vs. 17-19)
b. Perversion of the Lord’s Supper they came to eat and drink , (not just to celebrate the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ) (20-23)
c. Eat your meals at home and celebrate the Lord’s Supper at Church
V. The Lord’s Supper Explained Communion (verses 23-26)
a. Bread represents Jesus’ body- bruised, battered (consecrated)
b. Wine represented the shedding of Jesus’ blood for the remission of our sins.
c. As often as you do this: you are remembering that you were in bondage on every level- (mind, body and spiritually) but Jesus sacrificed his life to free you from the bondage sin placed us in.
VI. Danger in taking Communion for the wrong reason and purpose (verses 27-34)
a. We don’t take communion to celebrate “Passover” as the Hebrews do then or now. Communion is more than a “historic remembrance” It’s “personally” identifying on a “constant basis” what the Lord “actually” did for you.
Note: To eat and drink the bread and wine in the Lord's Supper unworthily, meant to eat and drink as the Corinthians did, who ate it not in reference to Jesus Christ's sacrificial death; but rather in such a way as the Israelites did the Passover, (as the last meal before the death angel passed over Egypt) which they celebrated in remembrance of their deliverance from Egyptian bondage. Likewise, these Christians at Corinth used it as a kind of historical commemoration of the death of Christ; and did not, in the whole institution, discern the Lord's body and blood as a sacrificial offering for sin: and besides, in their celebration of it they acted in a way utterly unbecoming the gravity of a sacred ordinance. Those who acknowledge it as a sacrificial offering, and receive it in remembrance of God's love to them in sending his Son into the world, can neither bring damnation upon themselves by so doing, nor eat nor drink unworthily. (Taken from Adam-Clarke Biblical Commentary)
b. Examine yourself- why do you take communion? (verses 28-34)
This examination should be minute and particular. It should extend to the words, the thoughts, the feelings, the conduct. We should inquire whether in our family and in our business; whether among Christians, and with the world, we have lived the life of a Christian. We should examine our private thoughts; our habits of secret prayer and of searching the Scriptures. Our examination should be directed to the inquiry whether we are gaining the victory over our easily besetting sins and becoming more and more conformed to the Saviour. It should, in short, extend to all our Christian character; and everything which goes to make up or to mar that character should be the subject of faithful and honest examination. It should be done because:
c. (a) It is well to pause occasionally in life, and take an account of our standing in the sight of God. People make advances in business and in property only when they often examnine their accounts, and know just how they stand.
d. (b) Because the observance of the Lord's Supper is a solemn act, and there will be fearful results if it is celebrated in an improper manner.
e. (c) Because self-examination supposes seriousness and calmness, and prevents precipitation and rashness-states of mind entirely unfavorable to a proper observance of the Lord's Supper.
f. (d) Because by self-examination one may search out and remove those things that are offensive to God, and the sins which so easily beset us may be known and abandoned.
g. (e) Because the approach to the table of the Lord is a solemn approach to the Lord himself; is a solemn profession of attachment to him; is an act of consecration to his service in the presence of angels and of people; and this should be done in a calm, deliberate and sincere manner; such a manner as may be the result of a prayerful and honest self-examination.
Don’t take it unworthily
Don’t bring damnation to your soul
Don’t provoke God to wrath by misusing any of his ordinances. Some of the things you might be suffering may be the direct result of spiritual misuse
Judge yourselves before God has to judge you
If God has to judge you, it is to keep you from being condemned with this world
When you come together- for Communion, tarry one for another Do things decent, in order and with respect of why you are taken Communion.
Feast at home. The Communion wasn’t a common feast, a table spread. Don’t treat it as such and bring condemnation upon yourselves by God.
Paul would address other pertinent issues when he arrived at Corinth