Faithlife Sermons

Worship in the Church, Pt. 1

1 Corinthians: Order in the Church  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Warning: Controversy Ahead!

Most of the letter of I Corinthians is devoted to correction, but Paul does interject some praise where he can, 1 Cor. 11:2
1 Corinthians 11:2 KJV 1900
2 Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.
To give the context here, we have moved from Christian liberty, into a section dealing with how we should worship when we gather together.
We are going to look next week at the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper, but before we get there, we must first deal with some issues that were “out of order” in this church.
Specifically...

The Roles of Men and Women - in the Home

Contrary to popular belief...

This is not speaking of male superiority as the women’s lib movement would have you think
This not about what women should or shouldn’t wear in church
Its not even about the length of men’s hair
It is about the FACT that God designed men and women differently, and each has a specific role to fulfill in the home

The Roles Defined - Men v. 3

1 Corinthians 11:3 KJV 1900
3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.
Christ is the head of every man - not just saved men, but every man
The reference is to the head, not the physical head
It is symbolic for mastery
When Christ is in His proper place, He will be the master of your life
The Roles Defined - Women
1 Corinthians 11:3 KJV 1900
3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.
The reference here is in the marriage relationship
J Vernon McGee states, “If a woman cannot look up to a man and respect him, she ought no follow him and surely not marry him.”
He goes on to say that “...a real woman will lovingly submit to her husband, and a real man will love his wife to the point he is willing to die for her.”

You can imagine why this phrase causes strife in our world...

“The head of the woman is the man”

When this is properly understood, there is no reason anyone should be offended.
Jesus had no problem submitting to the Father

The Roles of Men and Women - In the Church

1 Corinthians 11:4–6 KJV 1900
4 Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head. 5 But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven. 6 For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered.
The historical context of the issue:
There was rabbinical tradition that required any man teaching in public to cover his head
This was a misinterpretation of Moses wearing the veil when he came down from the mountain
That veil was to conceal the glory of God, and not frighten the people
Paul was correcting this error and was instructing men NOT to cover their head or else they would be dishonoring their “head” = Christ

There was Some Conflict v. 5-6

The issue here is not women speaking or even praying in public...
The issue was, as it should be today, with women attempting to usurp authority over a man
Usurp = to dominate
The veil in the Corinthian church was a cultural thing/issue
It symbolized subordination
By removing the veil, the woman was stating her husband her head at home, but not in the church
She was not following God’s plan for the roles of man and woman in the home or the church

The Roles of Men and Women, as Defined in Creation v. 7-10

1 Corinthians 11:7–10 KJV 1900
7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. 8 For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. 9 Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man. 10 For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels.
Mankind = Humanity, men and women, we made in the image of God
We are gifted with intellect, emotion, and will
However, we notice in verse 7, that man is referred to as the “image and glory of God”
This speaks to Adam being created before Eve.
He was given a specific place as head of the race
Women, however, were created from man, and men, let’s be honest, they complete us!

Imagine if You Will...

Adam trying to fulfill the creation mandate alone...
How could he til the garden without help?
How could he fill the world with his offspring alone?
The woman was created for man...
To be a helpmeet, not a servant
In God’s plan, and purpose, she is to submit to her husband, since that is God’s plan
The reference to the order of creation is meant to reinforce this truth

What About That Cryptic Reference in Verse 10?

This goes back to the fall of Satan
It was insubordination an pride which caused him to lead a rebellion of angels against God
The meaning of this verse is that obedience/subordination of the wife to her husband is observed by the holy angels and teaches them the acceptance of authority
It is humbling to know that angels are looking at us for an example of sorts.

The Roles of Men and Women - Equality v. 11-12

1 Corinthians 11:11–12 KJV 1900
11 Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord. 12 For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God.
“Nevertheless” is a connecting word, demonstrating that Paul did not wish to promote any type of male superiority over women
Instead he takes the next section and demonstrates an amazing equality in the separate roles of men and women.

Two Phrases to Notice in These Verses:

“in the Lord”
“All things of God”
The emphasis is on the spiritual part of man - the part that needs God
We see in these verses the simplistic truth that in the eyes of God we are all equal
“The Ground is Level at the Foot of the Cross”
Men are not better than women because of their place of leadership.
Women are not less than men because of their place of subordination

But Wait, There’s More...

Not only is there spiritual equality, but there is physical dependence as well...
In creation, Eve was created out of Adam
Since then, meh have come from women
Just as womankind could not have existed apart from Adam, Mankind would not exist apart from Eve!
“All things of God”…none of us would exist without Him!

The Roles of Men and Women - In Propriety v. 13-15

1 Corinthians 11:13–15 KJV 1900
13 Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered? 14 Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him? 15 But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.
Propriety = conforming to conventionally accepted standards of behavior or morals
The Bible uses the word “comely”, which has a similar idea, meaning “suitable or proper”
This, is as you know, a very controversial topic in our day, not only that men and women are different, but that the hair styles of men and women matter.

The Nature of the Issue

Its the same today as in Paul’s day
It is a question of motives, a question of the heart
The veil set the married women apart from the unmarried in Corinth
It was a sign of subordination to their head, their husband
Refusal to wear the veil while participating in the service was a sign of rebellion

What About Men’s Hair

Now, I’m going to tell you something profound, something you probably did not know until right this very minute: There is a difference between men and women.
There is a difference between God’s plan and design for men and women, especially dealing with the roles each holds
Men are to lead in spiritual matters, women are to follow
Men and women are to stay in these roles because this is God’s plan
We have zero right to question this, to try to change this, to argue with this, to deny this, to do anything other than simply accept this!
One final role to examine in the context of worship as it relates to the roles of men and women

The Roles of Men and Women - Authority

1 Corinthians 11:16 KJV 1900
16 But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God.
Paul saw the issue with head covering and long hair for what it was: rebellion
He knew what we know today: there are people who will argue and oppose God’s Word, plan, and will simply for the sake of argument
“Contentious” = “one who loves strife”
It is a sad but true statement that there are Christians who “love strife”

Paul’s closing words in this verse demonstrates two truths:

The apostles did not condone such behavior.
No Bible believing church condoned such behavior.

It May Seem Strange, but...

The thrust of chapter 11 is not on dress or hair, but on worship.
Paul’s approach to these issues was setting the scene for the real issue: The church was way out of order!

Beginning Next Week...

Not a take away, but rather looking ahead...
We will be looking at the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper
What will we find? the Corinthian church had some problems,
We will also find that the modern church has some of the same problems
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