1 Corinthians 11:12-23
1 Corinthians 11:12
For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God.

Now in this verse Paul brings in that there is a mutual dependence upon each other. The woman originally came from man but since the creation of Eve, woman now comes from man by reason of the sexual union. The seed is in the man and when it is planted in the woman, then either a man or woman comes from the woman. Paul is saying that both sexes should build a holy union with each other and not an unholy competition. Paul goes on to say that all things are of God. This means that God is the source of which all creation comes from. That includes the original creation as well as all things which are being created today. There is equality but there is a different calling for each sex.

1 Corinthians 11:13
Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered?

After Paul gives his explanation in the previous verses, he now tells these Christians that should judge for themselves. The word “judge” in this verse is the Greek word “krino” and carries with it the idea of “resolve, decide between, approve, think.” Paul now wants these believers to take what he has offered and begin to apply it in a pattern of biblical thought on the subject. When we begin to filter our thoughts through Scripture, we will then be able to arrive at the proper conclusion but once we try and make biblical decisions with statements that begin with “I believe or I think” we have then usurped the Bible’s teachings and have introduced our own thoughts.

1 Corinthians 11:14
Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?

We see in cultures that men and women both dress differently. In fact, the Bible even commands men and women to dress differently.
(Deu 22:5 KJV) The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God. So if the Bible is commanding both men and women to dress differently, it would also follow suit that they need to groom each other in a different fashion. In the matter of hair, we know that men lose their hair faster than women do. This is designed by God because hair is a sign of femininity and covering, but when a woman has long hair, it adds to her female attraction. Now in this verse we see that the Bible is teaching that when a man has long hair, it is a shame. One reason is because he now has a feminine characteristic on his head plus his head is now covered which means he is dishonoring the Lord Jesus as his head. The word “shame” in this verse carries with it the meaning of “disgrace or dishonor.” This describes exactly what the man does when he grows long hair. I remember 1962 when the Beatles first came on the scene and then long hair on men became the generational mark of rebellion. The hippies were the ones who rebelled against authority and caused a generation of young people to go wrong. Today, we are paying the price for that generation with AIDS, high divorce rate, many people today have only one parent, etc. Now today, we have charismatic bands who claim to be Christian with hair down to their back. They try to get us to believe they are worshipping God, but they are in rebellion to God. All one has to do is just look how they violate Scripture. They even wear jewelry like women. Yet, these freaks are lauded in churches by both young people and their ignorant, bible-neutered youth pastors, who do more to lead the youth astray than anyone else.

1 Corinthians 11:15
But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.

How many times when you see a woman who has long hair, you see how pretty she looks?. There is a certain radiance which a woman has who possesses long hair. Women today who cut off all their hair just to be trendy, look horrible. Only a woman can look like a woman but when she starts looking like a man, it is as if she is shorn and is a disgrace to the feminine gender. Now to the subject of the covering. There are some denominations which require a woman to have a covering on her head, such as the Mennonites who have the little white caps, and there are some who require them to wear some kind of covering. Now this verse teaches that a woman’s hair is given to her as her physical covering and therefore does not need to wear a second covering, such as a hat. Now if they wear a hat, that is not sin nor should it be perceived as such.

1 Corinthians 11:16
But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God.

In this passage we see two words which Paul uses. The first is “contentious” which carries with it the meaning of “someone who quarrels for the sake of quarreling.” The second word is “custom” which means “a mutual custom or habit.” The man stands before Christ uncovered as a sign that he is in subjection to Christ and the woman wears long hair as a sign that she is under the authority of her husband. If she rejects that authority, then she is to have her head shaved which would be humiliation to any woman. If a man was contentious concerning the custom of a woman wearing another cover over her head, Paul is stating that neither the apostles nor the churches have a specific custom of a woman wearing a separate covering other than her hair. I mentioned the Mennonite women wearing a separate cover which is the custom I their churches, but it is not the custom in every other church or denomination. A person can be contentious about this custom in their churches that women everywhere should wear a separate covering but that is not a command of Scripture nor is it a requirement for a woman to be accepted by God nor is it a requirement in all the churches. Wearing a separate head covering is a matter of choice by the woman or if she belongs to a church which uses them and wants to follow the custom if she chooses, but according to Scripture she is not required to wear a separate head covering. A contentious man may even be an Elder who feels that it is a command that women wear them to show she is under the authority of her husband but the Scripture teaches that her long hair shows she is under the authority of her husband. I grew up in the Hungarian Reformed Church and never once did I attend a service where I did not see the majority of women in the congregation wearing a hat.

1 Corinthians 11:17
Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse.

When a congregation comes together on Sunday morning, it should be for the purpose of praising the Lord and being edified in the Lord. These are all positive things which should happen on the Lord’s Day morning. However, if you have a congregation that is at odds with each other and there is much infighting, then that congregation is not assembling for the good but for the worse. Paul is chiding the Corinthians because their assembling was not done unto the glory of God. This church must have really been a testing program for Paul.

1 Corinthians 11:18
For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.

Paul now specifies the problem in the church at Corinth that there is much division in it. It seems this was one of the major traits of the Corinthian church. Yet, we see this same problem in the modern church. In almost every congregation you will have cells which believe in tongues and those who do not. You will have cells which teach election and cells which believe in free will. You will have cells which teach that women preachers are okay and cells which say they are not. In almost every congregation, you will find division. It is the mark of good leadership which can cull out the troublemakers and expel them from the church for the sake of the rest of the believers.
(Rom 16:17 KJV) Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. In every church there are going to be some troublemakers. It is a shame that in many churches, if a person lives the Bible and brings biblical validation to the leadership of the church of something which is wrong in the church, they are normally removed from the church instead of being heeded. It seems if the words of God are injected in the local church, it is anathema, yet if the words of man are injected, they are welcomed with open arms.

1 Corinthians 11:19
For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.

One of the testing programs which the Lord allows to come into the church is that of heresies. The word “heresies” in the Greek carries with it the meaning of “dissension, division, or sects.” These sects in the church will form because someone brings in a false teaching and that false teaching will challenge the true believer, whether they will remain faithful to the truth of Scripture or if they will accept false teachings. Normally, heresy will divide the congregation and will filter out the false believers from the true believers. Those true believers will be the approved group because they are founded upon the Scriptures. Normally, heresy will be accepted by those who only know man’s words and not the words of Scripture. This is the danger of being theologian sourced in your studies. Many times I hear statements to the effect of “well this theologian doesn’t believe that,” or “this pastor believes this.” Who cares what they believe? Theologians and pastors are not the standards for the Christian to learn from, we learn from the Scriptures and then judge them to see if they are on the straight and narrow. The majority of times it is the church leadership who brings in the heresies, especially those who are commentary or theologian based in their studies. When a person brings in a heresy, they are to be removed from the church for the spiritual welfare of the rest of the congregation.

1 Corinthians 11:20
When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's supper.

Paul now turns to the subject of celebrating the Lord’s Supper. It is obvious that the heresies that the Corinthians had in this church were numerous, probably to the point of highly overshadowing the real meaning of the Lord’s Supper. With many of them coming out of pagan religions, the Lord’s Supper was probably so misunderstood that it had degenerated into a pagan love feast, but probably not to the extent it was done in pagan temples. The Lord’s Supper had probably degenerated into a battle zone over the truth versus heretical teachings which existed in the church.

1 Corinthians 11:21
For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken.

The feast had no doubt turned into a selfish feast. Those who had abundance probably brought much and those of meager substance probably bought less. Here we see that as soon as these people arrived at the feast, they would consume their own food which they bought, which probably meant that there was probably none left over for those poorer people in the congregation. Then not only were those who were hungry sat at the tables, but those who became drunk. For such a situation to have the name of the Lord on it would be a mockery of His holy name and His blood bought church. This is the reason that false teachings and the customs of the outside world must be kept out of the church. There is nothing in Scripture which refers to a culture based church. Worldly customs are normally in opposition to the Scriptures.

1 Corinthians 11:22
What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not.

Paul is now chiding them to get them to realize that the feasting they are doing should be done at home before they come to church. By having this type of pagan mindset attached to their feasts it was like they were despising the holy nature of the church. They were also shaming the poorer people of the congregation who had very limited resources. Paul said he would not praise them in this for what they were doing was sinfully wrong. It completely made a mockery of the solemnity of the Lord’s Supper.
(1 Cor 10:21 KJV) Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord's table, and of the table of devils. Remember this warning which Paul gave to the Corinthian church? You cannot mix the holiness of God with the emptiness of unholy paganism.

1 Corinthians 11:23
For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:

Now the Apostle Paul begins his discourse on giving this church and every church which will be formed through the ages, until the Lord returns, the proper way to do the Lord’s Supper and the proper mindset to approach it. What they were doing by having this love feast in the manner it was being done, was a complete error in understanding of what the Lord’s Supper was all about. The original Lord’s Supper did not take place on a festive occasion, there was no party atmosphere. We read in this verse that the Lord Jesus was betrayed into the hands of the enemy and on the very same night he instituted this remembrance. Paul mentions this so the Corinthians would begin to understand the solemn nature of what surrounded this Supper.