- 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
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
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
- 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.