Just added, a new message in our series on 2 Corinthians:
Just added, a new message in our series on 2 Corinthians:
Just added, to our series in 2 Corinthians, a new message preached by Dr J Stewart Gillespie:
Just added, a new message preached by Dr J Stewart Gillespie:
Just added, a new message preached by Dr J Stewart Gillespie from John chapter 11:
Just added, a new message preached from 1 Corinthians chapter 11:
Outline notes from this message:
New converts to Christ could not help but be impressed by just how simple the worship of the Christian was.
Converted from idol worship and brought into his new found faith in Christ he had seen one by one all of those old symbols exit out of the front door!
The only symbols these Christians were left with are the 3 we have in chapters 10 to 11 of 1 Corinthians:
These 3 symbols give but 1 message – Christianity is solely and completely about Christ.
This third section begins with a shocking admission by the apostle (11:17); “that ye come together not for the better but for the worse”
After all that has been and shall be said concerning the value of and the importance of gathering together – it is possible to gather “for the worse”
You may have thought that automatically, by virtue of the fact they gathered, blessing and Divine approval was guaranteed, not so however.
What could have gone wrong for it not to have been for the better, but for the worse?
So far in 1 Corinthians we have seen:
So which was it?
Ironically here is the very time when we would be remembering:
What was the breaking of bread / Lords Supper meant to be about?
It was about:
A simple matter; a simple instruction, obedience is essential:
“And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.” (1Sa 15:22-23)
When? – First day of the week (Acts 20:7)
Obedience to Christ would surely take presidence over our:
Why remember every week?
Is this not overkill?
We remember each week because:
The God who made us knows the difference between our short term and our long term memory
Each week, the memory of Christ is brought again from the long term to the short term memory.
Gods complaint of His OT people:
Recall that the letter to the Corinthians is set in an in between place:
Just added, a new message in our series on 1 Corinthians, preached by Dr J Stewart Gillespie:
Outline notes are available for this message:
We have previously noted that in 1 Corinthians chapter 11 Paul continues his concern for the unity of the church at Corinth, a concern running through chapters 1,3,6,8-10
Far from the headship truth of 1 Corinthians chp 11 being a separate issue, it is part and parcel of Paul’s desire to keep the assembly together.
What could be more unifying than appreciating that we are all under the one head?
A nation will will unite under one leader, one flag, one anthem and one monarch.
The church as a body will unite under one head : Christ
In verse 3 we saw :
From woman to man to Christ
In verse 4 we noted the symbol of that headship: that the physical head is the symbol of the spiritual head
It is important to be consistent and coherent in our interpretation of the section.
Verse 4: since Christ is mans spiritual head then in acknowledgement of this man leaves his physical head uncovered
Verse 5: when it comes to the woman in verse 5, man is her spiritual head and therefore the covering of her physical head symbolises the covering of mans headship. If the woman was to leave her head uncovered she would really be saying, I am under the headship and authority of man. It is important to see this, because over the years it has been common to suggest that a womans head covering represents the symbol of mans headship over the woman. It is clear from verse 4 that it is the uncovering of the physical head which declares spiritual headship and not covering it.
If we wish to declare and display the symbol of mans headship that would be symbolised by a woman with an uncovered head.
The uncovered head of the woman in the church is really thus saying : ‘I’ve wandered into this gathering of Gods people in exactly the same way as I wander the streets of this village, in exactly the same way I order my life at work and at home, as a woman in a mans world and under the headship of man ,and I expect to go no higher and no further.
But when the woman covers her head in the assembly she recognises a higher headship than that purely present within creation, she recognises a headship over creation, a headship with which she is now directly connected by redemption. In Christ she has been brought into something higher, something better, something altogether more glorious.
The symbol of the covered head declares that on an equal basis :
I approach the throne of grace (Hebrews 4:14-16)
I have the hope of eternal life (Hebrews 10:19ff)
I find grace to help
I have a place prepared in heaven (John 14)
I have the prospect of being filled with the Holy Spirit
I have the standing of sonship before God
These blessings are mine, mine, mine
That is the simple testimony of that little head covering.
Does that mean that the function of the men and women in the assembly is the same?
The answer lies in the question.
So long as there are men and women there are distinctions
We do not cease to be men and women.
We have been brought into the same; blessings, prospects, hope, salvation and joy, all because of Christ, we are not yet at Matthew 22:30
Headship specifies the authority under which we operate, it does not specify the nature of that operation: 1 Corinthians 12:5-6
Every believer has the same :
But quite clearly not every believer will express those privileges or exercise those liberties in exactly the same way (1 Corinthians 12:4-5)
In verses 7-16 we are going to see the reasons behind the system, structure and source of headship and this symbol of of head coverings
What is it all about?
Verses 7 – 10 give us the reason for head coverings based on headship structure
V7 ‘for a man… ‘
V10 ‘for this cause… ‘
Down through this section we can discern at least 6 reasons, distinct reasons for the practice of headship :
6 reasons are maybe a bit too many to remember but perhaps I can remember 3 reasons, especially if they are all the same.
Mans purpose is the glory of God
Revelation 4:11; 5:12
So man ought to operate under the headship of Christ for His Glory
When a man preaches
When a man teaches
When a man serves
When a man prays
When a man praises
It all ought to be done for the Glory of God
When a man gives of his time, treasure and his talent
When a man serves then he must do it with all of his might for a greater Glory, the Glory of God.
Surely every Christian must sense the tragedy as we glimpse the empty purposeless lives of men and women satisfied with their time and talents being robbed, setting their hearts on nothing more than :
Pursuing a hobby
Scoring a goal
Potting a ball
Building a business
Topping up a sun tan
In all of that missing the purpose for which they were created ; to live for the glory of God
This often lies at the root of problems which arise over head coverings, a failure amongst the men in stepping up to the mark to live for the glory of God.
If our collective experience is the enjoyment of the Glory of God, we will be satisfied with this and not looking for something else less than the Glory of God.
If we are not enjoying the Glory of God, then a lesser Glory will do
Humanity beats with a pulse that flows from the heart of God, if any feature of humanity guarantees our ultimate victory, it is this, that people need Christ, for man was made in His Image.
The glory of man is to be covered
Womans glory – her hair is likewise covered in the sight of God
All might be for His Glory
Just added, a new message preached by J Stewart Gillespie:
Outline notes for this message:
In verse 3 we see the principle of Headship, operative throughout the whole of Gods administration.
What do I mean by headship?
‘κεφαλή‘ : is used in at least 3 ways in the NT:
Not superior / inferior; ‘head of Christ is God’
cf. John 5:19,30,36; John 8:28-29,38; John 14:13,31
Just because you are a man, doesn’t make you better / more spiritual than a woman, but it does mean that we have a role / responsibility to step up to!
In verse 3 we see:
Notice the structure of Headship in verse 3; not only the fact or system by which God operates but note the structural detail to that headship:
Woman to man
to man to Christ
to Christ to God
Notice the structure, the overlapping steps in this Headship Structure
This detailed understanding of Headship feeds into our interpretation of verse 4.
V4 – the covering of the man’s anatomical head dishonours the man’s spiritual head
2 ways to read verse 4
If verse 4 was read in isolation from the chapter the simplest way to read it would be; ‘if a man prays with his anatomical head covered he dishonours his anatomical head’
We would naturally take the same word, appearing in the same sentence, with the same possessive pronoun to refer to the same object, but it is critical that the meaning of headship in verse 3 continues into verse 4 otherwise verse 3 would have no real reason for being there. Verse 3 would open up and expound a subject; headship:
Which would then be completely dropped, if that symbolic meaning of ‘κεφαλή‘ does not continue into verse 4.
So in verse 4 the covering of the man’s physical head dishonours the mans symbolic head.
Once we are clear on that, we see the parallel with Verse 5; that the uncovered head of the woman brings dishonour on the woman’s spiritual head – the man.
Notice that the reality of headship of male over female continues.
Is it hair (v15)
After the objection that this chapter can be dismissed on cultural grounds, probably the second commonest way of dismissing headcoverings is with the argument that a womans hair is the covering expected in verse 5.
This would never have taken off was it not for the NIV, which very naughtily introduced a footnote interpretation to the text of 1 Corinthians chapter 11: “and every woman who prays or prophesies with no covering of hair on her head dishonours her head…”
That is not a translation it is a very dishonest interpretation.
It is also completely untenable:
In the assembly – certainly (11:16-18); but not exclusively (11:5) (cf John Heading and WE Vine)
The simplest way to take verse 5; is that Paul has in mind spiritual activities beyond what we might regard as assembly gatherings; otherwise we are left with something of a difficulty in which Paul legislates on something he later condemns (1Co14:34).
It is difficult to understand the rational of legislating on how something should be done if we believe it aught not to be done!
We would be left with a verse instructing us on how to do something Paul does not want us to do?
Furthermore the apostle appears to give a further endorsement of something very similar in verse 13; asserting that it is comely for a woman to pray providing she has a head covering!
Some have suggested that in verse 5 Paul condemns both the uncovered head and the praying and prophesying with a double condemnation of:
The man on the other hand has only a single condemnation in verse 4 for his covered head.
If this is the case however it would seem to remove any need for the head covering in verse 5 which is surely there because of the spiritual exercise of the woman and it would do violence to verse 13.
At first it may seem strange to give place / credence to an object on someones head, we may be tempted to think that perhaps this idea of head coverings belongs to a time and place now long gone, at best lost in translation for the present day, until we consider that far from being an extraordinary practice, significance is attached to this practice right through the Word of God and even in social structures today:
Does it matter what we put on a kings head?
Baseball cap do?
A fascinator will suffice?
The significance of the symbol appears dependany upon:
Note the structure of headship in verse 3:
The step wise progression:
from woman to man
from man to Christ
to Christ to God
Yet here in verse 4, the woman is praying and prophesying.
This Christian woman has a relationship directly to Christ
When she prays she does not need to go through a man, seek a Levite nor a priest or ask a brother to pray for her.
She too is a child of God, born again, and is able to cry “Abba Father”
She has equal access, as the man to the throne of grace, to find help in time of need!
A problem arises however, in the ordained temporal order, the head of the woman is the man, not Christ directly.
In the eternal sphere of course all male and female distinctions will be lost; “For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.” (Mat 22:30)
Our spiritual blessings and privileges in Christ are a foretaste of those eternal privileges, yet we are not in heaven yet.
Both male and female, are now children of God.
That leaves no room for one having headship over the other in the spiritual sphere; and in the spiritual sphere we do not (Gal 3:28)
Does God then destroy the headship order which still persists in creation and marriage within the temporal sphere?
No He does not!
The order of the temporal is maintained, whilst the new order in the spiritual is being enjoyed!
As the sister prays she is looking forward to heaven, as she covers her head she is looking back at earth.
The headship of the man is respected
The liberty in Christ is acknowledged
In verse 5 the head covering is not simply to cover the glory of man, as it is in verse 7, but in verse 5 we have an additional thought, that the spiritual exercise of the woman would cause ‘dishonour’ to the man, her ‘head’, presumably in by passing that head to god directly to Christ.
Why does the covering prevent that dishonour?
Does it symbolise a temporary covering over of man; her head; so that this exercise belongs to a different sphere – that of the heavenly and eternal?
This is Christs Church, Christs body, in which there is only one head – Christ.
The man need not feel that he is being overstepped or sidelined, the mans position of head is recognised, yet the veil reminds that this is a spiritual exercise, in which the sister has perfect liberty and freedom from the hierachy of male and female.
I would judge that this explains v5b; “that is even all one as if she were shaven” – here would be a further step in dismissing and despising the headship of the man; she would cast off her feminity and look like a man, usurping his place as a man.
It would also explain the reassurance of verse 11 that having said all that he has said, Paul wishes to reassure us that nonetheless he maintains the headship and pattern of male and female relationships, so what he has been teaching must in some way appear to bring unity and liberty for the woman in the spiritual sphere.
Pauls presentation of head coverings does not depend upon culture:
Just added, a new message preached by Dr J Stewart Gillespie from 1 Corinthians:
outline notes available for this message:
The pledge of allegiance:
“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. ”
I can see Paul with his hand upon his heart, stand at the end of 1 Corinthians chapter 10, have addressed division after division; in chapters 1, 3, 6, 7, 8 to 10 with an aspiration resonating at the same pitch:
‘One Body under Christ Indivisible’
Mind you the apostle Paul has a job on his hands!
We have previously noted the outline and themes of 1 Corinthians:
1 Corinthians chp 1 vs 31:
1. Moral problems – chp 5
2. Material problems – chp 6
3. Marital Problems – chp 7
4. Meat offered to idols – chps 8 to 10
5. Meeting problems – chps 11 to 14
6. Miracle of Resurrection – chp 15
7. Money problems – chp 16
Yet if there is ever a sub theme it is surely:
If we appreciate the importance of unity in the midst of schism, we will appreciate the significance of 1 Corinthians chapter 11
This is no minor issue
This is no secondary chapter
Chapter 11 is significant in its content and marked by a majesty in its scope:
Commences with Creation (11:7ff)
Continues through with the work of Calvary (11:24-25)
Concludes at the return of Christ (11:26)
The key to unlock the chapter is to be found in a verse that many neglect (11:1)
Outline of 1 Corinthians chapter 11:
1. Leadership (10:33-11:2)
2. Headship (11:3-16)
3. Fellowship (11:17ff)
1. Leadership (10:33-11:2)
Almost every commentator will point out that 11:1 is really the conclusion to chapter 10
EACH of the previous 3 chapters concludes with a personal application of the truth to Paul himself; 8:13; 9:27; 10:33
The truth of 10:33 is a truth / a way of life which Paul has received from Christ; cf. 2 Co 8:9; Phil 2:5ff, and so having taken his lead from Christ (10:33) Paul can conclude 11:1..
Yet 11:1 is not only a fitting conclusion to 10:33 it is also a suitable commencement to 11:2.
We can have confidence in following the traditions and teachings given by Paul (11:2) in so far as we have seen the kind of person he is (11:1); following the Lord with the souls of men his concern.
The evidence that Paul follows Christ is seen in his priorities (v33); “that they may be saved”
Notice in 11:1:
Pauls Desire which informs the whole of the chapter is that in his leadership they might see past him and past all distractions, past the man, past the ministry, past the minister, to Christ (11:1)
Christ brought Paul to them, that Paul might bring Christ to them, that Paul bring them to Christ.
Maybe we fail in bringing men to Christ because we fail in bringing Christ to them! Paul has the same mindset as John the Baptist, just a sign post pointing to Christ, just a voice in the wilderness; ‘prepare ye the way of the Lord’.
2. Headship (11:3-16)
Notice for being slighted as a peripheral subject, unimportant issue, something which some feel free to dismiss on the transient whims of changing culture, that this teaching is founded on one of the most fundamental themes of the Bible:
Themes underpinning not only 1 Corinthians chapter 11 but the administration of God throughout the Bible:
Note the Order of Genesis chapter 1:
Separation of day and night
Separation of land and sea
Creation of plants
Creation of aquatic life and marine life
Creation of mammals
Creation of man
Notice not only order but authority
Genesis 1:16: “to rule the day… To rule the night”
Genesis 1:18: “to rule over”
Genesis 1:26 “let them have dominion”
2. Human government
1 Samuel 24:6
David 2:37-38; 4:17
3. Service and commerce
1 Corinthians chapter 11 vs 3 not only teams us about the reality of headship; the system of Headship which is integral to all of Gods structures and administrations but 1 Corinthians chp 11 vs 3 goes beyond that and gives us the reason for these structures of headship:
Headship is part and parcel of the character and nature of God Himself.
What God does is a reflection of who God is!
This truth of headship, presented in verse 3 is not not simply there as a general introduction to the subject of head coverings and head ship.
This truth of the headship of Christ, over all, is the goal and object of the chapter!
That each member of this divided, dysfunctional and split assembly might be brought to perfect unity under Christ, as head, that they may be as a church, United, one body under Christ Indivisible.
Verse 3 presents:
1. System of Headship
2. Source of Headship
3. Structure of Headship
4. Symbol of Headship
What is headship?
‘head’ : ‘kephale’ is used in 3 / 4 distinct ways in the NT:
1. Physical head – majority of uses
2. Place / Position / Power / Dignity / Authority – Matt 21:42; Acts 4:11; Ephesians 1:22; Ephesians 4:15; 5:23-24
3. One one definite occasion of origin (Colossians 2:19)
Headship is not dictatorship (11:3)
Note the inherent protection of: “head of every man is Christ”
Headship is not restricted to the church “head of every man is Christ”
1. Headship Explored (v3)
2. Headship Expressed (v4-6)
3. Headship Explained (v7-10)
4. Headship Experienced (v11-16)