Dumb Devils and the Finger of God – Luke chapter 11

Just added, a new message preached by Dr J Stewart Gillespie:

 

Luke chp 11 – Dumb Devils and the Finger of God – JS Gillespie – 03122017

 

Finding Christ in Life’s Dead Ends

Just added, a new message preached by Dr J Stewart Gillespie from John chapter 11:

 

Finding Christ in Lifes Dead Ends – John chp 11 – JS Gillespie – 04122016

 

Take Eat this is My Body – 1 Corinthians chapter 11 verses 17 to 34

Just added, a new message preached from 1 Corinthians chapter 11:

 

1 Corinthians chp 11 vs 17 to 34 – Take Eat this is My Body – J Stewart Gillespie – 27102015.mp3

 

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 altar had gone; “We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle.” (Heb 13:10)
  • The sacrifices had gone; “But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;” (Heb 10:12)
  • The old priesthood had gone, we now have but one Great High Priest
  • The idols were gone, we have someone far surpassing the idol; “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (2Co 4:6) – we have the reality of God in Christ

The only symbols these Christians were left with are the 3 we have in chapters 10 to 11 of 1 Corinthians:

  1. Symbol of Baptism (chp 10) – Salvation in Christ
  2. Symbol of head covering (chp 11) – Sovereignty of Christ
  3. Symbol of the cup and loaf (chp 11) – Sacrifice of Christ

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”

  • The Person present: “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” (Mat 18:20)
  • The Power of God operating: “And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth.” (1Co 14:25)
  • The Privileges – the demonstration and working of gifts by the Spirit of God (cf. Chapter 12)

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:

  1. Schism (chapters 1 to 3)
  2. Sin (chapter 5)
  3. Selfishness (chapters 6 to 10)

So which was it?

All 3!!

  1. Schism (11:18-19)
  2. Selfishness (11:21)
  3. Sin (11:27, 30-34)

Ironically here is the very time when we would be remembering:

  1. Unity and fellowship
  2. The selfless sacrifice of Christ
  3. The cost to God of the once and for all offering for sin

What was the breaking of bread / Lords Supper meant to be about?

  1. Obedience
  2. Remembrance
  3. Attitude

It was about:

  1. Obedience

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)

  • ‘eat’ (11:24) – aorist imperative active
  • ‘do’ (11:24) – aorist imperative active
  • ‘do’ (11:24) – aorist imperative active

When? – First day of the week (Acts 20:7)

Obedience to Christ would surely take presidence over our:

  • convenience
  • leisure
  • work
  • overtime
  • apathy
  1. Remembrance

Why remember?

Why remember every week?

Is this not overkill?

We remember each week because:

  1. It is Essential lest we forget

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:

  • Deut 32:28
  • Isa 17:10
  • Jeremiah 2:32; 3:21; 18:15; 23:27
  • Ezekiel 22:12; 23:35
  • Hosea 4:11; 8:14; 13:6

They forgot!!

  1. It is the Essence of Worship
  2. It is the Exercise of Spiritual battle
  3. It is the Examination of Self

Recall that the letter to the Corinthians is set in an in between place:

  • Between Grace given (1:4) and Grace fulfilled (15:57)
  • Between Egypt and the promised land (1 Co 10)
  • Between redemption and resurrection
  • Between Calvary (11:23) and the Coming again (11:26)
  1. Attitude

1 Corinthians chapter 11 verses 7 to 16 – Glory Glory Glory

Just added, a new message in our series on 1 Corinthians, preached by Dr J Stewart Gillespie:

 

1 Corinthians chp 11 vs 7 to 16 – Glory Glory Glory – 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 :

  1. The system of headship
  2. The source of headship
  3. The structure of headship

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 :

  • Hope of eternal life
  • Guarantee of a home in heaven
  • Prospect of being filled by the Holy Spirit
  • Access to the throne of grace
  • Standing of sonship

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 :

  1. Mans relationship with God (v7)
  2. Womans relationship with man (v7-9)
  3. Angels (v10)
  4. Common sense of decorum (v13)
  5. Natural president (v14)
  6. Practice of the churches (v16)

6 reasons are maybe a bit too many to remember but perhaps I can remember 3 reasons, especially if they are all the same.

  1. Glory of God (v7)
  2. Glory of man (v7)
  3. Glory of the woman (v15)

.

  1. Glory of God

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 :

Accumulating wealth

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.

  1. Glory of man

The glory of man is to be covered

  1. Glory of woman

Womans glory – her hair is likewise covered in the sight of God

All might be for His Glory

Headship and Headcoverings – 1 Corinthians chapter 11

Just added, a new message preached by J Stewart Gillespie:

 

1 Corinthians chp 11 vs 1 to 6 – Headship and Headcoverings – J Stewart Gillespie – 21092015.mp3

 

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:

  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)

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:

  1. System of Headship
  2. Source of Headship
  3. Structure of Headship
  4. Symbol of Headship

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:

From:

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:

  1. System of Headship
  2. Source of Headship
  3. Structure of Headship
  4. Symbol of 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.

Headcovering:

  1. What was the headcovering?

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:

  • It is bad exegesis to read verse 5 retrospectively in the light of the later verse.
  • The word for uncovered in verse 5 is: ‘ἀκατακάλυπτος‘ – a covering hanging down like a vail; and the word for covering in verse 15 is: ‘περιβόλαιον‘ – covering around about
  • This makes no sense in the context of verse 4 where the man is to pray uncovered. If hair is a covering then for the man to be uncovered would require a shaver to be taken to his head before coming to the assembly, some of us may find that no great sacrifice!
  • So in a last ditch attempt to make their theory work you may hear it claimed, ah but it is not hair that is the covering ‘it is long hair.’ So the woman is to have long hair and man short hair. In response to that I can only encourage believers to read their bible. Long hair is not a covering in verse 15; hair is a covering in verse 15, long hair is a glory, when present, hair is the covering wither long or short.
  1. When was it to be worn

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:

  • ‘dishonour’
  • ‘as if she were shaven’

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.

  1. Does it really matter?
  1. Symbol
  2. Significance
  3. Some not too Serious objections
  1. Symbol

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:

  1. King

Does it matter what we put on a kings head?

Baseball cap do?

A fascinator will suffice?

  • So I stood upon him, and slew him, because I was sure that he could not live after that he was fallen: and I took the crown that was upon his head, and the bracelet that was on his arm, and have brought them hither unto my lord.” (2Sa 1:10)
  • And he took their king’s crown from off his head, the weight whereof was a talent of gold with the precious stones: and it was set on David’s head. And he brought forth the spoil of the city in great abundance.” (2Sa 12:30)
  • And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews!” (Mat 27:29)
  • The crown symbolic of rule, reign, authority and dignity, at times of the transfer of that rule from conquered to conqueror
  1. Priest
  • And he put the mitre upon his head; also upon the mitre, even upon his forefront, did he put the golden plate, the holy crown; as the LORD commanded Moses.” (Lev 8:9)
  • And they made the plate of the holy crown of pure gold, and wrote upon it a writing, like to the engravings of a signet, HOLINESS TO THE LORD.” (Exo 39:30) – What difference a head covering? Holiness
  • Neither shall he go out of the sanctuary, nor profane the sanctuary of his God; for the crown of the anointing oil of his God is upon him: I am the LORD.” (Lev 21:12) – What difference a head covering? Life and death!
  1. Prophet
  1. Significance

The significance of the symbol appears dependany upon:

  1. The System of Headship
  2. The Structure of Headship

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.

  1. The Spiritual exercise of the woman
  1. Some not too Serious objections

Pauls presentation of head coverings does not depend upon culture:

  1. Church practice (11:16)
  2. Principles of headship (11:3)
  3. Biblical significance of head coverings (11:4-6)
  4. Creatorial order (11:7-9)
  5. Testimony to angels (11:10)
  6. Personal sense of decency (11:13)
  7. Natural order (11:14)

One Body under Christ Indivisible – 1 Corinthians chp 11 vs 1 to 3 – J Stewart Gillespie

Just added, a new message preached by Dr J Stewart Gillespie from 1 Corinthians:

 

1 Corinthians chp 11 vs 1 to 3 – One Body under Christ Indivisible – J Stewart Gillespie – 15092015.mp3

 

 

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. Wisdom
2. Righteousness
3. Sanctification
4. Redemption

Themes:

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:

1. Sanctification
2. Unity

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 Mission
Pauls Method

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)
Pauls method:

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:

Headship
Divine Order

Themes underpinning not only 1 Corinthians chapter 11 but the administration of God throughout the Bible:

1. Creation

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
Romans 13:1-3

 

3. Service and commerce

Ephesians 6:5ff

 

4. Families

Ephesians 6:1ff

 

5. Marriage

Genesis 3:16ff

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)