Our God Is The God Of Order

1_Corinthians_11_1t16_God_Of_Order_

Sermon Notes:  1 Corinthians 11:1-16 (KJV)  Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.  [2]  Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.  [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.  [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.  [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.  [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.  [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.  [16]  But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God.

I am told that this is a very difficult passage of Scripture to preach. When I looked in the various commentaries and Bible study resources available that was the first thing that was said. One commentary written by a female Biblical scholar:

I suggest that a key to understanding 1 Corinthians 11:2-16 is to recognize its chiastic structure.”

I had to look up “chiastic” because, ignorant country preacher that I am, I have no idea what that means. When I looked the word up I found the definition was “In rhetoric, chiasmus, or less commonly chiasm, (Latin term from Greek χίασμα, “crossing”, from the Greek χιάζω, chiázō, “to shape like the letter Χ”) is the figure of speech in which two or more clauses are presented to the reader or hearer, then presented again in reverse order, in order to make a larger point.” Do you understand now?

I don’t understand.
We either believe the Scripture is the Word of God, or we don’t.
We have a Biblical Worldview or we don’t.

When someone twists and turns to explain away Scripture then I immediately get suspicious. It’s like a politician who will not “let his nay be nay, and his yea be yea” (Matthew 5:37). I believe the Scripture. I believe:

Proverbs 30:5 (NKJV) Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him.

Jesus prayed for us, saying:

John 17:14-17 (NKJV) I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15 I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.

God’s Word is true. It cannot come back void. Every part of this Bible was a gift from God for us. The Bible tells us that

Holy men of God wrote the Scriptures as they were moved by the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:21).

The Bible says:

2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NKJV) All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

The Bible was given by God to bless us. We must read and absorb every bit of it. So why is this such a difficult passage. One commentary, written by a male Bible scholar, said:

This is a passage which is problematic because of various strong views associated with it.”

The text is difficult because of the baggage that we carry to it.

It is like studying Biblical passages dealing with slavery. As a nation we took this land from the native Americans, imported slaves, and in our history did things I am not comfortable with. Thus when we come to passages on slavery we want to look the other way, to skip it, for comfort’s sake. In this passage the Apostle addresses women and men. Again, we are uncomfortable. We have not had a good track record on how we men have treated women throughout human history. In Biblical times women were mistreated.

Jacob met Rachel and wanted to marry her, only to have her father Laban trick Jacob into marrying the less attractive Leah (Genesis 29:25). That is a horrible thing to do.

Abraham pretended Sarah was his sister because he was scared that he might be killed if he didn’t give her up (Genesis 12:13).

In our history as Americans women were treated as second class citizens. Women were not allowed to vote until the 19th Amendment of our Constitution on August 18, 1920. Women often are not paid equal wages for equal work. That is wrong. The workman – or the work woman – is worthy of her wages (1 Timothy 5:18). Women have been and continue to be mistreated, and God does not appreciate that. Neither do I.

When we look at this passage and see “the head of the woman is the man” we shrink back because we think – based on political correctness – that this passage is minimizing women. It is not. God is maximizing women, not cutting them down. This text emphasizes the creative order of God. Let’s look at it not from a worldly perspective, but from God’s creative perspective.

God Is The God Of Order

God is not the God of Chaos.
He is the God of order.

We see God in Genesis 1:1 reaching out and bringing order out of chaos. This is what the Creation Account is. God took a jumble of mess and made it orderly. God is the Creator of Order. Where there is disharmony and disorder, God is not.

Every business has a head. Try it. Walk into any business anywhere in this town and ask “Who’s in Charge?” and I’ll guarantee you there will be one Source, one Head, one ultimate Person who is in charge. If you walk in a place and ask “Who is in Charge?” and EVERYONE says “We are”, you had better run. I’ve seen a two headed goat in the Phillipines, but only one of those heads operated. I’ve seen two headed pigs in the circus, but one head flopped, and the pig was a mess. Anything with two heads is an aberration. Any business with multiple heads has no direction. Two people don’t drive a car with two steering wheels. It just won’t work. Anarchy never works. The Apostle said:

1 Corinthians 11:1 (KJV)  Be ye followers of ME, even as I also am of CHRIST.

Every Church has one Head, and that Head is Christ. Jesus is the Head of His Church. But Jesus calls human leadership that we can see. Paul was an Apostle. Some people didn’t like Paul. In a popularity contest Paul lost ground against a better preacher named Apollos. Apollos was eloquent, and mighty in the Scriptures (Acts 18:24). But Apollos was not greater than Paul. Both Paul and Apollos had their gifts, and Apollos was NOT an Apostle whereas Paul was. So Paul says “Follow me, as I follow Christ”. That’s fair.

You should follow your Pastor as he follows Christ.
You should follow your Sunday School teacher as he or she follows Christ.
You should follow servant leadership as they follow Christ.

God sets leaders in the Church as God sees fit. The Church has a human leader. Follow him as he follows Christ. When he doesn’t follow Christ, pray that God will replace him as He replaced Moses when that dear man fell. God will swap out the leader that doesn’t follow Christ. Follow the leader while he follows Christ. Paul told the Corinthians:

1 Corinthians 11:2 (KJV) Now I praise you, brethren, that YE REMEMBER ME IN ALL THINGS, and KEEP THE ORDINANCES, AS I DELIVERED THEM TO YOU. 

There is great blessing in following the leader. It blesses the leader, and blesses the Church. I praise God daily for you, dear Ones, who love Jesus and work with me in following the Lord. You have been a great blessing to me, though some who wander are not. But I’ll not speak of that right now. Now I want to focus on how the Apostle EXPANDS the truth he just spoke.

1 Corinthians 11:3 (KJV) 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 word translated “HEAD” in our text is the Greek κεφαλή kephalē which means “The Head, the Source, the Leader”. Thayer’s Greek Lexicon notes that “Since the loss of the head destroys life, kephalē is used in {Biblical} phrases related to capital and extreme punishments”. Though most people focus on the phrase “the HEAD of the woman is the man” and immediately shut down, kephalē is used in each phrase:

The HEAD of every MAN is Christ
The HEAD of the WOMAN is Man
The HEAD of Christ is God

Because of political correctness and modern feminism we look as the middle phrase “The HEAD of the WOMAN is MAN” as a bad thing. But it is not bad. The phrase no more subjugates woman than it does Christ, for “The HEAD of Christ is God”. Now we know that Jesus Christ is God. The Bible clearly defines Jesus as God:

John 1:1, 14 (NKJV) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

Jesus told the Pharisees in John 10:30 “I and the Father are one”. When Thomas saw Jesus he knelt down and cried out “My Lord and My God” (John 20:28). The Apostle Peter called Jesus “our GOD and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:1). The Heavenly Father saqid of Jesus:

Hebrews 1:8 (NKJV) … Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom.

God the Father said “to Me every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess” (Isaiah 45:23). The same Scripture is applied to Jesus Christ in:

Philippians 2:10-11 (NKJV) …. that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Throughout the Gospels Jesus was worshiped, and only God is to be worshiped. Jesus is very God of very God, God the Son. And yet, the Head of Christ is God. Jesus is not diminished in His person because He follows the leadership of the Father. Jesus is no more diminished than is the Holy Spirit of God. Jesus said:

John 14:16-17 (NKJV) And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.

John 14:26 (NKJV) But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.

The Holy Spirit was sent by God the Father in the Name of the Son, but this does not make Him lesser God. The person of God is not diminished by headship. Even in the Trinity there is but One Head. There is no denigration to those who are not heads.

Man Is The Head Of The Woman
But Both Have Priesthood Before God

1 Corinthians 11:4-5 (KJV) 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.

Now we come to a clear part, and another part not so clear. In Paul’s day both men and women prayed and prophesied.

To PRAY is to Speak TO God.
To PROPHESY is to Speak FOR God.

Paul notes that both MEN and WOMEN pray. Both MEN and WOMEN prophesy. Every woman saved by faith in Christ is a priest before God. This same Apostle wrote in another place:

Galatians 3:24-29 (NKJV) …. the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25 But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. 26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

There are no second class citizens in the Kingdom of God. There is no black Christian, no white Christian, no female Christian, no male Christian. When God looks at you He either sees the Blood of Christ and your faith in His Son, or else He sees a lost person. Whether male or female you all have equal access to God. You all can and should PRAY. You all can and should PROPHESY. Women should witness for God. Women teach just as men teach.

But God is still a God of order.

In the union between man and woman we call “marriage”
one leads, and one follows.
Man is the head of the woman.

Women Are To Dress In Modesty

1 Corinthians 11:6 (KJV) 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. 

Paul begins to speak about HAIR and COVERINGS. Here’s where people get confused. When I was growing up women wore hats to Church because of this passage, but men would not wear a hat in Church. Some Churches today still feel that women should wear hats in Church. That’s not what this is about. In the Jewish household women often played an important role in family devotions, especially during the time of Passover. When the man prayed he prayed with his head uncovered. But when a woman prayed she covered her head with a shawl, denoting that she was under authority according to the will of God.

Corinth was a city filled with prostitution. The so called “Sacred Prostitutes of Corinth” watched over the Temple of Aphrodite, selling themselves to finance the Temple. These prostitutes shaved their heads, whereas good women covered themselves in modesty. The Apostle decreed in another place:

1 Timothy 2:8-10 (NKJV) I desire therefore that the men pray EVERYWHERE, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting; 9 in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, 10 but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works.

Men are to PRAY EVERYWHERE – not just in Church, but wherever we are, lifting up holy hands, hands dedicated to God. And women are to dress in modesty, following the man, supporting the man. Women should not dress as prostitutes leading men with their sexuality. You have seen women going into the marketplace dressed in tight fitting or brazen clothing exposing their bodies. I see young girls going out into the stores half naked, blending in with the sex crazed lostness that has become modern America. My Beloved, these things should not be.

Dr. J. Vernon McGee said:

The Woman is not to use sex appeal in approaching God.

The Corinthian prostitute did that, but no Christ like woman should do that. The Apostle said in ..

1 Peter 3:1-6 (NKJV) Wives, likewise, BE SUBMISSIVE TO YOUR OWN HUSBANDS, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives, 2 when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear. 3 Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel— 4 rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. 5 For in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands, 6 as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, whose daughters you are if you do good and are not afraid with any terror.

1 Corinthians 11:7-9 (KJV) 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.

The Apostle refers back to the order of God’s Creation. Man was created first, then Eve. The man was not created for the woman, but the woman for the man. It was God’s plan to make man first. It was to man that God gave the decree:

Genesis 2:17 (KJV)  But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

The command was not given to the woman, but to man. The Bible tells us that:

Romans 5:12 (KJV)  Wherefore, as BY ONE MAN sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

Romans 5:17 (KJV)  For if BY ONE MAN’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)

Romans 5:19 (KJV)  For as BY ONE MAN’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

It was man who made first. But following creation, it is woman who brings forth man. Men do not come out of men, but out of women. Women are not second class nor lesser creatures, but without women there would be no humanity today.

1 Corinthians 11:11-12 (KJV) 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.

The man needs the woman, and the woman the man. The “woman is of the man” for she is Adam’s rib, but also “the man is by the woman”, every man has a mother. He ends with:

But all things are of God.

God created man and woman. God created order. God created man to lead as he follows Christ, and woman to follow man as he follows Christ. Men and women are different, but God made the differences. We end with these verses:

1 Corinthians 11:13-16 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.  [16]  But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God.

Some have tried to say in verse 16 the Apostle negated everything that came before. That is foolish. He would not write 15 verses then say “If you don’t agree with it, forget it”. The Apostle is saying “If you want to argue about this, WE who are God’s Children have NO SUCH CUSTOM.” God’s children will not argue about what God has decreed. Our God is a God of order. We who are Christ’s are in the world, but not of the world. We are light, not darkness. We are respectful and loving to one another, and we follow God’s pattern for life.

Always.

May God touch your hearts with His Word.

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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