TEXT: 1 Corinthians 11:1-12:
1 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.
We are in a series of messages titled “Praying Through the Bible: A Series on Every Passage and Verse Regarding Prayer in the Bible.” The purpose of this series is to encourage and motivate you to pray to the God of the Bible. We highlighted each of these over 500 verses and passages in the Prayer Motivator Devotional Bible. So far, we have completed 243 messages in this series.
This is message #244 titled, Praying, Prophesying, and Order in God’s Church, Part 1.
In our last message, we scratched the surface of this challenging passage of Scripture. As we explore this passage, we are interested in answering a few important questions: First, what does this passage have to tell us about order and authority in the church? Second, what does this passage have to tell us about how we should conduct our weekly meetings? Third, what is the symbolism behind women covering their heads and men not covering their heads? And, fourth, should women in today’s church wear head coverings as our Amish and Mennonite brothers and sisters do? We will deal with each of these issues as we progress through this passage.
However, very briefly, on the issue of head coverings, allow me to quote from John MacArthur. He wrote, “In the culture of Corinth, a woman’s covered head while ministering or worshiping symbolized a subordinate relationship to her husband. The apostle Paul does not lay down an absolute law for women to wear veils or coverings in all churches for all time. Instead, he asserts that the symbols of the divinely established male and female roles need to be genuinely honored in every culture. As in the case of meat offered to idols, there is nothing inherently spiritual about wearing or not wearing a covering. God’s greater concern is for the individual’s heart and the motive behind the action. An action that results from a heart of rebellion against God’s order is clearly wrong.“
We will be dealing with that issue in more detail, however, first, we will deal with the issue of authority and order in the church that Paul speaks of in verse three: “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.” This is the preface, the foundation of all that Paul talks about in this passage. This is the underpinning of the role of men and women in the church. If we can understand this, we will be able to accept the rest of what Paul is saying with more ease.
The problem that the Corinthian church was having was that some of the Christian women had taken liberty in light of their newfound faith and had abandoned the long-standing cultural practice of wearing a head-covering during church meetings (and possibly at other times). This caused confusion because, in that day and time, only prostitutes and women who had been condemned for adultery went out in public without a head covering or with shorn hair.
In order to address this issue, Paul begins by reminding everyone of the order that extends from God to His people. “I would have you know,” he says, “that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.” This is not a matter of giftedness, quality, ability, or anointing. In any organization, secular or religious, there has to be order for that organization to succeed. In a business, an entry-level employee may have a better work ethic and more integrity than the CEO, but the CEO is still the boss. If the new worker tries to act as the CEO, confusion will result. And that is what was happening in the church at Corinth. Some women were throwing off the God-ordained ordering of society and bringing disorder into the church.
So, Paul takes us to the highest demonstration of order that we can conceive of — God and Jesus — and tells us that “the head of Christ is God.” Is Christ equal to God? Yes; but for the sake of order, Christ is subordinate to God. In the church and in the family, “the head of every man is Christ.” This is due, not only to God making man before woman but also because the woman was the first to be deceived by Satan. God established the first family and the church, and He has ordained that the male party is to be the head of those institutions under Himself and Christ.
Thus, as Paul continues, “the head of the woman is the man.” As we will see in this passage, the woman is not to usurp authority over the man in the church (or in the home). Because these are institutions created by God, we ought not to resent the order that He has set out or the appropriate cultural practices that symbolize that order. Instead, we ought to gladly fill the roles that God has placed us in so that the church can run decently and without confusion.
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Now, if you are with us today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, your first prayer needs to be what we call the Sinner’s Prayer. First, please understand that you are a sinner, just as I am, and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on trusting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. You have done the most important thing in life. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door, by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.