Sunday, May 10, 2015

Paul's Epistles - 1 Corinthians Part 22 – Authority and God's Will

Paul's Epistles - 1 Corinthians
Part 22 – Authority and God's Will
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith Church | |

Paul's letter to the church in Corinth, was addressing the things he had heard about them, including incest, adultery, over-spiritualized behaviors, wandering away from the Word of God, and an overall pride about them.

Paul has corrected the Corinthian Churches view about the division; Christ is head of the church, no one else. He also let them know that the power comes from God, and they should be humble, not conceited and over-spiritual.

He warned them not to go beyond what is written.

He addressed their pseudo-faith and spiritual activity of abstaining from intimate relations with their spouses, explaining this was the root of their immoral behavior.

He also warned them against lawsuits with other believers, saying the only reason they could not come to terms together inside the church was because of their pride and arrogance.

He instructed them to be content in their situations, so as to quench the immoral behavior that was coming from discontent, and selfish ambition. Paul warned about becoming a stumbling block to other believers if we have certain knowledge that they do not possess.

Last week, Paul corrected those in Corinth who believed they could do anything they wanted because they belonged to the Lord. Paul says just because you can do something, does not mean it's beneficial or constructive.

He says that the problem is, you need to seek others good, not your own. Stop living selfishly.

Paul said, in all you do, do it for God's glory.

SCRIPTURE REFERENCE I Corinthians 11:1 - 16

Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.

 I praise you for remembering me in everything and for holding to the traditions just as I passed them on to you. But I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God. Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head. But every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head—it is the same as having her head shaved. For if a woman does not cover her head, she might as well have her hair cut off; but if it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, then she should cover her head.
A man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man. For man did not come from woman, but woman from man; neither was man created for woman, but woman for man.10 It is for this reason that a woman ought to have authority over her own[c]head, because of the angels. 11 Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man, nor is man independent of woman. 12 For as woman came from man, so also man is born of woman. But everything comes from God.
13 Judge for yourselves: Is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered? 14 Does not the very nature of things teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a disgrace to him, 15 but that if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For long hair is given to her as a covering. 16 If anyone wants to be contentious about this, we have no other practice—nor do the churches of God.

                   I.            THE EXAMPLE OF PAUL
a.      Follow my example as I follow the example of Christ
                                                                         i.      The Corinthian church did not have the opportunity to witness Christ's life, however, they could see Paul's

                                                                      ii.      He encouraged them that the way he lived was following Christ as his example.

b.     For Christ is the head of man
                                                                         i.      Paul has already established that Christ is the head of the church
                                                                      ii.      Now he makes clear that the head of every man is Christ

c.      Paul's Doctrine
                                                                         i.      Paul taught to not just believe, but live it

                                                                      ii.      Christ is our perfect example of how to live

                                                                   iii.      The examples of Christ's life can be seen in scripture, as well as the Apostles lives, and for us today, it should be witnessed in the lives of professing believer's.

               II.            RESPECTING PUBLIC ASSEMBLIES
a.      In the abundance of Spiritual gifts, abuses crept in
                                                                         i.      Paul reminds the Corinthian church as Christ did the will of God, and sought only to honor God, so should Christians

                                                                      ii.      By only seeking God's will and honor, we submit to His authority

b.     Even how we dress needs to be a reflection of submission to His will
                                                                         i.      The example Paul uses is the covering of the head

                                                                      ii.      Though some may argue this is a "cultural" debate, Paul is explaining a theme here.
1.      Man does not cover his head (with hats, yamaka's, or even long hair like a woman) because it implies a covering other than Christ.

2.      This is a cultural impression for their time, however, the idea remains.

3.      The man MUST NOT even give the impression there is a covering other than Christ when he prophecies or preaches.

                                                                   iii.      And another note for the women.
1.      The woman MUST cover her head, with a scarf, shawl, or long hair when she prophecies or preaches.

2.      NOTE: Women DID give prophecies and preached in the early church. They were not allowed to lead or run the church, but they could preach and give prophecies.
3.       This too is a cultural impression, because if the woman did not cover her head, or had short hair, it appeared she was trying to be the head instead of man.

4.      But that is NOT the order in which God made things.

5.      Also, women who were prostitutes or caught in adultery had their heads shaved.
a.      So if a woman in the church had a shaved head, or short hair like a man, she would appear to be an adulterous woman or a prostitute.

                                                                     iv.      God has given women a veil, which scripture refers to as "power" and authority, and by having this long hair, she shows submission to God's plan, which is a witness to the fallen angels who did not submit to God's plan.

c.      Apply this thinking to today's worship
                                                                         i.      This principal is in effect today!

                                                                      ii.      Men and women can both preach and give prophecy in the church.

                                                                   iii.      Men must never have any covering other than Christ.
1.      i.e. must rely on submission to Jesus and nothing else

2.      We obey Christ in word and deed

3.      Not submitting to traditions, false doctrines or teachers, or leading the church the way our wives tell us to.

4.      We obey God's will.

                                                                     iv.      Women must cover their head when they preach or give prophecy.
1.      i.e. They must have hair that does not look like they are trying to be a man (there is a difference between short hair and men's haircuts)
a.      This gives the impression they are trying to run things, not submitting to the man

2.      They must not dress or appear as a seductive adulterous or prostitute.

3.      This is why Paul also teaches women should not wear lots of jewelry or pants.
a.      Jingling jewelry was a trick of the prostitute to get a man's attention on the street.

b.     Some women were trying to dress as men

a.      Some misinterpret these scriptures to assume men are masters and women slaves.
                                                                         i.      Scriptures say, man and woman are "made for one another".

                                                                      ii.      They were to be mutual comforts and blessings

b.     Authority and subjection
                                                                         i.       should be for mutual help and benefit

c.      Men and Women are equal as people
                                                                         i.      God created an order of authority
1.      God
2.      Christ
3.      Man
4.      Woman

                                                                      ii.      Each following their lead, and held accountable

                                                                   iii.      However, God made it so we need each other.
1.      Man comes from woman.
2.      Woman needs man to procreate
3.      We need each other.

                                                                     iv.      Anything that tries to bypass God's order is disobedience.

Paul is beginning to give a guide to the Corinthian church on the practices and behaviors of followers of Christ.

As we continue through I Corinthians, we will see Paul rebuke them for their behavior, not just in the church, and in public, but for the way they behave during the ordinances of the church as well.

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