INTERNET BIBLE STUDIES I Corinthians Lesson 11

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I Cor. Chapter 11:1-34 

Memory verses for this week: 1 Pet 3:15  But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: 

Introduction:     Last week in Chapter 10, we saw some of the advantages the Jews had as Paul went over many of the examples of how God had delivered the nation of Israel over and over.   Paul explained how we must live to God and serve Him only.  No man can serve two masters.  He exhorted them to do everything for the glory of God.   This week we talk about the need for modesty in Christians.


I.                    Instructions Regarding Modesty in Women 

1 Cor 11:1  Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.

1 Cor 11:2  Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.

1 Cor 11:3  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.

In Corinth, it seems that some of the Christian women were so swept off their feet by their new found liberty in Christ to the point that they had discarded the established customs of modesty that had been prevalent in the Jewish nation for centuries.  By ignoring how this affected their testimony, these women were bringing reproach to the name of Christ and His work.   During these days, in was customary for women to wear veils when going around in public.  This week, as we vacationed in Dallas, I saw an Islamic family in a mall and the women was covered from head to foot.  The only part of her visible was her eyes.   While not suggesting that we should resort to these types of dress, it certainly is good when Christians do look and act differently than the world.  During the time period of our lesson, the women who were on the streets with no covering on their heads were considered ďloose womenĒ who sought companions to share in their sin and wickedness.   Paul urged the people to follow after him as he followed after Christ.   He exhorts them to remember to keep the ordinances that had been delivered unto them.   Paul taught to not use our liberty as an occasion unto the flesh.   The teaching of verse 3 points to how the head of every man is Christ.   We as men should look to Jesus as our example and follow after him.  And the head to the woman is her husband.   Many refuse to teach this today in our liberated society.  But God chose to place Christ in control of the church, and the man as the head of the family.   Men are not to treat this as if they are kings in any way.   As a matter of fact, God commands the man to love his wife.  She is to be treated as if a very part of himself.   When the family follows the instructions that God has laid down, there is unity and harmony in the family.  We should all be careful to fulfill all of the requirements God has placed upon each of us, and certainly to follow after the example of Christ on how we should live.

Eph 5:21  Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

Eph 5:22  Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.

Eph 5:23  For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.

Eph 5:24  Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.

Eph 5:25  Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

1 Cor 11:4  Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head.

1 Cor 11:5  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.

If a man prayed or prophesied with his head covered, it dishonored Christ.  But if the women did this uncovered, it dishonored her husband.   Some use verse 5 to teach that women should pay and teach in a mixed congregation of men and women.  But other verses make it clear that the womenís role in the church is not to teach men.

1 Cor 14:34  Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law.

1 Cor 14:35  And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.

1 Tim 2:11  Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.

1 Tim 2:12  But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.

I read an article this past week in Time magazine about how that many in the Southern Baptist Convention were upset at their annual meeting when they made a point that only men should be pastors, and that the scriptures should be the guide to each personís life.  As you know, Iím not a member of the SBC, but this stand is consistent with biblical teachings.  One of the rules to become a pastor is to be the husband of one wife.  So while many want to set their own agendas, if we simply take God at His Word, we will not be in error.

1 Cor 11:6  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.

1 Cor 11:7  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.

Christ is the only one who fully realized the ideal of always glorifying the Father in His humanity.   Many never consider that we are to be vessels to be used for the honor and glory of God.  Our very heart beat should be to do the will of God and to do all things to glorify Christ who died in our place there at Calvary.  And the women should so live to glorify her husband.

Prov 11:16  A gracious woman retaineth honour: and strong men retain riches.

Prov 11:17  The merciful man doeth good to his own soul: but he that is cruel troubleth his own flesh.

Prov 11:18  The wicked worketh a deceitful work: but to him that soweth righteousness shall be a sure reward.

Prov 11:19  As righteousness tendeth to life: so he that pursueth evil pursueth it to his own death.

Prov 11:20  They that are of a froward heart are abomination to the LORD: but such as are upright in their way are his delight.

Prov 11:21  Though hand join in hand, the wicked shall not be unpunished: but the seed of the righteous shall be delivered.

Col 3:21  Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.

Col 3:22  Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God:

Col 3:23  And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;

Col 3:24  Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.

1 Cor 11:8  For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man.

1 Cor 11:9  Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.

1 Cor 11:10  For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels.

Paul directs the Corinthians to look back at the record of creation in Genesis chapter 2 to see how God first made man and from man, created the woman.  Verse 10 speaks of how the woman is given power on her head because of the angels.

Gen 2:18  And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.

Gen 2:19  And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.

Gen 2:20  And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.

Gen 2:21  And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;

Gen 2:22  And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.

Gen 2:23  And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.

Gen 2:24  Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

1 Cor 11:11  Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.

1 Cor 11:12  For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God.

1 Cor 11:13  Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered?

Paul warns them that neither man nor woman should thing themselves complete without the other.  Only if God has given special grace to a person can they effectively serve the Lord in His work in a single state.  The woman was first born  ďof the manĒ as God used a rib from Adam.  But Job 14:1 shows us that all men are born of a woman by birth. (except for the original man Adam whom God created from the dust of the earth.)

Job 14:1  Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble.

Job 14:2  He cometh forth like a flower, and is cut down: he fleeth also as a shadow, and continueth not.

Job 14:3  And dost thou open thine eyes upon such an one, and bringest me into judgment with thee?

Job 14:4  Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one.

Job 14:5  Seeing his days are determined, the number of his months are with thee, thou hast appointed his bounds that he cannot pass;

Job 14:6  Turn from him, that he may rest, till he shall accomplish, as an hireling, his day.

1 Cor 11:14  Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?

1 Cor 11:15  But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.

The long hair of a woman is a special blessing from the Lord that only women should wear.  It says that even nature itself teaches us that for a man to have long hair is shame unto him.  But long flowing hair is a glory to the woman.  So many want to interchange things within the family unit that God has set up.  It does not work when we donít follow Godís plan.  J. Vernon McGee had this to say about Godís plan and the family.

ďMany a family today have their prayers hindered because the husband and wife are not getting along as they should.  The womanís place is to be a help meet to the man.  She is to be the other part of him.  No man is complete without a woman except where God has given special grace to a man for a special work.  Concerning long hair on men, it is as I write this a current fad for men to have long hair.  We have an example in the Old Testament.  The Nazarite vow was an act of consecrating oneself to God.  It was symbolized by long, uncut hair.  This meant that a Nazarite was willing to bear shame for Godís name.  Even at that time menís long hair was considered shameful.  Now it is true that today we have liberty in Christ.  The length of the hair is really not so much the issue as the motive behind it.  Many men wear long hair as a sign of rebellion, and many women cut their hair as a sign of rebellion.  Our moral values get turned upside down, and there is a danger of being an extremist in either direction.

II.                  Disorder at the Lordís Table

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

1 Cor 11:17  Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse.

1 Cor 11:18  For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.

1 Cor 11:19  For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.

In the matter of observing the Lordís Supper, Paul declares that he can find nothing to praise them for.  They came together to have a party rather than to remember the Lordís death there on the cross.  He says they were worse off for coming together.  Part of the problem was that there were divisions among them.  God dislikes many things, but the man who causes division in the church is ďhatedĒ by God.  We are to get along and be of one mind and one accord, and that mind is to be the mind of Christ.  Paul said he partly believed that there were divisions among them, and that some heresies were being taught in the church there in Corinth.

Prov 6:16  These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:

Prov 6:17  A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,

Prov 6:18  An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,

Prov 6:19  A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.

1 Cor 11:20  When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's supper.

1 Cor 11:21  For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken.

1 Cor 11:22  What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not.

The people were coming out and making a feast of the Lordís Supper.  Some were full, others were actually drunk.  When we come together to remember Christís death for our sins, it is a solemn occasion and should be done only with members of the local church that are in good standing.  A man and woman is to examine themselves before partaking of the Lordís Supper.  If we are out of Godís Will, we should forsake our sins, get right with God, and then come and take part.   Paul exhorts them to eat and drink in their own houses, not come to Godís house and make it a social party.   Getting together with other Christians in a social setting is certainly not forbidden.  It is just better that we do most of our socializing outside of the church and keep the place of God holy and consecrated for its proper use.


III.                The Order and Meaning of the Lordís Supper

1 Cor 11:23  For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:

1 Cor 11:24  And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.

1 Cor 11:25  After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.

Partaking of  the Lordís supper is an act of obedience.   Paul reminds the church what happened in that upper room the night that Jesus gathered His disciples together and instituted the Lordís Supper.  The elements used were unleavened bread and the fruit of the vine.  They were to eat the bread and drink the cup in remembrance of Jesus Christ.  We have discussed the elements of the Lordís Supper before, and we believe that the fruit of the vine they used was the fruit juice from freshly squeezed grapes.  Many use fermented wine in the Lordís Supper, and this seems to be in direct violation of other scriptures.  We know the Lord does not contradict His teachings in the word of God.

Prov 23:31  Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright.

Prov 23:32  At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder.

Prov 20:1  Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.

1 Cor 11:26  For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till he come.

1 Cor 11:27  Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.

1 Cor 11:28  But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.

1 Cor 11:29  For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.

Notice that it says ďas oftenĒ as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup.  How often should we partake of the Lordís Supper?  Some say it should be each week.  Others say monthly, some quarterly, some once per year.  Since they remembered the Passover once per year in the Old Testament, I think it is likely that once per year follows that example.   But if a church did it more often, they would be scriptural as long as it was done with seriousness in the occasion and everyone examined themselves properly before partaking of it.  It says when we partake of it, we show the Lordís death till he come.  There certainly needs to be a self examination done so one does not knowingly eat this bread or take the cup unworthily.  If we do  not meet the rules set forth, we should not partake of the Lordís supper.  Some of the qualifications and requirements are as follows:

        A person must be savedÖno unsaved person should ever eat this supper.

        The candidate must have scriptural baptism.

        He should be a member of this particular local church.

        He or she should examine themselvesÖ and then eat.

1 Cor 11:30  For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.

1 Cor 11:31  For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.

1 Cor 11:32  But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.

1 Cor 11:33  Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another.

1 Cor 11:34  And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come.

Some of the people in the Corinth church were sick and some had died due to eating unworthily.   Many times, because we fail to examine and judge ourselves, we wind up being chastised by the Lord.  Paul promised to set the other things about the Lordís Supper in order when he came to Corinth.


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