1 Corinthians 11:1-34
1 Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.
2 Now I praise you, brethren, that you remember me in all things and keep the traditions just as I delivered them to you.
3 But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.
4 Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonors his head.
5 But every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, for that is one and the same as if her head were shaved.
6 For if a woman is not covered, let her also be shorn. But if it is shameful for a woman to be shorn or shaved, let her be covered.
7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man.
8 For man is not from woman, but woman from man.
9 Nor was man created for the woman, but woman for the man.
10 For this reason the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels.
11 Nevertheless, neither is man independent of woman, nor woman independent of man, in the Lord.
12 For as woman came from man, even so man also comes through woman; but all things are from God.
13 Judge among yourselves. Is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered?
14 Does not even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a dishonor to him?
15 But if a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her; for her hair is given to her for a covering.
16 But if anyone seems to be contentious, we have no such custom, nor do the churches of God.
17 Now in giving these instructions I do not praise you, since you come together not for the better but for the worse.
18 For first of all, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you, and in part I believe it.
19 For there must also be factions among you, that those who are approved may be recognized among you.
20 Therefore when you come together in one place, it is not to eat the Lord’s Supper.
21 For in eating, each one takes his own supper ahead of others; and one is hungry and another is drunk.
22 What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and shame those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you in this? I do not praise you.
23 For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread;
24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.”
25 In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”
26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.
27 Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.
28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup.
29 For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.
30 For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep.
31 For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged.
32 But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world.
33 Therefore, my brethren, when you come together to eat, wait for one another.
34 But if anyone is hungry, let him eat at home, lest you come together for judgment. And the rest I will set in order when I come.
Paul did not beat around the bush or worry about how people were going to receive from him, he only spoke the truth.
In a world where it is more and more common for churches to preach feel-good sermons instead of speaking the truth with boldness, Paul is such a good template for us to be bold! People are dying and going to hell. Do we love them enough to get over ourselves, stop worrying about what people will think or say of us and boldly preach God’s truths?
Jesus (and Paul) loved people enough to present the truth in any situation with an expectancy that lives would be changed and bondages would be loosed. He didn’t leave people in their sin and accept them they way that they were. He loved them the way they were but didn’t love what they were doing and admonished them to change. So should we be also.
With regard to the previous chapter’s directing to edify and serve all different people, Paul starts this chapter with a statement that he himself is an example to follow in this, as he is following Christ’s example. He then continues with a theme of humility that now touches how hair should be worn if you’re a man vs a woman. While it is surely possible to get caught up in the details presented and form a whole separating doctrine over it, there is a spirit in this presentation that can give reason and purpose to how we present ourselves. There should be something even in this that elevates our humility over a tendency to dominate. That we are under the authority and deference to another should somehow be apparent in our appearance. This heart should extend both ways as men are in need of what comes from a woman and visa versa.
As this is something that occurs when we come together in worship, he then brings emphasis to how we eat as we gather. There must have been those who were having their own communion time, just whenever they arrived, without regard for its purpose of bringing them together in unity. How communion should be conducted is given its best description with understanding that there may be consequences when done without reverence and honor for its meaning. Then, though, in vs 33-34 he gives reason for this wonderful explanation, that it’s purpose is for considering one another whenever we come together, rather than just doing our own thing. Who we are in Christ will be directly connected to how we defer to and rely upon one another. There is a necessity of being joined to a body where we humble ourselves and rely upon one another, instead of becoming puffed up and independent from any need for love and its reflection of Christ.