1 Corinthians Ch11

This study of 1 Corinthians chapter 11 was given by pastor Barry Forder on 18th February 2024.

In this chapter, the Apostle Paul clearly lays out God’s authority structure, how He intends it to be. Sadly, because many have taken verses in this chapter out of context, it has led to much legalism and erroneous doctrines being taught.

Jesus declared “I am my Father are one!” (John 10:30), yet we see throughout Jesus’ ministry that He was willing to submit to the will of His Father for the sake of the Divine order. Jesus said: “I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me” (John 5:30). Jesus is clearly no less important or no less God than the Father, but for the sake of the order He was willing to submit to the Father’s will.

In just the same way, Paul tells us in this chapter that the ‘head’ of the woman is man (either her father for an unmarried woman, or her husband for a married woman). Woman is no less than man, and man is as much dependant on the woman as the woman is of the man, but for the sake of the order, she is to acknowledge the man as the head in the family. In fact, the influence she can exert from her proper place is great and more effective than if she discredits and usurps her husband’s authority.

God’s structure and order is not intended to elevate man and put down women, but to elevate both men and women to their rightful place in God’s design.

Paul gives a clear authority structure in the third verse: God > Jesus > Man > Woman. It is dishonouring for a woman to reject the authority of her husband (or father), and it is dishonouring to Christ for man to allow another authority over his life than Christ alone.

Today’s world, in it’s drive for equality has rejected God’s order and paid the consequences as the following comments for Calvary Pastor, David Guzik make clear:

  1. Citizens do not have the same respect for government’s authority; students do not have the same respect for the teacher’s authority; women do not have the same respect for men’s authority; children do not have the same respect for parent’s authority; employees do not have the same respect for their employer’s authority; people do not have the same respect for the police’s authority; and Christians no longer have the same respect for church authority.
  2. It’s important to ask: have the changes been good? Do we feel safer? Are we more confident in our culture? Have television and other entertainment gotten better or worse? In fact, our society is presently in, and rushing towards, complete anarchy – the state where no authority is accepted, and the only thing that matters is what I want to do. 
    1. iii. It is fair to describe our present moral state as one of anarchy. There is no moral authority in our culture. When it comes to morality, the only thing that matters is what one wants to do. And in a civil sense, many neighborhoods in our nation are given over to anarchy. Do you think that government’s authority is accepted in gang-infested portions of our inner city? The only thing that matters is what one wants to do.
  1. We must see the broader attack on authority as a direct Satanic strategy to destroy our society and millions of individual lives. The devil is accomplishing this with two main attacks: first, the corruption of authority; second, the rejection of authority.
  2. These ideas of authority and submission to authority are so important to God that they are part of His very being. The First Person of the Holy Trinity is called the Father; the Second Person of the Holy Trinity is called the Son. Inherent in those titles is a relationship of authority and submission to authority. The Father exercises authority over the Son, and the Son submits to the Father’s authority – and this is in the very nature and being of God! Our failure to exercise Biblical authority, and our failure to submit to Biblical authority, isn’t just wrong and sad, it sins against the very nature of God. Remember 1 Samuel 15:23: For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft.   (Taken from The Blue Letter Bible commentary on 1 Corinthians 11 by David Guzik) 
    1. https://www.blueletterbible.org/comm/guzik_david/study-guide/1-corinthians/1-corinthians-11.cfm?a=1073001

Paul concludes the chapter by reminding us of the sanctity and purpose of our times of meeting together as a congregation. It is for edification and love with Christ at the centre.


May you be blessed and engouraged by this study.


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