Summary of 1 Corinthians 10:
Continuing from 1 Corinthians 9 where Paul says it is more important to give up some things for the sake of winning the race Paul uses the Exodus as an example of a people who started strong (under God’s watchful eye, were baptized, and ate spiritual food) but were disqualified in the end and ended up scattered over the desert because:
They were idolaters; sexually immoral; tested the Lord; and they grumbled.
These are warnings for us to stand firm and don’t fall! We all face temptations but God is faithful and only gives us what we can bear and always with an out.
Therefore flee from idolatry and do not eat of food sacrificed to pagans. You cannot have your cake and eat it too!
Everything is permissible but not everything is beneficial. You must seek the good of others. Everything in it is God’s and we must do everything for His glory. Do not seek your own good but the good of others. Follow Christ’s example.
Summary of 1 Corinthians 11:
Paul says the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God. Men should not cover their heads in prayer because he is the image and glory of God; whereas, women should because they are the glory of man. Woman came from man and was created for him. Thus, women should have a sign on their head.
Yet men and women are interdependent. They need one another. Men are to respect women just as much as women are to respect men.
Paul chastised the Corinthians again for their divisions and irrelevance for the Lord’s supper and others.
Paul explains that the body and blood of Jesus were to be taken as a Holy Communion and to proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. If you take communion in an unworthy manner you are sinning. You must examine yourself before partaking and judge yourself before the Lord (by confessing your sins) so the Lord does not have to. For the Lord’s judgment is discipline. So have proper manners when you come together!
BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 23, Day 3: 1 Corinthians 10-11
7a) Do not be idolaters, sexually immoral, test the Lord, and don’t grumble.
b) Personal Question. My answer: I know in my heart that I have the strength via God and that there’s a way out.
8 ) Personal Question. My answer: Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should. We should keep others in mind when we are making choices, and do it for God. I try to be cognizant of others and where they are at in their Christian journey and choose my actions because of it.
9) Personal Question. My answer: The head of every man is Christ; the head of every woman is man, and the head of Christ is God. Head in this sense means authority not inferiority. Thus, man has authority over women just as Christ has authority over man and God has authority over Christ. (verse 3). Corporate worship is when we gather together publicly to worship God. I believe it’s about our hearts more than our appearance. As long as we are doing it all for Him and in a manner not distracting to God, we’re good.
10) Part personal Question. My answer: The problem was the meaning of food when Christians gathered together to eat. Holy Communion is a reverent act which we must approach as such and is different than having dinner togehter. We must examine ourselves (verse 28), come to Jesus and repent as we are being cleansed of our sins. Our heart must be right otherwise we are guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord (verse 27). Here is a place where going through the motions is a bad idea!
Conclusions BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 23, Day 3: 1 Corinthians 10-11
I had to look up what was meant by corporate worship. Here’s the definition: the time when we gather together as a congregation publicly for the purpose of praising God. Here are related verses:
In the New Testament, we see commands for the church to pray (Col 4:2-4, 1 Tim 2:1-2), to read Scripture publicly (1 Tim. 4:13; Col. 4:15, 16), to listen to preaching and teaching (Acts 2:42; 1 Tim. 4:13), to baptize believers (Matt 28:19) and share the Lord’s supper (Acts 2:42; 1 Cor. 11); to encourage each other and praise God in song (Eph. 5:19, Heb 13:15), and to give of their finances (1 Cor 16:1-2). 1 Cor 14:26 is clear: every one of these things that we do together, must be done “for the strengthening of the church” – to edify others.
God has defined how we should approach him corporately, and so it is possible to offer wrong worship. God is rightfully so jealous for his own glory that he reveals to us in scripture the ways that we are to approach him when we gather publicly. He does this so that our worship won’t be confused with other religions and gods; he does it so that we will be blessed, as he knows what is best for us. That being said, it’s a heart issue; not an appearance issue.
End Notes BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 23, Day 3: 1 Corinthians 10-11
1 Corinthians 10:
In 1 Corinthians 8, Paul established two principles. First, an idol really is nothing, and it was fine for Corinthian Christians who understood this to act according to this knowledge, in regard to themselves. Second, for Christians love is more important than knowledge. So even though I may “know” eating meat sacrificed to an idol is all right for myself, if it causes my brother to stumble, I won’t do it, because it isn’t the loving thing to do.
In 1 Corinthians 9, Paul showed how important it is for Christians to give up their “rights.” Just as Paul gave up his “right” to be supported by his own preaching of the gospel, so some of the Corinthian Christians must sometimes give up their “right” to eat meat sacrificed to idols, based on the principle of love towards a weaker brother. In the end of chapter 9, Paul showed how a Christian must be willing to give up some things – even “good” things – for the sake of winning the race God has set before us, otherwise we will become disqualified (1 Corinthians 9:27) in the competition of the Christian life.
Paul brings in the Israelites in Egypt and the blessings they had:
- The cloud of Shekinah glory overshadowed Israel throughout their journey from Egypt to the Promised Land. During the day, the cloud sheltered them from the brutal desert sun, and during the night, it burned as a pillar of fire. It was a constant, ready reminder of God’s glory and presence (Exodus 13:21-22).
- All Israel came through the Red Sea and saw God’s incredible power in holding up the walls of the sea so they could cross over on dry ground. Then they saw God send the water back to drown the Egyptian army (Exodus 14:21-31). This was not only an amazing demonstration of God’s love and power, but also a picture of baptism – by “passing through water,” all of Israel was identified with Moses, even as by “passing through water,” a Christian is identified with Jesus Christ (Romans 6:3-4).
- All of Israel was sustained by God’s miraculous provision of food and drink during their time in the wilderness (Exodus 16:35 and 17:6). This was a remarkable display of God’s love and power for Israel, and a pre-figuring of the spiritual food and drink we receive at the Lord’s table (1 Corinthians 11:23-26).
- Israel even had ancient versions of the two Christian sacraments we receive to this day: baptism and communion. The word sacrament was used for the oath of allegiance that the soldiers of the Roman legion took to their emperor. The early Christians considered communion and baptism to be an “oath of allegiance” unto Jesus Christ.
- Israel even had the presence of Jesus Christ with them in the wilderness! Here, in identifying the Rock that followed them, Paul builds on a rabbinical tradition that said Israel was supplied with water by the same rock all through the wilderness, a rock that followed them. Some Bible scholars today debate as to if the rock followed Israel, or if the water followed Israel (as in a stream). The point is the same: Jesus Christ was present with Israel in the wilderness, providing for their needs miraculously. What blessing, what privilege!
Despite all these blessings and spiritual privileges, the Israelites in the wilderness did not please God.
What the Corinthians were Doing to Not Please God
- Eating sacrificial meat, making other stumble
- Engaged in idolatry
- Engaged in sexual immorality
- They complained
Paul’s warning: “If it happened to Israel, it can happen to you. Be on guard.”
We can learn from Israel’s mistakes.
Our temptation is not unique. Many other men and women of God have faced the same or similar temptation, and have found the strength in God to overcome the temptation.
God has promised to supervise all temptation that comes at us through the world, the flesh or the devil. He promises to limit it according to our capability to endure it – according to our capability as we rely on Him, not our capability as we rely only on ourselves.
Satan would destroy us in a minute if God would let him, even as he wanted to destroy Job (Job 1:6-12) and Peter (Luke 22:31), but God will not let him. God keeps us from things we can’t handle. But what we can and can’t handle changes over the years. And he provides a way of escape.
In the thinking of that part of the ancient world, to eat at the same table with someone indicated friendship and fellowship with that person. Since you ate of one bread, that made you one body, because you both shared of the same food at the same table. So to eat at the table of a pagan temple restaurant was not as innocent as it seemed.
The cup of blessing was the last cup presented in the Passover ceremony; this was the cup that Jesus blessed at the Last Supper, and the one interpreted as “the new covenant in my blood.” When early Christians took communion, they were aware of its connection to Passover and with the Last Supper of Jesus with His disciples.
Just because something is fine for me does not mean I should do it. My own “rights” or what I know to be permitted for myself are not the standards by which I judge my behavior. I must consider what is the loving thing to do towards my brothers and sisters in Jesus.
Notice that Paul does not prohibit socializing with non-Christians, he only prohibits the meal of fellowship at the pagan temples.
The purpose of our lives isn’t to see how much we can get away with and still be Christians; rather, it is to glorify God.
1 Corinthians 11:
How few today are willing to say what Paul said! Instead, because of compromise and ungodliness, we are quick to say, “Don’t look at me, look at Jesus.” While it is true we must all ultimately look to Jesus, every one of us should be an example of those who look to Jesus.
Keep the traditions —Paul was not talking about ceremonies and rituals, but about basic teaching and doctrine.
With this understanding, we see Paul describes three “headship” relationships: Jesus is head of every man; man is the head of woman, and God (the Father) is head of Christ. Because Paul connects the three relationships, the principles of headship are the same among them.
Authority in the Bible
It is essential to understand that being under authority does not equal inferiority. Jesus was totally under the authority of God the Father (John 5:19 and 8:28), yet He is equally God (John 1:1, 8:58, and 10:30). When God calls women in the church to recognize the headship of men, it is not because women are unequal or inferior, but because there is a God-ordained order of authority to be respected.
The idea of a head covering was important in this (and many other) ancient cultures. To wear the head covering (or veil in some translations), was a public symbol of being under the authority and protection of another.
“It was a custom, both among the Greeks and Romans, and among the Jews an express law, that no woman should be seen abroad without a veil. This was, and is, a common custom through all the east, and none but public prostitutes go without veils.” (Clarke)
In some cultures today, wearing a hat or some other kind of head covering is a picture of humility and modesty. In the same way, the head covering had an important cultural meaning among the ancient Corinthians.
Under these words of Paul, women are free to pray or prophesy, but only when as they demonstrate that they are under the authority of the male leadership of the church.
If a woman refuses to demonstrate being under authority, she may as well be shaved of her hair. In some ancient cultures, the shaving of a woman’s head was the punishment given to an adulteress.
Having a woman’s head shorn or shaved meant different things in different cultures. In Jewish law, it was the mark of adultery (Numbers 5:11-31). In the Greek world, it could be the mark of a prostitute or lesbian.
God has established an order of authority, the principle of male headship, both in the church (1 Corinthians 11 and 1 Timothy 2) and the home (Ephesians 5:23).
God created Adam first, and gave Him responsibility over Eve.
Since one reason for male headship is the order and manner in which God created man and woman – something which was present before the fall – this passage makes it clear that before and after the fall, God has ordained there be a difference in the roles between genders, even in the church. The fall did not cause the difference in gender roles (in the church and in the home), and the difference in roles is not erased by our new life in Jesus.
Adam was not created for Eve, but Eve was created for Adam – and this principle applies to every “Adam” and every “Eve” through history. Genesis 2:18 declares God’s intention in creating Eve: I will make him a helper comparable to him. Eve was created to be a helper to Adam, meaning that Adam was “head” over Eve, and she was called to share and help his vision and agenda. Genesis 2:22 says, He brought her to the man. Adam was not brought to Eve, but Eve was brought to Adam – her head. It is an idea offensive to the spirit of our age, but the Bible in this passage clearly teaches that (in the church and in the home) man was not made for the benefit of woman, but woman for the benefit of man.
A third reason God has established male headship in the church is the presence of angels in corporate worship.
Angels are present at any assembly of Christians for worship and they note any departure from reverent order. Apparently, angels are offended by any violation of propriety.
Our struggle is bigger than ourselves. God has eternal things to teach the universe through us (Ephesians 3:10-11, 1 Corinthians 4:9, and 1 Peter 1:12).
Our culture, having rejected the idea in a difference in role between men and women, now rejects the idea of any difference between men and women. The driving trends in our culture point towards men who are more like women, and women who are more like men – and styles, clothes, perfumes, and all the rest are pushing this thought.
The Bible is just as specific that there is no general submission of women unto men commanded in society, only in the spheres of the home and in the church. God has not commanded in His word that men have exclusive authority in politics, business, education, and so on.
The failure of men to lead in the home and in the church, and to lead in the way Jesus would lead, has been a chief cause of the rejection of male authority.
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.
Men and women need each other, so there is no place for a “lording over” of the men over the women.
The man who rules in the church or in the home without love, without recognizing the important and vital place God has given women, is not doing God’s will.
Lord’s Supper Different Than Other Food
In this, Paul refers to the early church custom of combining the love-feast (like a shared-dish supper) and the Lord’s Supper.
Because the risen Jesus so often ate with His disciples, it made sense to the early church that eating together went together with celebrating the Lord’s Supper.
In that day, at common meals, it was expected that the “upper class” would receive better and more food than the “lower class.” This cultural custom was carried over into the church, and the Christians weren’t really sharing with one another
In theology, and in church custom, the Lord’s Supper is often called the eucharist. This word comes from the ancient Greek phrase used here for given thanks.
We remember the Last Supper was actually a Passover meal, when Jesus, together with the disciples, according to Biblical commands and Jewish traditions, celebrated the remembrance of Israel’s deliverance from Egypt to the Promised Land, beginning in the book of Exodus.
The breaking of bread and the drinking of wine were important parts of the Passover celebration. Jesus took these important pictures and reminders of Israel’s deliverance from Egypt, and added to them the meanings connected with His own death on the cross for us.
In taking the bread, we are called to remember Jesus’ body broken for you. The Passover meal featured unleavened bread, made without yeast both because yeast is a picture of sin and corruption in the Bible, and because in bread, yeast needs time to work – and in their haste to leave Egypt, the Israelites had no time to let their bread rise.
The unleavened bread used at a Passover meal had the scorch-mark “stripes” and holes from baking that looked like “pierce” marks. In the same way, the body of Jesus was broken for us. He was without sin (as the bread had no leaven), and His body bore stripes and was pierced (as the bread appeared to be).
In receiving the cup, we are called to remember the blood of Jesus and the new covenant. The Passover meal featured several cups of wine, each with a different title. The cup Jesus referred to was known as the cup of redemption, and Jesus added to the idea of redemption from slavery in Egypt the idea that His blood confirmed a new covenant that changed our relationship with God.
What is the New Covenant?
- It’s an inner transformation that cleanses us from all sin: For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more (Jeremiah 31:34).
- It’s God’s Word and will in us: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts (Jeremiah 31:33).
- It’s a new, close, relationship with God: I will be their God, and they shall be My people (Jeremiah 31:33).
Because of what Jesus did on the cross, we can have a new covenant relationship with God. But many Christians live as if there is no inner transformation. They live as if there is no cleansing from sin. They live as if there is no word and will of God in our hearts. They live as if there is no new and close relationship with God.
While the Lord’s Supper does look back to what Jesus did on the cross, it also looks forward to the coming of Jesus, and the marriage supper of the Lamb (Revelation 19:9).
In Matthew 26:29, Jesus spoke of His longing expectation for the day when He would take communion with His people in heaven, which is the ultimate Lord’s Supper.
The precise nature of the bread and the cup in communion has been the source of great theological controversy.
Paul warns the Corinthian Christians to treat the Lord’s Supper with reverence, and to practice it in a spirit of self-examination. However, this is not written with the thought of excluding ourselves from the table, but of preparing us to receive with the right heart.
Paul does not refer to eternal judgment, but to corrective judgment. There is no article “the” before “judgment,” so it is not the judgment. This chastening is not a judge condemning a criminal; it is a father correcting disobedient children.
It isn’t just good manners, it shows love towards others. If you wait for one another, then everyone gets enough to eat, instead of some being gorged and others going home hungry.
Don’t “pig out” at the church common meal, because it might mean someone else doesn’t get enough to eat. If you are that hungry, eat at home!