1 Corinthians Chapter 11

Paul has instructed (in the fellowships he wrote to) that the priestly offices within the body of Christ are best given over to the men amongst them. Elsewhere it is written that he "will not suffer a woman to teach a man". He opens the letter that they should follow his advice (in that priestly capacity that he is next to Christ) in his authority to correct them. (v1). By analogy he asserts that this advice should be kept by them as it is already. (v2). By analogy he asserts that men as priests are next in authority through their ministry to God, and that women come second only to the man who exercises the authority to teach over them. (v2)

Men should confidently teach (v3) without shame by showing themselves uncovered - as next to God in authority to correct believers. Women are not so advised to pray uncovered, (v5) because under the patriarchal paradigm the authority of men to correct them is as like God's own. Then women who pray uncovered assume upon themselves a direct (and completely) uncovered authority from God, even to correct any man, even as if he were Christ: (v6) but not so much then as to correct the priestly male office itself which has authority to correct any; (v7) or even to assume then that women receiving authority from (uncovered by) their own husbands may correct their own husbands. (v8,v9)

The patriarchal paradigm is God to Christ to His bride. by analogy since God's own system is very good, modelling their fellowship after the same is no fault at all. Then women ought to have then no authority to correct the priestly ministration of the patriarch based elect. (v10) (i.e to keep their heads covered for the sake of ministry.) Paul asserts that there is no superiority in preference of this to one sex or the other in redemption or salvation, as all are God's elect - the gospel is not just for one sex or the other, the other not being saved by the former, but by God only. (v11,v12)

Paul then writes after the patriarchal authority of God over His people that it is a good thing then for women to pray covered.(v13) From nature he asserts not that men with long hair are effeminate, (v14) but that as men age and are to be more duly respected they are often uncovered as by baldness. However, the natural covering of long hair of women is suitable.(v15) The patriarchal priestly office is therefore alluded to in this from nature, but Paul states that if a man has long hair it is not a custom of the fellowships anywhere for that hair to be cut or his head shaved. (v16)

As to other ordinances Paul rebukes the corinthians over their gathering and meeting together (v17) especially concerning the Lord's remembrance.(v18) The believers had mixed in a lack of respect for the methods by which they should glorify God. Their obedience and acceptance was commendable, but Paul warns that they will encounter heresies that will pollute their faith, (v19) so as to separate out those with a love for the truth. By the meal of bread and wine they had failed the remembrance of Christ splitting themselves into opposing factions instead of keeping the purity of their unity. From the fellowship overall being at fault those with offended consciences had either abdicated or separated their obedience in Christ.

Paul admonishes them that when they meet together it is not in due remembrance of Christ, but as in revelry. (v20) Some were using the occasion to eat their own dinner in the fellowships company, eating and drinking whilst others do not take the breaking of bread and the blessing of wine so far to disrespect.(v21) Such a remembrance of Christ by His commandment to remember the work of the cross through the Lord's supper should be given more solemnity. Paul rebukes them for not eating in their own houses before meeting together for the Lord's remembrance. (v22)

Paul teaches them the remembrance that was taught Him (v23)- that His body, offered as it were bread to eat is given freely as metaphor to represent that which He offered; the grace for them to become His people. (v24) Also that Jesus offered His life as He offered the wine as a cup to drink for His disciples, and that it is life gifted freely but with a cost. (v25)

The respect due Christ, that the life given us by the laying down for us of His life proclaims the Lord has died until He returns. (v26) To drink unworthily is to not show the cross of Christ respect - both respect to Christ and respect to His grace. (v27) A man should examine whether he is worthy to respect that solemnity (v28), before He take joy in the life now in Him, and the grace extended Him. Both are offered to the repentant (v29), and this ordinance (of metaphor by wine and bread) is ministered to us continually by the Lord. remembering to respect the Lord's supper is to be obedient.

By not respecting the solemnity of the occasion, the faith of many amongst them is become stale (v30) without the respect due God and the proper joy of fellowship - many have merely abdicated (sleep) on the cross's finished work ministered to them continually. Instead they do not appreciate that eternal life given - they have left active faith. Paul asserts once more that if the fellowship shows sound judgement they would not be judged unworthy. (v31) In order to keep the Israel of God holy, within Israel itself is kept a remnant through chastening; all the while new believers are added to the whole. In this way, some fall away whilst keeping (chastened) Israel a separate people from the judgement on the world.

Paul then tells them they must wait to eat before turning the respect due God into a party. They should eat at home instead so that the whole fellowship (by improper respect of God's gift of life) would not through their mutual remembrance of the cross come into condemnation by God. Since the meal of bread and wine is a declaration of fellowship across the unity of Christ's whole body, fault in this meal whilst accepted by the whole fellowship is the whole fellowship's fault; irregardless of an individual believer's respect: I.e. if he consents to the disrespect of the whole fellowship, that it is good. Clearly relationships are a snare to the obedience of the believer.

I.e. Any man consenting to a physical fault of one or all believer(s) - that it is not a "proper" fault; (against the judgement of God who made the law) makes the seemingly innocent man party to the physical fault of the believer(s).

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