Pastor’s Bible Reading Schedule: Job 32-33; 1 Cor. 11
First Corinthians 11 starts out with Paul establishing that God has a structure for us to follow in both the home and in the church. The head of the woman is the man, the head of every man is Christ, and the head of Christ is the Father. The design of God always requires submission to somebody. There were specific things that Paul encourages the ladies to do regarding the covering of their heads in order to differentiate them from the temple prostitutes that were common in their pagan culture. The long hair and head coverings were that which would keep them distinct, but also show submission to God’s overall program. Although I still believe the principles of distinction and submission are applicable for today, the need for long hair and head coverings for women were specific to the culture of that day.
It was customary from the inception of the church that that they would eat a meal together at church. It became known as the “agape” or “love feast.” It was a time for the church family to share with one another, talk with one another, and love one another. It would no doubt often climax into a celebration of the love Christ had shown unto them through His sacrificial death on the cross. However, Paul confronts them regarding how the love feast had degenerated into a competition feast. The church was dividing into their cliques, the rich were flaunting their food and not sharing with the poor, and people were getting drunk. (vs. 18-21) Paul did not suggest that they do away with the love feast, but rather that they get back to the very purpose of it. He uses the selfishness shown in the love feast to expose the greater issue of selfishness in the church, which was also being exposed during communion. A drinking party is hardly the best way to prepare for the Lord’s Supper. Scorning others is certainly not the way to remember the Savior who died for all sinners, rich and poor. How important it is that we prepare our hearts when we come to church and specifically when celebrating the Lord’s Table! I am reminded of Philippians 1 Paul teaches that the purpose of the New Testament church was to join together in unity for the sake of the gospel. When there are schisms in the church the unsaved world questions the power of the gospel, the purpose of the gospel, and the Person of the gospel. The selfishness of the Corinthian church showed a lack of submission to God’s purpose for the church, program for communion, and proclamation of Christ.
• Lord, please help me to demonstrate true submission to you in every area of my life. Please help me to model a submissive spirit for my wife, my children, and my church.
• Lord, please help me to never give certain people preferential treatment. Please help me to live out James 2 and treat everyone, as I would like to be treated by you and others.
• Lord, please help me to remember what the price tag of my sin cost you, and may I never have a flippant attitude toward sin. Please forgive me when I have carelessly lived life with little to no thought of why I have eternal life.