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Rev. Clint Smith
The Corinthian Church struggled with division and disunity. Paul credited this struggle, in part, to their sinful pride and their going beyond what God had commanded them.
The Apostle Paul instructed the Corinthian Believer’s to imitate him as he imitated Christ. This was true for Believer’s in Paul’s lifetime and remains one of the most direct ways of disciple-making today.
Paul commended the Corinthian Church for their continued fellowship with him and for keeping the ordinances, such as baptism and the Lord’s Supper.
Paul continued to answer the questions the Church sent him. (1 Corinthians 7:1a) We have his Holy Spirit inspired answers but not the original Church questions.
The ultimate principle of Paul’s writing is for the Church to submit to God-given authority and order in this life.
Christ is the Head and authority over every man, and man is the head of woman, and God (the Father) is the Head of Christ. Paul did not assert the inequality of male and female any more than he asserted the inequality of Father and Son.
There was an accepted order in the Church at Corinth regarding head coverings. If a man prophesied or prayed with his head covered, he dishonored his Head, (Christ). Likewise, if a woman prophesied or prayed with her head uncovered, she dishonored her head (man – commentators suggest her husband).
Men and women must treat each other in such a way as to reflect the picture God intended. (Ephesians 5:33). The man is to take his headship seriously, just as is the woman. Ironically, the angels, who are also under authority, are present in our worship services and observe the behavior of men and women.
Though cultures and methods change, gender roles within the Church do not. Gender is binary – masculine and feminine. Why? Humans were part of God’s plan and exist solely because of His creative action. Genesis 1:26,27
Men and women are different but are mutually interdependent. Men must not twist God’s order and take on the roles and appearances of women, nor should women take on the headship and responsibility roles and appearances of men. Honoring God should be our highest priority.