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Last week I opened up the topic of hearing God’s Voice and I gave you the list of ways in which God had spoken to our Jakarta based Cell Group over th...

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Bible Gem 409 - Matters of Headship - Insightful or Inciteful (1 Cor 11:2-3)

April 14, 2019

 

I am so glad that you always keep me in your thoughts, and that you are following the teachings I passed on to you. 

But there is one thing I want you to know: The head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God. (1 Cor 11:2-3)   

 

 

Ha ha, I hope you always keep me in your thoughts too. Well in your prayers at least so that what I gem to you is of use and inspired by the Lord Himself. I hope it is helping you to gain a greater insight and appreciation for the depth of the Word of God. I hope that you are following the teachings I am passing on to you. I know many of you are, but have said to me that you are not up to date with the Gems. Some days you get to them and some days you don’t have time. The essence is not whether you do them on time. The most important thing is that you are growing in understanding and how to approach the Word of God in a deeper way for yourself. That is my prayer for each of you. 

 

Now for the one thing Paul wants us to know: The head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God. Wow insightful yet incite-ful at the same time. I know for many this is a typical Paul type comment that makes people upset. Particularly half of you – the female half. Many view Paul as sexist. For many of you I don’t imagine I will be able to change your mind on this matter. You have made up your mind Paul is sexist and that is how it is. Yet Paul like Jesus, made comments that brought incredible balance to the role of woman and their acceptance as equals. Many of the passages of Scripture where Paul appears sexist he is not at all. 

 

Consider this: Paul has talked about there being no male or female in Christ. They are equal. That was the most radical statement back then. He was millennia ahead of his time with that comment alone. 

The Corinthian women, on the ground of the abolition of distinction of sexes in Christ, claimed equality with the male sex, and, overstepping the bounds of propriety, came forward to pray and prophesy without the customary head-covering of females. Paul’s use of the reference to the “head” and headship based on Genesis and the creation account and order of creation is very clever given the fact that he will move on talking about head coverings. 

 

Yes the head of every man is Christ. The term for man is andros [andros] ἀνήρ 

1) with reference to sex

1a) of a male

1b) of a husband

1c) of a betrothed or future husband

2) with reference to age, and to distinguish an adult man from a boy

3) any male

4) used generically of a group of both men and women

 

It is possible that Paul is referring to both men and woman with the statement but highly unlikely set in the context in which it is found. Christ is indeed the head of a man and of a woman. There is no distinction. But Paul will move on to address the unruliness of the women in the midst of group meetings. So it is more likely maleness he refers to here. Then he says the man is the head of the woman. It is clear that headship is talked about. We can’t deny that. There is a certain order to things. Not all can be the boss. If there are too many bosses nothing gets done. We all know that. But then Paul says the head of Christ is God. Well that is interesting because the notion of headship inferred here is of oneness. Christ is in fact God. God and Christ are one. But then God the Father is above the Son, yet the Son rules all things and is paramount. I wonder if Paul is not playing with words here to give an insight into the nature of headship and oneness between men and woman too. Christ, as God, is equal to his Father, and is possessed of the same divine perfections with him; nor is his Father the head of him, in that sense. 

 

With Paul’s comment “I would have you know” it is likely he is drawing their attention to a subject they already know yet don’t grasp. Like the use of “he that hath ears to hear, let him hear” in Jesus sayings. You know it but you haven’t “got it” yet. 

 

That the head ... - The word “head” ראשׁ  ro'sh in the Old Testament denotes “master, ruler, chief.” In the New Testament the word is used in the sense of Lord, ruler, chief. Here it means that Christ is the ruler, director, or Lord of the Christian man. Every Christian should be subordinate to Christ. Then Paul indicates that from creation there was a natural order. Woman was created as man’s helper. But the word has the sense of complementarity. His perfect complement. Notice I didn’t write compliment, but rather complement. That is the sense here. Paul then follows up with the reference to the relationship of God and Christ. The same sense is embodied in using that example. 

 

But we must also recognise that the Corinthian women had gone overboard and needed correction. Often when that is the case the means of redressing the issue is to overstate the case to achieve the right response. To get their attention.  That is what Paul is doing here in appealing to the order of creation of man and woman and all that infers. More tomorrow as we step out into deep waters which have the potential to become hot waters. I hope this is insightful and not inciteful. 

 

 

If people always agree with what you say, you're only talking to your kind. God's Kingdom is far larger than our little groups. Rick Warren

 

I pray not that you walk in my shoes - nor I yours - but that together we walk so close to Rabbi Jesus that we are covered with dust from His sandals. Ian

 

Arrogance Demands Obedience While Humility Gains Respect. 

 

 

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