“Glory for Men; Glory for Women” (1 Corinthians 11:2-16)
Listen to the Sermon:
This morning we will be studying 1st Corinthians 11:2-16. We’re going to be looking at verses 2 through 6 this morning. Hear now the word of the Lord from 1st Corinthians.
2 Now I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I delivered them to you. 3 But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God. 4 Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head, 5 but every wife who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, since it is the same as if her head were shaven. 6 For if a wife will not cover her head, then she should cut her hair short. But since it is disgraceful for a wife to cut off her hair or shave her head, let her cover her head. 7 For a man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God, but woman is the glory of man. 8 For man was not made from woman, but woman from man. 9 Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. 10 That is why a wife ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels. 11 Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man nor man of woman; 12 for as woman was made from man, so man is now born of woman. And all things are from God. 13 Judge for yourselves: is it proper for a wife to pray to God with her head uncovered? 14 Does not nature itself teach you that if a man wears long hair it is a disgrace for him, 15 but if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For her hair is given to her for a covering. 16 If anyone is inclined to be contentious, we have no such practice, nor do the churches of God.
1 Corinthians 11:2-16, ESV
This is the word of the Lord given to us in love.
Here in 1st Corinthians chapter 11 Paul is beginning a new subject. In chapters 8 through 10 we’ve been studying what Paul has written on the subject of food sacrificed to idols. Now that we come to chapter 11, there’s a new subject that’s going to deal with public worship. This subject is going to carry us all the way from chapter 11 through chapter 14.
All through this Paul is dealing with the subject of public worship and in verse 2 Paul says that in some things he is commending them. He says, “now I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I delivered them to you.”
For the most part they are remembering and observing the traditions that Paul passed on to them about what Christian worship ought to be as Paul gave them those traditions. In the context of the early church where they couldn’t just open the New Testament like we can today, because the New Testament was still being written.
So Paul handed those traditions off to them and he was commending them for the most part they were doing well. But in addition to what he commended them for he says there are a few things to critique and that’s what we’re going to deal with in chapters 11 through 14.
Now this passage that Paul begins on is notoriously difficult and controversial, so let’s start our study of this with an observation. This passage is obscure in its details, but it is quite clear in its doctrine. Now let me tell you what I mean by the observation that the details of this text are obscure in two ways. First of all, we are not entirely sure what the head covering is that Paul is talking about here. Often people have interpreted the head covering to have something to do with like a cloth veil, but the words veil does not actually appear in this text.
So I want to point you to verse 4, “every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered”, literally if you just literally translated this from the Greek the phrase is “having down from the head.” Now what does that mean, having down from the head? We don’t really know the details are obscure about what Paul was precisely instructing the Corinthians to do. Certainly, the Corinthians understood what Paul was saying, Paul understood what he was saying, but the details are difficult for us to understand today.
The second way in which the details of this text are obscure is that even if we knew what precisely Paul was telling them to wear or not wear or how they should have their hair, we’re not sure what any of those things precisely mean in the cultural context. If you read the commentaries on this then you will find a covered head in a Greek context meant one thing and in a Roman context another thing and in a Jewish context it meant still another thing. Sometimes there’s overlap and other time is the meaning in the specific culture is actually a contradictory from one culture to another.
So while the details are difficult to understand and certainly even more difficult to understand the meaning, to get ourselves and our minds in the context of first century Corinth; nevertheless the doctrine that Paul is telling us here is very clear. Now this doctrine is something that Paul writes not only here, but in other places so we can compare scripture to scripture and understand exactly what he is saying.
What Paul is writing about here is the biblical truth that God has appointed husbands as the heads of their wives, to have authority in relation to their wives. Then husbands are called to cherish and nourish and delight in their wives as their glory, or as their crown. These biblical doctrines are taught throughout the scriptures and so if we understand that we can clearly understand that what Paul is saying here lines up with that.
So, as we start to study this passage, I want to understand that distinction between the details and the doctrines. As we preach this, I’m not going to tell you what you should wear and I’m not going to tell you how you should do your hair, though if you’re a man like me your choices are actually somewhat limited. I’m not going to tell you what to do in either way.
What this text forces us to do instead is to grapple with, to wrestle within our hearts, why we are wearing what we are wearing. Why we are doing our hair in the way that we are doing it. The details of applying this doctrine are going to change from culture to culture. But all of us are forced in our hearts to ask is our appearance lining up with what God has called us to be as men and women.
So, our big idea today is an idea that we’re going to consider not only today, but then more so when we return to this passage. Because this text is somewhat long we’re going to break it up. Today we’re focusing primarily on verses 2 through 6, which have to do with men primarily. When we return to this passage, we’ll look at verses 7 through 16, Lord willing, which primarily have to do with women.
So, our big idea today that we’ll use when we return to this passage is this; it is glory from men to rule and it is glory for women to reveal.
So, what we’re going to see is that in these different ways of reflecting the glory of God, what God is doing through men and through women uniquely, but in a complementary way, is reflecting the fullness of God’s glory. Particularly as that glory has been revealed in the person and work of our Lord Jesus Christ.
As we study this passage, we’re going to see three doctrines and we’re going to take our three doctrines from verse three, but we’re not going to quite consider them in the order that Paul gives us them. We’re actually going to start with the last doctrine that Paul states in verse three.
1. The Head of Christ is God
2. The Head of Every Man is Christ
3. The Head of a Wife is her Husband
The Head of Christ is God
Those are the three doctrines that we’re going to look at today. So, as we talk about this passage, as we look at this idea that Paul is giving us here, we have to start by interpreting what exactly headship is. What is headship? Well headship, as again scripture helps us as we compare Scripture with scripture, scripture helps us to understand that headship has to do with authority or rule.
We see this in Colossians 2:9-10 Paul writes,
9 For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, 10 and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority.
Colossians 2:9-10, ESV
We see the same idea in Ephesians 5:22-24 where we get not only about Christ’s headship but then Christ’s headship over his church related to the headship of husbands in relationship to their wives.
22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.
Ephesians 5:22-24, ESV
So there is a headship that Christ possesses where he possesses all rule and all authority and there is something of an analogous and analogy to that authority which is played out in the relationship between husbands and wives. Now we need to be very clear that Christ alone is the head of his church. In regard to redemption, men and women come together to Christ by faith. Women are not saved through their husbands. There is no priest, whether the husband of a woman or whether the pastor of anyone. I am not a priest, I am a pastor to declare to you the ministry of our ultimate high priest the Lord Jesus Christ.
When Paul writes in Galatians 3:28 where he says,
28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
Galatians 3:28, ESV
He’s getting at this point that this regards redemption. Men and women are on equal footing before Christ at his feet in regard to redemption. Men and women together come to Christ as our head, at the head of the church, but in roles not a redemption. In the roles of day-to-day life in the home in marriage and in the church.
God makes distinctions between men and women because together men and women reflect all of the glory of God, the fullness of the glory of God. They do this in different ways. Men alone do not reflect the glory of God, nor do women alone reflect the glory of God, but together we reflect the glory of God as revealed in the person and work of Jesus Christ. That’s why we need to start with a doctrine that the head of Christ is God, because here we understand a lot. We start to get an idea of what this headship is, what this authority is.
What does this mean though, the head of Christ is God? Well, very importantly, this is not a reference to Christ’s divine nature as though God the Son were inferior to or subordinate to or that God the Son had to submit to God the Father as though God the Father had more authority. No, in the trinity we believe that the three persons are one God. They are the same in substance, they are equal in power and in glory; this we get from what the Scriptures teaches us elsewhere. In Philippians 2:6 we are reminded that in eternity past God the Son existed in the form of God. In the form of God, he had equality with God.
What then does it mean to talk about that the head of Christ is God? If the Son is equal with the Father what does this mean? Well this doesn’t refer to the Son as God, this refers to the redemptive work that the Son entered into when Jesus Christ the Son of God made incarnate entered into this world. He had done so as we read in Philippians 2:7, by emptying himself by taking the form of a servant. Though the Son was equal with God in the form of God, he emptied himself by taking the form of a servant. He took a place of subordination and submission to his Father.
So, everywhere when we read about Jesus in the gospel, he’s everywhere telling us that he has come to do the will of his Father. Now as the Son, the will of the Father is the same as the will of the Son. But in his incarnation, in what the Westminster Larger Catechism calls his “estate of humiliation” where Jesus Christ was a human being, the God man, fully God and fully man, he tells us that he came to submit to his Father’s will.
Now what exactly was the Father sending the Son to do and what was the Son joyfully submitting to his Father’s will in doing, so that he submitted to his Father’s authority as the Christ? Well the Father was sending Christ into the world to destroy the authority of evil; the authority of sin, death, and the devil, the dominion of sin, the headship that Satan has over us all as children of wrath. The Father sent Christ to destroy one power, one authority in this world in order to establish a new authority; a good and godly authority, the authority of the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Christ came to establish a kingdom a dominion, a power, an authority, a rule, a headship. A headship for himself that will never end through all eternity. So by his incarnation, by his perfect life, by his sacrificial death on the cross, and his resurrection from the dead Jesus Christ, has been exalted as the King of all Kings. He is a king who overthrows cruel oppressors and who lifts up the poor and the humble who looked to him in faith. He is a king who purifies our shame, a king who heals our bitterness, and a king who conquers our proud hearts. He is a king who restores us.
Also, and this is what Paul is getting at to the noble callings that God has given to us as men and as women, the roles that God created us for. As we submit ourselves, in the church under the authority the headship of Christ, then Christ restores us to the noble callings in his kingdom, the callings that we were created to do. He gives us work that looks different for men and for women. The question we need to be asking then is who is my head? Men need to be asking this and women need to be asking this.
The Head of Every Man is Christ
So, Paul goes on to, well actually he starts with this doctrine we wanted to sort of start at the end at first and then sort of work our way to the beginning. The next doctrine that we want to consider is the head of every man is Christ. Well, what does that mean that for men? Our head is Christ.
Well first of all this doesn’t mean that the head of women is not Christ in the sense that all of us in the church relate to Christ directly for redemption. We’re not talking about redemption; we’re talking about the roles.
So what does this mean as regard to roles? Well first and foremost men this means that you are not independent male headship. It does not mean that you have a cart blanche, a blank check, to live however you want now. That’s not what male headship means. Male headship does not mean that you get to boss your families, that’s not what it means. Male headship does not mean that you may in anyway abuse your authority, because it’s not your authority. This is Christ’s authority that he has entrusted to you. He will hold you accountable for how you steward the authority that he has entrusted to you. So, the first thing this means is that men are not independent.
The second thing this means is that our authority, as we mentioned a moment ago, is under Christ’s authority in a very real way. So, understand Christ’s authority in this world, in his estate of humiliation the time that we read about his earthly life and ministry, we read everywhere that Christ had authority. He was one who taught with authority, he had power over the demons as one with authority. Jesus had authority, but it was the authority of someone who is set under the authority of his Father. That’s what Christ came to do and to be and a model when he emptied himself by taking the form of a servant.
There was actually someone interesting who recognizes this. It wasn’t one of his disciples, it was the centurion, a Roman centurion who asked Jesus to come heal someone he cared about. But he told Jesus you don’t have to come to my house to do this and here’s what the centurion says in Luke 7:8 he says,
8 For I too am a man set under authority, with soldiers under me: and I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”
Luke 7:8, ESV
He’s saying, Jesus I know that you are under authority with others under you. That’s my situation too, I take orders from the Emperor and then I give them to those who are under my authority. What this means for men is that if we are an authority under the authority of Christ. It means that men cannot rule in the biblical sentence until we are thoroughly ruled. You cannot rule on an island according to your own whims, your own desires. The only way for you to rule biblically is by doing what Christ has called you to do. You may not rule until you are ruled it’s not your authority, it’s Christ’s authority that he wants you to exercise on his behalf.
Then what this means is that in the way that you steward Christ’s authority you should be resembling Christ’s use of his own authority in regard to your relationship to your wife. For example, this means not that you cannot boss your wife around or that your wife must do your bidding whenever you want her to. Rather that you use your authority as Christ used his authority; by laying down your life for her good, to cherish her, to nourish her, to wash her with the water of the word. That’s what Paul teaches about the role of a husband as the head of the wife in Ephesians 5:25-33.
It’s actually interesting, remember just a few verses earlier the passage we looked at last week. In 1st Corinthians 11:1 Paul says, “be imitators of me as I am of Christ.” We are called to imitate Christ in the way in which men should use their authority should imitate. Christ’s own use of authority where he used his authority to seek the good of others and never abused it for his own personal private gain.
So, first this means we are not an independent. Second this means that our authority is under Christ’s authority.
The third thing this doctrine means is that it is glory for men to rule. This was originally how God created men to operate in this world. God created men to rule. We see this in Genesis 2:15. This was before the woman was created.
We read that God the Lord God took the man Adam and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and to keep it. He was given the responsibility of cultivating the garden, but also to guard it, to protect it, to preserve the holiness that God had created the garden to reveal.
At the fall with Adam leaving his authority, he was shrinking back from the authority that was given to him. It was his responsibility to guard, to keep watch over the garden, to make sure it’s holy. So when the serpent came along, rather than rising up and judging the serpent as he was supposed to do, Adam shrunk back into passivity. Rather than prophetically standing up to declare the word of the Lord to his wife, to remind her of the danger of eating from the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, he said nothing.
He passively allowed his wife to conduct negotiations with the serpent on his behalf and then he passively waited to receive the fruit from her hand when she offered it to him. It’s remarkable than in the Bible that Eve is not held responsible for the first sin, Adam is. We read that Eve was deceived but it is in Adam, through one-man sin entered the world, as we read in Romans 5. It is in Adam all died, as we read in 1st Corinthians 15.
It was Adam’s failure, his passive failure, to rise to the authority that God had created him to exercise. That is held responsible as the reason that sin entered the world and through sin death. Therefore, it is glory, God created it as a glory, for men to exercise godly authority. But ever since the fall the besetting sin of men has so often been to shrink back into passivity in the home and in a church.
This brings us back to Paul’s passage here in 1st Corinthians chapter 11. What a background to consider and understand, but this is what Paul has in mind a particular application of this. It’s in a church. He’s talking about public worship and he says in verse 4, “every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head.
This praying and prophesying is talking about corporate worship. He’s talking about public worship. It’s talking about those who lead the congregation in prayer, praying with one voice on behalf of the whole congregation. Then prophesy, that is the reading and preaching God’s Word as a declaration of the Word of the Lord to the people.
Now early on in the church this was the Word of the Lord that came through apostles and prophets until the New Testament was written. So now preachers are called to read the Word of God and to preach the Word of God that has already been given to us in the Bible. He’s talking here about a public act of worship.
What he is saying, and this is the fourth aspect of this doctrine, that we need to consider that men should dress for the part. He’s saying that the appearance of men should reflect the rule that God has called them to exercise.
So, in verse 4 it says, “every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head.” Again, that’s a having it down from the head we’re not entirely sure what that means. But the point is if Christ has appointed men to rule and to exercise rule, especially in leading worship in the church and for men then to cover over that in such a way that they are shrinking from the authority back into passivity, even if they’re doing it and they’re reflecting somehow in their appearance that they’re shrinking from the rule that God called them to do, that is to dishonor their head that’s to dishonor Christ.
Now again don’t get caught up or lost in the details of what Paul is saying here. This is a notoriously difficult passage to know exactly what this would have looked like in first century Corinth, but we know what this means for our hearts. Men our besetting temptation is to shrink into passivity away from the godly authority that Christ has called us to exercise under Christ’s authority. That resembles Christ’s authority on Christ’s behalf in the world. To shrink from doing this or to adopt anything in our appearance that walks away from that responsibility is to dishonor our head, Jesus Christ himself.
The Head of a Wife is her Husband
Well what that about this third doctrine? That the head of a wife is her husband. Now there’s some debate about whether the words should be translated woman and man, the head of a woman is a man, or whether this should be wife and husband. There’s a reason that this is difficult to know how to translate this because in Greek the same word is used for a woman as for wife and for man as for husband. You wouldn’t say, this is my wife, there’s not a Greek word for that. You would say this is my woman.
In English that doesn’t sound super respectful to your wife, but in Greek it had no such connotation. Similarly, the wife would say this is my man, because there was no other word for a husband. So it’s difficult to know what exactly Paul is saying here. Usually you can figure this out by context, but here it’s a little trickier. What verse 3 seems to be be talking about is all men. We read that the head of every man is Christ, but then in regard to women Paul seems to be talking particularly about the relationships between wives to their husbands.
We are never told anywhere else in scripture that all men are to have headship over all women. Rather we are told that is something that’s reserved for the context of marriage. Though the wives have their husbands as their heads, we’re told that, but not that every wife is to submit to every man.
That’s never told to us in Scripture, but still there is a general principle even if this does refer primarily to marriage, there’s a general principle that permeates this passage that has to do with the way that all men and all women act that together. We are reflecting the fullness of the glory of God and we’re doing that both in our roles and in our appearance. If our appearance matches our role then, both men and women both in their roles, in the way their appearance reflects their roles to reflect the fullness of the glory of God and the person and work of Jesus Christ.
So, if that’s the case, what then does this doctrine mean? I think the ESV has the right translation, the head of a wife is her husband. What does that mean? Well first this mean that God has given a husband authority in relationship to his wife. This is unpopular in our culture, but the Scriptures teach it and if the Scriptures teaches it, if this is the Word of God it is true. What we also must affirm is that this is good, this is good when men and women both together embrace the rules that God has given them. Both men and women flourish just as God intended.
This doesn’t mean that you should submit to your husband if he leads you into sin. It doesn’t mean that at all, in fact godly submission means that a wife must humbly oppose her husband’s sin. Look at 1st Samuel 25 to see an example of this as Abigail, the godly woman, opposed the sin of her husband Nepal. She did this in a remarkable kind of away, it’s a wonderful model given to us.
However godly submission of a wife also does not mean tolerating abuse. If you or your children are unsafe, please come talk to us. The elders take abuse very seriously and we are here to help and to protect. That’s the authority that God has given to the elders of the church.
Instead of that, instead of those abuses of authority, to use authority to lead someone into sin, what the Scriptures are talking about is that God has given a husband authority and relationship to his wife in order that the husband should build his wife up in Christ. Submitting to a husband’s authority means that the wife is trusting her husband to rise to the role that God has called him to for his good and for hers.
So, the first element of this doctrine is that God has indeed given a husband authority in relationship to his wife. The second aspect of this is that women should dress for the part, just as men should dress for the part and the role that God has given to them. So also, women should dress for the part of the role that God has given to them.
So, we read in verse 5, and this brings us back to our passage, there’s something going on in the worship that Paul wants to critique and correct even if there is much to commend. He says in verse 5,
5 but every wife who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, since it is the same as if her head were shaven”
1 Corinthians 11:5, ESV
So, what this means is that if women take the role of men in the leading, and particularly in ruling by leading in worship; and if they not only take the role of men but they adopt the appearance of men by appearing with an uncovered head (again we don’t know what the details of that mean but it’s reflecting an appearance that should reflect the heart, should reflect the role). If women take the role of men and adopt the appearance of men, if women seek to administer the rule of Christ that has been entrusted to men, this would dishonor their head, this would dishonor their husband.
Now a couple of points to clarify, again Paul is talking about a leading in prayer and leading in reading the scriptures or preaching from the scriptures in a corporate worship service. So, this does not refer to the responsive parts of praying and the responsive scripture readings like what the liturgists lead us all in. This morning we responded as we were reading, the whole congregation; men, women, and children alike are all called in to participating in that. This also doesn’t get away from the idea that all people, men, women, and children, are all called to read and to pray privately, this is talking about public leadership in worship.
Now the second point that we should clarify is that Paul is not saying that women are permitted to lead in worship so long as they have a head covering. Paul is not dealing with that question here. He does not deal with that question until 1 Corinthians 14:34, there he states that it is not permissible for women to lead in worship under any circumstances, even with a head covering.
Paul’s point here is not to talk about that yet, he’ll get back to that but he’s getting at this question of the roles of men and women in the church. So, for Paul to say in verse 5, every wife who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, would be like a parent saying to her children, “every child who disobeys me and lies about it dishonors me”. Now children are called to honor their parents, but the parent is not saying that it’s okay for the children to disobey as long as they’re honest about it. No, the focus is specific particularly on the dishonor of lying on top of the disobedience. So Paul is not authorizing one law or rejecting the other. He is saying that both are out of bounds. The role itself, as well as the appearance reflects the underlying reality of the role.
So, Paul goes on to deal with this issue of appearance and this is where this begins to be really difficult to understand in terms of the details culturally. He says every wife who prays or prophesies with their head uncovered dishonors her head since it is the same as if her head were shaven. But if a wife will not cover her head, then she should cut her hair short but since it is disgraceful for a wife to cut off her head or shave her head, let her cover her head.
Now again don’t worry so much about the details, worry about to the doctrine. What Paul is saying is that you should be dressing for the part; your appearance should reflect your role. So, what he’s saying is if you are going to reject the godly role that God has called you to as women, then why not also completely reject the appearance of femininity in women altogether? Why not cut your hair short, why not save of your head?
Now again in various cultures this will mean different things. I was just in Africa a few weeks ago and when I was there, there were many women who adopted a style where they had shaved heads. It didn’t have the same cultural meaning there for a woman to shave her head as it would mean here. Those two meanings culturally don’t have quite the same significance, as what it would have meant in first century Corinth. Paul is not wanting us to focus on the details, he wants us to focus on the doctrines and how this would apply to our lives today. He’s not telling us what to wear or how to style our hair. He’s confronting us with the question of if our appearance is reflecting a joyful embracing of the roles that God has given us. The focus is on the doctrine, not the details.
The third aspect of what this means is that we should be reminded that this is a good thing for women, as well as men. In fact, women are also called to reflect the glory of Christ, but in a way that is different from, in complementary, to men.
So, God created men to administer the rule of Christ’s reign in the world. God created women to reveal, especially to reveal, something of the hidden glory of Christ. Wives, you are the glory of your husband. In Proverbs 12:4 Solomon writes that women are the crown of their husbands. The husband is to treat you in this way. To do in all of his appearance and in his actions, to reflect to the world that he has no greater crown of glory in this world than his wife.
The wife then reveals something of the glory of her husband. Just as a crown which reveals the glory of a king, the wife reveals the glory of husband in order to reveal together the glory of Christ’s rule and reign in this world. Together men and women, not independently but together, reflect the fullness of the glory of God and the person and work of Jesus Christ. Now we’ll get more into that when we come back to study this passage, but now let’s turn to a few applications.
1. You must be under the headship of Christ, whether you were a man a woman or a child. Our passage today is about headship in regard to the various roles in day-to-day life in the home and in the church. Before we can speak about this, these roles, we must first speak about the headship of Christ in regard to redemption. The redemption that men and women share as joint heirs together with Jesus Christ as the only head of his church.
We read in Ephesians 5:23 therefore men cannot be saved unless they come to Christ by faith and women cannot be saved, not by their husbands, but unless they come to faith in Christ. Christ, we should remember, gave us the perfect illustration and example of headship. Christ secured his headship over the church by brutal force; not brutal force that he perpetrated against anyone but brutal force that he submitted himself to in order to turn away God’s righteous wrath against us for our sins.
So are you burdened today under your bondage to the taskmaster of sin? Come under the headship of Christ, his yoke is easy, and his burden is light. Are you filled with guilt, then filled with shame and are you defined by your sin? Come under the headship of Christ.
Like a loving husband to his wife, he will sanctify you, he will cleanse you by the washing of water with the word, he will adorn you with a splendor without spot or wrinkle or any such thing to make you holy and without blemish before him. Come to Christ.
Are you empty, are you weak, are you withered? Is the toll of all the suffering of this pandemic weighing on you? Come under the headship of Christ, he will nourish you and cherish you as anyone might love and nourish and cherish their own flesh. He will draw you into his strength. Wherever you are, turn from your sin and turn to Christ by faith.
2. Men you must honor your head, the Lord Jesus Christ. Men we have been given the role of administering the rule of Christ’s reign, but the temptation toward passivity is one of our greatest to besetting sins. This was true in the original sin; Adam was right there we were told in Genesis 3:6. He was right there with Eve when the serpent was tempting and trying to deceive his wife to eat the fruit and he said and did nothing. He alone had the call to keep the garden holy, but he shrunk back into passivity and waited for Eve to pass out the fruit.
Men how often are we tempted to do the same? We cannot look to Adam for our example of masculinity. We must look to Christ, we must look not to the one who hung back and allowed his wife to do everything for him, but Christ proactively obeyed his Father to the point of death on the cross. Christ proactively sought the good of his nature to the point of death on the cross. Christ was not passive he was active. Men we are called into that proactive rule of Christ’s reign.
So, three principles for this principle. Number one, men you cannot rule until you are ruled. We are under authority if we are to be over authority. We must come under the authority of Christ. You cannot rule according to your own whims, but only to administer what Christ has commanded in his word.
Principle number two, we cannot truly rule as men until we bring our own lives under the rule of self- control. Men we need to protect step after step to bring our own lives under control. Watch how we handle the little things, especially how you handle your time, your talents, and your treasures. As Jesus warned us in Luke 16:10, “one who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much.” How do you handle the little things?
Principle number three, we cannot truly rule as men unless our headship resembles Christ’s own use of authority. Do you seek to do all for the glory of God? Remember chapter 10:31, just as few verses earlier, “so whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” Are you doing all to the glory of God in the way that you exercise whatever authority has been entrusted to you? Do you seek your own good or the eternal advantage of your neighbor?
If you’ve abused your authority with which Christ has entrusted to you, or you’re shrank back from exercising the authority that Christ entrusted to you, repent. Do not abused his authority, he used his authority in submission to his Father in heaven. Men honor the head
3. Although our culture says otherwise, God’s administration of his world and the roles that he is assigned to men and women is good. To seek to honor your head is not demeaning, it’s your glory. Women, I come back to you now. Women you’re the glory of man, you’re the crown of your husband.
If the besetting sin of men is a temptation toward passivity, the besetting sin of women is a temptation toward usurping authority. So be patient and entrust yourself to the Lord. That doesn’t mean submitting to abuse or going along with sin. Especially in the case of abuse, please seek help.
But this may mean allowing a leadership in the home or in the church to be done poorly or not at all. That may go against everything inside of you, but this is your glory. By this you reveal something about the hidden glory of Christ as we’ll study when we return to this passage. Lord willing we’ll talk more about the glory of women a little bit later.
Now let’s pray as we prepare to close our time of worship.
Lord, we have a difficult and hard time, especially as we consider our own hearts. Especially as everything in us rebels, I know I want the shrink back into passivity, it’s comfortable there Father. I I pray that you would call all of us to rise to the roles that you have called us to do for the sake of the glory of Christ, that we might show his glory and fame and honor to the watching world. We pray this in Christ’s name. Amen.