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Praying and Prophesying Honorably: 1 Corinthians 11:1-5

April 21, 2024 Preacher: Bob DeWaay Series: 1 Corinthians

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 11:1-5

We begin a section of 1 Corinthians 11 which deals with head coverings. This section has been subject of debate and discussion throughout church history. This first sermon on this deals with each verse in careful detail, including discussion of scholarly material on the Greek terms, their meaning, and implications in each context. By all accounts this is a difficult section.

Yet we can affirm key concepts which must be emphasized in the setting of Christian worship. I provide a summary slide called “priorities in Christian worship.” The key idea is that what happens must be to the glory of God and not bring needless offense.

Terms for “glory” are found in the bigger context in key places. Verse 3 is about headship and speaks of Christ, man, woman (or husband & wife), and God. I discuss some of the ranges of meaning of “head” as it applies in this type of context. We also begin to deal with the matter of covering which Paul brings up in verses 4-5.

It is not entirely clear whether cloth coverings are in view or ways of wearing/styling one’s hair. What we emphasize is the concern with honor versus dishonor. Whatever the case in Paul’s day, we do not want to dishonor Christ or men or women as part of the body of Christ.

Paul mentions praying and prophesying. We bring up the prediction in Joel 2:28 which is fulfilled in Acts. God pours out His Spirit on all flesh and people of both genders prophesy.  More about this will be addressed in future sermons. Key here is that gender distinctions be maintained and that worldly, shameful practices not be brought into the church meetings.