1 Corinthians 11:1-34
Paul instructed the church in chapter 10 to conduct their worship together in a manner that glorifies God. When coming together as the church, the believer is not to put self above community. Paul now instructs the body that each person should remember their own respective heads, so that in showing respect to that authority, they might bring glory to God and edification to the body of Christ.
Women who would not dress appropriately in the gathering of the church would bring shame on their husbands. Rather, they were to conduct themselves in worship so that their husbands were honored. So also, men were to conduct themselves so that Christ would be honored.
Paul goes forward to call out the chaos of Corinth in their disunity and discord in the midst of the Lord’s Supper. The Supper is a symbol of unity and yet the believers were eating separate from each other. And in their meals, some were indulgent at the expense of others so that some left hungry, diminishing fellowship of the body. The importance of the meal is that it commemorates the sacrifice of Christ on the cross, it proclaims his death and work, and it unites the church under His leadership, love, and the hope of his future coming. Yet the church was denying the sacrifice of Christ by withholding love from each other. He instructs them therefore to take the Lord’s Supper seriously and to wait for each other.
Although we live far away from the church of Corinth in time and place, these principles still hold true. God desires unity in His body. As His people we are called to display His unity through ours. Unity of the body demonstrates our union to Christ and the indwelling of the Spirit, and it is a profound symbol of God’s love as well as the unity in the Godhead. We cannot love God and bring shame and neglect upon our fellow believers. Our call is to lift up the humble, to strengthen the weak, and to serve the least of these. In this way we edify the body and bring glory to God. —- Nathan Williams