Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Message 30 in our exposition of 1 Corinthians. This message deals with proper decorum in the worship assembly. We touch on the woman's role in the church.

Chico Alliance Church

Pastor David Welch

“What’s A Woman to Do?” I Corinthians 11:2-16


I. Reproof for fleshly behavior 1-6

II. Responses to specific inquiries

A. Concerning marriage 7

B. Concerning voluntary limitation of Christian liberty 8-11:1

Do whatever it takes to walk and talk like Jesus.

Everything Jesus did was driven by eternal purposes.

? Communion with God

? Connection with people

? Purity and holiness

? Impact of the Gospel

Evaluate everything through the filter of these four pointed questions.

1. Does this improve or deepen my relationship with God?

2. Does this meaningfully impact those around me?

3. Does this make me more like Jesus?

4. Does this prevent or promote the progress of the Gospel?


Beginning chapter eleven, Paul switches to another topic raised by the Corinthian church.

He deals with three aspects of corporate worship that had run into a snag.

C. Concerning proper protocol for public worship 11-14

1. Proper decorum in corporate worship 11:2-16

An air of independence has arisen especially among the women.

2. Proper heart and order for observing the Lord’s Supper 11:17-34

An atmosphere of disunity continued to manifest even during communion.

3. Proper utilization of Spiritual gifts 12-14

An attitude of superiority and selfishness defiled the employment of spiritual gifting.

These next fifteen verses generate more questions than answers. The generational, geographical and customary gaps from then until now complicates our interpretation and application of this passage. The only universal interpretive conclusion for some the issues raised here is that no universal interpretation exists. Not only does the difficulty in interpretation cause difficulty but the application of the truths laid out in this passage cause considerable controversy.

1. Proper decorum in public worship

a) Paul affirmed them for practicing love and truth. 11:2

Now I praise you because you remember me in everything and hold firmly to the traditions, just as I delivered them to you.

(1) Held Paul highly

“remembered” to be mindful of someone enough to demonstrate that thought.

Paul used the perfect tense to indicate and action in the past with continuing results.

You remembered be and still demonstrate your love every way you can.

(2) Held Paul’s teaching firmly

“Traditions” a word used to indicate teaching, admonitions, exhortations, practice.

There are God’s “traditions” and there are man’s “traditions.”

Theses were God’s traditions (teachings) “delivered” through Paul.

“Delivered” to hand over into custody.

b) Paul admonished them for failing to demonstrate submission.


This little word indicates that come sort of contrast waits to unfold. Even though you do a pretty good job holding to the things I taught you, there are still some things that need a bit of attention.

Namely there is a problem in your corporate worship times.

Some women fail to demonstrate proper submission.

Disunity continued to manifest itself even in the most sacred of celebrations.

God’s supernatural gifts were being used for selfish purposes rather than for the body.

Basic truth and practice introduced

Supporting truth 1

Supporting truth 2

Supporting truth 3

Basic practice urged

Balancing truth introduced

Call to discern and practice the truth

Appeal to nature

Appeal to apostolic and ecclesiastical practice

(1) Basic truth – God decreed a designated line of authority

(a) Basic truth introduced 11:3

But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ.





“head” literally it refers to the actual physical head. Symbolically it indicates that which is first, supreme, higher rank, extreme. In what sense is God the ‘head’ of Christ? They are equal in worth, intelligence, ability. Christ is the exact representation of the Divine nature in bodily form. Yet Christ submitted to the Father’s will. Christ consulted the Father in everything. Christ came to do the Father’s will and carry out the Father’s eternal plan. Christ engages in a particular relationship with men. Christ passes on the communication of the Father to men. Christ takes responsibility to direct every man. Christ will hold men responsible for following His directions as their commanding officer!

Men are entrusted with responsibility for their wives. Men must nurture and direct their wives with love and understanding. The foundation basic truth that guides discussion of the issues in Corinth is clear. God decreed a designated line of authority.

God – Christ – Men -- Women

(b) Basic practice introduced 11:4-6


Every man who has something on his head while praying or prophesying disgraces his head.

Lit., having something hanging down from his head. Referring to the tallith, a four-cornered shawl having fringes consisting of eight threads, each knotted five times, and worn over the head in prayer. It was placed upon the worshipper’s head at his entrance into the synagogue. The Romans, like the Jews, prayed with the head veiled. So Aeneas: “And our heads are shrouded before the altar with a Phrygian vestment” (Virgil, “Aeneid,” iii., 545).

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