Useful Bible Studies > 1 Corinthians Commentary > chapter 11

Signs of authority

1 Corinthians 11:6

The problems in the church at Corinth were the result of a wrong idea about personal freedom. God makes his people free from the control of evil forces so that they can serve him instead. The Christians in Corinth confused that with the idea that they were free to please themselves. They did not want anyone else to have authority over them.

Some of the women refused to cover their heads in the manner that was usual for women in Corinth. They uncovered their heads at church meetings to show that their husbands did not still have authority over them. In their opinion, anything that covered the head was a sign of a manís authority over them.

Paul reminded them that their hair also covered their heads. If signs of authority upset them so much, then they should cut off their hair. Paul knew that they would not want to do that (11:15).

This is what Paul meant. Even as God has given women beautiful hair, so God has given authority to some people. It should not upset Christians when they have to obey someone else. As they serve other people, Christians can learn to be patient, humble, loyal and careful. They gain in knowledge, experience and discipline. They learn how to work hard and to do their work well. All these things are qualities that God approves of. A person who has these qualities can serve God better because of them.

A Christian should not try to please himself or herself. Instead, he or she should please God. And one way to do that can be to serve other people well.

Next part: The natural relationship between men and women (1 Corinthians 11:7-9)


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© 2014, Keith Simons.