Useful Bible Studies > 1 Corinthians Commentary > chapter 11

Why God allows some people to have authority over other people

1 Corinthians 11:3

It is the head that directs the movement of the human body. When we wish to go somewhere, we first turn the head in that direction. Our legs and feet actually carry out the work, but only as the head directs them.

People like to have complete control over their lives, but God does not allow that. He has given some people authority over other people. Those leaders are like the human head; they have the responsibility to guide and to direct other people.

However, even the people who lead do not have complete authority over their own lives. Even if they are responsible to nobody else, they are still responsible to Christ. That is especially true in the Christian church. Christ is the head, that is, the leader of his church. Every person, and especially each leader, should allow Christ to guide and to direct his life.

Even Christ accepted this kind of authority. He did not do what he himself chose to do. He obeyed completely God the Father, who sent him to this world (John 6:38). It was God the Father who directed Christís actions.

Some members of the church in Corinth did not want to obey anyone. In particular, they included some women. They were not obeying the instructions of the men who led that church. In fact, it seems that they did not even respect their own husbands (see 1 Corinthians 14:31-35). Probably, they thought that the Holy Spirit was guiding their actions. But really, they were not recognising the authority that God had established among his people and in his church (14:37-40).

Next part: Christian women and questions of authority (1 Corinthians 11:4-5)


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© 2014, Keith Simons.