SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
- The first section of this chapter is about women covering their heads during worship. This subject is confusing, and there are different views on it, but here's an explanation from Haley's Bible Handbook: “It was customary in Greek and Near Eastern cities for women to cover their heads in public--except women of immoral character. Within recent memory, Corinth had been full of temple prostitutes. Some of the Christian women, taking advantage of their newfound liberty in Christ, decided to lay aside their head coverings in church meetings, which horrified the more modest types. Paul tells these women not to defy public opinions as to what is considered proper in society at large."
- The second section of this chapter is about communion, which is remembering Jesus and His sacrifice by eating a piece of bread and a cup of juice (Luke 22:19-20). The Corinthians were approaching communion differently than we do at Verve. For them it was a feast. Unfortunately this became more of an opportunity for people to stuff themselves (even if some others didn't get a chance to eat at all) and get drunk. Paul has some harsh words for them and instructs them to not approach communion lightly. Instead, they should examine themselves before taking part. Paul also tells them that God might discipline Christians because of their sin, but He does it to lead them out of their sin.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
- A recurring theme in this book of 1 Corinthians has been that we need to be careful of how we live (how we use the freedoms we have) because our actions and example might hurt God's reputation or lead others astray.
- We should examine ourselves before we take communion. In communion we thank Jesus for dying for our sins, and we should acknowledge our sins before we take it. We should also have other regular times of self-examination.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
- Take a moment to examine yourself. Are there any ways you might be sinning against God, or hurting other people through your example? If so, confess it to God and thank Jesus for dying for those sins.