The Berean Expositor
Volume 45 - Page 98 of 251
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misinterpreted? The answer is of course practical love, which ever considers the effects
of one's actions on other people, and is willing to forego rights for the sake of others.
The summing up is:
"Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
Give no occasion of stumbling, either to Jews, or to Greeks, or to the church of God:
even as I also please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of
the many, that they may be saved" (10: 31-33 R.V.).
How near this man must have been walking with the Lord to be able to say without
self-advertisement: "Be ye imitators of me, even as I also am of Christ" (11: 1)! This
verse belongs more naturally with the end of chapter 10: and should be kept with it. Paul
gives a similar injunction in Phil. 3: 17; I Thess. 1: 6, and II Thess. 3: 7, 9. Would
that all of us who profess to know Christ could do likewise.
In chapter 11: the Apostle deals with the public worship in the assembly, either
touching problems concerning which they had written him, or what he realized they
needed, judging from the reports he had received of their actions and spiritual condition.
We have seen that when he can praise and encourage, he always does so. He is glad to
know that they were holding fast the tradition of truth which he himself had delivered to
them, that is, his oral teaching; and this method occupied a very important place in
passing on the truth before the written Word was completed. This is tradition in a good
sense, and is used similarly in II Thess. 2: 15; 3: 6. It is only when extra-Scriptural
things are taught as being truth, that tradition becomes so dangerous and blinding to those
who receive such ideas. Modern Christendom is rife with this sort of thing, and the
progressive Christian continually has to disentangle the Truth of the Scriptures from it.
Before he deals with some aspects of their behaviour in their assembly, Paul defines
the God-given relationship between man and God, and man and woman:
"But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman
is the man; and the head of Christ is God" (11: 3 R.V.).
How are we to understand the word "head" here? It can represent metaphorically the
outstanding part of a whole, or in the Greek usage, the origin of things. The Lord Jesus
Christ, as Creator and last Adam, is the "head" of the human race. Man is the "head" of
the woman. Paul does not teach that man is woman's lord, or that there is inequality in
the sexes mentally or morally; but man is the origin of the woman, as Gen. 2: 18-23
shows. He is the explanation of her being. The position of the Messiah in the Godhead is
explained by "the head of Christ is God". Thus a chain of relationships is set up--God,
Christ, man, woman. This is the foundation for the regulations he is going to give
respecting public prayer and prophecy. If a man prays (publicly) with his head covered,
he dishonours or disgraces his head (4). Does the second occurrence of "head" refer to
his head physically, or metaphorically to Christ (the Head)? If it is the former, then the
meaning is that his uncovered head is a mark of his relationship to God as his Head, and
it would be wrong for this to be concealed with a covering. If the latter, then the sense is
that the man who is a believer, with his unveiled head, reflects the glory of Christ. If he
covered it (like Moses was compelled to do) he would hide this glory. It is difficult to