Paul defines the Order in Heaven which is our Pattern to Follow
1 Corinthians 11:1-3 Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ. Now I praise you because you remember me in everything and hold firmly to the traditions, just as I delivered them to you. 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. NKJV
Paul transitions his letter from his discourse concerning the eating of food that pagans may have sacrificed to idols or more specifically demons (because there is no such thing as an idol) and the responsibility believers had in not partaking in such pagan rites or rituals now to the requirements for these Corinthian believing men and women in the Church of God. Paul’s words spoken here, “Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1) is like a literal physical bridge built to allow travelers to cross over from one side to the other and in like manner Paul’s words here are meant for them in the eating of food or drinking and now going forward in his letter to the proper way the man and woman should humble themselves before God the Father in communicating to Him in prayer. When Paul first wrote his letter, he did not write it by chapter and verse, these were added and broken up as we find it now, so that we might be better able to reference parts or portions of Scripture easier. What Paul is saying to these Corinthian believers and to us today is that as I “follow Christ” you are to likewise “follow Him”, for Paul is in no way seeking worship to or of himself for he made that perfectly clear at the very beginning of this letter when he wrote, “For I have been informed concerning you, my brethren, by Chloe’s people, that there are quarrels among you. Now I mean this, that each one of you is saying, ‘I am of Paul,’ and ‘I of Apollos,’ and ‘I of Cephas,’ and ‘I of Christ.’ Has Christ been divided? Paul was not crucified for you, was he? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? (1 Corinthians 1:11-13).
Although many commentators conclude that this first verse in 1 Corinthians 11 belongs as the 34th verse of 1 Corinthians 10 (and I most certainly agree), yet it is also clearly his instruction for their proper manner of praying to our Heavenly Father as Paul surely affirms by the next words he writes, “Now I praise you, brethren, that you remember me in all things and keep the traditions just as I delivered them to you” (1 Corinthians 11:2). Surely his commendation to them in this manner is confirmation that they were endeavoring and striving to be imitators of him as he also imitated Christ. The English word Paul uses here in verse two traditions or ordinances as it is in the KJV is translated by the Greek word paradosis which means transmission of instructions or precepts; the delivered substance of a specific teaching or narrative. Paul had given them during his year and a half spent with them teaching them the Word of God the appropriate manner or the paradosis that men and women were to approach God the Father in prayer publicly and openly in the church setting. Public prayer in the church and private prayer to God at home were reverent, humbling, and a holy act before God the Father and to Him, but the public prayer was to be observed by these Corinthian believing men and women in accordance with the custom of dress for both sexes during that time in the Greek culture.
However, before Paul continues to reaffirm the paradosis he transmitted to them on the covering of the head in public prayer for the woman and the uncovering of the head in public prayer for the man, Paul interjects this heavenly and eternal truth as the basis for their submission to his instructions and says, “But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God the Father” (1 Corinthians 11:3). Paul declares with this one verse interlude an eternal truth that should be received and understood by those Corinthian believing men and women and us today that as Christ was and is fully and completely God and Equal to God the Father, yet He humbled Himself and submitted Himself to The Father in obedience, even to the point of death on the Cross for the sins of rebellious, wicked, vile, depraved, and filthy sinners like you and me as he declared with these words to the Philippian believers, “Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:5-11). Paul declares with this verse that as Christ received and obeyed the paradosis or the transmission of instructions and precepts from God the Father, so must every Christian man be under Christ’s Authority and every Christian woman must be under her husband’s authority so long as he is under Christ’s Authority. Amen! (So let it be).
“As God is the head of the nature of Jesus on its human side, so must Jesus be head of man, and man of woman. But in each case the headship is not one of authority and rule, but of the impartation of resources of love, wisdom, and strength, without which the best cannot be realized.” F. B. Meyer
“Christ, as he is Mediator, acts in all things subordinately to His Father. But we can no more infer that they are not of the same Divine Nature, because God is said to be the head of Christ, than that man and woman are not of the same human nature, because the man is said to be the head of the woman.” John Wesley
“God is One but He is Manifested in Three Persons Father, Son, and Spirit and each are Equal to the Other, but Christ Jesus (The Son) because of His Great Love for rotten sinners like you and me, willingly submitted Himself to the Father (His Equal) and it serves as a humbling pattern for all who claim to love the Lord Jesus Christ to imitate Him in this manner, as Paul declares again in this manner to the Ephesian believers, “Be subject to one another in the fear of Christ” (Ephesians 5:21).”
If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ and His amazing healing power, pray this from your heart to the Lord Jesus Christ (you speaking directly to Him), Dear Lord Jesus, I confess to You that I am a sinner and I need Your forgiveness. I believe You shed Your Blood and died for my sins. I believe that You rose from the dead proving that You alone are God. I repent of my sins. I want to turn from my sins. I ask You Dear Lord Jesus to come into my heart and take control of my life. I want You to be my Lord, Savior, and my God. Amen...
Sincerely in Christ,
Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
Author of “Silent Assassins of the Soul - Are you Broken by Pornography and Masturbation? You can be Restored by the Lord Jesus Christ and brought into Deliverance, Freedom, and Victory! A Guide for Men and Women in the Enemy’s Crosshairs” e-book available now @ Amazon Kindle, @ Apple I Bookstore for IPod, Barnes and Noble for Nook, Reader Store for Sony Reade, Kobo, Copia, Gardners, Baker and Taylor, and eBookPie…