Here I have a cheese grater, and a can opener.
Let me tell you about them.
Cheese grater - two different size grater.
easy to clean.
Can opener - soft grip handle.
Now, the big question.
Which one is better?
It’s an impossible question, isn’t it?
Because the answer depends on several things.
It depends on what you want to do.
It may also depend on whether you are a cheese grater or a can opener!
The bottom line is that these two items have a different role and function.
This means that it isn’t about which one is better, it’s about the purpose for which they were created.
The reality is that these both have a designer who made them intentionally and purposefully for a specific task.
They will function best when used for that purpose and in the accomplishment of that task.
The same is true of you and me.
As men and women we have been created by God.
We have been designed by Him intentionally for a specific role and purpose.
We will function best when we live out that role and purpose.
It is this idea, the roles of men and women, that is at the heart of our passage today.
Nothing difficult today, just a nice simple countercultural nuclear bomb.
For the Church to be healthy we must fulfill our God-given roles.
To fulfil our roles must ground ourselves on three truths.
When the Church is healthy the Church is effective.
In our outline of the book we are now entering a new section.
Unity Through A Proper Understanding Of Roles
3 truths we must know to fulfill our God-given roles.
Our Roles Have A Source vv.
In my home town the tap water is amazing.
Everyone drinks it.
We love getting to have some of that Burney water when we are there.
What makes the water so amazing is that it comes from a natural spring.
That’s right, the water you pay someone to bottle is what came out of my tap growing up.
The water was good because it came from a good source.
We must understand that our roles as men and women come from a good source.
There are two ideas that help us grasp this idea of the source of our roles.
a. God prescribes vv.
Paul is still dealing with our freedom in Christ, here he is dealing with it as it applies to gender roles.
So this is not a new question, but a new consideration within the question about Christian liberty.
Paul begins this section by praising them.
He has said hard things and will say more hard things.
Correction needs to be mixed with praise.
A little later in this chapter, Paul will specifically not praise them.
Paul refers to them again as “brethren” grounding this discussion as a family meeting.
Why is Paul praising them here?
1 - They remember Paul.
2 - They keep the traditions.
Paul just said in the previous verse that they need to imitate him.
I believe he is indicating here that they are taking steps in that direction.
They are remembering him, who he is, how he behaved, what he taught.
They are also keeping the traditions.
When Paul refers to traditions, he is referencing the revealed truth of Scripture.
They did not have the completed canon of Scripture at this time.
The Corinthian church is striving to keep what they have been taught, but they have questions and they have some areas in which they need correction.
“Traditions” here are best understood as the revealed truths that would later make up the canon of Scripture.
What is interesting here is that they are keeping them just as Paul delivered them.
There is no deviation or twisting.
There are, however, some areas where their understanding is incomplete.
That is what Paul needs to address.
This reminds us of an important point.
What we are about to study is not Paul’s opinion or, as some have claimed, “the misogynist dictates of an ancient culture.”
This is the revealed Word of God.
This is Scripture.
Look at v. 3.
The Corinthian believers have done well in their remembrance of Paul and their holding fast to the traditions.
However, there is something they need to know.
Paul is correcting an error in their thinking.
Without getting too far into the grammatical weeds let me just note that the understanding of the second two statements in this verse hinges on the understanding of the first.
This means that it is vital for us to understand the phrase “the head of every man is Christ.”
There is a lot of contention about this verse and I think we can clear the air a little bit this morning.
The sense in which Christ is our head is the same sense in which the man is the head of his wife and the way God is the head of Christ.
Therefore, the question becomes, what does it mean for Christ to be our head?
To answer that, go with me to Ephesians 5:25-30.
There is, of course, a sense in which Christ is our authority.
But that is not all Christ is!
Men, to be the head of our wives, the head of our family means sacrifice!
It means we nourish, cherish, and protect!
It means we love unconditionally as Christ loves us!
Christ is our head, we submit ourselves to Him just as He submitted Himself to the Father.
When a man is walking in submission to Christ, he is then a fitting head for his wife.
This is the order that God has ordained.
Now, before anyone gets bent out of shape, we must understand that the headship of a husband is not about who is better, it is about role and function.
To illustrate that, let me quote from a pastor friend of mine named Rick Gregory.
In teaching on this passage he noted six truths relating to the equality of men and women.