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Follow Me As I Follow Christ- 1 Corinthians 11

“Imitate me, as I also imitate Christ.”

1 Corinthians 11:1 HCSB ( )

Paul instructed the followers at Corinth to follow the example that he has set in following Christ. Paul would be the first to admit that he was not perfect, but to be a good example you don’t have to be perfect in every area. Although, there are also bad examples of people throughout history and in the modern church that we would be wise to not follow their examples. Paul had just finished talking about having self-control and putting others' interests above our own. This is something that Paul did do consistently. When the chapters and verses were added to the biblical text it may have been better to have the first verse of chapter 11 as the last verse of chapter 10. Either way, every follower of Jesus should be setting an example for others to follow and we should be able to say with Paul; “Imitate me, as I also imitate Christ.”

“But I want you to know that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of the woman, and God is the head of Christ.”

1 Corinthians 11:3 HCSB ( )

The reason that Paul gives as the man being the head of the women is because of the creative order. Even though in many cultures today we don’t have head coverings the basic truth of these scriptures should still be followed. The basic truth is that the man is to be the leader and spiritual leader of the house. This does not demean women in any way, nor is it giving men the right to lord power over the woman or be abusive. It also doesn’t mean that women can not work outside the home, although if it is possibly finically then that might be what’s best for the children, or at least to have one parent at home. As far as head coverings are concerned it seems to be cultural and not theological.

From here Paul turned his attention to the inappropriate way that they were receiving the Lord’s Supper. It seems that those who were better off and probably provided the meal would eat more than their share, while others had nothing to eat. Paul even says that some got drunk. This behavior was inappropriate and was not the purpose of partaking in the Lord’s Supper. The purpose of the Lord’s Supper is to remember the sacrifice of Christ, giving of His body and blood for the washing of our sins.

“For whoever eats and drinks without recognizing the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself. This is why many are sick and ill among you, and many have fallen asleep. If we were properly evaluating ourselves, we would not be judged, but when we are judged, we are disciplined by the Lord, so that we may not be condemned with the world.”

1 Corinthians 11:29-32 HCSB ( )

This poor behavior is the reason that many of them were sick and some even had passed away. Paul says that, by partaking in the Lord’s Supper inappropriately, one is eating and drinking judgment upon themselves. That we should examine our lives and mannerisms while we partake in it. If we do not then it could lead to our sickness or death for looking down on the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Not a sudden death like that of Ananias and his wife Sapphira for lying to the Holy Spirit in Acts 5, but an increasing sickness resulting in death if one does not repent.

Paul is not saying that every sin brings about sickness and death as some teach. Some teach that if you are sick, even with a cold, it is because of sin in your life. We do not find this teaching in the Bible, and these verses do not support such a belief. Paul is only referring to our attitude toward the Lord’s Supper and no other sins.

Does this seem mean-spirited, that God would punish people in this way? I would argue no because by such behavior we are looking down on the sacrifice of Jesus and bring the sacraments and church into disrepute. It seems to be a fitting punishment. Most that object to the punishments of God has no desire to follow after God and only use this as an attempt to justify their unbelief. Any time that we partake in the Lord’s Supper we should do so with humility and respect because salvation is not possible without the sacrifice of Jesus. We should examine our lives and attitudes and confess any sinfulness or disrespect that God reveals to us. This way we can avoid bringing judgment upon ourselves.

God, reveal to us any unbecoming attitudes toward the Lord’s Supper or the way we approach You. May we all imitate Paul in his obedience to Jesus, and his respect for the Lord’s supper. While we stand with Paul and say, Follow me as I follow Christ.


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