1 CORINTHIANS 11
1 Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.
...in private he [Bro Thomas] reminded us of Christ by a gravity of deportment that was mixed with urbanity [courtesy], and a dignity that was sweetened by unfeigned humility, a quiet penetrating depth of intelligence, unweakened by the least approach to frivolity; a cordial interest that was free and natural in all things connected with the truth.
My days and my ways Ch 36
We follow Dr. Thomas
in the sense in which Paul asked the Corinthian believers to follow him (1 Cor. 11:1) not for what he was as a natural man, but for the treasure of heaven which the earthen vessel contained; Paul got the treasure by inspiration; Dr. Thomas by a life-long study of what inspiration wrote.
The result is the same, except as to authority, which Dr. Thomas was the last to claim. Dr. Thomas gave reasons for all he taught.
We have looked at those reasons, and considering them good, adopt his conclusions. Surely this is as legitimate as your rejection of some of them. Judge us not. The Lord is Judge, at which we rejoice. Take care that ye speak no evil of the things ye understand not.
The Christadelphian, Mar 1872
7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.
8 For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man.
She was not formed in the image of man, though she may have been in the image of some of the Elohim. "Man" is generic of both sexes. When, therefore, Elohim said "let us make man in our image;" and it is added, "male and female created he them;" it would seem that both the man and the woman were created in the image and likeness of Elohim. In this case, some of the Elohim are represented by Adam's form, and some by Eve's. I see no reason why it should not be so.
When mankind rises from the dead, they will doubtless rise as immortal men and women; and then, says Jesus, "they are equal to the angels;" on an equality with them in every respect. Adam only was in the image of Him that created him; but then, the Elohim that do the commandments of the invisible God, are the virile portion of their community: Eve was not in their image.
Their's was restricted to Adam; nevertheless, she was after the image and likeness of some of those comprehended in the pronoun "our." Be this as it may, though not in the image, she was in the likeness of Adam; and both "very good according to the subangelic nature they possessed.
Elpis Israel 1.2.
9 Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.
"If his offering be a burnt sacrifice of the herd, let him offer a male without blemish" (Lev. 1:3).
The sex feature is prominent in all the appointments of the law. The numbering of Israel applied to males only (Num. 1). So with the law of the firstborn (Exod. 13:12), "every male shall be the Lord's"; So with the three annual feasts: "three times a year shall all your males appear before the Lord" (Exod. 23:17; Deut. 16:16). The seal of the covenant was imprinted in the flesh of the males only (Gen. 17:10).
On the other hand, the female, in cases of vow, was to be assessed at a smaller value than the male (Lev. 27:4-7), and in the case of the birth of a daughter, the mother was to be a longer time in purification (Lev. 12:7) A female animal could not be used for sacrifice except for peace offering (Lev. 3:1, 6) or for the sin of one of the common people (4:28, 32; 5:6).
As all these things have an allegorical significance, we naturally desire to penetrate the meaning. Where shall we find it? We are probably not far away from it when we read "Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection . . . for Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression" (1 Tim. 2:11-14).
...Here are historical facts and moral responsibilities at the beginning of human history that in-weave themselves with the whole work of God with the race. Of course, the modern school, with their "new woman" racing hither and thither and posing in attitudes and relations for which she is unfitted by nature, will rebel against these divine appointments, Mosaically recorded. They might as well fight against gravitation.
Woman was secondary in the purpose for which she was formed, and she was influential in deflecting man from the path of obedience which he probably would have observed if left to himself. If God has chosen to preserve the memorial of these facts in the constitution of things He has established among men, who can make demur?
Man has the first place all the way through, especially in the one great institution that brings man back to God in reconciliation. It was to be in a man and not in a woman that the righteousness of God was to be declared for the putting away of sin by forgiveness. It was to be by the obedience of one man that justification was to be provided for believing and obedient sinners, and not by the obedience of one man and woman, although it was by the disobedience of one man and woman that death entered the world --not that the law was laid down to Eve: it was to Adam the command was addressed: "Thou shalt not eat": but Eve considered herself included (Gen. 3:2), and was, in fact, included as one flesh with Adam (2:23).
So in the case of the last Adam--the remover of sin: his bride, the Lamb's wife, shares the victory achieved by him when it has been decided at the judgment-seat who constitute such.
Law of Moses Ch 23.
11 Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.
12 For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God.
In both cases, it is the male that is the subject of direct operation. Though there is neither male nor female in Christ Jesus, it is by a man and not by a woman that life has come, though she is instrumentally contributory: for as she was the beguiler of Adam, to the death and ruin of both of them, so she is made his rescuer, in being made use of in a virgin descendant of the House of David to bring the Saviour into the world.
Male and female are thus coordinate in the scheme without interfering with the headship appointed in the beginning. As Paul beautifully expresses it in his letter to the Corinthians:
...There is congruity in all the ways of God when the relations established by His law are observed. Man is the head, but only for nurture and protection and honour of the woman. Woman is man's equal fellow-heir of the salvation that is offered in Christ, but not to usurp the position that belongs to man both by natural constitution and divine appointment.
Man is for strength, judgment, and achievement. Woman is for grace, sympathy, and ministration. Between them, they form a beautiful unit--"heirs together of the grace of life"
Law of Moses Ch 23
14 Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?
... but in the case of the Nazarite, it was otherwise. It was both the token of consecration, and the condition of God's succouring presence with the wearer, as Samson found, when he revealed the secret of his strength to Delilah (Judges 16:17-21).
Law of Moses Ch 23
18 For first of all, when ye come together in the ecclesia, I hear that there be divisions [schisms] among you; and I partly believe it.
The division or schism to be reprobated is a schism, or division, or faction, or party in the meeting. This is the subject of Paul's animadversion; and it would seem that the existence of spiritual gifts tended to this evil.
...division in the apostolic sense-schism in a meeting-not schism in the modern and false sense of one part of a body withdrawing from the fellowship of another part... The schism he condemned was such schisms as existed among those he was writing to...a divided state of feeling in a community that ought to be one.
He does not condemn that which he on other occasions commanded and exhorted them to do, viz. that where men professing to be the ecclesia of God do not consent to the wholesome words of the Lord Jesus Christ, they were to withdraw from them and not meet with them. This is a duty which is necessary to the preservation of the faith and its recommendation is the tower of our present strength and our weapon of defence.
...by the common exercise of our judgment in the matter, we come to be
"perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment."
19 For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.
All the evil that has been in the world subserves the purpose of God, as well as all the heresies that have existed. They have come for the purpose of punishing the wicked, chastizing, and also developing the character of those who "shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead." "We know (says Paul) that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose."
Therefore be it far from us to regret the appearance of the agencies, that God has sent for the good of the future kings of the earth. The truth was correctly stated by a brother when he wrote the following:-"It is written of Israel in the wilderness, "The Lord thy God walketh in the midst of thy camp, to deliver thee, and to give up thine enemies before thee" (Deut. xxiii. 14).
In like manner the personal Word of God 'walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks,' 'or ecclesias (Rev. ii. 1), to search the reins and hearts.' His 'eyes' are 'like unto a flame of fire' (Rev. ii. 18); and 'all things are naked and opened' before him. At irregular intervals he applies his 'two-edged sword' to the whole of the One Body to 'divide asunder' its 'joints and marrow.' His object is two-field, viz., to bring into greater prominence some item of the truth, and 'that they which are approved may be made manifest' (1 Cor. xi. 19); the sifting process likewise makes manifest the disapproved."
Bro AD Strickler
The Christadelphian, July 1887
24 And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.
The bread and the wine stand for the body and blood of the Lord in their sacrificial relations. Consequently, they ought not to be served in a way inconsistent with their significance as such.
This is done when a number of biscuits, or broken pieces of bread, are used. "One body" requires one piece of bread divided in the act of distribution, as when the Lord
"took bread, and when he had given thanks, he brake it and said, take, eat" (1 Cor. 11:24).
We cannot do wrong in following his example. The brother distributing ought first to break. As to the nature or form of the bread, we have no instructions: and
"where there is no law there is no transgression."
A piece of bread, whether baked whole or cut from its place after baking, combines the two ideas of unity and life sustenance, and comes sufficiently near the original memorial.
The Christadelphian, Oct 1886
25 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.
The whole landscape is coloured with Christ. We are here to look at it again. It is well to withdraw thus for such a purpose. We are weak and apt to forget. We are apt to have our eyes dimmed by the dust of the way. We are liable to be overcome with fatigue and to get into some bypath and sit down and make ourselves comfortable. Christ knew our danger; therefore, he left us this command, to assemble and "do this" in remembrance of him.
Bro Roberts - Christ past and future
The new covenant or agreement, which ensures coming blessedness to the fallen sons of Adam, is in the blood of Christ and nowhere else. There can be no blessedness without covenant, because, apart from the addition of special covenant on the part of God, who only has the power to bestow blessedness, we are shut up to what we have by nature, and that is, a poor mortal body that will wear out in due course, and disappear in death.
And there can be no covenant without sacrifice, for so has God willed, and we can no more get past His will in this matter than we can alter the constitution of heaven and earth. And there is no sacrifice but one with which we can approach God for covenant, and that is the one great sacrifice accomplished in Christ.
And there is no way of becoming associated with that sacrifice but by enlightenment in the promises on which the covenant is established, and faith in the blood in which it is offered, and legal contact with that blood in baptism, which is the divinely appointed mode of association with the death of Christ.
The root of the whole matter lies first in the greatness, and then in the goodness of God. God is a great and dreadful majesty, to whom the earth and all flesh belong, for He has made them out of His own energy. He is not only great, but He is holy, and jealous of His supremacy. He has been disobeyed on earth, and has in consequence given us over to death; and will nor be approached by us except in the manner He has appointed.
But He is good, and He will forgive and bestow everlasting life if we humble ourselves and come to Him in the way appointed. The way appointed is through the shed blood of a perfectly righteous wearer of our nature, in whom sin was condemned on our account.
He will forgive us if we come in this way: not because that blood-shedding pacifies Him, or gives Him anything, or pays any debt; for then it would be no forgiveness-but because His righteousness is declared, and His prerogative recognized, and our position acknowledged in the acceptance of the slain lamb of His appointing.
27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.
The Mosaic law was the μορφωσις, or "representation of the knowledge and the truth" (Rom. 2:20)-the σκια, or "shadow of the future good (or heavenly) things, not itself the image of the things," (Heb. 10:1; 8:5, )-the υποδειγματα, or "patterns of the things in the heavens," not "the heavenly things themselves" (Heb. 9:23): for the σωμα, or "corporate substance is of the Christ." Col. 2:17. That, namely, which is constituted of the good, the true, and the heavenly, pertaining to him in all his relations.
Unleavened breads were representative, shadowy, or typical things. They represented "purity and truth." This is apparent from the apostle's allusion to them in 1 Cor. 5:8. "Christ our Passover," says he, "is slain for us; therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened (cakes) of purity and truth."
When therefore the law saith, "Thou shalt not offer the blood of my sacrifice with leaven" (Exod. 34:25), we have a typical enactment before us, which was fulfilled in the letter by offering the blood with dough baked before it was leavened. This observance was an element of the typical righteousness of the law, which was to be "fulfilled" by those "who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." (Rom. 8:4.)
If a Christian drink of the Lord's cup, not discerning the Lord's body, or with malice and wickedness he eats and drinks condemnation to himself; and does not "fulfil the righteousness of the law;" but on the contrary,
"offers the blood of Yahweh's sacrifice with leaven,"
which is death. To eat bread and drink wine at the table of the Lord is to
"offer up spiritual sacrifice." This offering is "acceptable to God through Jesus Christ," 1 Pet. 2:5, when offered, not in the letter, but in the spirit of the law. The letter of the law is,
"Thou shalt not offer the blood of my bulls and goats, heifers and lambs, with fermented bread;"
but the spirit of the law,
"Thou shalt not eat my flesh and drink my blood with malice and wickedness; or thou shalt be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord." John 6:53-58; 1 Cor. 11:27.
We conclude, therefore, that the quality of the bread matters not, so that we eat it in purity and truth, discerning the Lord's body.
Herald of the Kingdom and Age to Come, Dec 1856
28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.
We must learn what is wrong with ourselves -- wherein we do not correspond with the pattern that God requires in those He will alone accept.
Every factory has a place of final inspection. Those products that conform to the required pattern are accepted; those that do not are rejected. God has given us a very clear pattern. He has told us just what to do; just what flaws to watch for, and how to correct them.
Suppose a piece of steel slips through without passing through the purifying, tempering and hardening process -- what happens when it reaches the inspector? It looks the same as the rest: it is the same basic material -- but what a difference when the keen and searching inspection tests are applied! It turns out to be just the raw, natural, original material -- weak, impure and faulty; totally unfit for the purpose intended, so -- it is cast aside. *
29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.
We break not this bread and drink not this wine discerningly unless we see in Christ crucified the vindication of the honour of God, in the condemnation of sin in the flesh of sin as the basis of our acceptable approach to God, and our forgiveness unto life eternal.
We come this morning with the Slain Lamb in our hands, so to speak; the priest, the risen Christ, takes it at our hands, and asks the Father for our acceptance, and the blessing comes forth in our forgiveness, and by and by, in the redemption of our body, which is the great consummation of our adoption.
30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.
"Weak and Sickly and Asleep"
he undoubtedly refers to physical suffering.
That is, because of their unworthy use of the Lord's ordinances, they were suffering judgment. This was punishment beforehand, that the punishment of the second-death at the Lord's coming, might be averted; as is evident from the succeeding words
The believing communities, in the days of the apostles, were under the ministration of the Spirit, and, therefore, experienced the results of their actions in a more direct and signal manner than is permitted to us in these deserted days.
Nevertheless, we are under the same Lord, and may trust to receive a portion of that chastisement which will redeem us from the fate of bastards.
The Christadelphian, Oct 1898
If there were no moral evil in the world, there would be no physical evils. Sin and punishment are as cause and effect in the divine economy.
God does not willingly afflict, but is long suffering and kind. If men, however, will work sin, they must lay their account with "the wages of sin;" which is disease, famine, pestilence, the sword, misery and death. But, let the righteous rejoice, that the enemy will not always triumph in the earth. The Son of God was manifested to destroy him, and all his works; which, by the power and blessing of the Father, He will assuredly do.
Elpis Israel 1.3.
31 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.
If we would have the wisdom to inspect ourselves and correct what is wrong, we should not fail in the final inspection. And how CAN we inspect ourselves? David asked this question -- and answered it:
"Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed thereunto ACCORDING TO THY WORD" Psa. 119:9.
That last part is the important part. There are thousands of sources of information that tell you how to improve in various ways. Many devote endless precious hours to study for temporal self-improvement that will perish with the using, but there is only ONE place that tells how to get ready for eternal life -- how to develop and train ourselves so we will be accepted as useful and valuable in the final inspection.
We must take heed to ourselves according to God's Word. We must study that Word, and compare ourselves with the pattern it gives. In all points where we fail to measure up to the pattern -- and there are thousands of them -- we have a job to do, and the period allowed us to do it is getting shorter all the time.
The portion of God's Word laid out to assist us in our self examination today is Psalms 41-43. Beginning that portion, we read:
"Blessed is he that considereth the poor."
The word here translated 'consider' is usually translated 'understand' or 'behave wisely', and we note in the margin that for 'poor' is also given 'weak' or 'sick'. So there is a lot more meaning in this verse than just giving something to those in poverty.
God says here that those are blessed in His sight who concern themselves about the problems of others -- those who seek to understand and act wisely for the benefit of those who are poor, weak or sick, whether this condition be physical or spiritual. The spirit's instruction is to --
"Bear ye one another's burdens" Gal. 6:2.
This is described as "fulfilling the law of Christ." We have noted that the real meaning of this word 'consider' is to 'act wisely'. This should ever be borne in mind. It is easy to be well-meaning but to act very UNwisely in this matter, making helpfulness an unconscious pretext for officiousness and self-gratification. What is intended is -- instead of seeking our OWN pleasure and amusement and advantage -- to devote our time and efforts to intelligently considering where help and comfort are really needed, and to apply ourselves to supplying them in an acceptable manner. As to the acceptable manner, a good guide is that of Jesus --
"Do to others as ye would that they should do to you."
In examining ourselves, therefore, as we meet around this table, how do we measure up to this clear requirement of God? DO we love our neighbours as ourselves, devoting ourselves to their welfare, and carefully avoiding all that might offend them, or are we so busy with our own affairs that we cannot be bothered to think of helping to carry the burden and solve the problem of others?
Paul said, writing from his prison cell -- and it portrays a sad state of affairs --
"I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care for your state. For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ's." (Phil. 2:20-21).
It meant nothing to them that he had lost everything, even his liberty. All were so tied up with their own plans for benefitting themselves and getting ahead in this life that they had no time to devote to the benefit of the brotherhood and the Truth. "Of course", said they, "We'd LOVE to help. But we are SO busy. We're sure you'll understand." Paul understood, only too well. He said,
"Love seeketh not her own" 1 Cor. 13:5.
This is one of the many tests of value and usefulness that WILL BE APPLIED in the final day of inspection. He said again, earlier in the same epistle, (1 Cor. 4:10).
"We (the apostles) are fools for Christ's sake, but ye (the Corin hians) are wise, ye are rich, ye are full: we hunger and thirst and are naked and buffeted, and have no certain dwelling place"... "Be ye followers of me"... "Love seeketh not her own." *
*Bro Growcott - Let a man examine himself
33 Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another.
is a form of faithfulness. It is the keeping of a covenant. Unpunctuality will generally be found associated with looseness in other matters. God is punctual in the execution of all His works, whether in the movement of the heavenly bodies or the fulfilment of His plans and promises; and His children are commanded to be like Him. They can only be so on a small scale. All the more important it is that their punctuality should be seen in small matters.
Presence at the hour of meeting is one of them. Paul's words ("tarry one for another" - 1 Cor. xi. 33) which have been quoted as a plea for waiting for late comers before commencing were never written with this meaning. The context is clear as to this. It was a question of the mode of attending to the breaking of bread when they had actually come together, - not of the time at which they should assemble. The question was whether they bring food and eat simultaneously, as at a feast, or whether, passing the bread, they should "tarry one for another."