Christ Our Head
1 Corinthians 11:3-16
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.…

This important statement is the starting-point for a deliverance on the subject of the conduct of women in the Church. The apostle often, in dealing with matters of trifling importance or limited interest, rises to the enunciation of the grand principle on which it rests. Here he gives the principle first. Let us look at our relationship with Christ —


1. In building the house of the human family God made the man the head of the woman, the husband or bond of the house. This headship carries with it responsibility; for if wives are to obey their husbands, husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the Church, and so make the wifely duty a joy.

2. In this sense, only with deepened meaning, Christ is the head of every man, i.e., of the race. And just as the wife attains the end of her being on the earthly side in her husband; as she finds the sum of her womanly ambitions and duties in promoting his welfare; as she is entitled to look to him for protection, counsel, tenderness, and example; as she is to seek in him the rounding of her present life and the fulness of her earthly joy; so the members of the human family are to look up to Christ as their Head. None of us is complete without Him. And just as trust and obedience unite a woman to her husband and enable him to fulfil his obligations to her, so it is by faith and submission that Jesus is able to accomplish His saving, life-giving work. There is therefore deep truth in the representation of the exaltation of the Church to glory as a marriage supper.

II. IN ITS HEAVENLY ARCHETYPES — God's headship over Christ.

1. In His Divine, eternal essence Christ is "the brightness of His Father's glory," etc., God's realised ideal, a vessel into which God has poured all the fulness of the Divine nature, a vessel of Godhead eternally equal to that which it contains and perfectly full.

2. In the light of this look once more at your relationship to Christ. "As the Father hath loved Me" (John 15:9, 10). We are to reflect Christ just as He reflects God, and appears, therefore, full of grace and truth.Conclusion: "The head of every man is Christ."

1. Then Christ is just yourself, idealised and perfected — the prophecy of what you are to become. He is not a glorified man merely, but glorified humanity.

2. This great fact throws light on the doctrine of substitution. Christ became man, not a man. Just as we were all in Adam, and are so many multiplied copies of him, so Christ became the second Adam, and God looks at us in Him. Since, then, He was a representative man, all He did and suffered on earth had a representative character.

(E. W. Shalders, B.A.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: 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.

WEB: 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.

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