This week at Common Ground we were blessed to have with us the recently ordained Philip Schildknect. Philip and his wife, Emily, were with us on our trip to New Orleans for the Defend apologetics conference in January. He is the Associate Pastor at Emmanuel Baptist Church in Webb City. Asked to cover 1 Corinthians 11 for us, here are a few of the highlights he shared:
First, context. The church in Corinth was by culture and economic status. They needed to come together for the sake of the gospel, but that’s easier said than done. There’s a reason there are over 300 Christian denominations today. That said, Philip offered four characteristics necessary for the people of God to be successful in that task.
- God’s people must follow Biblical instruction. (v.1-2)
- God’s people must submit to authority. It’s a bit of a minefield, what with all that stuff about hair and head-coverings in this chapter, but authority is about role, not value or significance. Men and women, although different in their roles and expectations for authority are nevertheless equal. Just like Jesus could submit to God the Father without impacting his value or significance, so we can learn to submit to one another in the same way. (v.3)
- God’s people must be united. Our unity is found in Jesus Christ. He is the source of our dignity and strength. Any issue that calls that into question (as head-coverings did for the church at Corinth) needs to be sorted out and dealt with in a way that preserves dignity and Christian witness.
- God’s people must serve others. If you’re going to Tweet, tweet this: “When are you at your best? It’s when you’re others-focused, not self-focused.” The church in Corinth forgot that. We shouldn’t.