marriage & single & male & female

What the Bible Teaches About Submission

PDF of Lessons Notes

This lesson begins with a look at two very different versions of Christianity that we see today. Which version we choose will have a tremendous impact on how we respond to the harder teachings of Jesus and the apostles. Next, we tackle what the New Testament says about submission, a practical yet challenging topic. All Christians are commanded to submit to the governing authorities. Also, Christian servants are called to submit to their masters, wives to their husbands, and younger men to older men within the church. All of us are called to have a humble and submissive spirit. This is a practical lesson that addresses how we put these counter-cultural teachings into practice today.

The Fall of Man, Cain & Abel (Genesis 3:6-4:16)

These passages of Scripture lay the foundation for the entire Biblical story describing the relationship of God and mankind. Here we learn of the Fall, the sin of Adam, Eve, and Satan, and the consequences of such sin. These passages include Scripture often quoted in the New Testament....

1 Corinthians 14:34-39 - Women Speaking in Church

In this passage, Paul instructs the church in Corinth that their women should keep silent in the church, that they are to be submissive, and they are to learn from their husbands. He goes on further to state that it is shameful for women to speak in church. Does Paul really mean this? Was this instruction only for the church in Corinth at that time? What does Paul mean by "being silent"? We tackle these questions by looking at this and related Scriptures that speak to the Biblical role of men and women, and God's love, heart, and expectation for both.      

1 Corinthians 11:1-16 - Covering and Uncovering when We Pray

In this passage, Paul tells the Church that a man who prays with his head covered dishonors his head, which is Christ, and a woman who prays with her head uncovered dishonors her head, which is man.  In addition to telling who should cover and uncover, Paul tells the Church when and why.      

Was this command rooted in the culture of Paul's day?  Was this teaching specific to the Corinthian Church?  How did most Christians understand this passage for the first 1900 years since this passage was penned?  Should men uncover and women cover today when they pray? We will tackle all these questions in our study of this passage.    


For further study:

Bruce Terry, No Such Custom (an exposition of 1 Cor. 11:2-16) 

Bruce Terry, thesis dissertation on 1 Corinthians (see Chapter 2 for customs on Corinth)

Michael Marlowe, Headcovering Customs of the Ancient World

David Bercot, What the Early Christians Believed about the Headcovering

Tertullian, On the Veiling of Virgins

1 Corinthians 7:17-40 - Paul's Teaching on Being Single

What does the Bible say about being single and a Christian? In this passage, Paul provides instructions to those who are single in the church. We may be surprised at what Paul (and Jesus) teach about the single life, that this is a preferred lifestyle to the married life, if lived in devotion to God. Whether young, old, married or not, this lesson inspires us all to consider God's plan for being single in the Kingdom of God. 

1 Corinthians 7:1-16 - Divorce and Remarriage, and Instructions to Marrieds

In this passage, Paul addresses specific issues related to those who are married in the church, including married couples fasting, sexual relations, and divorce and remarriage.   This lesson covers Jesus' teaching on marriage, the foundation on which Paul builds.  Jesus' teaching shocked his disciples, as it was a radical departure from societal norms.  The challenge for us in understanding this (and any other) Biblical topic, is to ensure that all the Scriptures fit together without contradiction.  This lesson puts forth the beauty and wisdom of God's plan for marriage.