1 Corinthians chapter eleven part 3 continues our study with a look at 1 Corinthians 11:14 - 16, 1 Corinthians 11:17, 1 Corinthians 11:18 & 19, and 1 Corinthians 11:20 - 22 with our Common Man's Commentary.
"Does not the very nature of things teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a disgrace to him, but if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For long hair is given to her as a covering. If anyone wants to be contentious about this, we have no other practice - nor do the churches of God." NIV translation
Paul goes on to explain that it is only natural for a woman to have long hair but he reminds us that the length of a person's hair is no cause for disunity. The devil can use minor things like this to get in and cause serious problems in the church. But, if the church stays focused on the grace of God through Jesus Christ, these things will not be an issue.
"In the following directives I have no praise for you, for your meetings do more harm than good." NIV translation
Now, Paul begins the process of correcting problems within the group of believers (the church). We see that their meeting together did not glorify God and the same type of thing happens even today among the local "churches". A meeting of Christians should glorify God and lift each other up but often it is a place of gossip, power struggles, and a fashion show.
"In the first place, I hear that when you come together as a church, there are divisions among you, and to some extent I believe it. No doubt there have to be differences among you to show which of you have God's approval." NIV translation
The first situation that Paul deals with is that of division in the church. They were allowing the things outside the church to come in and affect the operation of the church. We, as Christians, are called to be the light not embrace the dark. God demonstrates His approval for those that are in His will.
"When you come together, it is not the Lord's Supper you eat, for as you eat, each of you goes ahead without waiting for anybody else. One remains hungry, another gets drunk. Don't you have homes to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and humiliate those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you for this? Certainly not!" NIV translation
Paul fills us in as to what exactly was going on at the meetings of the church in Corinth. At that time in Corinth, they had huge love feasts which were giant parties where it was every man for himself. This was carrying over into the celebration of the Lord's Supper among the believers. Instead of sharing in the celebration and remembrance of what Jesus has done, they were turning it into the same type of party.