The Riches OF GRACE
“hath appeared to all men.” Titus 2:11
Robert W. Reed
“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.”
I Corinthians 11:3
+ The Doctrine of Headship +
Biblical headship is a doctrine of Holy Scripture established from Genesis to Revelation. There is a hierarchy of authority for the purpose of promoting the glory of God and carrying out God’s will. The order is God, Christ, man, then woman. Divine headship is God’s established order of things in His kingdom. Respect for God ordained authority produces harmony. The word head occurs three times in I Corinthians 11:3 and seven more times in the next seven verses. The issue in our text is authority and submission. The meaning of headship for a man - woman relationship can clearly be seen by examining the God - Christ relationship. The headship principle is fundamental in comprehending God’s truth. In this area of authority, there is a Holy War between God’s kingdom and Satan's kingdom. Amen.
“Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.” Ephesians 5:21
This article will consider the three-fold headships mentioned in I Corinthians 11:3, “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.” Please keep in mind as we speak of authority and submission, that headship does not imply inferiority or oppression, but a leadership function. The Son was fully God and equal with the Father.
The Father’s Headship Over the Son
First, let us consider the relationship of the Father and the Son. In John 5:17-18, the Son is equal with the Father, that is, they are one in essence, glory, power, and worth. The Son declared Himself in John 10:30 that He and the Father were one. In the Trinity there is oneness, unity, equality, and harmony. Second, the Son submitted Himself to the Father. The role and function of the Father and Son are different. The duties within the Godhead are not the same. The submission of the Son is clearly seen in John 8:29, “And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.” He was totally surrendered to the Father’s will with no competition, or broken communion. The Father declared in Matthew 3:17, “This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased.” Third, we see the accomplishments of this headship order within the Godhead in Philippians 2:5-8, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” By the humble submission of the Son of God, mankind is provided with redemption. The Lord Jesus Christ endured the cross with joy (Hebrews 12:2) as He came to do the Father’s will (Hebrews 10:9). Without this headship order there would be no salvation.
The Son’s Headship Over Man
In I Corinthians 11:3, these words are penned by divine inspiration, “The head of every man is Christ.” Man has no earthly being over him but Christ. That is, he is directly responsible to his Saviour the Lord. He is not free to do as he pleases, but is obligated to be submissive to his head. In other words, he is created in the image and glory of God (vs. 7) and must live accordingly. Man is not only to be a leader in his home but he is to be a follower of Christ. He must humble himself under the mighty hand of God and find the will of God in his life. If men would submit to their Head, Christ; it would be easier for women to submit to their head (man).
There are a number of godly men given in Scripture for an example to us. Abraham is one of my favorites and God had great things to say about him in Genesis 18:18-19, “Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.” There also were times in Israel’s history when men were slack in their God-given duties. For example, in Psalm 12, David in his search for a godly man cried out to God. In Ezekiel’s day, all standards of righteousness had been thrown out and he looked for a man to stand in the gap to avert the crisis (Ezekiel 22:30). When the judgment of God is mentioned in Isaiah 3:1-7, the men were taken away by the Lord, that is, there were no good leaders in Israel. There is a need for godly men who fear the Lord in every age to do a great work for the Lord and be leaders in the home, church, and nation, Psalm 112:1-2, “Praise ye the LORD. Blessed is the man that feareth the LORD, that delighteth greatly in his commandments. His seed shall be mighty upon earth: the generation of the upright shall be blessed.” Great responsibility is placed upon men and they will be judged based on their willingness to fulfill that duty. Let us pray for men of prayer who take delight in following God’s Word, I Timothy 2:8, “I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.”
The Man’s Headship Over Woman
Again, in I Corinthians 11:3, we have these words: “The head of woman is man.” This truth is mentioned again in verses 8-9. Then, verses 11-12 make it perfectly clear that there is no excuse for chauvinism because men are not independent of women but his very presence depends on her. The Scripture plainly teaches that man is the head of the woman. The Devil hates this principle and the feminist movement is proof of this fact. Before sin ever entered into the world God established man’s headship (Genesis 1:27-31) and woman’s submission (Genesis 2:18). From the beginning the woman was given a supportive role, that is, she is to aid, assist, and stand along side of the man. In the Garden of Eden she is called a helpmeet. She is to be a follower and not the leader. After sin entered into the world God confirmed man’s headship and woman’s submission (Genesis 3:16). Satan declared war on the first family and brought confusion. The fall marked the beginning of conflict in the family. The man must now work hard to retain headship and the woman must work to be submissive. In Genesis 3:1-7, the Devil deceived the woman causing her to deny God’s love by being discontent with her gift and despising her position. This is still the feeling of many women in our society.
The Bible in many places commands the woman to be under subjection to the man (Ephesians 5:18-33, Colossians 3:18, I Timothy 2:8-15, Titus 2:4-5, I Peter 3:1-7). In our fallen state this can only be done with joy through regeneration and the filling of the Holy Spirit of God (Ephesians 5:18). Those who are saved and love God’s Word can accomplish this. The woman is not inferior to the man, but as Christ submitted Himself unto the Father for the redemption of mankind, she also submits herself to the man for the glory of God and the furtherance of the Kingdom (I Peter 2:21-3:6). Otherwise, the Word of God will be blasphemed (Titus 2:1-5). The only true happiness is taking our assigned place. Lenin said, “No nation can be free when half of the population is enslaved in the kitchen.” The world, T.V., universities, liberal churches, and government are lying to women today. Her fulfillment will only come when she is totally yielded to God’s Word. This is also true for the man as well.
In closing, we pray that every husband could give a tribute to their wife in the manner that Charles Spurgeon gave to his wife Susannah: “She delights in her husband, in his person, his character, his affection. He is her little world, her paradise, her choice treasure. She is glad to sink her individuality in him; she seeks no renown for herself; his honor is reflected upon her, and she rejoices in it. She will defend his name with her dying breath; safe enough is he where she can speak for him. His smiling gratitude is all the reward she seeks. Even in her dress, she thinks of him, and considers nothing beautiful which is distasteful to him.”
“For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps.” I Peter 2:21
“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” Acts 16:31
Victory Baptist Church
Pastor Robert W. Reed
14473 Bellingrath Road
P.O. Box 257
Coden, Alabama 36523