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Women and Children First: The Restoration Headship (Part 2)

1 Cor 11:3 “But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God.”

For the corinthian church, the new liberation for women in the church was needing some instruction. For the first time for many of these women they now had a sense of dignity. In roman culture they had no rights, now they are citizens of heaven.

They had no education, now women are learning at the feet of Jesus, and from Peter and Paul and Apollos in the church at Corinth.

They had no position in Roman culture… but now they are parts of the body of Christ... each gifted along with the men to serve the body, to proclaim Christ, to make disciples, as they worship Christ together...…

But the body is in chaos because they have not grasped some basic principles, and not understood some of the differences in function that will lead to harmony in the family, and church, and in turn influence the culture around them. It will reinforce the clarity of the Gospel, and show the power of transformation for every family.... it all has to do with finding your head. Its going to be the difference between reviving the church and repulsing the culture....


we are looking at the biblical principle of “Headship” as part of a larger revelation concerning Gender roles and functions in the Family and in the church. This larger category is summarized in the term “complementarianism”. This phrase means that men and women exist with a divine design that guides their life. Their values and dignity exist with full equality, and still their different functions in marriage and the church “complement” their differences. We summarily define complementarianism saying , we are “equal, but different.”

Who would be opposed to this? Well, maybe several groups:

1. What should we get ahold of? The Blueprint of “Headship”.

  1. Usually it speaks of a literal head: So, when Herodias, the wife of Herod, ordered the head of John the Baptist brought to her on a platter because she knew that would slow John down to a point where she could handle him.

    1. Wayne Grudem’s study of the word kephale shows the word use in 2300 examples of classical greek had the literal meaning in mind over 87% of the time.

    2. In this section, Paul uses kephale both literally, and figuratively.

  2. Now when "head" is used figuratively, as it is here, it refers to priority in function. That is what the head of our body does; it runs the body; it is in charge; it is the direction setter of the body. Used metaphorically, therefore, the word head means primarily authority or leadership, and this is its use in this passage.

Andreas Köstenberger: “While the senses “source” and “pre-eminent” have been proposed for kephalē, no passage is extant where that sense is favored by the context. In fact, every time one person is referred to as the “head” of another person in both biblical and extrabiblical literature, the person who is the “head” has authority over the other person and kephalē conveys the notion of authority.” (

2. What should we get ahold of? The Boundaries of headship

A. "the head of every man is Christ."

  1. Here is a declaration of Christ's right to lead all creation.

    1. Eph 1:21 “far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.”

    2. Phil 2:10-11 “so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

    3. He is the leader of the race in the mind of God, and ultimately, as Scripture tells us, there will come a day when all humanity, without exception, shall bow the knee and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord Romans 14:11, Philippians 2:11). So whether men know it or not, Christ is their head, and they are responsible to follow him. He is King without rival.

    4. That is the whole objective of life for any man who wishes to fulfill his manhood, or for a woman to fulfill her womanhood. In the book of Hebrews it says that Christ is "the cause/source of our salvation" (Hebrews 5:9, 12:2), we look to jesus as the author, or the founder of our faith...

    5. Hebrews 5:9 “And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him.” He is the one who goes before; the one who opens the way as the authority, and starting point. He is the the determiner of every man's destiny, the One to be followed. He is the firstborn over all creation.

    6. Colossians 2:10: “And you have come to fullness of life in him, who is the head of all rule and authority.” Here Paul emphasizes that Christ is the authority over not only the church, but overall rulers and authorities, over all powers in the universe.

2. He is head of the church

  1. Eph 5:22-30 “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body.”

  2. In the mystery of marriage, headship, and submission and authority are all connected. The key comparison for marriage, is Christ's headship over humanity over the church, although this should be examined as a distict category, christ’s authority over us is clearly in mind.

  3. Colossians 1:18: “He is the head of the body, the church.”

  4. Here Paul, in emphasizing the great superiority of Christ, reminds his readers that Christ is the exalted authority over the church.

  5. Colossians 2:18–19: “Let no one disqualify you, insisting on self-abasement and worship of angels, taking his stand on visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind, and not holding fast to the head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God.”

3. It can also indicate the role christ has in the life of every individual believer.

  1. Christ is the head of my life. He is not only the source of my life, he is the authority of my life personally. I can’t be saved without him being LORD.

    1. Luke 9:23 “And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”

    2. Matt 7:22-24 “On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock.”

    3. Phil 2:10-11 “so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

B. “The head of a wife is her husband.”

  1. Man’s headship goes back to Gen 3:16 “To the woman he said, “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be contrary to your husband, but he shall rule over you.”” This passage designates both the design and the brokenness of that design.

  2. The opening chapters of Genesis narrate God’s creation first of Adam, then of Eve from and for Adam as his “suitable helper” (Gen. 2:18, 20). The notion of Adam’s “headship,” is supported by a series of factors:

    1. Adam’s creation prior to the woman

    2. Adam’s naming of the animals prior to the creation of Eve

    3. Adam’s naming of Eve subsequent to God’s creation of her

    4. God’s holding Adam—not Eve—responsible for his and Eve’s sin even though Eve had sinned first

    5. the woman’s designation as the man’s “suitable helper”

  3. In Eph. 5:23 “For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior.” , Paul writes that the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church. This indicates loving provision (Eph. 5:25–29) and authority (Eph. 5:22).

    1. It is not saying that women are inferior: mutual submission indicates equality in value and dignity.

    2. It is not saying that women are to be forced to submit: submit different from children. In Ephesians when Paul writes of the husband and wife relationship, it is a picture of voluntary submission on the part of a wife (unlike the submission of children to parents)

    3. It is not saying that women are to submit to every man…HER OWN husband.

    4. It is not saying for her to endure genuine abuse.

    5. Seems it is only temporary: Matt 22:30 “For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.”

  4. Key Teachers:

    1. Köstenberger, “man is created first and is given ultimate responsibility for the marriage relationship, while the woman is placed alongside the man as his ‘suitable helper’…the man carries ultimate responsibility before God as the head of the woman” (God, Marriage, and Family, 23).

    2. Robert Saucy, men must always have “ultimate responsibility and leadership” in marriage and church (Women and Men in Ministry, 162).

    3. Ray Ortlund, “the man bears the primary responsibility to lead the partnership in a God-glorifying direction” (RBMW 86).

    4. John Piper and Wayne Grudem, “the calling of men [is to] bear the primary responsibility for teaching and leadership” (RBMW, 70).

ALGEBRA EXAMPLE: The five appearances of “head” in those verses are Kephale. What would happen if we exchanged the word with X (the unknowing quantity in math) and “solved for X” based on context?
But I want you to understand that the X of every man is Christ, the X of a wife is her husband, and the X of Christ is God. For the husband is the X of the wife even as Christ is the X of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior.
Whatever “X” is, we have three examples of it – Christ and man, husband and wife, God and Christ (and a forth in Ephesians - Christ and the Church). ]
Paul shows that the word functions the same in these three and four relationships. Whatever the word means, it must be applied consistently across the four relationships mentioned.

C. "the head of Christ is God."

  1. This is the historic position of Christianity:

    1. “The Nicene fathers still teach, like their predecessors, a certain subordinationism, which seems to conflict with the doctrine of consubstantiality.But we must distinguish between a subordinationism of essence (ousia)and a subordinationism of hypostasis, of order and dignity. The former was denied, the latter affirmed. ” Phillip schaff, history of the Christian church, 3:681

    2. “Eternal generation is the phrase used to denote the inter-Trinitarian relationship between the Father and the Son as is taught by the Bible. "Generation" makes it plain that there is a divine sonship prior to the incarnation (cf. John 1:18; 1 John 4:9), that there is thus a distinction of persons within the one Godhead John 5:26), and that between these persons there is a superiority and subordination of order (cf. John 5:19; 8:28). "Eternal" reinforces the fact that the generation is not merely economic (i.e. for the purpose of human salvation as in the incarnation, cf. Luke 1:35), but essential, and that as such it cannot be construed in the categories of natural or human generation. Thus it does not imply a time when the Son was not, as Arianism argued…... Nor does his subordination imply inferiority... The phrase…corresponds to what God has shown us of himself in his own eternal being.... It finds creedal expression in the phrases "begotten of his Father before all worlds" (Nicene) and "begotten before the worlds" (Athanasian).” Geoffrey bromiley, eternal generation, 368

  2. There is biblical precedent:

    1. He said, "I and my Father are one" (John 10:30)

    2. He also said, "I do always those things which please my Father."

    3. On one occasion he said, "My meat is to do my Father's will, and to please him who sent me," John 4:34). , i.e., we work together.

    4. He adds on still another occasion, "My Father is greater than I," (John 14:28).

    5. This does not challenge the equality of the members of the Godhead, but demonstrates a voluntarily consent within to take a submissive role to the Father. It is in that sense he says, "My Father is greater than I."

  3. Kephale:

    1. This gives incredible support to the idea that men and women are equal, but have different functions. Christ is of the same substance with the father, and yet functioned under the authority of the father. A willing, and voluntary submission to the will of the father...

  4. In every relationship where headship is described, there is a relationship with a supernatural union involved.

    1. The union of believers to Christ in redemption.

    2. The union of husband and wife where God has joined together.

    3. The deity of Christ and his oneness with the Father

    4. The union of Christ and his church

Conclusion idea:

Judges 5:1-2 “Then sang Deborah and Barak the son of Abinoam on that day: “That the leaders took the lead in Israel, that the people offered themselves willingly, bless the Lord!”

David Brown is the fastest blind man in the world, the defending Paralympic champion in the 100m and the world record holder in the 100m and 200m. He typically races and trains with guide Jerome Avery,. Their bodies should be in line, their strides completely synced up. "Sometimes you'll see guides kind of veering slightly in front a little bit, but as long as you're not pulling the athlete that you're running with, that's usually fine," Avery told The Guardian earlier this year. The athlete must also cross the finish line first. Matching cadence and being vocal while you are running, being around an athlete 24/7; your communication skills are totally different, you have to be patient and unselfish. It is very important the guide should adjust to the athlete, not the other way around. You need to be able to make the athlete feel as comfortable as possible and you have to thrive on it - you can’t feel pressure. In sprinting events, the goal is for the athlete and their guide to "look like one person running.”

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