In an effort to encourage the believers throughout Corinth to seek edification of the church rather than their own benefit, Paul now addresses church gatherings. In this section of his letter to the Corinthians the apostle shares God’s commandments about tongues and prophesy among both men and women.
“26 How is it then, brethren? Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification.” (1 Corinthians 14:26)
Paul calls on the members of the Corinthian church to pursue one common goal at church gatherings which is to edify, to build up the body. While it was understood everyone within the church had been blessed with unique gifts, it was critical such gifts be used to the benefit of the church rather then self-serving.
“27 If anyone speaks in a tongue, let there be two or at the most three, each in turn, and let one interpret. 28 But if there is no interpreter, let him keep silent in church, and let him speak to himself and to God.” (1 Corinthians 14:27-28)
Paul calls on those speaking in tongues to restrict communication to two or three phrases which should be interpreted in sequence. In the event no interpreter was present, the apostle indicated no tongues should be spoken during church gatherings so to avoid confusion among the members who would not understand what was being said.
“29 Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others judge. 30 But if anything is revealed to another who sits by, let the first keep silent.” (1 Corinthians 14:29-30)
Paul reveals only two or three prophets should speak at church gatherings, and each message heard should be discerned by the elders, those responsible for assessing the validity of each prophecy. Should anyone feel led to prophesy, he should respectfully wait for his turn since only one prophet was to speak at a time.
“31 For you can all prophesy one by one, that all may learn and all may be encouraged. 32 And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. 33 For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.” (1 Corinthians 14:31-33)
Paul invites all those blessed with the gift of prophecy to speak at church gatherings as long as they can do so in a structured manner that would be edifying to the church. the apostle here explains prophecy, which stems from the Holy Spirit is subject to the control of the prophet himself rather than in control of him. This revelation was meant to encourage prophesying in an orderly fashion thereby avoid prophetic chaos or confusion at church gatherings.
“34 Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak; but they are to be submissive, as the law also says. 35 And if they want to learn something, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is shameful for women to speak in church.” (1 Corinthians 14:34-35)
Paul calls on women to be silent at church gatherings, refraining from speaking in tongues or prophesying. Although women were indeed allowed to pray and prophesy outside church gatherings, it was deemed inappropriate for them to do so in church.
“36 Or did the word of God come originally from you? Or was it you only that it reached? 37 If anyone thinks himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things which I write to you are the commandments of the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 14:36-37)
The apostle declares the word of God and His commands holy, pointing out anyone blessed with a spiritual gift should first consider abiding by God’s commandments before speaking in tongues or prophesying. Remembering the ultimate goal of the church is at the root of glorification and edification, and leads to a harvest beyond measure.
“38 But if anyone is ignorant, let him be ignorant. 39 Therefore, brethren, desire earnestly to prophesy, and do not forbid to speak with tongues. 40 Let all things be done decently and in order.” (1 Corinthians 14:38-40)
Paul calls on members of the Corinthian church to pursue the edification of the body rather than focus on the few that chose to ignore God’s commands which led to disorder and confusion. The Lord Himself would reach down from heaven and deal with the ignorant.
Speaking in tongues along with prophesying were welcomes gifts within the church as long as they were meant to build up the body of Christ in an orderly fashion, according to God’s commands delivered through the apostle Paul. His valuable teaching continues to produce a harvest according to God’s will today. Let us pray!
We thank you for your blessings in our lives and for your servant Paul,
We praise you Lord for his wisdom and for his works through this scripture,
We ask you Lord to inspire us to use these verses in our lives
As we grow in you through the teachings of your faithful apostle.
Lord we ask you to strengthen us each day as we endure through battles,
Allow us to praise and love each other through faith in you Jesus,
Shield us from evil through truth, the gospel, salvation and prayer,
Guide us to abide by your word as we spread your gospel to one and all
Becoming examples of faith through our character as we walk the narrow path.
God we pray that you will continue to bless us, to bless our lives and fill us with hope
We ask you Lord to guide our footsteps and lead us to the way everlasting,
Through faith in you Lord we seek salvation and a place with you in heaven
According to your word, your everlasting wisdom and strength.
May your will be done
In our lives, for your life.
We thank you for your love and all you bless us with each day.
This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre