Wednesday, April 18, 2018

The Apostle by Chapter | 1 Corinthians Chapter 14

By Sam Nobles

In this chapter, Paul brings up the practice of spiritual gifts during church worship, specifically the gifts of prophecy and tongues. Prophecy is particularly desirable because it is a gift for the entire church, whereas those who speak in tongues are mainly benefiting themselves. However, speaking in tongues does have congregational benefit when it is interpreted. If spiritual gifts are exercised during church worship, it should be for the edification of the body and practiced in an orderly manner.

Prophesying and Speaking in Tongues (v.1-25)
In comparing the gift of prophecy with that of speaking in tongues, Paul points out that prophesying surpasses speaking in tongues when it comes to the edification of the entire church (v.1-5).  In fact, unless the speaking of tongues provides a new revelation or teaching, and is properly interpreted, it does little good because no one can understand it (v.6-19).  When the gift of tongues is used properly, it is serves as a sign to convince unbelievers of God’s power, but the improper use of speaking in tongues in a congregation can even bring reproach on the church (v.20-25).  

Regulating the use of Spiritual Gifts (v.26-40)
After pointing out the uses and abuses of the two most controversial gifts, Paul regulates the proper use of spiritual gifts in the assembly with a series of instructions on who, how, and when to exercise gifts. When it comes to the gift of speaking in tongues, 2 or 3 may speak in turn with one interpreter. If there is no one with the gift of interpretation present, then those with the gift of speaking in tongues should be silent (v.26-28). When it comes to the gift of prophecy, 2 or 3 may speak in turn with others discerning what was spoken. Above all, those practicing this gift of prophecy were under their own control (v.29-32).

The Role of Women in the Worship Service (v.33-40)
Since God is a God of peace and order, Paul speaks about the place of women in the worship service. Just deducting from these verses, it seems the women in the church at Corinth were speaking out during the teaching time of the service, but Paul says they were to keep silent during this time and ask their husbands any questions they had when they got home (v.33-38). Spiritual gifts were not to be forbidden but practiced with decency and order (v.39-40).

Scripture to Claim:
“But all things should be done decently and in order.” (1 Corinthians 14:40 ESV)

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