AM Aug 6th 1Cor 14

August 6th

26: How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, everyone of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying. 27: If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret. 28: But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God. 29: Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge. 30: If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace. 31: For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted. 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 churches of the saints. 34: Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. 35: And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church. 36: What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only? 37: If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord. 38: But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant. 39: Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues. 40: Let all things be done decently and in order.

Paul continues to teach how the believers are to be in harmony when they meet together in worship. He says when you come together everyone of you is to bring something. Some might bring a psalm to sing that the Lord has lain on their heart. Another might bring a message from the Lord in the form of doctrinal teaching. Another might bring a language. Another might bring something in the form of a direct revelation from the Lord. Another might bring the interpretation of the foreign languages that has been spoken. Whatever is brought let everything be to the spiritual encouragement and teaching of the believers. And if any believers bring languages that are unknown by the congregation then let two speak or at the most three. And let them speak one after another and there must be somebody that can interpret each message. If there is nobody with the gift of interpretation then let the language speaker be silent. He can speak in his heart to himself and the Lord. In a similar way the prophets should speak by direct revelation from the Lord or by the exposition of the scriptures, one after the other and at the most three. And let those which have the gift of discernment judge the message given. If another prophet receives something directly from the Lord while a prophet is already speaking then let him wait his turn to speak. There is opportunity for him to speak in his turn. Only one prophet can speak at once and in this way everyone will learn from the Lord and everyone will be comforted in the Lord. The gift of prophesy like all gifts are to be controlled in the heart of every man. God does not bring about confusion in the congregation but peace and order as he does in all the other churches. Your women are not allowed to speak in the congregation but they are to be silent when you come together - silent in terms of public ministry, not silent in terms of conversation or personal worship. Women are to be in subjection to their husbands. (It was the same in Judaism.) If they want to learn something specifically they can ask their husbands at home, because it is a shameful thing for women to speak in public ministry in the church gatherings. Are you the originators of the Word of God? Did the word of God come only to you at Corinth? If a christian man thinks of himself as a prophet and as spiritual then let him acknowledge that the things that l am teaching are the commandments of the Lord. (They are not my personal opinion; I have not made this up) However, if a man wishes to be ignorant of my teaching, then let him remain ignorant. Paul says, if you really want to have a gift then wish for prophesy - that is the ministry of the Word of God. But do not forbid the use of the gift of languages. Whatever you do let everything be done decently and in a proper order.

PS There are some that say that the instructions that Paul gives to the Church at Corinth are to be taken as the rule for all ages and all churches. I don't think that this is so. Paul's teaching is timeless, yet it is bound to the context in which Paul addressed the believers in that day. We see in this passage that the church in Corinth has apostolic gifts in common use in that day. They had people exercising the gift of languages and interpretation of languages and we saw in a previous passage that the context of these gifts was that they were an Apostolic sign to unbelieving Jews. They also had other apostolic signs such as inspired men who spoke by direct revelation from the Lord. This was an apostolic Phenomenon in the days before the completion of the NT scriptures and it enabled the churches to receive the Word of God prior to the NT scriptures becoming commonly available. The NT scriptures have rendered direct revelations from the Lord obsolete. Now, we can see apostolic days are quite different to the days in which we live today. In those days there was a mix of Judaism and Christianity in all the churches and as we have seen previously Paul encouraged Jews to remain Christian Jews and Gentiles, to remain Gentile Christians. We also read that there were both apostolic healing and apostolic judgments in the churches of those days. Through some christians the gift of healing were exercised - towards Israel in particular. God promised heath and strength and long life, if Israel were faithful to the Lord but he also warned of sickness and death to those who lived lives of sin in Israel. In the church at Corinth some had come under the judgment of God by sickness and some had died. In James he says that in the Synagogues if a believer was sick then they were to call (Not the doctor) but the elders of the assembly and they were to pray for their healing from divine judgement, anointing them with oil (a Jewish ordinance) and their prayer would not only heal the sick, by it would forgive their sins. And so in this passage Paul deals with the orderliness of church services and one of the things he specifies is that the women that are gathered are to be silent and are not allowed to teach from the lectern. This is without doubt is a very specific direction by Paul to prevent a complete division between the Jewish and Gentile believers. It was inconceivable in Judaism that women could become Rabbis and teach the word of God or lead services, so Paul gives instruction specific to those days is completely forbidding all female leadership in the churches. Needless to say this total restriction does not apply today in exactly the same way.


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