1 Corinthians 14:26-40
26 Brothers and sisters, what should we say then? When you come together, each of you brings something. You bring a hymn or a teaching or a message from God. You bring a message in another language or explain what was said in that language. Everything must be done to build up the church. 27 No more than two or three people should speak in another language. And they should speak one at a time. Then someone must explain what was said. 28 If there is no one to explain, the person speaking should keep quiet in the church. They can speak to themselves and to God. 29 Only two or three prophets are supposed to speak. Others should decide if what is being said is true. 30 What if a message from God comes to someone else who is sitting there? Then the one who is speaking should stop. 31 Those who prophesy can all take turns. In that way, everyone can be taught and be given hope. 32 Those who prophesy should control their speaking. 33 God is not a God of disorder. He is a God of peace, just as in all the churches of the Lord’s people. 34 Women should remain silent in church meetings. They are not allowed to speak. They must follow the lead of those who are in authority, as the law says. 35 If they have a question about something, they should ask their own husbands at home. It is shameful for women to speak in church meetings. 36 Or did the word of God begin with you? Or are you the only people it has reached? 37 Suppose anyone thinks they are a prophet. Or suppose they think they have other gifts given by the Holy Spirit. They should agree that what I am writing to you is the Lord’s command. 38 But anyone who does not recognize this will not be recognized. 39 Brothers and sisters, you should want to prophesy. And don’t stop people from speaking in languages they had not known before. 40 But everything should be done in a proper and orderly way.
Noise! No one likes to be sitting in a place where everyone is talking but it’s so noisy you can’t hear what is being said. Paul is bringing this point to the Corinthian church as it seems their worship meetings are for the most part a lot of noise.
Paul is expecting that messages from God through tongues, prophecy, songs, teaching etc, will be apart of the meeting but its to be done in such a way that all benefit, all are built up and encouraged. It’s not a time to be trying to ‘out-do’ each other or a time to ‘have-a-chat’ (as some of the women seem to be doing), but it’s a time to worship God and grow each other in our faith.
I believe this passage has made its mark on church history. Thankfully I’ve never been in a chaotic church service. I love it when words of knowledge, prophecy, tongues & interpretation, a song, come in our worship services – it confirms to me that the God I worship is personal, caring, encouraging and He longs to strengthen, give courage and show love to His people.
Thank you Lord Jesus that you are a God of harmony, peace, order & above all you want a dynamic relationship with each one of us.
Written by Suzie Hodgson