1 Corinthians 14:26-40
“Orderly Worship”
Date: 16-Jan-11
Purpose (Why am I teaching this lesson? What effect did the writer expect it to have on the recipients?)
The purpose of this lesson is to openly discuss the meaning of this difficult passage and its application for today.

Theme (What central idea does this passage communicate?)
All things should be done in a fitting and orderly way

Review & Homework:
A. Salutations & Reminders (v1:1-1:9)
B. Divisions within the church (v1:10-4:21)
C. …of conduct unbecoming a believer (v5:1-13) {church discipline}
D. Dealing with offenses in The Body (v6:1-11)
E. The bondage of sexual sin (v6:12-20)
 – Now For The Matters You Wrote About —
F. Marriage, Divorce & Singleness (v7:1-40)
G. Christian Liberty (v8:1-11:1)
H. Order in Worship (v11:2-14:39 )
        1. Submission to established order (v11:2-16)
        2. Order in the Observance of the Lord’s Table (v11:17-34)
        3. About Spiritual Gifts (v12:1-11)
        — Indentifying your Spiritual Gift(s) –
        4. The functioning of Spiritual Gifts (v12:12-31a)
        5. The rule of using Spiritual Gifts (v12:31b -13:13)
        6. Proper use of the sign gifts (v14:1-25)
  Ü 7. Orderly worship (v14:26-39)
1. Read 1 Corinthians 14:26-40 and complete a page in your study booklet
2. Write a statement of what you think verses 34-35 are saying
3. Find scriptural basis for your viewpoint, if your viewpoint does not match the plain text
4. Read 1 Corinthians 11:5; 14:34-35; 1 Timothy 2:11-12; Acts 18:26 and 1 Corinthians 14:36-37, how do you reconcile these verses?

¿: Do you think it’s scriptural to forbid women from preaching in a church service?  What about writing the sermon for teaching (and a man delivers it)?  What about writing the hymn to teach?

The Text
Personal Application:
Chapters 11-14 express the viewpoint that this is not “my church” or “our church” but God’s gathering.
1 Corinthians 14:26
All For Edification

26 What then shall we say, brothers? When you come together, everyone has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. All of these must be done for the strengthening of the church.

The coming together for worship sounds a little more interactive than many church services today.
A diversity of gifts were present and each was expected to be allowed to participate with no one gift dominating the service.

¿: Would you find a Corinthian service uncomfortable or dull?
¿: Why do you suppose the church moved away from this model?

The rule of love is the guiding principle. – although each had something to offer, it wasn’t about what they had, it was about what builds up the church.

strengthening” – is from a Greek word which has to do with house building.
1 Corinthians 14:27-28
Guidelines for Speaking in Tongues

27 If anyone speaks in a tongue, two—or at the most three—should speak, one at a time, and someone must interpret.
28 If there is no interpreter, the speaker should keep quiet in the church and speak to himself and God.

3 rules laid out: 1) 2 or 3 at most, 2) one at a time, 3) interpreter required

¿: Does tongues without an interpreter have a purpose in the body?
1 Corinthians 14:29-33a
Guidelines for Prophesy

29 Two or three prophets should speak, and the others should weigh carefully what is said.
30 And if a revelation comes to someone who is sitting down, the first speaker should stop.
31 For you can all prophesy in turn so that everyone may be instructed and encouraged.
32 The spirits of prophets are subject to the control of prophets.
33a For God is not a God of disorder but of peace.

3 rules laid out: 1) 2 or 3 at most, 2) others should weigh carefully, 3) if a second begins, the first stops

See 1 John 4:1 – test the spirits

¿: Why do you think the instruction would be for the first to stop and allow a second person to interrupt? [It is possible that in many words someone may be more likely “adding” to the truth from their own wisdom and understanding]

v32 – ¿: Could the Corinthians have had the idea that the MORE spirit controlled a person was the less in control of himself he was?
¿: Does this idea ring true today?

Ü No one is carried away without his consent – whether for good or bad.  It would be inconsistent with this passage to say, “I couldn’t help myself”
¿: What about the old adage, “The Devil made me do it?”

Disorder IS NOT a sign of God’s presence.
Although order may not be a sign of God’s presence, disorder is never of God.

Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.  But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth.  Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil.  For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. James 3:13-16
1 Corinthians 14:33b-35
Guidelines for Wives

33bAs in all the congregations of the saints,
34 women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says.
35 If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.

Some manuscripts move the order of these verses to the end of the chapter, indicating the scribes may have felt these out of place in this passage.  Because of this some commentators feel the confusion was because the verses were never in the oldest manuscripts to begin with.  Thus the reasoning is to ignore this section.
These verses ARE in every manuscript, the order is simply different.  Also, the specific manuscripts which have the verses at the end of the passage are known for generally poor scribal practices.

Notice that Paul DID NOT dodge the problem in order to be politically correct.

¿: Was the admonition addressed to ALL women or married women?
[Word for woman can be general or wife – depending on context]

remain silent” – same Greek word as in v28
¿: Would you expect the meaning to be different when the same word is used in the same passage?

See 1 Tim. 2:11-12 for a parallel passage.

¿: How do you reconcile v34 with 1 Cor. 11:5, where women are allowed to speak?
Acts 18:26 where a woman was involved with the teaching of Apollos?
Also, Galatians 3:28-29; Colossians 3:11

¿: What would be the difference between the “praying and prophesying” mentioned in v11:5 vs. what is mentioned in v14:34? [exercise of spiritual gifts vs. general speaking]

As the law says” – possibly referring to the order of creation.

This passage can be understood:
1) Women of the day were trying to circumvent “teaching” restrictions by “teaching via questions” – if so, this loophole is closed

2) The speaking could be referring to gossip or idle chatter – disruption

3) Women were forbidden to speak in a teaching capacity for any reason
Ü In 1 Cor. 11 we studied about the head covering as a sign of submission to God’s created order (with restrictions on the man as well as the woman!)

Ü In light of other passages it appears that “silent in the churches” would mean the formal times of corporate worship – and in a teaching capacity.  Since v11:5 allows them to prophesy

Consistent  with other NT teaching, women have many valuable ministries, however public ministries over the entire church are not exemplified in scripture.  Even if one only sees a cultural restriction in this passage, 1 Cor. 11:3-16 makes a clear case for submitting to God’s order of creation – not as a sign of value but as acknowledgement that men submit to Christ as even Christ submitted to the Father.

Comparing the idea that women should not teach the entire church with the whole of other scriptural teaching does not contradict scripture.  However even if you do not believe this is the correct interpretation for today – remember there are principles of order and discipline God has established.  The truth of these principles should be followed regardless of our individual interpretation of these few verses.
Ü Some may think that it is more important to encourage participation than to abide by a seemingly out-of-date rule. So the question becomes, are we seeking to obey the Word of God or seeking to satisfy ourselves and placate others?
Ü It is not always easy to determine when the rule of silence applies. However, it is the responsibility of each session to apply that rule when appropriate—and of each woman to consider when it may be pleasing to God for her not to speak. We may be confident that if we sincerely and prayerfully seek to understand and apply biblical principles in these matters, God will lead us into his truth and bless us.

Read: “Should Women Be Allowed to Speak…”
1 Corinthians 14:36-40
Order in All Things

36 Did the word of God originate with you? Or are you the only people it has reached?
37 If anybody thinks he is a prophet or spiritually gifted, let him acknowledge that what I am writing to you is the Lord’s command.
38 If he ignores this, he himself will be ignored.
39 Therefore, my brothers, be eager to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues.
40 But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way.

Paul’s sarcastic words are a biting reminder that what he said was not cultural norm or even Paul’s own bias as a Jew or a man; these words were directly from the Lord.

be eager to prophesy” – you all be eager (2nd person plural), as a church be eager and desirous of this gift.  Hold it in high esteem.  He was not telling them individually to try to obtain this gift, he was telling them as a church to prize those who had this gift because it builds the body.

fitting” – becomingly, gracefully

Personal Application:
Chapters 11-14 express the viewpoint that this is not “my church” or “our church” but God’s gathering.

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