Message/Application: I Corinthians 14 is all about church order. It may seem like
such a dramatic shift that we read about love as the foundation of spiritual
gifts and then went straight into order. As I read this I realized how
important love also is as the foundation of order and discipline. Chapter 13
gave us a proper understanding of what love is and yesterday we talked about
what love isn’t. If we live this way we also won’t misuse the spiritual gifts
to manipulate people, and if we follow order using what we understand about
love we will see real ministry happen without the ego or manipulation of anyone
behind it. I thought about how important this is because during ministry of
spiritual gifts things are revealed by the Holy Spirit. If people are not
credible and walking in love the gift they share will not be received well and
this is where people start to think these things are hokey. We also read back a
few chapters that if we aren’t fully surrendered, we will not hear the Holy
Spirit. This means that anyone sharing spiritual gifts has to be authentic in
every way. Not perfect, but fully surrendered. There is no room for faking it
and if people try, there is also a gift called the discerning of spirits that someone
who is fully surrendered and in tune with the Holy Spirit will detect. This chapter
also talks about having several people discuss and judge the credibility of
prophecies spoken in church. This is an extra layer of security because
anything that is spoken prophetically has to be aligned with the word of God.
The people responsible for judging the prophetic word are to make sure it
aligns. In verse 34 there is also a directive that women are not to speak in
church during these discussions over the prophetic word. They were directed to
wait to ask their questions at home with their husbands. I read the footnotes
in my bible because this topic has been taken so many ways. The footnotes gave
some background that this was a directive specifically to the women at the
church of Corinth to keep order. I have read other things that suggested these
particular women were known to be disruptive and take things off track in the
group setting. This was more about keeping order than it was being a woman. My
footnotes suggest that seeing this prohibition of women speaking in church
would contradict other things Paul has spoken about women and church ministry.
The main point of all of this is order.
Command: Everything God does is orderly, so
everything we do in his name should be orderly also.
Promise: Order brings clarity and understanding.
Warning: If order brings clarity and
understanding, then disorganization brings chaos and confusion and the message