Order Clarifies Truth

  1. 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.
  2. Command: Everything God does is orderly, so everything we do in his name should be orderly also.
  3. Promise:  Order brings clarity and understanding.
  4. Warning: If order brings clarity and understanding, then disorganization brings chaos and confusion and the message gets lost.

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