(1 Corinthians 14:27-40) – God is not a God of confusion, but of peace.
When utilizing the wisdom of God, one must find guidance from the heart of God.
Paul’s thought process goes like this…God is a God of peace, not confusion. Therefore, things in His church should be done in a way that’s not confusing, but rather brings peace. Seems simple enough.
Disorder is a mark of godlessness. Peace is a mark of Godliness. James 3 is especially important for understanding this. The characteristics of both godly and godless wisdom are laid out there (Jas. 3:13-18).
This overarching principle of pulling wisdom from the heart of God led Paul to some very practical conclusions regarding tongues in church service.
No speaking in tongues without interpreters, because otherwise people can’t understand and then it’s pointless.
No more than 3 in a service, and only 1 at a time, otherwise the services would take forever and all that information would muddy the people’s minds as to what they should focus on.
No women speaking in tongues or prophesying during the service, because the responsibility for teaching the word of God in church was given to the men by God to steward faithfully.
Maintaining that particular piece was necessary to continue honoring the created order and the Trinitarian symbolism imprinted on the roles of men and women.
Verses 37-38 are some of the most important verses in this entire chapter. Paul is basically reinforcing the fact that he has apostolic authority from God and anyone who’s practicing sign gifts will recognize that. If they don’t, then they can’t be recognized as true prophets because they are obviously disagreeing with the appointment of God. Wow.
Talk about being confident in God’s calling on your life!
Paul finishes this chapter by reiterating the same point mentioned in the beginning. While it’s not bad to desire these gifts, our main focus should be to build one another up.
What’s your goal when you come to church? To stand out or to build up?