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Thursday, November 22, 2018

2018.11.22 Hopewell @Home ▫ 1 Corinthians 14:26-40

Questions for Littles: What kinds of things did each member of the Corinthian church wish to contribute to the worship assemblies (v26)? What principle was to govern how each was to be done? How many were permitted to speak in a tongue total (v27)? How many at a time? What had to be done if it were in a tongue? What was he to do if no one could translate (v28)? How many of those who had the gift of prophecy could speak total (v29)? What were the others who had the gift of prophecy to do? With whom else’s words did they have a similar role (v37)? How many prophets may speak at once (v30)? For what purpose does each speaker speak (v31)? Over what are the prophets to exercise control (v32)? Why (v33)? Who were not to be the speakers for any of these things (v34)? What else taught that? Where and to whom should they ask their questions (v35)? Why? Why wasn’t Corinth permitted to come up with its own “worship style” (v36)? What would all true prophets in the Corinth church acknowledge about Paul’s letter (v37)? What was true of those who failed to do so (v38)? This passage is a summary of the teaching about which two gifts during the period of new revelation (v39)? What enduring principle applied, even in that period and to those gifts (v40)? 
In this week’s Epistle reading, we learn the importance of the Spiritual gift of prophecy during the time that the New Testament was being completed.

It was not just sermon texts that were coming by way of prophecy. Even the singing was coming that way, just as we had also learned earlier in the chapter that the praying was.

Incidentally, this is another great argument for the first-day Sabbath of the Lord’s Day. If the churches during this period were entirely dependent upon the immediate revelatory work of the Holy Spirit, it certainly was not they who determined which day of the week they gathered upon, and we know that the Holy Spirit was gathering this church on the first day of the week (cf. 16:1-2).

The use of tongues in public worship was only if there was also interpretation, so that it could function as prophecy. Otherwise, as we learned in the previous passage, tongues was only an authenticating sign for the conviction of unbelievers.

Only those with the gift of prophecy could lead the service (and none of these, therefore, were permitted to be women—even as God taught in the Law in Genesis 2-3, cf. 1Tim 2:11-15). And they had other duties, including affirming the authenticity of the words that other prophets spoke and acknowledging as Scripture those letters from the apostles which were commandments of the Lord Jesus.

And all of this was subject to two primary considerations that of course must still govern our worship today: that everything be done to build up the others in the congregation (v26), and therefore also that everything be done peacefully and calmly (v32-33) and also decently and in order (v40). God grant to us such worship!
How can you help corporate worship be more intelligible for yourself? For others?
Suggested songs: ARP119W “Lord, Let My Cry Before You Come” or TPH172 “Speak, O Lord”

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