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Tuesday, July 23rd, 2024
the Week of Proper 11 / Ordinary 16
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Bible Commentaries
1 Corinthians 14

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

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Verses 1-40

So Paul exhorts,

Follow after love and desire spiritual ( 1 Corinthians 14:1 ),

But rather, that you may prophecy. We were told to covet earnestly the best gifts. Now, again, he is saying the same thing,

desire spiritual gifts, but rather that you may prophesy. For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaks not unto men, but unto God: for no man understands him; howbeit in the spirit he speaks mysteries [or divine secrets] ( 1 Corinthians 14:1-2 ).

So, an interesting verse here. If you are speaking in an unknown tongue, you are speaking to God. In other words, it is a gift whereby a man might be assisted in his worship of God, or in his communicating with God. For by communicating in tongues, because you do not understand it, you are bypassing the narrow channel of your intellect.

Have you ever come to a place where your feelings are greater than your capacity to express them? I often do. Especially when I am in the realm of spiritual things. I am in the realm of God's goodness, and God's blessing or the greatness of God, the character of God. And as I began to ponder on these things of God, the greatness of His love, His power, His glory, when I begin to think of all that He has done for me, as nothing as I am, I suddenly come to the place where to express to God my thanksgiving and gratitude, language is a barrier. It doesn't really express what I feel; it is inadequate. Because I have to express it through language and my vocabulary or whatever is just restricted. And to bring it through the narrow channel of my intellect is sort of like a funnel, and it just sort of backs up because of the broad base of the Spirit now channeling through the narrow funnel, the intellect. It is so cut down. It is so restricted. God has given to us a gift whereby we can bypass the narrow channel of the intellect and we can enter into a full worship of Him.

My spirit now united with His Spirit and a full unrestricted flow of my love, of my appreciation, of my expression to Him of His greatness and His glory as I praise and glorify the God that I worship and serve. It is rather nice to be able to bypass the narrow channel of the intellect in the worship. Sabanarola said, "When prayer reaches its ultimate, words are impossible." There aren't words to express the things of the Spirit. That vocabulary has not yet been developed, and so the Lord helps me in my expression of these divine secrets. The worship, the praise of my spirit unto Him through the gift of tongues. And it assists me in my worship and in my praise. For if I speak in tongues I am actually speaking to God, though I don't understand it, the things of the Spirit as He assists me in praising and worshipping the Father, in glorifying Jesus Christ.

Another capacity is that of offering to God prayer according to His will. For the Spirit also helps our infirmities. Romans 8 : "For we don't always know how to pray as we should. But the Spirit will make intercession through groanings which cannot be uttered." So the Spirit helping us in our prayer life, either with groanings which cannot be uttered, or with words that are uttered, inspired by the Spirit, expressing prayer to God according to the will of God in a particular situation over which I am interceding.

A gift whereby I am built up, I am benefited, I am blessed. But if I am desiring gifts, it would be better that I desired the gift of prophecy than the gift of tongues. Desire spiritual gifts, but rather that you may prophesy. For the gift of tongues is only for my own personal benefit. As I express to God my worship and praise with the help of the Spirit.

But he that prophesies speaks unto men for edification, and exhortation, and comfort ( 1 Corinthians 14:3 ).

So the gift of prophecy has much broader benefits.

The area of the New Testament prophet was not so much foretelling as it was forth telling. Speaking forth God's truth to the people. As we speak forth God's truth to the people, they are built up in their faith. They are built up in their relationship with Jesus Christ. They are built up in their fellowship with the Lord. As we speak forth God's truth, they are exhorted in their walk with the Lord, in their commitment to Jesus Christ, in their abandonment of the flesh to live and to walk after the Spirit. And they are exhorted to trust the Lord, to commit to the Lord, to believe in the Lord. They are comforted as we speak forth God's Word, as they realize it is all in God's hands and God will take care of it, and God is going to work. And as I just patiently wait, I shall see the work of God and glorify Him and praise His name, and I am comforted by the Word of God.

The gift of prophecy has a broad value as the church is benefited by its exercise. Benefited because it is built up, it is exhorted, it is comforted, it is encouraged, which is, of course, exhortation.

He that speaks in an unknown tongue is built up himself ( 1 Corinthians 14:4 );

It builds you up. It is a blessed experience, one that does build you up.

but he that prophesies builds up the church. I would that you all spoke with tongues ( 1 Corinthians 14:4-5 ),

I would that you all had this blessing in your own personal devotional life.

but I would rather that you had the gift of prophecy: for greater is he that prophesies than he that speaks with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive the edifying [or the building up] ( 1 Corinthians 14:5 ).

Here is where people often make a mistake, in that they believe that tongues with interpretation becomes equivalent to prophecy. Not so. But it is a common mistake among the Pentecostal churches believing that tongues with interpretation becomes the equivalent to prophecy. Tongues, as far as I can understand from the scriptures, are always, as Paul declared here in verse two, addressed to God.

You remember as you go back in your mind now to the second chapter of Acts, and these men had gathered together there in Jerusalem because of the phenomena and these men and women were speaking in these other tongues. They marveled that they heard them all in their own language, as they were doing what? As they were glorifying and praising God. Their tongues were addressed to God. They weren't addressed to the people.

They weren't being preached to in tongues in their own languages being preached to, but actually, they heard them glorifying God, praising God. Paul the apostle, in a few moments here, is going to show us that we should not speak in tongues in a public assembly unless there is someone there who can interpret, in order that the whole church might be edified. For if you speak in tongues without interpretation, how is the person who is sitting over here in the seat of the unlearned going to say, "Yea, oh yes, amen," at your giving of thanks, seeing he doesn't understand what you are saying? What is he saying amen to? Your giving of thanks, your addressing of your thanks to God. And then Paul went on to say, "Indeed you do praise God well, or it is a good way to praise God, but not without the interpretation, because the others are edified then."

The interpretation, because it does bring to the people the understanding of your worship and praise to God, then does edify them. As you, by the Spirit, are declaring the glory, the power, the greatness of God, when they can understand your words of praise and adulation in glorifying God, they are edified by your praises. Now, if you have been in Pentecostal services or circles, I am sure that as you saw the particular phenomena of tongues, that as you recall those instances you see that there is an inconsistency here. For in the observation over the years of Pentecostal services where there were the public utterances in tongues, they called them messages in tongues. And the interpretation so often was after this manner. "My little children, hearken unto Me, for I would call unto you today to praise Me. My little children, hearken unto my voice." And so often the interpretation, or I would say at this point, the supposed interpretation is addressed to the people as God would be speaking to them. It would appear in the first person. "For I the Lord declared unto thee that today I am going to bless you," and all, and it comes out as a message from God to man.

I have observed this over and over and over again in Pentecostal-type services. Does that mean that the tongues are not genuine? No. It means that the interpretation wasn't genuine. What I feel oftentimes happens in these meetings where you have this kind of a happening is that you do have the gift of tongues exercised, followed by a gift of prophecy exercised, and not the interpretation of the tongues. I think that this is a common error in Pentecostal churches today, and you will find it almost universally within them. Tongues followed by prophecy, rather than be a true interpretation of what was uttered in the unknown tongue.

So tongues with interpretation is not an equivalent or equal to prophecy, or the same thing as prophecy. For prophecy is when God speaks to the church to edify, to exhort, to comfort; where tongues is addressed to God, divine mysteries, the secrets, the beauty, the glory as my spirit worships Him.

Now, brethren, if I come unto you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, except I shall speak to you either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine? ( 1 Corinthians 14:6 )

In other words, when I come to you tonight to speak to you, I come speaking to you by revelation, by the word of knowledge, by the gift of prophecy, and by doctrine. If I stood up here the whole evening speaking in an unknown tongue, it would be a wasted evening for all of you. But by speaking to you by revelation, and prophecy, and word of knowledge, and doctrine, you are all blessed and benefited as we take the Word of God and as we learn by it and as we grow by it in our relationship and walk with God. The speaking in tongues would only be meaningless sounds. And meaningless sounds, you don't know what to do with them. So Paul said,

There are things that don't have life that give out sounds ( 1 Corinthians 14:7 ),

Now, if I would go over and play the piano for you tonight, it would be meaningless to you. It would be meaningless sounds. If a gifted, accomplished pianist played, it could bless you. And so there are things like pipes, like harps that give out sounds, but unless a person is really skilled, you know, if you just get a guitar and just hit the strings and let your fingers go wherever, you don't hear any melody, you don't hear anything; it is just a jangle of noise. Tongues can be just a jangle of noise, unless there is an interpretation of them. How do you know what song a person is playing if he is just making the noise on the instrument? You don't know what is being played.

Or if the trumpet gives an uncertain sound, who is going to prepare himself for battle? ( 1 Corinthians 14:8 )

Now, of course, in those days, and even to the present day, they have certain bugle calls whereby they call people to wake up in the morning. They call people to come to breakfast. They call people to come for mail. They call people to assemble together. They call people to charge. They call people to retreat. And each one of these bugle calls has a message. We understand the message, but if a guy just gets up there and starts blaring on the bugle, what are we supposed to do? Retreat? Charge? Or go to breakfast? It is an uncertain sound, he is just making a noise, and you don't know how to respond to it.

Tongues can be meaningless. You don't know how to respond to it. You don't know how to react to it.

So likewise, unless you utter by your tongue words that are easy to be understood, how are people going to know what you say? ( 1 Corinthians 14:9 )

So just to get up and speak in tongues to people is worthless. It doesn't prepare them for anything. They don't know how to respond to it, unless you speak in words they can understand, bringing the simple truths.

Otherwise it is just like speaking into the air. There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them without significance ( 1 Corinthians 14:9-10 ).

It may be that you are saying something extremely significant, but who knows? Maybe you are saying something rather dumb.

Therefore if I don't know the meaning of the voice ( 1 Corinthians 14:11 ),

Coming in to foreign language is sometimes a very interesting experience, because you may do something that is dumb in their culture. And they start screaming at you and yelling at you in their language, and oftentimes I am glad I don't understand it. I don't know how to respond, but I am glad I don't understand what they are saying.

Therefore if I don't know the meaning of the voice, I am like a foreigner to the one who is speaking. Even so you, forasmuch as you are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek for those gifts that you might excel in those gifts that will edify the whole church. Therefore let him that speaks in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret ( 1 Corinthians 14:11-13 ).

Have the gift of interpretation, so that should he exercise that gift of tongues in the church he would also be able to edify the whole church by bringing the interpretation.

For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful ( 1 Corinthians 14:14 ).

I don't understand what I am saying.

What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also ( 1 Corinthians 14:15 ).

Paul is just declaring there are times in my devotions that I will pray in tongues; there are times in my devotions that I will pray in Greek or in Hebrew, the language I know. There are times when I will sing in tongues; there are times when I sing in the language that I know.

Else, when you shall bless with the spirit, [that is in tongues,] how shall he that is occupying the room of the unlearned say Amen at your giving of thanks, if he doesn't understand what you are saying? For you indeed are giving thanks well, but the rest of them are not edified ( 1 Corinthians 14:16-17 ).

And now Paul inserts this, lest you get the wrong impression of what he is trying to say.

I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than all of you ( 1 Corinthians 14:18 ):

Now Paul has told us already that he doesn't do it in church. He would rather in church speak five words in a known tongue, than ten thousand in an unknown tongue.

Therefore, if he speaks in tongues more than all of them, it is obvious that he does so in his own personal private devotions, in his closet. I do believe that if a person has the gift of tongues that the proper place to exercise that gift is in their own personal private devotions, as by the Spirit they worship God with the assistance of the Spirit declaring to God their love, His glory, His goodness, His power, His greatness.

I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than all of you: yet in church I had rather speak five words that people can understand, that I might be able to teach them, than ten thousand words that they don't understand. Brethren, be not children in understanding: how be it in malice be children, but not in understanding, be men ( 1 Corinthians 14:19-20 ).

So we should seek to understand things, not to be as children. Only as far as malice we should be as children. As far as the malice is concerned, but in understanding, seek to really understand, seek to really know.

In the law it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that they will not hear me, saith the Lord ( 1 Corinthians 14:21 ).

Now in Deuteronomy, the twenty-eighth chapter, in the law, Moses was warning the people of Israel at the end of his ministry how that because of their turning their backs on God, their enemies were going to come in and overthrow them. And they would be hearing in their own streets other languages being spoken. As God's judgment was upon them for their turning their backs on Him. So the hearings of the other tongues was really a sign of the judgement of God, because they had turned their backs upon God.

Paul, it seems, was referring to Deuteronomy the twenty-eighth chapter, because he said, "In the law it is written." But also in Isaiah the prophet it is also written in the twenty-eighth chapter, "That with stammering lips and other tongues will I speak to this people. But for all of this they will not hear." Now this is in the context where they were making fun of Isaiah's ministry. They said, "Who is he going to teach? He ought to go back and teach kindergarten, for he is so simple and basic, his teaching is line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little, there a little." They were making fun of his teaching methods, and then he said, "But with stammering lips and other tongues will I speak unto this people." "And this is the rest wherewith he will cause the weary to rest, yet for all of this, they will not hear." Paul is evidentially putting together both of these passages of scriptures. With men of other tongues will God speak, as they hear these foreign languages of these soldiers from the alien armies as they have been captured, Deuteronomy 28 .

Yet, for all of that they will not hear me, saith the Lord, taking Isaiah's. In other words, even with this judgement and, of course, going back to Deuteronomy, the judgement did not turn the people to God.

Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serves not for them that believe not, but for them which believe ( 1 Corinthians 14:22 ).

So the tongues, an interesting passage, are a sign for those who believe not. Now herein is a very difficult passage of scripture, because it would appear that the very next verse completely contradicts this.

We do find on the day of Pentecost that tongues did serve as a sign for those that believed not. For on the day of Pentecost when these devout Jews were drawn by the phenomena, they heard them speaking in the various languages, though they were, all of them, from Galilee region, languages from all over the world, using these languages to praise God and to glorify the Lord. As Peter then explained to them the phenomena that they were observing, giving them the scriptural basis, when Peter was finished with his message and the Holy Spirit had convicted their hearts, they said, "What shall we do since we have crucified the Lord of glory?" Peter said, "Repent, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of your sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, for the promise is to you and your children who are far off." Approximately two thousand of them believed and were added to the body of Christ that day, the birth of the church. They were drawn by the phenomena, they were convinced by the phenomena of speaking in tongues, and it was a sign there to the unbelievers and they were converted to Jesus Christ as the result of the phenomena that they observed.

Whereas prophecy is more directed to those that believe, to encourage, to strengthen, to comfort, to edify. In the next verse it seems that Paul totally reverses his position.

If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that you are crazy? ( 1 Corinthians 14:23 )

Is Paul totally reversing his position? No, he is giving here a hypothetical case, probably was happening in Corinth. When the church was gathered together they would all stand up and just start speaking in tongues. Now, if I went to a church and everybody in the church got up and started speaking in tongues, I would say they are crazy. I don't understand what is going on if I were an unbeliever. If there is to be tongues in the church, they are to be governed by the rule that Paul set forth here.

Verse 1 Corinthians 14:27 :

If any man speaks in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most three, and that in turn; and let one interpret ( 1 Corinthians 14:27 ).

Now if the whole church is gathered together and there are unbelievers present, the exercise of the gift of tongues by the whole church would draw the conclusion that they are crazy. It would not be a sign to the unbeliever at all, except the sign that you are all crazy. However, if there is to be the exercise of tongues, definitely it would appear that Paul is discouraging it in the church. "I personally," Paul says, "wouldn't do it in church. I do it in my own devotions." If it is done in church, then definitely it is and should be limited two or three at the most, that in turn, and one person should interpret. Further restrictions,

If there is no one there with the gift of interpretation, then keep silent; and speak unto yourself, and to God ( 1 Corinthians 14:28 ).

I totally discount the person who gets up and speaks in tongues and says, "God made me do it. I couldn't help myself." Paul here does declare that you do have control over it. And that if there is no interpreter, you feel this urge and this anointing, just speak to yourself and speak to God. It could be as God's Word is going forth, the Spirit of God is touching your heart and you're blessed. And many people only know how to respond to God's touch upon their heart by speaking in tongues. If that be the case and you are being blessed and you want to just praise God for what you are gaining and learning, then just do it to yourself and to God.

There are times when the church gathers together, not the whole body, but in parts, little prayer groups, little prayer cells, then I think that there are other rules that apply. I think that there can be a greater freedom in the use of tongues in those smaller groups, but when the whole church is gathered together, unbelievers present, then there are definite rules that apply.

Here at Calvary Chapel, because of the size when the whole church is gathered together, for a person to get up and speak in tongues would be confusing. Therefore, we do not allow it in our public services, to save confusion. Number one: we don't know all of the people who might want to stand up.

The other Sunday night we had some real winners over here. I was expecting one of them to get up and speak in tongues, really. Unfortunately, they spoke language that we did understand, which wasn't edifying.

But there are people who have psychological problems who are drawn to Pentecostal-type services, and they use the freedom of the platform within the Pentecostal services to satisfy a psychological need in their own lives. Inasmuch as we exercise the gift of prophecy and word of knowledge and word of wisdom as we are teaching the Word, it would not be consistent for the Holy Spirit to interrupt Himself with utterances in tongues with interpretations. As I say, we do have the prayer groups, the cell groups and all, where there is a freer exercise of this particular gift with interpretation. It is valuable and we don't invalidate it. We recognize it as the valid work and gift of God, but not in the whole assembly of the church, when the whole church is gathered together and unbelievers present, then we put the brakes on it.

But if all are prophesying, and there comes in one who does not believe, or is unlearned, he is convinced of all, and judged of all ( 1 Corinthians 14:24 ):

Now, he said, though the prophecy was not for them that believed not, but for them which believed. But I have found something that is very interesting. As we are teaching the Word of God using the gift of prophecy, quite often when unbelievers come in, though prophecy is for the body and exhorting or comforting, or edifying the body, and unbelievers comes in, though the gift is directed to the body, yet so many times things are said that cut their own hearts. As I start speaking on a particular issue, start creating examples. We have had people bring their friends to church who became extremely angered with their friends, because they feared it was a setup. They thought that their friends had told me all about them before they got here, and were so upset that they would be set up like that. They were sure that I had received the full report on them, because as we started talking, the Spirit of God began to nail the issues in their lives.

Many times a person in hearing things like this is convicted by the Spirit and he realizes God is real, the things of God are real. Even though the gift is being exercised towards the church, there are those who in hearing the teaching of the Word are convinced in their own hearts of the reality and the truth of God. So prophecy serves a wonderful place within the church to edify, to exhort, to comfort. Unbelievers hearing it don't go away and say, "You are crazy," they go away saying, "There is something there that's real."

For thus are the secrets of their heart made manifest; and falling down on their faces they will worship God, and report that God is there in truth. How is it then, brethren? When you come together, every one of you has a psalm, has a doctrine, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation ( 1 Corinthians 14:25-26 ).

Here is where they made a mistake in punctuation. In the Greek there is no punctuation. This was done by the translators, and herein I believe they made a mistake in punctuation in putting the question mark after the word brethren. The question mark should be after the word interpretation. So the question is, "How is it then, brethren, when you come together, every one of you has a psalm, has a doctrine, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation?" In other words, your services are wild, and everybody wants to get into the act. Everyone of you have a psalm, an interpretation.

Now because of the mistake in the punctuation, there are some people who say that when the church comes together, this is the order for the church. When you come you should have the psalm, you should have a song, you should have the prophecy, you should have an interpretation, you know, it should be freewheeling, everybody should get up and do their thing. This is the order.

And it's like when Chuck Junior was growing up and had misbehaved and I took him in to spank him, and I was wanting to explain to him why it was necessary that I spank him for this infraction of the rule. I said, "You know, Chuck, the Bible says to spare the rod and spoil the child." He said, "Ya, why don't you?" "It means that if I spare the rod, I will spoil you." But he interpreted that as a command. Spare the rod and spoil the child, "You ought to spoil me, Dad."

People have misinterpreted this in the same way, taking it as a command. It is not a command; it is a rebuke for the disorderly services that they were having in Corinth. That is why he gives the first rule, when you are gathered together,

Let all things be done unto edifying ( 1 Corinthians 14:26 ).

Let everything that is done, let it be done for the building up of the whole body of Christ. Let it have that benefit of building up the body. First rule.

If they speak in an unknown tongue [as we've already covered], two, or at the most three; one interpret. If there is no interpreter, then let them keep silence in the church; and let them speak to themselves, and to God. Those that prophesy again two or three, and let the others judge ( 1 Corinthians 14:27-29 ).

If a person gets up and says, "Thus saith the Lord," don't just buy it. Judge it. Is it really the Lord speaking, "Thus saith the Lord, 'Go out and sell everything, there is going to be a crash, get rid of all of your stock.'" Is it really the Lord speaking? Judge it! A lot of people have gotten in trouble because they didn't judge supposed prophecies, so a lot of weird things have been done. So let there be two or three, let the others judge. If someone is prophesying and something is revealed to someone sitting by, then let the first hold his peace and let the other one have a chance to share what's on his heart.

For you may all prophesy one at a time, that all may learn, and all be comforted ( 1 Corinthians 14:31 ).

The purpose of prophecy was for comfort and learning.

And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets ( 1 Corinthians 14:32 ).

In other words, the Holy Spirit will not make you do something inordinately. The Holy Spirit isn't going to just take and set you on your feet and set you to shouting in the middle of the service. "The spirit of the prophet is subject unto the prophet." You have the control over the gifts and the use of the gifts of the Spirit in your life. The Spirit doesn't take you out of yourself.

Second rule:

God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all of the churches of the saints ( 1 Corinthians 14:33 ).

Those things that are done should not be, or bring confusion, and if the result is confusion, then it was not of God. As those three ladies went parading out the other night, shouting their judgments upon the house of God, it was confusing. It was not of God. God is not the author of confusion, but of peace.

Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. ( 1 Corinthians 14:34 ).

Now, you remember we pointed out when we were in the eleventh chapter that Paul speaks of a woman praying or prophesying with her head unveiled. When Paul is declaring here that a woman is not to speak but is to keep silence, he is not referring to women not praying in church, or not prophesying in church. Because he already has made allowances for that back in the eleventh chapter. Then what does he mean, "Let your women," notice, your women, "keep silence in the church"?

And if they would learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church ( 1 Corinthians 14:35 ).

The early church followed the pattern of the Jewish synagogue. Men sat on one side. The women sat on the other side. Now we don't follow the Jewish synagogue pattern anymore. We co-mingle. They did that because they felt that they might be distracted by women, so they kept them on one side separately and the men on the other so that they would not be distracted by them. Here, as you're sitting together, if something is said you don't quite understand you might say, "What does he mean by that?" Or you might write a note, What does that mean? There, because their husbands were on the other side, "Honey, what is he talking about?" Paul said, "Let the women keep silent, your women keep silent, your wife keep silent. If she wants to learn anything, if she has a problem, question, let her ask you when you get her home. It is a shame the way the women are calling out in church." It isn't prohibiting them from praying, from prophesying, from exercising the other gifts of the Spirit. It is prohibiting them from calling across the room to their husbands and asking for an explanation of what is being said, or what is going on. "And if they will learn anything, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak out in church that way."

Now Paul is saying,

Do you think you originated the things of God? [Do you think that you set the standards? Do you think you set the rules, that the Word of God has come forth to you?] Or only to you that you have a special dispensation? ( 1 Corinthians 14:36 ).

Now Paul uses a lot of wisdom and he says,

If any man thinks himself to be a prophet, or he really thinks himself spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I am writing to you are the commandments of the Lord ( 1 Corinthians 14:37 ).

There were a lot of people puffed up spiritually. Paul said, "Love isn't puffed up, it doesn't vaunt itself," but that was happening in Corinth. People were trying to take the positions of spiritual authority.

Now it is interesting how that so many people get on these spiritual trips and spiritual pride. They have got the revelation, and they have got the understanding, and they have got the knowledge. Paul said, "Look, if the guy is truly spiritual, let him acknowledge that these things that I am saying are from the Lord." If you really have the gift of prophecy, if you are truly spiritual, you have to acknowledge this.

But if a man is ignorant, that's too bad. Therefore, brethren, desire to prophesy, and forbid not to speak in tongues ( 1 Corinthians 14:38-39 ).

But then, finally, the last rule:

Let all things be done decently and in order ( 1 Corinthians 14:40 ).

That's the failure of the Corinthian church. There was disorder in the house of God, bringing confusion, and people were going there and saying, "Hey, they are crazy." And probably for a good reason. "Let all things be done decently and in order."

Next week that exciting fifteenth chapter of Corinthians. It's a dilly!

May the Lord bless you and guide you in your walk and fellowship with Him. That it might increase and be enriched. May the Lord keep His hand upon your life this week, may you be blessed as He leads and guides, and may it be really a beautiful week. May you experience a new depth of relationship with Him. Some of you who have in times past exercised some of those gifts of the Spirit in your own devotions or whatever, and you have just let them be lax, may you stir up the gifts that are in you. May you just begin to really use every tool that God has given to worship, to know, to fellowship, to understand. May you draw closer to Him, be deepened in your walk. In Jesus' name. "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 14". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/1-corinthians-14.html. 2014.
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