Decently & In Order

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 14:26-40


In last week’s sermon, the apostle Paul encouraged the church in Corinth to use their spiritual gifts to build up one another. In this week’s passage, continuing on in chapter 14, Paul urges the gathered church to worship God decently and in order, because he is a God of peace not of confusion.


We are continuing our series in 1 Corinthians called Living in Light of Eternity. We’ll hear the Apostle Paul’s words to the church in Corinth about some very serious problems they were dealing with like divisions, fighting, sexual morality, marriage, and singleness. And now it’s using our spiritual gifts, and the need for everything to be done in love. He will end by giving them encouragement about the resurrection of Jesus Christ and our future resurrection as believers.

That’s where the series title “Living in Light of Eternity” comes from. With our view of eternity, knowing that our souls will go on forever and ever, knowing that God will judge our behavior, and knowing that His Son Jesus died so that we can spend eternity with God – how should we think, live, and act today?

‌The city of Corinth was a key seaport city in the Roman Empire’s trade route. Like many other wealthy crossroads cities, it had a reputation for immorality, religious diversity and corruption. A lot like our culture today. As we read this letter to another group of Christians in another church from another century, let’s watch for principles or teachings that apply to our church community right here in Dunkirk.

The Focus of chapters 11-14 are on the gathering of the church. What our purposes for church are and how should we treat each other.

A God of Peace

Paul summarizes the teaching in verse 40 saying “all things should be done decently and in order.”

You may have noticed our worship services are also calm and orderly. People are not jumping up and saying whatever they want. We are not running around and working ourselves up into a physical frenzy. Our worship team is leading us in singing together, not performing for their own recognition or praise. All glory, honor, praise belongs to Jesus alone, and that is our aim. We are hearing from God through His Word as we read it together, as it is preached and explained, as we sing songs that come from God’s Word. We worship a God of peace in a way that brings us peace and directs our thoughts and hearts to Him.

Rules for Worship

Paul is writing to the Corinthian church during the apostolic era. That means the days when the apostles, who met Jesus physically, were still present and active in ministry. The spiritual gifts designated as signs and wonders like healing and speaking and interpreting other tongues (foreign languages), were still in use for the benefit of unbelievers to authenticate the message of the apostles. The gift of prophecy, speaking a new revelation or new word from God was still in use because the completed Bible was not yet finished. I talked about these issues last week, so if you were not here, please go back and listen to last week’s message for details. You can find it on our website or on our YouTube channel.
Verse 39 Paul repeats what he said in previous passages, if you desire spiritual gifts desire prophesy over speaking in tongues. But do not stop people from speaking in tongues – follow the rules for that day. Remember in chapter 13, Paul said prophecies tongues and new knowledge will all cease. This letter was written in around 55 AD. None of the later letters written by Paul, Peter, or John have any mention of tongues or prophecy. It is likely that those sign gifts had already ceased to be needed and there was no need to teach about them. That is where we are today.

Women in Church

verses 33-35 deal with another problem in Corinth, but Paul starts out by saying this is true for all the churches. Women are to be silent in church. They are not in authority, but in a position of submission to their husbands, just as the Law of Moses says.
Paul spelled out God’s design in Ephesians 5

Wives submit to your own husband as you submit to the Lord, because the husband is the head of the wife just as Christ is the head of the church. And Husbands love your wife sacrificially, but her needs and what is best for her ahead of yourself just as Christ loved the church and was willing to die for us. Love your wife as yourself and wives respect your husband.
Women, if your husband is not being the spiritual leader you think he should be, pray for him and encourage him – don’t usurp that position and become the leader yourself. Husbands, if you think your wife does not respect you or submit to your leadership, pray for her and evaluate your leadership. Are you loving her sacrificially? Are you serving her? Are you putting her needs above your own? Are spiritually leading her and your family to be closer to Jesus Christ?

We follow God’s ordained pattern of men in positions of spiritual authority in the church. This may not be popular, but it is God’s Word.

Take Aways

Is worship about you and your preferences or are you focused on hearing God’s Word and being ready to receive and follow it?

Do you prepare your heart for worship each Sunday? Getting a good night’s sleep. Coming on time for the whole worship service. Sitting quietly or praying before the service starts. Five minute reminder – you should be in the sanctuary. Two minute reminder – you should be in your seat. When Welcome Video comes on you should be quietly listening or praying. This effects everyone else around you as well.

Do you agree with the Bible’s teaching about the sign gifts that have ended?

Do you agree with the Bible’s teaching about women not in authority in the church?

Do you help keep things decently and in order with the goal of building up others and yourself? Unless you are sick, leaving for the bathroom on a regular basis is not necessary and it will disturb others.

This passage is written specifically to church members about how to conduct ourselves in a worship service. If you are not part of the church family – have you trusted Jesus Christ as Savior? He is the reason that all of this matters. He is the reason we spend this hour together each Sunday. We want to glorify and lift Him up. We want to share the good news that you can be saved and that Jesus is worthy of all your worship and attention.