Summary: Two things are specifically emphasized in this passage: 1. "Let all things be done unto edifying" (v. 26). 2. "Let all things be done decently and in order" (v. 40).
THOUGHTS ABOUT THE PASSAGE:
In a Peanuts cartoon Lucy demanded that Linus change TV channels, threatening him with her fist if he didn’t. “What makes you think you can walk right in here and take over?” asks Linus.
“These five fingers,” says Lucy. “Individually they’re nothing but when I curl them together like this into a single fist, they form a weapon that is mighty to behold.” “Which channel do you want?” asks Linus. Turning away, he looks at his fingers and says, “Why can’t you guys get organized like that?”
Two things are specifically emphasized in this passage:
1. "Let all things be done unto edifying" (v. 26).
2. "Let all things be done decently and in order" (v. 40).
This has been the theme in this chapter and continues in Paul’s thinking as he gives instruction for worship in the church. Worship services in the early church do not seem to have been dominated by one individual, but open to free participation by all who would choose to participate. It is evident that the Corinthian church was having special problems with disorders in their public meetings. Furthermore, it seems that the tongues speakers were the ones causing the most trouble, so Paul addressed himself to them and gave specific instructions for the church to follow in their services.
1. There must never be more than three speaking in tongues in any one meeting (v. 27).
2. To speak in tongues without an interpreter is forbidden (v. 28).
3. Women are not permitted to speak in tongues in the church services (v.34).
Certainly, Paul was not saying that women had no right to pray or share God’s Word in the church, because he had already given instructions as to how she was to do this (11:5).
Lord, help me to be on the lookout as to how I can edify other Christians and to always be organized to the point that others will feel comfortable in the things I do.