Summary: What God’s word says concerning worship assemblies.
Worship was designed by God to be offered unto God. There are two types of worship, personal worship and corporate worship. Personal worship entails the way we glorify God in our everyday life (Rom. 12:1). "Take your everyday, ordinary life; your sleeping, eating, going to work and walking around life and place it before God as an offering (Rom. 12:1 Message). Corporate worship, or worship "in the church," is what we are engaged in here today. It is the official gathering of the "ekklesia" or "the called out ones" to fulfill God’s requirement of worship. In regard to worship, Jesus said that it must be done with the right attitude and according to God’s will (John 4:21 (quickview) —24).
The church in Corinth had obvious problems with their worship, hence Paul’s instructions to them in this letter. Their worship had become disorderly, there was no edification, they had become arrogant and were inserting their ideas into worship instead of following God’s will.
I. Worship, properly directed toward God, strengthens the church.
A. Man’s idea of how to worship has no value. Col. 2:20—23
B. Being truly thankful for his sacrifice, we should worship God acceptably. Heb. 12:28
C. As part of one body, the church rises and falls together. 1 Cor. 12
II. God has limited the woman’s role in worship. 1 Cor. 14:34—35
A. Notice the qualifying statement—"in the church."
B. From the Greek—ekklesia; here meaning assembly, worship.
III. Women are commanded to remain silent in worship.
A. Women are not allowed to speak in worship.
1. From the Greek—laleo
2. Meaning: declaring one’s mind or disclosing one’s thoughts.
B. It is disgraceful (shameful) for a woman to teach in worship.
1. Women should show submission.
2. Women can not exercise authority over a man. 1 Tim. 2:11
As Christians, men and women are equals (Gal. 3:26—28). The restrictions placed upon women in worship are from God (1 Cor. 14:37—38). As people who live by the word we should be careful in its application. To worship God in spirit and truth we must uphold God’s word. However, God has applied this to worship and any limitations further would be binding God’s word where he has not bound.
Mitchell Skelton, Minister—Midway church of Christ