It was Tuesday 7th April at 6.50 pm and I was sitting and mulling over 1 Corinthians 14. As I did so, the Lord began speaking to me about the meanings of Paul’s letter to the Corinthian church. I had previously understood that Paul spoke to the church about the disorderly conduct in relation to the use of their spiritual gifts:

He began the chapter by urging them to desire to prophesy since the following situations existed in relation to the use of the gift of tongues:

* They were all speaking in tongues and no one among them could understand what was being said. The speakers had become like foreigners to the hearers and vice versa. Furthermore, unbelievers would call them mad if they came to a service and saw the existing confusion.

* Those who spoke in tongues were unable to interpret what they were saying and no one was able to do so.

* There were people in the church who felt that they were prophets but they were all speaking together.

* To make matters worse, the women were calling back and forth to each other, trying to understand all that was going on.

What a state of bedlam!

Paul therefore asked them to please stick to prophesying. At least everyone would understand what was being said and the church would be edified. Furthermore, the gift of prophecy would convince sinners of the error of their ways and they would repent.

IT is therefore with tongue in cheek that Paul asked,

“given this state of melodrama and total bedlam, I don’t understand how you come together and some say they have a hymn, another has a word of instruction, another has a revelation, a tongue or interpretation.” (1 Cor 14: 26)

People were trying to outdo each other. Everyone wanted to be in the limelight, to star in their gifts. We will also understand this in light of 1 Corinthians 12 and 13 which are intertwined with chapter 14.

In 1 Cor 14: 37, Paul said, if anyone of you thinks that he or she is such a hot shot prophet, or has great spiritual gifts, stay in your place and don’t get mad. The instructions that I gave in this entire letter is the Lord’s command and not mine. Grow up and stop behaving like children (1 Cor 14: 20).

By taking charge of the situation, he reminded them that he was the Apostle (no offense meant) and that the Lord revealed how they were to conduct themselves.

I’m out of time, but the instructions are in the chapter. Have a blessed day!

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