1 Corinthians 14:36

Sunday, 20 March 2016

-Today’s teaching will be the final in a part four series I’ve titled, “What The Church Should Be Like.” -The chapter concludes with the Apostle Paul making it very clear in no uncertain terms what the church should be and look like. -More specifically, no one or no thing should ever become a distraction or a disruption from the main thing being the main thing.

-In our study through this first epistle to the church in Corinth, it’s rather apparent that this was a church that had gotten off track. -It seems that their services were riddled with chaos and confusion as evidenced by the church being in disorder and disarray. -It’s for this reason that Paul is addressing these serious problems that ensued as a result of their ignorance concerning church.

-It’s my belief that the Corinthian’s had forsaken everything Paul taught them while he was there with them for a year and a half. -Just as the Ephesian church had forsaken their first love, so too had the Corinthians forsaken the worship and Word of God. -I suppose in some way you could say Paul, by the Spirit of God, is exhorting them to get their focus off themselves and on God.

1. The Church should be a place where we worship God (Verses 21-25) -Paul says it’s only the prophetic Word that causes people to fall down and worship God exclaiming, “God is really among you.”

2. The Church should be a place where we’re built up (Verses 26-29) -Here, Paul says when they come together as a church, everything they do must be done so that the church may be built up.

3. The Church should be a place where we’re instructed and encouraged (Verses 30-32) -Paul continues by giving specific restrictions with tongues and prophecy so that everyone may be instructed and encouraged.

4. The Church should be a place where we find peace and harmony (Verses 33-35) -Paul tells them God is not a God of disorder but of peace and that women should be silent in the church so as to not disrupt.

5. The Church should be a place where we find order (Verses 36-40) -v36-37 Paul asks two rhetorical questions saying did the word of God originate with you? Or has the Word reached only you? -v38 He then says that if anyone ignores, or as some translations render it, is ignorant, let them be ignored in their ignorance. -v39-40 He tells them be eager to prophesy, and don’t forbid speaking in tongues, but it should be done decently and in order.  

-At first read of this passage, one can easily miss the sanctified strength with which Paul rebukes the Corinthian Christians. -In verse thirty-six, he basically tells them they have no right to arbitrarily and unilaterally decide what the church should be like. -By way of another comparison to another church, they were dangerously close to the Laodicean church, which did exactly this.

-Then, in verse thirty-seven, Paul says, in effect, who do you people think you are? Do you think the world revolves around you? -By way of an illustration, our world revolves around the sun, just as everything should revolve around the Son, Jesus Christ. -If it didn’t, the planets, moons, and the entire solar system would be in chaos and disorder, which is what happened in Corinth.

-To me, this explains why Paul says what he says in verses thirty-nine and forty, about everything being done in an orderly way. -Be that as it may, it’s what he says in verse thirty-eight that I would like for us to spend the remainder of our time together on. -This because, it speaks to what I believe is one of the most serious problems that can ever take up residence in a church today.

-What I’m speaking of is what I’ll call “contentious and ignorant obstinance,” also known as having a stiff-necked stubbornness. -Lest you think I’m being to hard on these Corinthian Christians let me hasten to say that this is exactly what Paul is telling them. -While it should be noted that the word ignorance comes from ignore there’s some debate as to the correlation between the two.

Barnes’ Notes on the Bible, “Let him be ignorant -At his own peril, let him remain so, and abide the consequences. I shall not take any further trouble to debate with him. I have stated my authority. I have delivered the commands of God. …And now, if he chooses to remain in ignorance or incredulity, the fault is his own, and he must answer for it to God.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary …if any man be ignorant—wilfully; not wishing to recognize these ordinances and my apostolic authority in enjoining them. let him be ignorant—I leave him to his ignorance: it will be at his own peril; I feel it a waste of words to speak anything further to convince him.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible --…if he will not be convinced, but goes on to doubt, and call in question the truth of these things, and obstinately persist in his ignorance, let him be ignorant: let him be treated and despised as an ignorant man; and let his ignorance be no hindrance to any in receiving these rules and directions as the commandments of Christ; for no regard is to be had, or pity shown, to a man of affected ignorance, and willful obstinacy; such a man is not to be known and owned, but shunned and rejected.

-You’ll forgive me for referencing our new church building yet again, however, I do believe it’s incumbent upon me to do so here. -Here’s why, in my own personal experience over the years I’ve seen church dynamics change when a church grows and builds. -Whether a church expands or relocates to a larger facility, often times people will have designs on want the church is to be like.

-The bottom line in closing is God has not given us as a church permission to impose our designs or desires on this His church. -The truth of the matter is, He’s already given us the template, as it were, in His Word, for how the church is to be the church. -As for me and my church, it will always be a place of peace, and order where we worship God and are built up and encouraged.

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