Useful Bible Studies > 1 Corinthians Commentary > chapter 14

Church meetings that can benefit everyone present

1 Corinthians 14:26

Today, church leaders often organise each meeting at their churches. That did not happen in Corinth, and Paul did not tell the Christians there to do that.

Instead, the Christians at Corinth shared the responsibility to lead the meetings. Each of them came to the meeting with something that he wanted to do during the meeting. Perhaps one person led a song, another person taught a lesson from the Bible. Someone else explained something that God had shown him. Other people gave messages in tongues (unknown languages), by the power of the Holy Spirit. Then someone explained what those messages meant, again by the power of the Holy Spirit.

That is not, of course, the only way to arrange a church meeting. As we have said, many churches do not do that today. However, that method can work well if the Christians have genuine love towards each other. The problem at Corinth was that Christians had been acting in a selfish manner. Probably, they often argued about who should speak next. Sometimes it seems that more than one person tried to speak at the same time.

There were church leaders at Corinth, but they had been unable to deal with these problems. So, Paul explained what they should do. During church meetings, people must respect God and so they must always behave in a proper manner (14:40). In 1 Corinthians 14:27-40, Paul gave some instructions to explain what each person should do. Paul was very careful not to stop the work of the Holy Spirit in these meetings. Paul wanted every part of those meetings to benefit everyone present.

Next part: The proper use of tongues at church meetings (1 Corinthians 14:27-28)


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© 2014, Keith Simons.