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  • William T. Howe Ph.D.

December 2, 2021

I Corinthians 14:40

Let all things be done decently and in order.


Go all the way back to the book of Nehemiah. There they had a revival of the Word of God. Why? Several reasons no doubt, for the Lord God set them up for revival, but one area of specific importance to support the teaching found in today’s verse is found in Nehemiah 8:8: So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading. To this preacher, this is the essence of the purpose of church. One, to read the Book of the Law; two, to read it distinctly; three, to give the sense of it; and four, to cause those who do not understand that which is read to understand that which is read.


For these four aspects of “church work” to be carried out in every service all things must be done decently and in order. If time permits, go back and read Nehemiah chapter 8. The Word of God was prominent, the speaker was on the pulpit higher than the people, there were prayers made, the folks said “Amen”, they lifted up their holy hands in agreement, the teaching priests taught the Word, then they were dismissed to go home and rejoice.


Things being performed with a continual nod to being decent and in order makes all the difference in church. In today’s chapter Paul is dealing with an issue in the Corinth church that was causing trouble. He sets forth some rules for the sign gift of “tongues” to be incorporated into every church service. These rules, if followed, would keep things decent and orderly. But more than just tongues, in verse 26 of the chapter Paul lists psalms, doctrines, tongues, revelations, and interpretations. He says all this should be used only for the purpose of edifying (building up) those in the church. Meaning they are not to be used for individual aggrandizement. Also, he states clearly that this gift of tongues is not to be used as a sign for believers, but rather for unbelievers. This should be remembered today. Also, it should be remembered that this was the response to the first mention of the use of tongues which was on the day of Pentecost when every man heard them speak the wonderful works of God in their own language. On that day, 3,000 unbelievers became believers and were baptized. Wow!


But back to today’s thought. In everything in the church, let everything be done decently and in order. Otherwise, confusion and strife will enter in. According to verse 33 …God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints. Decency and order is the inoculation against the infection of confusion. Amen! And Amen!


Until tomorrow, live for Christ today.

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