How Should Our Church Service Be conducted?
God's Due ORDER of Operations
Introduction: In the OT Israel were to show the nations around about them how to conduct righteousness and justice. In the NT The Church is the Showroom lfoor (so to speak) for presenting God's will for his people. We would expect that God would be very detailed in how the Church should run. We know that God does everything for a reason. We also know that God does not tolerate deviation from his pattern. ( If we deviate, he simply steps back and lets us play religion)
Many today have read Chapters 11-14 out of the (during the meeting) context, choosing to take statements, that were designed to promote contiantious use of the gifts (IN THE MEETINGS) and develope doctrines to say that one can have this gift and another can have that.
IMPORTANT: If I wrote a letter to a Church who were ALREADY supposed to be operating "decently and in order" a structured operation of spiritual gifts. Commanding them to correct disorderly behaviour. It would be erronious to mis-apply that letter to and OUT OF MEETING SETTING.
For example; To write to a church congregation where, at any given meeting ONLY 2 or 3 would operate the gifts of (Tongues, interpretation and Prophecy) and ask the question "do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?" the answer is obviously NO. Because some may never have operated these gifts IN THE MEETING. To conclude however that this says that (not all will speak in togues OUTSIDE the MEETING) from this verse which is obviously NOT OUT OF THE MEETING is deceptive and out of context.
Jesus said that Tongues would be a "Sign" that would follow believers. Tongues was also a prayer language for the edifying of the believer. The 120 who recieved the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost ALL spoke in tongues. There were 3000+ added to the Church that day. I am sure They would have desired the same measure of what they "saw and heard" In the next few posts I am going to go verse by verse through chapters 11-14 one chapter at a time and explain what I believe is the CRITICAL ERROR being made by most on this site.
For those who think I am making too big a deal of this ponder this. Jesus warned us that in the last days apostacy would rob the majority of relationship with God. How does deception work? If we believe we are right with God we consolidate our position and sit still. As time goes on we defend our position because we see many people, friends and family who live godly lives. Jesus said many will say Lord Lord I have prophecied in your name and still go to hell. (not saying this is you, only emphasising the age we live in) Rom 10:1 Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. Rom 10:2 For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. Rom 10:3 For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.
On that note let's get started:
1Co 11:1 Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.
1Co 11:2 Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.
The beginning of Chapter 11 there is instruction to"keep the ordinances" or traditions. Same word as Collosians 2:8. I suggest we need to be very careful before following after "traditions" contrary to the "order" the next few chapters lay out for us.
Col 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. (What did we just read? "Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ".)
Col 2:9 For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.
Col 2:10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:
Verses 3 to 16 cover physical appearance and general; area specific customs
1Co 11:3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.
1Co 11:4 Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoreth his head.
1Co 11:5 But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoreth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven.
1Co 11:6 For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered.
1Co 11:7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.
1Co 11:8 For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man.
1Co 11:9 Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.
1Co 11:10 For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels.
1Co 11:11 Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.
1Co 11:12 For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God.
1Co 11:13 Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered?
1Co 11:14 Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?
1Co 11:15 But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.
1Co 11:16 But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God.
Verses 17 through 34 Show us clearly the SETTING. The "ordernances are specific to the structure of how meetings are run. The first order of business is the "The Lord's Table" or the Communion service.
συνέρχομαι sunerchomai soon-er'-khom-ahee
From G4862 and G2064; to convene, depart in company with, associate with, or (specifically) cohabit (conjugally): - accompany, assemble (with), come (together), come (company, go) with, resort.
Obviously the following chapter is instruction of "traditions" or "ordinances" with respect to the Convening or assembling together.
(sunerchomai) appears 8 times in the epistles. 5 times in this chapter and twice in chapter 14 and 1 time in chapter 7. NOT in any other epistle.
1Co 11:17 Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse.
1Co 11:18 For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.
1Co 11:19 For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.
1Co 11:20 When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's supper.
1Co 11:21 For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken.
1Co 11:22 What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not.
1Co 11:23 For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:
1Co 11:24 And when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.
1Co 11:25 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.
1Co 11:26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till he come.
1Co 11:27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.
1Co 11:28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.
1Co 11:29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.
1Co 11:30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.
1Co 11:31 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.
1Co 11:32 But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.
1Co 11:33 Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another.
1Co 11:34 And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come.
Obviously this section is speaking of the assembling of ourselves together for communion. The question for me here is: For Paul to move from the proper Communion structure and motives to The manifestations of the spiritual gifts at this point suggests that the Corinth fellowship already followed the Corinthians 14:26 model. This is merely a re-focussing of what our proper motives are to be. (Not some new thing) We read in 1Co 14:33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints. ("ALL the CHURCHES of the SAINTS")
Next Paul speaks of the Spiritual gifts
1Co 12:1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant.
1Co 12:2 Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led.
Note: Paul draw attention to "dumb idols" as opposed to God who Proves himself. 1Co 2:4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: 1Co 2:5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. (Demonstration of the Spirit) the antithesis of Dumb Idols. Also note: Dumb meaning silent, not speaking.
Also Note: The word "gifts" is not in the original Greek. What is being said is Concerning Spiritual manifestations (in the Meeting)
1Co 12:3 Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost. (You cannot call Jesus Lord without the Holy Spirit)
Is this ability for a select few or all. The former would lead to resentment perhaps and maybe even a spiritual hierachy.
I have noticed that in many Pentecostal groups who practice the "grading of gifts i.e. Tongues is the least and prophecy the greatest. have a large amount of "non-participant members. While the more extraverted make all the noise. Unequally yoked. This may not seem a big deal to many however the purpose of fellowship is to present the gospel to unbelievers, exhort and edify. Many in these groups are placed in the position of "spectators" to the show. The Corinthians 14 model is INCLUSIVE as opposed to EXCLUSIVE. Alowing the weaker to edify the strong and vice vercer.
1Co 12:4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.
We who have recieved the Holy Spirit are partakers of ONE Spirit. We are born again, our lives are not our own. Jesus lives through us. The concept of each person recieving more or less DEPENDANT on their FAITH is more about SELF GLORY than that of GOD. Anonymity in reciept of the gifts of God, and our use of them bring with them greater rewards in the world to come. That is consistant with Jesus' nature
1Co 12:5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.
1Co 12:6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. Note: ALL in ALL!
This can be read a couple of ways.
(1) "ALL in ALL" meaning: ALL (each and every one of the gifts) in ALL (Each and every Christian)
(2) "ALL in ALL" meaning: ALL (each gift that is operated) in ALL (Each Christian through whom the gift is operated.)
Eph 1:22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,
Eph 1:23 Which is his body, the fullness of him that filleth all in all.
This verse in Ephesians supports interpretation (1) but flys in the face of (2)
1Co 12:7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.
Key verse: Opens with "But the manifestation" ("But" included to contrast previous verse) The Christian is "filled" with all the capabilities available.(verse 6) BUT the manifestation ( DURING the OPERATION) of the spiritual gifts is not displayed by all, but is for EVERYONES good. (verse 7)
1Co 12:8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
1Co 12:9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
1Co 12:10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:
1Co 12:11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.
Key verses: 9 gifts mentioned, The context is "the manifestation of the Spirit" [IN THE (sunerchomai Gk) or MEETING.]
Let me say that again: The context is "the manifestation of the Spirit" [IN THE (sunerchomai Gk) or MEETING.]
To apply these 9 gifts in the greater "Body of Christ" is stepping away from the gramatical order. To say that these 9 listed gifts represent the entirety of the grace of God is also untrue. There are many more gifts that come with the infilling of the Holy Spirit. God is NOT a RESPECTOR of persons. (the separate gifs doctrine is opposite to this statement from God. We are "throughly furnished" so as to not "come behind or LACK any gift".
Further and most importantly; to say that one has the "gift of FAITH" and another has "The gift of Miracles" and so on, has created a position of spiritual ladder climbing which is the opposite of the intended purpose of this chapter.
Besides that without FAITH it is imposible to please God. So we all MUST have that Gift.
Miracles are performed by GOD not our special abilities. Further if someone is healed of blindness it is the patient who has the GIFT of healing not the person praying for another.
1Co 12:12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.
1Co 12:13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
1Co 12:14 For the body is not one member, but many.
Unity of the Body is emphasised. The Context is specifically (dysfunction in the "meeting or assembling together")
Verse 12-14 is however true in application to the greater Boy of Christ. But the application in this chapter is IN THE CHURCH.
1Co 12:15 If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?
1Co 12:16 And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?
1Co 12:17 If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?
1Co 12:18 But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.
IMPORTANT: I am an eyewitness to the operation of this pattern or structure running very successfully over the last 17 years. Some of the gifts are only manifested in the meeting. "divers kinds of tongues, interpretation and prophecy.
1Co 12:19 And if they were all one member, where were the body?
1Co 12:20 But now are they many members, yet but one body.
1Co 12:21 And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.
1Co 12:22 Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary:
1Co 12:23 And those members of the body, which we think to be less honorable, upon these we bestow more abundant honor; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.
1Co 12:24 For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honor to that part which lacked:
1Co 12:25 That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.
1Co 12:26 And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honored, all the members rejoice with it.
1Co 12:27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
When read in context all the members encouage one another and there is NO SCHISM. It is a wonderful experience to see God work amongst his people. Jesus said "I have many things to say to you but you cannot bear them yet" Interpreation and Prophecy have saved marriages, prevented backsliding, saved lives, converted believers and unlocked mysteries before my eyes.
1Co 12:28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.
1Co 12:29 Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?
1Co 12:30 Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?
1Co 12:31 But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet show I unto you a more excellent way.
Yes Not all have all gifts "in the Church" But this cannot be a foundation of the belief that All only get 1 gift or that we are not fully equiped with the potential for all. Of the 9 gifts; tongues was given other functions. Sign following believer, prayer, edification of our inner man. It surpises me to hear men of God fighting so hard against it for the sake of winning the argument driven by ego and pride.
False religion is rampent, if ever a people needed confirmatory evedence of entry into God's plan and the infilling of the Holy Spirit it is today.
On that note let's move on to chapter 13:
1Co 13:1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
1Co 13:2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.
1Co 13:3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
1Co 13:4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
1Co 13:5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
1Co 13:6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
1Co 13:7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
1Co 13:8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
1Co 13:9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
1Co 13:10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.
1Co 13:11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
1Co 13:12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
1Co 13:13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.
1Co 14:1 Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy.
1Co 14:2 For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.
1Co 14:3 But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.
1Co 14:4 He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church.
1Co 14:5 I would that ye all spake with tongues, but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh, with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying.
1Co 14:6 Now, brethren, if I come unto you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, except I shall speak to you either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine?
1Co 14:7 And even things without life giving sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped?
1Co 14:8 For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?
1Co 14:9 So likewise ye, except ye utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? for ye shall speak into the air.
1Co 14:10 There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them is without signification.
1Co 14:11 Therefore if I know not the meaning of the voice, I shall be unto him that speaketh a barbarian, and he that speaketh shall be a barbarian unto me.
1Co 14:12 Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church.
1Co 14:13 Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret.
1Co 14:14 For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful.
1Co 14:15 What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.
1Co 14:16 Else when thou shalt bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest?
1Co 14:17 For thou verily givest thanks well, but the other is not edified.
1Co 14:18 I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all:
1Co 14:19 Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue.
1Co 14:20 Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men.
1Co 14:21 In the law it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord.
1Co 14:22 Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe.
1Co 14:23 If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad?
1Co 14:24 But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all:
1Co 14:25 And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth.
1Co 14:26 How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.
1Co 14:27 If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret.
1Co 14:28 But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God.
1Co 14:29 Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge.
1Co 14:30 If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace.
1Co 14:31 For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted.
1Co 14:32 And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.
1Co 14:33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.
1Co 14:34 Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law.
1Co 14:35 And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.
1Co 14:36 What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only?
1Co 14:37 If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.
1Co 14:38 But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant.
1Co 14:39 Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues.
1Co 14:40 Let all things be done decently and in order.