1 Corinthians 14:40

Let all things be done decently and in order. 1 Corinthians 14:40

This is the last verse of Chapter 14, and it rather neatly and concisely sums up the intent of the entire passage. If people are speaking nonsensical tongues, or real languages without a translator, then there will be no order. If people are jumping up and giving a word of exhortation or explanation while someone else is speaking, there will not be order. In such cases, things will not be either decent or orderly, but rather chaotic.

This is contrary to the nature of God who is both logical and orderly. Ice floats, air rises when it is hot, stars emit light, spiders weave webs, and little trees convert CO2 into oxygen. These things occur because God is a God of order. The things that are out of whack are because of the fall of man and the disorder which occurred at that time. But it is incumbent upon the church to have order in the gathering in order to reflect the beautiful nature of our orderly Creator.

In an abbreviated form, Albert Barnes sums up the points of Chapter 14 which he feels are appropriate in regards to this verse with four principles –

(1) That public worship should be in a language understood by the people; the language which they commonly employ.
(2) preaching should be simple and intelligible.
(3) we should learn to value “useful” talent more than that which is splendid and showy
(4) ministers of the gospel should not aim to be admired.

God is worthy of our respect and honor, and so what we do within the church should reflect His holy nature. It should be befitting of His glory and bring glory to Him as we gather to understand Him and worship Him.
Life application: As Paul says, “Let all things be done decently and in order.” So may it be.

Lord God, forgive us for the times we fail to honor and glorify You. May we never presume to ignore Your word, or to diminish Your glory through our actions. Instead, may we always bring honor to You. This we pray in the exalted and magnificent name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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