“When you meet together, one will sing. . .” 1 Corinthians 14:26
Settling into the restaurant booth after church, Sal and Phil scanned the menu, placed their order and relaxed with coffee and tea. “Well, since this was your first time in church, what did you think of the service?” asked Phil.
“Truthfully, I was surprised by how much extra stuff there is.”
“You know, announcements, reading of the bulletin, taking a break for coffee and snacks. And then when the pastor did come, he spent extra time joking about his hunting trip with some of the guys. But the church didn’t seem to mind, they laughed a lot.”
Phil was quiet as he thought of his reply. “I know. And I agree, Sal. Over the years men have changed the church meetings. And not for the better. Actually the bible does have an outline for church service in 1 Corinthians 14:26-33. Let’s look at it.”
Well my brothers and sisters, let’s summarize. When you meet together:
- One will sing
- Another will teach
- Another will tell some special revelation God has given
- One will speak in tongues
- Another will interpret what is said
- But everything that is done must strengthen all of you
- No more than two or three should speak in tongues. They must speak one at a time, and someone must interpret what they say. But if no one is present who can interpret, they must be silent in your church meeting and speak in tongues to God privately.
- Let two or three people prophesy, and let the others evaluate what is said. But if someone is prophesying and another person receives a revelation from the Lord, the one who is speaking must stop.
In this way, all who prophesy will have a turn to speak, one after the other, so that everyone will learn and be encouraged. Remember that people who prophesy are in control of their spirit and can take turns. For God is not a God of disorder but of peace, as in all the meetings of God’s holy people.
“Wow, that is quite different from what happened this morning,” said Sal. “What we just read sounds exciting and filled with God’s presence. I get chills thinking of it. So, it seems that many people might contribute during the meeting, not just one.”
“According to 1 Corinthians, I think church meetings were completely different in order and how people were seated.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, if several people will be sharing according to the Spirit’s leading, we would be seated in a more open format so we could all see and hear one another.”
“Are you opposed to what we call church today?”
“Oh no. Not at all. Meeting is important. But when we read this section in 1 Corinthians, how can we simply neglect what God has given us regarding meetings? Since the bible is God’s word, how can we ignore this outline of how to meet? What does 2 Timothy 3:16 say?
“All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.”
“We live in the world, Sal and satan is the ruler of this world. His influence is felt every day in countless ways. If we are not purposely focused on God’s Word and listening to the Holy Spirit, we will gradually modify God’s best purposes for our lives by polluting our choices with worldly ideas. For example, how did Christian church meetings change so dramatically?
“Many churches have small groups that meet in homes (isn’t that how the original church met?). Why not turn these groups into meetings according to 1 Corinthians 14 and watch as the Holy Spirit drives the outcome. Giving control to the Lord would prove to be scary and also exciting!”
“Trust in the Lord will all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take.” ~Proverbs 3:5-6