This blog will include the sermons I have preached as a lay minister with the Anglican Parish of South Queens in the Diocese of NS and PEI in the Anglican Church of Canada. Because my preaching schedule varies, the frequency of postings will vary.
I hope that these sermons will enrich your spiritual life as much as they have enriched mine.
Wednesday, 14 October 2015
1 Corinthians 14:26-33, 37, 40 Peace and Orderly Worship
Does it seem to you that worship is not as orderly
and dignified as it used to be? Well, you’re not alone. Complaints about
worship have existed since the beginning of Christianity. In fact, the passage from 1 Corinthians 14:26-33,37,40 was Paul’s response to a
complaint about disorderly worship.
The Christians in Corinth were so undisciplined in
their exercise of spiritual gifts during worship that there was chaos. Such
chaos reflected badly on God, who was the giver of spiritual gifts. Confusion
affects our ability to live according to the spiritual laws of God’s kingdom.
Confusion causes indecision, frustration, passivity and lack of progress. These
things go against God’s will, because God wants peace.
One thing that did disturb worship in the church in
Corinth was the speaking in tongues by people who claimed to have a message
from God. Paul told the Corinthians to carefully evaluate these messages, and
we must also carefully evaluate similar messages today. False teachers were in
the church in Corinth, and they are still in the church today.People who claim to speak under the prompting
of the Holy Spirit could be mistaken. In either case we must determine if their
message is scripturally valid.
This does not mean that we must not exercise our
spiritual gifts. O the contrary, we must be able to exercise our gifts, but in
a way that is not competitive or disorderly. In many churches worship has
become a spectator sport. If every worshipper became meaningfully involved in
worship, the lives of other worshippers and the quality of worship would be
People who come to worship must be able to
understand what is sung and said. People need to feel that what is said and
sung can apply to their lives. Worship must not use words that the people don’t
know without explaining what these words mean. People have different needs, and
when the church recognizes this, it lays the foundation for an orderly way of
Paul emphasizes that worship must be done decently
and in order, but today there are times when it is appropriate to necessary to
have a little disorder. One example is churches that use modern music and
modern musical instruments. For some people, this is confusing, but to others
(especially younger people), this is a means of worship. We must not allow
worship to be dictated by our personal preferences, but at the same time we
must take care to make certain that there is a certain degree of dignity in
worship. In worship, we are to come and stand by the promises of God. We must
also have a desire to think and act in a way that causes unity with our
Christian brothers and sisters.
Paul gave three rules for exercising the gift of
prophecy during worship:
1.Only 2 or 3 people should prophesy during a service.
2.They are to speak in turn-one at a time.
3.If they speak in tongues, an interpreter must be present.
Paul also gave four rules for speaking by prophets:
1.Only 2 or 3 are to speak.
2.Other prophets were to judge what was said.
3.If while one prophet was speaking God gave a revelation to someone
else, the speaker was to defer to the one hearing from God.
4.Each prophet was to speak in turn.
Genuine prophets and people speaking in tongues
would submit to these principles, and they must still submit to these same
God doesn’t just want peace in the church. He also
wants peace in our lives. For example, one of the main causes of stress in our
lives is the lack of peace. Some of us are so used to stress that we don’t know
what to do with ourselves if we aren’t busy. Stress affects us physically,
mentally and emotionally. The only way we can have peace in our lives and peace
in worship is through faith in Jesus.
1.Jeremiah, David: The
Jeremiah Study Bible, NKJV (Brentwood, TN: Worthy Publishing; 2013)
2.Chafin, K.L. & Ogilvie,
L.J.: The Preacher’s Commentary Series,
Vol. 30: 1,2 Corinthians (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Inc.; 1985)
3.MacArthur, J.F. Jr.: The MacArthur Study Bible, NASV (Nashville,
TN: Thomas Nelson Inc.; 2006)