Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Order! I want order in this house!
I talked about worship in blogs before this one. Now I want to continue to talk about worship, only as commanded by God.
God has never been about chaos. There has always been dominion over everything. When there was nothing, God ruled in Heaven. Then He created the universe. He still ruled. Then he created earth, and created man. He gave dominion (rule) over everything on earth to man. He even gave man the opportunity to name each animal. (see Genesis for details.)
God always laid out how worship and sacrifice was to be practiced in the Old Testament. But when Jesus came to earth and then died on the cross for our sins, the old ways were no longer necessary. We no longer had to sacrifice animals. Jesus was our sacrifice. So God would not leave us hanging either on how to continue our worship. He used Paul to give us instructions on how the church should continue after Jesus went back to Heaven.
1 Corinthians 14: 26-40 NIV
Good Order in Worship
26 What then shall we say, brothers and sisters? When you come
together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a
revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. Everything must be done so that the church may be built up. 27 If anyone speaks in a tongue, two—or at the most three—should speak, one at a time, and someone must interpret. 28 If there is no interpreter, the
speaker should keep quiet in the church and speak to himself and to God.
29 Two or three prophets should speak, and the others should weigh carefully what is said. 30 And if a revelation comes to someone who is sitting down, the first speaker should stop. 31 For you can all prophesy in turn so that everyone may be instructed and encouraged. 32 The spirits of prophets are subject to the control of prophets. 33 For God is not a God of disorder but of peace—as in all the congregations of the Lord’s people.
vs. 33-35 omitted on purpose (I'll tackle that one later in another blog)
36 Or did the word of God originate with you? Or are you the only people it has reached? 37 If anyone thinks they are a prophet or otherwise gifted by the Spirit, let them acknowledge that what I am writing to you is the Lord’s command. 38 But if anyone ignores this, they will themselves be ignored.[h]
39 Therefore, my brothers and sisters, be eager to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues. 40 But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way.
Note verse 40. EVERYTHING should be done in a fitting and orderly way. God’s way. Orderly.
In an earlier blog, I talked about my first experience in an Assembly of God church. There was a lot of talking in tongues, and it caused confusion for me, and I’m sure others. I want to point out something.
27 If anyone speaks in a tongue, two—or at the most three—should speak, one at a time, and someone must interpret. 28 If there is no interpreter, the speaker should keep quiet in the church and speak to himself and to God.
Note what it says in the middle of the 27th verse. One At A Time. How many times have you ever been to a church where unknown tongues are spoken, and there are multiple people carrying on. Have you ever wondered if this was of God? Well, next time it happens, now you know. And notice something else. “Someone must interpret, or shut up!” (paraphrased) It doesn’t get any plainer than that. See, I’m not against speaking in tongues. I believe in it. I’ve done it. But don’t try to be heard (and maybe seen) when you should stay in the background. (Read the whole chapter for a lot more about speaking in tongues)
Next, things that happen in church and we wonder why:
26 What then shall we say, brothers and sisters? When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. Everything must be done so that the church may be built up.
Hymns. See, songs are the first things mentioned. Now, does that mean it’s the most important? No, but it is important.
Next, “a word of instruction” is mentioned. What is that? We use the word “sermon” nowadays to indicate the same thing. But I like the phrase “word of instruction” better. Know why? Because a lot sermons are just a bunch of words. Everyone walks out of the service and no one understands how to use the words that the preacher spoke for any part of their life. It was like that for me growing up. Remember when I said growing up it seemed like a history lesson? (see much earlier blog) It’s because that was what it was. The (teacher, preacher, evangelist) told what happened, and then you were told to believe in Jesus and be saved or go to hell. So read the bible, believe in Jesus or go to hell. That is why you can’t tell the Christians from the Pagans in the world today. Christians have not tried to become “Christ-like” as we are to be.
Preachers, teachers, and evangelists! Start instructing. Quit teaching a history lesson, and teach us how to be a part of history. People talk about the great revival of the early 1900’s. What about the Great Revival that we NEED to happen NOW?
Churches are suffering some of the lowest levels of attendance and membership in the history of the church. The way we’ve taken Christianity and made it the church only lends to make this trend continue. Let’s reverse the trend. Let’s turn the church upside down, shake out all of what is not biblical, and insert GOD and CHRISTIANITY back into our lives. Let’s start to worship, and quit meeting to be a part of a clic, or to clear our conscience. Let’s give instruction so that people can start to be Christ Like!
Next blog I’ll look at “revelations” and how they can happen now, and not just be a part of the end of the bible.