1 Corinthians 14 v 34 - 40

In Paul's eyes, the church at Corinth, just as with every fellowship set up and running in the early years of the Church, had received a tradition and their mandate was to follow in that tradition. When Paul wrote about the sharing of the Lord's Supper, he stated that he had received the instructions he had passed on to the churches he had founded as a tradition. In 1 Corinthians 11 v 23 he writes, 'For I pass on to you what I received from the Lord Himself'. We continue to follow that tradition today. Most of what we do on a Sunday morning the early Church did: sharing the Lord's Supper, singing hymns, listening to the Word, preaching, praying, ministry.

Paul strongly believed that nothing the Corinthian church did should bring the faintest suspicion of immorality as a holy contrast to the moral state of the city. Again, we should remind ourselves that there were temporal commands in Scripture as well as permanent. Paul's instructions about women remaining silent in church services were written against that background and as a result of his hearing that some would spend the whole time chatting to a neighbour, ignoring what was going on in the service. Remember that this is all in the context of Paul seeking peace and structure to the Corinthian church's services!

Paul asserts his apostolic authority: he has received his words directly from Jesus Christ; anyone who seeks to claim spiritual authority and reject his words was rejecting Christ Himself. He has no wish to quench anyone's gift, but those gifts are to be used to bless the fellowship, not for self-aggrandisement.


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