Decently In Order

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

The Apostle Paul in speaking to the church in Corinth had a lot on his heart to say about the gifts of the Spirit, the unity and diversity of the body of Christ, and most importantly the preeminence of love.

It is interesting that in starting chapter 12 Paul says concerning the Spiritual gifts that he does not want us to be ignorant of these things, and yet so many are ignorant of the gifts of the Spirit, their proper functions, and how God desires them to be used.

To sum up Paul’s teaching on the gifts and their use we can look at 1 Cor. 14:40. “Let all things be done…” this means this is a rule of thumb for all things. All means all, all physical things, spiritual things, and emotional things. The Bible very clearly endorses organization in all things.

Just as a farmer must have his fields in order to grow and gather crops, so God intends for his church to be in order to harvest and grow souls.

Next, the Lord speaks to us through Paul in saying “…done decently…”. The word for decently in the Greek is euschēmonōs and it denotes “gracefully, becomingly, in a seemly manner”(Vines). This had to be said because the church in Corinth had misrepresented God to unbelievers through their disorganization, misuse, and abuse of the gifts of the Spirit.

Lastly, the root of his teaching is “…and in order”. In Greek the word here is taxis and it means “1. An arranging, arrangement. 2. Order. A) a fixed succession observing a fixed time. 3. Due or right order, orderly condition. 4. The post, rank, or position which one holds in civic or other affairs.” (Vines Bible Dictionary).

In regards to the ordering of a church gathering we are exhorted by the Apostle Paul to do so in a fixed succession observing a fixed time. God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, of order. To be Spiritual is to be orderly in all things.

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