Under the inspiration of the Spirit, Paul’s words are Christ’s words and are therefore
indisputable. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom
and instruction” (Prov 1:7): anyone who is unafraid to violate a command in Scripture is a
fool and will reap the fool’s consequences.
The reference in 1 Corinthians 14:37 to a “spiritual person” (i.e., “one dominated or
gifted by the Spirit”) refers to those who spoke in tongues. Paul established ten reasons why
speaking in tongues was inferior (14:2–20), followed by ten rules for how to practice the
spiritual gifts (14:21–40).
Failing to acknowledge these instructions puts a person in direct confrontation with the “Lord’s command.” A Spirit-filled person has an open, obedient heart to God’s divinely inspired writings. Truly spiritual people obey the commands in Scripture.
Sadly, many placed themselves above the apostolic teaching, believing their “revelations”
were superior, and voiced opposition to Paul’s teachings as the opinions of a mere man.
Paul was not writing his own opinions or preferences but was communicating God’s
words to the church. Any person who failed to recognize the divine authority of Paul’s
writings was on dangerous ground. Paul gave such people a severe warning: “If anyone
does not recognize this [is ignorant of or ignores this], he is not recognized” (the same verb
as in the passive form)—that is, God and the church will not recognize him. These are
serious words to motivate us to know God’s written word, understand it clearly, and obey
it fully. Is this your heart’s desire?
“Lord, thank You for giving us all the instructions for the church and for living through
Your apostles. I declare to You from my heart that I take every word seriously as if it comes
directly from Your lips.”