Paul concludes 1 Corinthians 14 by encouraging believers to continue to grow in Christian service. The Corinthians were eager to demonstrate their gift of tongues, but Paul wanted them to give priority to the gift of prophecy (1 Cor 14:1) as the source of God’s revelation, because it is more effective for edification.
Speaking in tongues edifies only indirectly, through the message conveyed by interpreting the language (14:13–-14). Even though tongues were limited and only indirectly beneficial, they were not to be forbidden (14:39). Otherwise, this plural command means that it is the responsibility of the church as a whole to follow these directives to honor God in the services. Our desire should be that His word is always honored and respected.
All the other commands in this chapter define how to fulfill this command: for example, in any one service only two, or three at most, could speak in tongues (1 Cor 14:27) or in a prophecy (14:29), and they could not speak in a tongue without a known interpreter present (14:28). If they followed all the ten rules of the manifestation of gifts (14:21–-40), they should not be restricted. Otherwise, pandemonium would result, violating this final command.
Decent means “correctly, properly, [or] decorously.” This is just the opposite of how the Corinthians were conducting their services before receiving this epistle from Paul; visitors thought they “were out of their minds” (1 Cor 14:23), which uses a word describing the emotional “high” or “out–of–control” frenzy of a pagan ritual.
Worship is the core of the believer’s new life in Christ and is a powerful reflection of the reality of our conversion and transformation. Having been loved by God, now we seek to love God in return with our whole being. We should never let self–glory enter into any expression of worship. God is a God of incredible order, and our public worship and life should demonstrate our likeness to Him in all things. Worship is not about us; it is all about Him. How can you demonstrate His characteristics in your thoughts, worship, and service?
“Thank You for the teachers You bring into my life. I am indebted to them for how they have taught me Your word and modeled how to live it.”