Order and the Spiritual Gifts

TEXT: 1 Corinthians 14:33-40

Big Idea: “The biblical roles of men and women help us in the orderly use of spiritual gifts.”

1. Both men and women have spiritual gifts to contribute on Sundays.

-The Prophet Joel says that sons AND daughters will prophecy, that men AND women would be filled with the Spirit (Joel 2:28-29)

-The Apostle Peter pointed to Joel’s prophecy as being fulfilled on the Day of Pentecost when women were speaking in tongues and prophesying (Acts 2).

-The Apostle Paul encourages women to prophesy in church and gives them instructions how (1 Corinthians 11).

2. Orderly use of the gifts requires men to step up as servant leaders.

Back in v. 29, Paul taught that prophecies given in church should be weighed or discerned. If a prophecy given in the corporate assembly was not of God or did not line up with the Bible, the elders and leaders in the local church would say so. All believers are commanded to discern everything that goes on in a church service, but not everyone is meant to publicly comment on it. That responsibility belongs to pastors and leaders.

This is most likely what Paul is correcting in the Corinthian church. Women were acting as spiritual leaders by giving public evaluations of prophecies given in church. The reason a man would need to give the public evaluation of a prophecy is because the role of teaching and governing in the church is given to specific role the Bible limits to men (See also 1 Timothy 2:12-13).

3. Orderly use of spiritual gifts requires submission to the Bible.

In these instructions, Paul isn’t just singling out women in Corinth as some limited cultural problem. He says back in v. 33 this is for “all the churches”, because the biblical roles of men and women are for all Christians.

Then in verse 36-40, Paul responds to a challenge to his apostolic authority by reminding the Corinthians that the gospel and biblical instruction did not originate with them. They must be submitted to God’s Word and godly instruction. Likewise, every prophecy must be weighed by Scripture. And the one prophesying needs to be submitted to their spiritual authorities so that the gifts truly would be biblical, and bring edification to the body.


-Women, continue functioning in the gifts. Sing, pray, prophesy, encourage, worship, edify and build up the church for God’s glory!

-Men, humbly lead your home first (being in prayer, reading Scripture, loving your wife) so that you can be an effective leader in the church, discerning and modeling sound doctrine.

-Let’s all earnestly desire to prophesy. Let’s not forbid tongues. Let’s do it all in an orderly, God-honoring way, keeping Christ central and the gospel clear. And watch Jesus build His Church!

Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)