Let all things be done decently and in order. (1 Corinthians 14:40)
For The Glory Of God
The church at Corinth had a lot of problems adjusting to the pattern expected by the Lord for His church. Admittedly, they were part of a new revolution that was sweeping the Roman Empire and the world with little to go on for examples and patterns. Viewing the church two thousand years removed reminds us of the challenges the church faces in any generation to learn how to follow the design and arrangement preserved by the Holy Spirit. It can be easy to cast stones at Corinth for their chaotic multiplicity of incredible problems they experienced but we are probably not as far removed as we think. It comes down to a better understand of how to worship and what is pleasing to the Lord and what is done for the pleasure of man.
Worship in the church of Corinth was like a three-ring circus. The gifts of the Holy Spirit were not understood in their proper context, authority was being challenged by the women, partaking of the Lord’s supper was out of place and there were serious issues with vital doctrines like morality, marriage and the resurrection. All in all the church at Corinth resembled a train wreck. The public worship was one of the areas that Paul addressed to this church of God. They had created an atmosphere of confusion and this was driving people away for learning the truth. Because of the chaos being allowed in the worship, those who visited thought the members out of their minds. This is a difficult environment to teach someone the way of truth. The apostle sought to put things back in order for one simple reason: worship at Corinth did not give glory to God.
The Corinthians had failed to remember that worship must be about glorifying God. Everything created and established by the Lord has a design and purpose. Worship has never been a foot-loose, raucous vibration of uncontrolled passions that fuel the spirit of man rather than an orderly approach in respecting the Father. The admonition of Paul that worship must be done decently and in order comes from a military term of the proper manner to come before God. It is not to be done with confusion and discord. There is a pattern to worship the Lord. This form is not a strict regimen of rote sentences and disheartened spirits but worship that is directed to the glory of God. The details of that pattern are left to man to decide if he wants two songs and a prayer and a song and the supper and a song … you get the idea. When all is said and done there must be respect for what is being done.
Worship is to glorify God. Respect for the Lord is paramount. The solemnity of true worship knows the grace afforded man to enter the veil approaching the throne of God in bold humility to offer sacrifices of praise to the Almighty. There must be an order to this worship. Albert Barnes writes, “Let all be done ‘decorously,’ as becomes the worship of the great and holy God.” How that is accomplished is left to the mind of man. Having the spirit of subjection to the manner of true worship, man will find a higher plane in his pursuit of worshiping the Father in spirit and truth.