1 Corinthians 14:26-40

Church meetings

26 My Christian friends, this is what you should do when you meet together. Some of you may have a song to praise God. Some of you may have a lesson to teach about God. Other people may have a special thing that God has shown to them. Some people may have a message in a special language. Other people may explain what the message means. Do all these things to help the church become stronger.

27 If some people speak in special languages, it should only be two or three people. They should speak one person at a time. Then someone must explain what each person said. 28 But perhaps there is nobody among you who can explain like that. Then, anyone who wanted to speak in a special language must be quiet in your meeting. When they are on their own, they should speak to God.

29 When you meet together, two or three people should speak a message from God. Then the other people there should think carefully about each message. 30 Someone who is sitting in your meeting may receive a special message from God. Then, the person who is already speaking should stop. 31 In that way, each person can speak a message from God, one person at a time. Then everyone will learn something that helps them. 32 All of you who speak messages from God have authority over your own spirits. 33 When we meet together as God's people, he wants there to be peace among us. He does not want to bring trouble.

14:32This probably means, ‘You can decide in your own mind when you should speak, or not speak. You can stop speaking when you want to do that.’

This is what happens in all the churches where God's people meet together. 34 The women should be quiet during the meetings. They should not speak. They should remember that they are under authority. That is also what God's Law teaches. 35 If a woman wants to ask about something, she should ask her husband at home. Women should be ashamed if they speak in the church. 36 Remember that God's message did not start from you in Corinth! You are not the only people who have heard it, either.

14:35See also 1 Corinthians 11:2-16. Paul says that women may pray or speak a message in a meeting of the church. What he says here may mean that women should not speak while men are explaining the messages from God.

37 Someone may think that he has the gift to speak messages from God. Or he may think that he has received other spiritual gifts. Anyone who thinks like that should agree with what I have written to you. He should recognize that it is what the Lord himself is telling his people to do. 38 If anyone refuses to accept this, you should not accept that person.

39 My Christian friends, this is what I am saying to you: It is good when you want to speak clear messages from God. And if anyone has the gift to speak in a special language, do not stop them. 40 But you must do everything in a proper way that helps people.