What Paul is Saying

#10 in response to


What is Paul Writing?

“If anyone thinks they are a prophet or otherwise gifted by the Spirit, let them acknowledge that what I am writing to you is the Lord’s command. But if anyone ignores this, they will themselves be ignored.” (1 Cor. 14:37-38)

Good point. What IS Paul writing? Let’s just look at the uncontested part of what he is writing.

“What then, brothers? When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation.” (1 Cor. 14:26)

And please remember that ‘brothers’ includes women. ‘Each one’ includes women.

“For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all be encouraged,. . .” (1 Cor. 14:31)

“So, my brothers, earnestly desire to prophesy,. . .” (1 Cor. 14:39)

Whatever it is Paul is writing he is warning us to pay attention to it.

He is telling us not to listen to those who promote something different.

“If anyone thinks that he is a prophet, or spiritual, he should acknowledge that the things I am writing to you are a command of the Lord. If anyone does not recognize this, he is not recognized.” (1 Cor. 14:37-38)

Because it is the Lord’s Command!

What then shall we say, brothers and sisters? When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. . . .

For you can all prophesy in turn so that everyone may be instructed and encouraged. . . . Therefore, my brothers and sisters, be eager to prophesy, . . .” (1 Cor. 14:26-40)

Paul’s message, ‘what he is writing’, is very clear.

So the overall message to the RPCNA and those who read the Reformed Presbyterian Witness is . . .

  • All members should be able to participate equally in our gatherings through sharing things that will encourage and instruct.
  • All members of the RPCNA should be eager to do these things.
  • We should not listen to the traditional interpretation of 1 Cor. 14:26-40 that requires women to be silent in our assemblies.
  • We should not listen to those who promote this extrabiblical law.

I’m sure York and Vos accept the traditional interpretation of 1 Cor. 14:26-40 because many highly respected theologians from the past accepted and promoted it. But that doesn’t make it the correct. Let’s remember to apply the method of interpretation to which we RPs are committed:

“IX. The infallible rule of interpretation of Scripture is the Scripture itself: and therefore, when there is a question about the true and full sense of any Scripture (which is not manifold, but one), it must be searched and known by other places that speak more clearly.[23]

X. The supreme judge by which all controversies of religion are to be determined, and all decrees of councils, opinions of ancient writers, doctrines of men, and private spirits, are to be examined, and in whose sentence we are to rest, can be no other but the Holy Spirit speaking in the Scripture.[24]” (WCF 1.9 & 10)

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