Without a word


    What then, brothers? When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up. If any speak in a tongue, let there be only two or at most three, and each in turn, and let someone interpret. But if there is no one to interpret, let each of them keep silent in church and speak to himself and to God. Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others weigh what is said. If a revelation is made to another sitting there, let the first be silent. For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all be encouraged, and the spirits of prophets are subject to prophets. For God is not a God of confusion but of peace.
    As in all the churches of the saints, the women should keep silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission, as the Law also says. If there is anything they desire to learn, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church. —1 Corinthians 14:26-35 ESV

Bob Deffinbaugh offers this conclusion to a sermon on 1 Corinthians 14:

Have you seen the common thread which runs through verses 26-36? The most obvious thread is the theme of edification. The restrictions which are placed on the tongues speaker, the prophet, and the women are designed to maximize the edification of the church. But the second thread is that of silence. In the case of the tongues speaker (verse 28), the prophet (verse 30), and women (verses 34-35), it is silence that is required. I am tempted to entitle this message “How to Edify the Church by Not Saying a Word.” Not until now has it occurred to me that I may edify others more by my silence than by my speech.

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