This chapter brings us to another aspect of the problem of disorder in the worship of the church at Corinth. The problem is that of a misuse of the gifts bestowed by the Holy Spirit, particularly the gifts of tongues. Paul's words serve to give us an explanation of the working and of the purpose of the power of Pentecost.
Notice immediately . . .
I. IGNORANCE PLAYS NO PART IN THE PURPOSE OF GOD FOR HIS PEOPLE
Indeed, ignorance is the chief culprit in the disorder surrounding the employment of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
II. THE BLIND IRRATIONALITY OF PAGANISM STANDS IN CONTRAST TO THE ENLIGHTENED RATIONALITY OF THE RELIGION OF CHRIST
As pagans, the Corinthians had been:—
It was common for the pagan philosophers to believe that the more the influence of the divine spirit deprived a man of his self-consciousness and threw him into an ecstasy, the more powerful was the influence and the more sublime the state to which it raised the man. The writings of Plato and Philo make this clear. We have echoes of that thought in the antics of those involved in the charismatic movement.
What a difference there is with the workings of God's Spirit, Mark 5:15, I Cor 14:40, Col 2:5.
III. THE TEST THAT SEPARATES THE SPIRIT OF GOD FROM ALL FALSE SPIRITS
Here was a rule to use when seeking to distinguish between false and true.
These foundational truths Paul lays down before embarking upon a detailed study.