Troublesome Topic: Precepts about Tongues from I Corinthians 14:33

1 Corinthians 14:33


for He is not the God of disorder

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but of wholeness.

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As in all the assemblies

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of the saints,


for our God is not a God who accepts, promotes, or causes the instability that comes from tumult, rather He is the God of healthy wholeness. As in all the churches of the ones God has purified,


Even if the Holy Spirit were inclined to take control over someone so powerfully as to negate the person’s use of free will (which He does not do), the Spirit would not create disorder, confusion, and strife because God is not the author of disorder. To do so would violate His character. We can surmise that the situation in Corinth was way out of control, therefore Paul felt the need to remind them that our God is not the author of the kind of chaos they brought to their worship services. They claimed that what they were doing was coming from God. His answer was: “That’s impossible!”


Beginning with the second half of this verse, Paul interjects comments about another source of chaos in their meetings; it has to do with women speaking out whenever they wanted to, taking control of the meeting in order to say their piece, refusing to respect the leadership of the church, ignoring the rule about orderliness in their meetings, and disregarding the rule that all things must be done to help others grow.

The next lesson in the Mid length series on Tongues is: Precepts about Tongues from I Cor 14:33b -35

The last lesson in the Short series on Tongues is Precepts about Tongues from I Corinthians 14:39 & 40


1: "disorder"

The word used here has a root meaning of “instability.” It is a compound word made up of the words “down” and “standing,” or we would say, “to not stand,” i.e. something unstable. Such instability is the result of tumult, disorder, upheaval, revolution, war and possibly anarchy. Thus it is a very strong word. It includes the causes and the result.

2: "wholeness"

This word is usually rendered “peace.” To us the word “peace” means the absence of war and strife, but that is extremely narrow compared to the way Old Testament Hebrew and New Testament Greek expressed it. This Greek word means “oneness, wholeness, to join, tie together into a whole”, or “when all essential parts are joined together.” The Hebrew word meant “wholeness or wellbeing” with an emphasis on health. For the Jew, it was an all-inclusive picture of mental, emotional, relational, and spiritual health. For my translation I have chosen “wholeness” because it emphasizes health through unity, tying together the Hebrew and Greek meanings and addressing the problems that were present in the church at Corinth.


This is the word for “assembly or church;” it comes from the words “call out,” thus the church is made up of those who are called out from the world to the assembly of God’s people.