Sovereign Grace Baptist Church

Free Grace Media

Of Princeton, New Jersey


AuthorClay Curtis
TitleUnder Obedience to the Man
Bible Text1 Corinthians 14:34-40
Series 1 Corinthians 2015
Article Type Sermon Notes
Audio HI-FI Listen: Under Obedience to the Man (32 kbps)
Audio CD Quality Listen: Under Obedience to the Man (128 kbps)
Length 47 min.

Series: 1 Corinthians

Title: Under Obedience to the Man

Text: 1 Corinthians 14: 34-40

Date: October 13, 2016

Place: SGBC, New Jersey


As the Holy Spirit moved the apostle Paul to set things in order in the Corinthian church, he told us how the men with various gifts are to use those gives in an orderly and edifying way. Then he says speaking in the church does not apply to women.


1 Corinthians 14: 34: Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. 35: And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.


Of course, women are permitted to sing in the church.

·        Ladies in the nursery can speak to the children, teaching them to pay attention, to follow along in the Bible, training them for the day they will be in the auditorium.

·        Women can speak after the services as we visit and talk about what we just heard.

·        Occasionally, from the pulpit I may ask a question concerning plans regarding meals—it is ok for a woman to answer in such cases.


The thing that is forbidden in the public worship service is:

1) Women are not preach the gospel, read scripture or lead in prayer. Women are not to button-hole visitors with doctrine and questions and so on.


2) Women are not to usurp authority over the man:

·        A man is to preach and be in authority, leading, making decisions in the church

·        Women are to be under obedience to the man


3) If women have questions, they are to ask their husbands at home; the unmarried can ask their fathers. It is in these ways that the Holy Spirit says “it is a shame for women to speak in the church.”


Proposition: Under the new covenant of grace, believing men and women are governed by spiritual principles which glorify Christ and the church’s relationship to him.


I. FIRST, NOTICE THAT THE REASON FOR THIS EXHORTATION IS THE WORD OF THE LORD1 Cor 14: 34:…but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law.

A. The word “law” in scripture does not always refer to the law given at Mt. Sinai. It does not in this case.

1. Indeed, there are times when the apostle Paul uses the law given at Mt. Sinai to support what he is teaching.


For example: When teaching the Corinthians that they should support their preachers financially, Paul quoted the law given at Mt. Sinai.

1 Corinthians 9: 9: For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen? 10: Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope….

·        If the Holy Spirit were bringing believers under the law of Sinai then that would have been the place he would have moved the apostle Paul to do it. We are talking about a man’s livelihood. Yet, he says…

1 Corinthians 9: 12:…Nevertheless we have not used this power; but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ.

·        He used the law of Mt. Sinai only to reveal their sin.

·        But then he showed that believers are under grace rather than law: we do all things in faith to Christ and love to brethren.

·        We do not preach that believers must keep the law lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ—

·        we use the law to reveal sin but we preach the gospel and walk by faith and love else we will hinder the gospel.


App. So there are times when Paul quotes the law of Mt. Sinai, but he does so only to reveal sin as he teaches what it is to worship God in spirit and in truth—under the rule of faith and love—the rule of grace.


B. But the word “law” does not always refer to the law given at Mt. Sinai. In our text, the word refers to the first five books of the bible which God used Moses to write—he says, 1 Cor 14: 34:…but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law.

Genesis 3: 16: Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.


1. This is an unchanging spiritual principle, only understood spiritually, which is patterned after our Husband, the Lord Jesus, and the church’s relationship to him as the bride, the woman.

·        Spiritually, Christ is the Husband.

·        The church—God’s elect—is the woman, his bride.


2. “Thy desire” is patterned after the faith, charity, and holiness which the regenerated church of God has toward Christ our Husband by the free and sovereign grace of God working in our hearts.


1 Timothy 2: 11: Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. 12: But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. 13: For Adam was first formed, then Eve. 14: And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. 15: Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue [here is the woman’s desire toward her husband patterned after the church’s desire toward Christ] in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.


App. Paul is teaching the Corinthians and us the only way Christ shall make us bear spiritual children:

·        it is to preach Christ in understandable language,

·        to conduct our services decently and in order,

·        the man being in authority and the woman in subjection.

So both in word and deed we glorify Christ and the church’s relationship to him.


Illustration: Self-made religion has this upside down. In freewill, works religion:

·        The sinner (like an unruly woman) preaches his own word rather than being in silence and hearing Christ’s word!

·        The sinner usurps authority over Christ: “won’t you let Christ save you?”; “god has no hands but your hands, no feet but your feet.”

·        The sinner usurps authority by ruling over the house with the whip of the law and man-made commandments rather than trusting Christ to govern his house.

·        Therefore, it is an unruly house, out of order, not edifying to anyone.


3. “He shall rule over thee” is patterned after Christ’s saving, providing, protecting rule by which he saves his elect church from our sins.

Ephesians 5: 22: Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23: For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. 24: Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. 25: Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26: That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27: That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. 28: So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. 29: For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: 30: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. 31: For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. 32: This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 33: Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband. (Eph 5:22-33)


II. SO WE FOLLOW CHRIST’S WORD AND OBEY OUR HUSBAND BY HIS GRACE BECAUSE WE OWE ALL TO HIM—SO PAUL DECLARES THIS WITH A STRONG REBUKE—1 Corinthians 14: 36 : What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only? 37: If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord. 38: But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant.

A. Christ is not only the Husband in full authority over his bride, his church—Christ is the Word who sends his preacher with his word.

1. Nothing is original with us but sin.

·        The only thing coming out of man is sin and death by sin.

·        If God had not chosen some and sent Christ to save us, we would have perished in our sins

·        While thinking ourselves wise all the while


2. The word did not originate with us but with Christ who is the Word.

John 1: 1: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2: The same was in the beginning with God. 3  All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4: In him was life; and the life was the light of men. 5: And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. 6: There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7  The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. 8: He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. 9  That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. 10  He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. 11  He came unto his own, and his own received him not. 12  But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13  Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. 14  And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” (Joh 1:1-14)


App. Without Christ would not have the word, the world, righteousness, a witness or light to comprehend the Word.  Oh, thank God the word did not originate with us but from Christ our Lord.


3. So if any who hears this think themselves wise, let him acknowledge that everything Paul has spoken here are the commandments of the Lord Jesus Christ the Head and Husband of his church.


C. He says but if any man refuses to own these words to be the commandment of Christ, let him be treated as an ignorant man, shunned and rejected.

1. God says this many times in his word:

“Ephraim is joined to idols: let him alone.” (Ho 4:17 AV)


“Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.” (Mt 7:6 AV)


“Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.” (Mt 15:14 AV)


“He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.” (Re 22:11 AV)


Illustration: I understand our desire to see sinners saved. But I also hear believers continue try to teach will-workers the truth who insist on their lies, who call you names, and treat you mean. Christ says after the second or third time “leave them alone.”


III. LASTLY, HE SUMS IT UP WITH GOD’S ORDER1 Cor 14: 39  Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues. 40: Let all things be done decently and in order.

A. Remember you were carried away to dumb idols. God alone saves his people by grace in Christ apart from our works, wisdom or will—and he does it through the clear simply preaching of Christ crucified.

1. So follow after charity and desire spiritual gifts that you may preach Christ understandably and clearly, seeking to edify sinners in need.


3. Not showing off gifts, not all speaking at once, not women usurping authority over men—40  Let all things be done decently and in order.  


B. When saving his elect from our sins, God did not do so in confusion but decently and in order.

1. God sent Christ to fulfill and satisfy the law of God for his people in an orderly righteous way.


2. Christ was made sin that God might be just to pour out sentence upon him in the place of his people—that he might be just to impute to his people what we are in and by Christ.


App. God never imputes to make a person righteous or guilty, God imputes to a person what they are by a previous act. Look it up in the scripture and you will see.

·        God imputed sin to us because Adam made us sin by his disobedience.

·        God imputes righteousness to the believer because Christ made his people righteous by his obedience. 


3. God is Peace and Christ is the Prince of peace.

·        God does all things decently and in order.

·        God makes his true church do all things decently and in order.