16 Aug. 1 Corinthians 14:1-25

16 Aug. Using spiritual gifts in church meetings

"You should seek after love, and you should truly want to have the spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophesy. I will explain why."

"Those who have the gift of speaking in different languages are not speaking to people; they are speaking to God. No one understands them; they are speaking secret things through the Spirit. But those who prophesy are speaking to people to give them strength, encouragement and comfort..."

"I wish all of you had the gift of speaking in different kinds of languages, but more, I wish you would prophesy. Those who prophesy are greater than those who can only speak in different languages - unless someone is there who can explain what is said so that the whole church can be helped..."

"Since you want spiritual gifts very much, seek most of all to have the gifts that help the church grow stronger. The one who has the gift of speaking in a different language should pray for the gift to interpret what is spoken..."

"I thank God that I speak in different kinds of languages more than all of you. But in the church meetings I would rather speak five words I understand in order to teach others than thousands of words in a different language..."

"Suppose the whole church meets together and everyone speaks in different languages. If some people come in who do not understand or do not believe, they will say you are mad."

"But suppose everyone is prophesying and some people come in who do not believe or do not understand. If everyone is prophesying, their sin will be shown to them, and they will be judged by all that they hear. The secret things in their hearts will be made known. So they will bow down and worship God saying, 'Truly, God is with you'."

          (1 Corinthians 14:1-25)

 

 

Having told the Corinthians that the greatest of God's gifts is self-giving love, Paul now goes on to explain how other spiritual gifts should be actively sought after, but used appropriately in church meetings.

Paul urges the believers to seek after all the spiritual gifts, but especially self-sacrificing love and the gift of speaking God’s message (‘prophesy’). “You should seek after love, and you should truly want to have the spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophesy” (1 Corinthians 14:1).

Paul reminds them that some gifts are useful in individual prayer while others may be of more use during collective worship: “I wish all of you had the gift of speaking in different kinds of languages, but more, I wish you would prophesy."

Paul explains that while speaking in heavenly languages may help the individual to pray, it is of no help to others unless someone explains the meaning of the message. So if there is no one to translate the message, it's better to keep it to oneself.

On the other hand, a 'prophesy' (a message from God) given in the context of a worship meeting can not only uplift others, but may also convict a non-believer of their wrongdoings and their need for the Lord's forgiveness.

"Those who prophesy are greater than those who can only speak in different languages – unless someone is there who can explain what is said so that the whole church can be helped” (1 Corinthians 14:5)

On the other hand, if unbelievers hear a word of prophetic message from God, "their sin will be shown to them... [and] the secret things in their hearts will be made known. So they will bow down and worship God saying, 'Truly, God is with you'." (1 Corinthians 14:25).

The photo shows the 'smallest church in Australia' at Australind in Western Australia.

You can read more from Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/…/14-pauls…/spiritual-gifts/


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