Today's passage: 1 Corinthians 14:1-25
- Gifts are good…love is first and best. Desire the gifts that will help you to love other people the most. Show your thankfulness by exercising your gifting (Whatever it may be) in love.
- The gift of prophecy is referred to as the “forth-telling” of God's Word. When a Christian communicates God's Word to people so they can understand what it means and how it matters to them, they are exercising this gift.
- This can happen from the pulpit in preaching, in the Sunday School classroom, and it can happen one-on-one over a cup of coffee.
- We are not being encouraged by this passage to hope for a new special word/revelation direct from God to share with others. With the completed Scriptures, we have everything we need (2 Timothy 3:16-17, 2 Peter 1:3).
- In the New Testament, there was a right way to speak in tongues (Acts 2:1-8) and a wrong way (Akin to pagan practices).
- When tongues were spoken by the will of God in the early church, there was no stopping it, and it was beneficial to all those who saw and heard.
- The kinds of “tongues” which were being “spoken” by the church at Corinth (And the “tongues” that are being “spoken” by those in the Charismatic Movement today), if they actually followed the ground rules laid down by the Apostle Paul in this chapter, would cease altogether.
Questions to consider:
- Some in the Charismatic Movement have taught that a person can not know they are saved unless they first “speak in tongues.” How could you utilize this passage to prove that is false doctrine? How does this kind of false teaching encourage you to keep reading the Bible for yourself?
- What can verses 24-25 reminds us of concerning our church services? We are certainly to pray, sing and preach the Word for the discipleship of the body, the church. But, when visitors/unbelievers come, should we be put off and exclusive or should we be excited and welcoming? To whom does “our” building, “our” seats, “our” service belong? How wonderful is a Sunday morning when the body is nourished by the Word AND souls are saved?
- How does all this thinking show signs of maturity in the believer (Verse 20)? How does a mature Christian view the gifts? How does a mature Christian view people and visitors? How does a mature Christian value their role and service in the church?