JULY 26, 2022 ~ 52 WEEKS THROUGH THE NEW TESTAMENT
JULY 26 READING…1 CORINTHIANS 14
The essence of chapter 14 is found in verse 1. Let me say it this way…make love your priority, and desire to live as spiritual people (the word gifts is not in the original), especially speaking the clear Word of God. Paul then tells us that tongues are between the believer and God…they are not to speak to other people. But, prophecies, clear speaking, is the way we share the truth with those who do not know. The word “prophecies” here is not the same as being a prophet…it is simply speaking the clear Word of God to those who do not know it. While tongues edify the speaker, prophesies edify the listener. Paul put prophesies above tongues for this reason. For the church to gather and all speak in tongues there is no profit for the body of Christ. Paul uses musical instruments as an example, saying they all make a distinct, understandable sound. Every language of mankind has meaning and distinction. If we speak in tongues when people are gathering, then we are speaking in the air, for no one can understand. Paul requires an interpreter where there are those who speak in tongues…and if there is no interpreter, they are to remain silent. Paul calls the church to be mature, and understand that tongues was never a sign for believers, but for unbelievers. Always pray that the clear Word of God is spoken when the church comes together.
In the second part of chapter 14, Paul speaks of how we are to exercise the gifts when the church gathers for worship. Edification of the body of Christ needs to be of primary importance. Nothing is to be done from selfishness, or from the perspective of being self-serving. Many of you have seen churches where everyone is speaking in tongues at the same time…this is not biblical order. Paul says two or three at the most, in order, not talking over each other…and there must be an interpreter. When the Word of God is clearly spoken, let what is spoken be judged by the listeners, to make sure it is the Word of God. This is so all will have the opportunity to learn. God is not the author of confusion…so if what the church does brings confusion, it’s not from God. Paul tells women to be silent in church. This is in relationship to what Paul is covering…tongues and declaration of the clear Word of God. For when the whole body is gathered God has given the proclamation (preaching) of the Word to the male spiritual leaders in the church. Paul finally says that if anyone claims to be a prophet or teacher of God’s pure word, they will acknowledge what Paul has said to be true. Finally, in the church here is the key…” Let all things be done decently and in order”.
Please share your thoughts from today’s reading.
TOMORROW’S READING…1 CORINTHIANS 15