July 27 – Today’s Readings – 1Corinthians 14-16 and Psalms 27
Chapter 14 clearly indicates how Churches ought to be functioning in the gifts of the Holy Spirit. This means that individuals within the Church need to “step up” and function in The Spirit and that all Spirit-filled Christians should be encouraged in this direction.
What did the apostle Paul have to say about this? – “What then shall we say, brothers? When you come together, everyone has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. All of these must be done for the strengthening of the church.” (1Corinthians 14:26)
This is how a “normal” Church service should be. We should have to put a halt to “prophecy” because too many people want to use the microphone. We should all come ready to edify the Church and we certainly should be praying in the Spirit to build up our faith. How do I know this? – The Apostle Jude says – “But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit.” (Jude 20)
Paul exhorts – “So what shall I do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my mind; I will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my mind.” (1Corinthians 14:15) – “He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself,” (1Corinthians 14:4) – “I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you.” (1 Corinthians 14:18)
By the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Paul instructs that we should be speaking, praying and singing in the Spirit. This kind of “tongues” is simply a prayer language – people speaking to God, not to other people. There is also an utterance of tongues that can be used to address the Church. Tongues + Interpretation has similarities to Prophecy. Prophecy is the “speaking” gift that Paul encourages in the Church because the Church can easily understand it and be blessed.
In our Church, we use a microphone so that members can address the assembly and so everyone can be heard (without ruining their vocal chords) because “everyone who prophesies speaks to men for their strengthening, encouragement and comfort.” (1Corinthians 14:3) The outcome then is that we build ourselves up by speaking in tongues and we build THE CHURCH up by prophesying. What place then do the other spiritual gifts hold? Wouldn’t it be exciting if we all began using gifts of Healing, Miracles, Faith, Wisdom, Knowledge and Distinguishing between spirits within the Church and – OUTSIDE THE CHURCH Walls? You would not be able to contain the crowds if we began to “eagerly desire spiritual gifts”. (1Corinthians 14:1)
1. When was the last time you functioned in one of the “spiritual gifts” Paul refers to?
2. Tell about it.