For the next two Sundays we will be in 1 Corinthians chapter 14. At first glance, it might appear to be primarily about the gifts of tongues and prophecy (and it certainly does say a lot about these two particular gifts), but once again they are secondary to Paul’s primary concern – edification, “that the church may be built up (14:5).” He repeats this phrase five more times.
“The one who prophesies speaks to people for their upbuilding.” (14:3)
“The one who prophesies builds up the church.” (14:4)
“Strive to excel in building up the church.” (14:12)
Misuse of tongues results in “the other person not being built up.” (14:17)
“Let all things be done for building up.” (14:26)
Once again the chord from 8:1 is struck, “Love builds up.” For the next two weeks we will consider God’s aim for the church when she gathers – to build one another up. As Erik and I were discussing this chapter today he summarized the main point like this.
The gathering is for orderly edification grounded in intelligible instruction for the sake of the gospel.
How interesting that in the Lord’s timing, during this period when we’re all longing to be gathered together again to enjoy the physical presence of our church family, He has us considering what our gathering is to be about. May the Lord use this chapter to prepare us for when we are able to reconvene as his church gathered.
Kenny Clark will be preaching this week and Jordan and Joyce Weaver will be leading our sung worship. Would you pray for each as they prepare? And pray for our Grace family that we would be actively and creatively be “striving to excel in building up the church” in these difficult days.
See you on livestream, Grace! Come hungry.
BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY
The Gift of Prophecy in the New Testament Today by Wayne Grudem
What Are Spiritual Gifts?: Rethinking the Conventional View by Kenneth Berding