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God's Word for Today 1 Corinthians 13b and 14a

July 14, 2012


Paul gives us some disadvantages of having the gift of tongues.  No one else can understand you unless there is an interpreter, so you build up yourself, make yourself look good and it doesn’t help the rest of the church.  Also unbelievers who visit may think you are crazy.  Even the one speaking in a tongue may not understand what they are saying so it isn’t even helping them in their prayers or in their knowledge of God.  

We do find on the day of Pentecost that tongues served as a sign for those that hadn’t believed yet. For on the day of Pentecost when they heard them speaking in the various languages, languages from all over the world, using these languages to praise God and to glorify the Lord. As Peter then explained to them the phenomena that they were observing, giving them the scriptural basis, when Peter was finished with his message and the Holy Spirit had convicted their hearts, they said, "What shall we do since we have crucified the Lord of glory?" Peter said, "Repent, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of your sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, for the promise is to you and your children who are far off." About two thousand of them believed and were added to the body of Christ that day/ 

Prophecy or preaching on the other hand is of benefit both to fellow believers in the church and to those who haven’t believed yet.   So better, he says to desire to be able to preach or teach, speaking forth God's truth to the people. As we speak forth God's truth to the people, they are built up in their faith. They are built up in their relationship with Jesus Christ. They are built up in their fellowship with the Lord. As we speak forth God's truth, they are exhorted in their walk with the Lord, in their commitment to Jesus Christ, in their abandonment of the flesh to live and to walk after the Spirit. And they are exhorted to trust the Lord, to commit to the Lord, to believe in the Lord. They are comforted as we speak forth God's Word, as they realize it is all in God's hands and God will take care of it, and God is going to work. There are those who in hearing the teaching of the Word are convinced in their own hearts of the reality and the truth of God. Prophecy serves a wonderful place within the church to edify, to exhort, to comfort. Unbelievers hearing it don't go away and say, "You are crazy," they go away saying, "There is something there that's real."  He concludes the chapter with some further instruction on order within the corporate worship of the church body.    Probably what was happening in the church in Corinth, was everyone or nearly everyone was speaking in tongues at the same time, with no interpretation and no preaching.  For more see

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