14:16 Else when thou shalt bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest?14:17 For thou verily givest thanks well, but the other is not edified.14:18 I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all:14:19 Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue.
Today, Paul addresses us concerning the use of spiritual gifts. Today, in some churches, speaking in tongues is still a bone of contention maybe because people expect an interpretation of what is spoken.
In 1 Cor. 14: 4, Paul says that he who speaks in tongue, as unknown language, edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church. He says that the prophet is greater than he who speaks in tongue unless the tongue is interpreted and clearly understood.
He teaches that if speaking in tongue must be allowed in church, there must be interpretation otherwise it would not make any meaning to someone who hears without understanding. Compare his ideas in verses 7 and 8, using the organ as example: If the organist is expected to tune a hymn and he ended up striking notes that do not agree with each other, he only succeeds in confusing the congregation.
Another example is the Boys’ brigade bugle or whistle. There are different sounds signifying different things, but when a strange sound is given, there is confusion in the camp and the people would not know what to do. So it is for any foreign or strange language spoken and not interpreted.
The bottom line of today’s teaching is that our spiritual gifts must be for the edification of the church and not for showmanship or self-esteem. They should not also cause arrogance or pride. They should not cause division and rancour in the body of Christ. Let your zealousness for spiritual gifts be for the edification of the church and not for personal ego which brings income or fame to you. Some divert the attention of members, thereby ending up dividing the church instead of edifying it. Watch it, for God will certainly require an account of how you used your spiritual gifts.
MEMORY VERSE: “Even so you, since you are zealous for spiritual gifts let them be for the edification of the church that you seek to excel” 1 Corinthians 14: 12 (NKJV).
PRAYER: Every spiritual gift is given by You, heavenly Father. Help me to use the one (or those) given to me, not for self-esteem but to the glory of Your Name and for the edification of your body – the church – in Jesus’ name. Amen.
READ – DAY: Matt 5; Night: 2 Sam 11-12