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Rebecca's Well

Rebecca’s Well: Paul’s Teachings on Gifts of Prophecy and Tongues – Pt. 3

Continued from last week

I Corinthians 14:2ff: Speaking in tongues (says Paul)
• Is desirable for it is a gift from God.
• It is not a requirement of faith.
• It is less important than prophecy and teaching.
• Although Paul spoke in tongues, he stresses prophecy (preaching and teaching) because it benefits the whole church, while speaking in tongues benefits the speaker.
• Public worship must be understandable and beneficial to the whole church.
• Speaking in tongues is helpful for public worship w/ interpretation. Paul says he would rather speak five (5) words that his hearers can understand than 10,000 that they cannot.

I Corinthians 14:13: If a person has gift of speaking in tongues, he should also pray for the gift of knowing what he said (interpretation), so he can tell people afterwards. That way, the entire church is helped by this gift.
I Corinthians 14: 22-25: The way the Corinthians were speaking in tongues was helping no one because believers did not understand what was being said, and unbelievers thought the people speaking in tongues were crazy.
• Speaking in tongues was supposed to be a sign to unbelievers (as it was in Acts 2). After speaking in tongues, believers were supposed to explore what was said and give credit to God. The unsaved people would then be convinced of a spiritual reality and motivated to search the Christian faith further. While this is one way to reach unbelievers, Paul says that clear preaching is usually better
(I Corinthians 14:5)

I Corinthians 14 :26-33: Everything done in worship services must be beneficial to the worshipers. This principle touches every aspect-singing, preaching, and the exercise of spiritual gifts. The gift of speaking in unknown tongues was a concern of the Corinthian church because it had caused disorder in worship.
• Those contributing to the service (singers, speakers, readers) must have love as their chief motivation, giving useful words or help that will strengthen the faith of believers.

I Corinthians 14:33: In worship, everything must be done in harmony and with order. Even when the Gifts of the Holy Spirit are being exercised, there is no excuse for disorder. When there is chaos, the church is not allowing God to work among believers as He would like. “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all the churches of the saint.”
(v. 33)

I Corinthians 14:39-40: Paul concludes his teachings on the subject ofthe pneumatika (“spirituals,” i.e., matters of or from the Holy Spirit) which gives the key to chapters 12, 13 and 14.
• Wherefore, brethren, covert (desire or long) to prophesy (speak-forth, preach or teach), and forbid not to speak in tongues.
• Let all things be done decently and in order.

Your Homework O child of God is to know yourself, to study yourself and discover the manifestation of the Spirit of God in you (I Corinthians 12:7). For you are gifted of God and as such should profit from your spiritual rebirth, i.e., born again from the Jerusalem above.


Rebecca Ruth Rivka

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