The Right Tool for the Job
1 Corinthians 14:1-25
In recent weeks our focus has been on 1 Corinthians 11-14, where Paul addresses three areas of unruliness and selfishness in the Corinthian church: gender roles (11:1-16), the Lord’s Table or Communion (11:17-34), and spiritual gifts in (12-14).
On the heels of Paul’s beautiful description of love in chapter 13, he returns to the primary issue in this section- the Corinthians lack of spiritual maturity regarding the use of spiritual gifts. In chapter 14 Paul zeroes in on the Corinthians’ fascination with the gift of speaking in tongues. Paul begins his instruction by comparing and contrasting the gift of tongues with the gift of prophecy (in the context of spiritual gifts, the gift of prophecy involves the proclamation of biblical truth and not the prediction of future events). While the gift of prophecy promotes clarity, unity, and edification, the gift of tongues requires an interpreter, opening the door for miscommunication, confusion, and personal pride.
Returning to his argument from chapter 12, Paul reminds the readers that spiritual gifts are for the benefit of the body of Christ and not the individual. When gifts are not being exercised for the corporate good, they create division and confusion. Paul believes spiritual gifts should be desired, but they must always be pursued in love!
Living for Jesus is not about me.
- While we might not struggle with misusing the gift of tongues, there are other ways believers can struggle with selfishly inserting themselves into church life. In what ways might we be guilty of negatively influencing a worship service today? What could be a remedy for that?
- How can you infuse love into areas where you are gifted or where you serve? What does that practically look like in your life at your church?