1st Corinthians chapter 14 moves us to the other side of the discussion on spiritual gifts and ministry in the church. The creamy “oreo” center was chapter 13 — the Love Chapter — and Paul lets them, and us, know that love must be the grand pursuit of our lives!
Now we know that LOVE is superior to GIFTS, but…of all the gifts of the Spirit, which is most important and why? Miracles? Healings? The Corinthians put an over-emphasis on one very outward and obvious experience: speaking in an unknown language. Don’t worry, I will explain more tomorrow. Paul shows them why their focus is misplaced and where it should be.
There are two words that dominate the section: understanding and edification (building up). What we learn from the discussion between Paul and the Corinthian church is that our church participation is not intended to be merely an independent emotional rush. It is much more important that we understand the things being said and what is being communicated so we can act on them and participate in what is happening.
It has never been my experience, but some of you come from church backgrounds where the service (mass) was in Latin or even Greek in the Anglican or Catholic or Orthodox church. Others may have some familiarity with the pentecostal churches and the emphasis on the gift of tongues. Does this chapter have anything to say about that? Listen in and see!