Edification, not Confusion

1 Corinthians 14:26-33a

Posted by Brian Sayers on February 25, 2024
Edification, not Confusion
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Main idea: Three guidelines for public worship to promote edification and avoid confusion.

  1. Avoid serving to be seen (v. 26).
  2. Practice speaking to be understood (v. 27-28).
  3. Use collaboration to be more clear (v. 29-33a).
  • Automated Transcription
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    Well, my name is Brian says I'm one of the pastor's here it's my privilege to bring the Word of God to you this morning we have been studying the the letter of the Apostle Paul to the church in Corinth, where he calls them to be marked by the gospel that have everything in their life ministry and church marked by the gospel. And this morning, we come to First Corinthians 14 if you would stand. Take your copy of the scriptures we're going to read this morning first Corinthians chapter 14, verses 26 through the first half of 33. For chapter 14, verse 26, through 33. What is the outcome then brethren, when you assemble each one has a Psalm has a teaching has a revelation has a tongue has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification. If anyone speaks in a tongue, it should be by two or at the most three, and each in turn, and one must interpret. But if there's no interpreter, he must keep silent in the church. Let him speak to himself and to God. Let two or three prophets speak and let the others pass judgment. But if a revelation is made to another who is seated, the first one must keep silent, for you can all prophesy one by one so that all may learn and all may be exhorted, and the spirits of prophets are subject to prophets, for God is not a God of confusion. But if peace, this is the word of the Lord. God help us this morning to have our hearts shaped by this call to be continually doing all that we do for your glory and the edification of the church help us see the practical import of maybe what seems a little obscure at first reading, we pray for the good of your church. Amen. You may be seated. Well, we come to this text this morning, Paul has been giving instructions about how to, to exercise your spiritual gifts in the church. And we come to this text this morning that I think has a very clear purpose and that is to give us some guidelines for corporate worship. Paul's given us some rules. This is how it's to be done. tongues and prophecy and specific. Specifically, it would it would certainly not be true to say that every standard or guideline for content and conduct that's proper in a public worship gathering is included here. So John's really thankful for that. He's got way more flexibility than the prophets among us. But Paul certainly addresses how the church in Corinth needed to consider some matters that had gotten out of hand in the church. And Corinth specifically he notes in verse 26, that there needed to be a reminder and an emphasis on the fact that corporate worship and the exercise of gifts in the gathering like teaching prophecy, tongues needed to be done with the edification of others, as the primary aim, verse 26, Let all things be done for edification, instead of edification, Paul notes at the end of this section, verse 33, that what had been happening was tending toward confusion, not the edification of others that God had desired, and designed. Those verses of 26 and 33. At the beginning and end of this section, I think, make identifying that big idea. Pretty simple. These are guidelines for public worship, that promote edification and help us avoid confusion. There's a curious but important observation to be made about this text, though, the section seems, in some ways to paint a picture to describe a kind of worship service that was very open, very fluid. It looks like there were multiple speakers and perhaps a lot of spontaneity about what was going on. That certainly seems to be true. But the question is, is that God's designed for the church? Early in my Christian life, whenever I heard this passage, referenced, it was always done. So in order to justify or promote a widespread spontaneity and worship, where anyone would be allowed to participate in whatever way they were, I suppose being led by the Spirit. And I remember one Sunday morning where apparently someone was was led by the Spirit to lead the congregation in a lament for their cat, who had not returned home from a romp in the woods now might surprise you, but I would not have a problem. empathizing with someone about a lost pet, even a cat. But But during the Sunday morning worship service was was not the time or the place for that is, is Paul trying to give guidelines for how to have this open fluid spontaneous gathering of the church, in their in their worship in their teaching in their singing? I don't think so. Actually, if we remember the context of this entire section, Paul is giving correction to the church for a number of things that were either being misunderstood, or were being practiced in a in a selfish or incorrect way. And that's why he keeps reminding them that the goal of everything we do when we gather is the edification of one another. He says it in verse three, prophecy is to be done for edification and exhortation, and consolation. He says it again in verse five were to do all these things so that the church may receive edifying verse, verse 12, he says, Seek to abound for the edification of the church. And then our section, verse 26, he says, Let all things be done for edification. There are certain Christian groups that do practice these open meetings. And in fact, the first church I attended after my conversion was such a fellowship, we would gather around the Lord's table and the men in particular, were encouraged to read a scripture or call out a hymn, or say, a few edifying words, and it was actually a conservative church, I never, I should say, rarely heard anything too crazy in those meetings, was very conservative, and everyone had a very high view of Scripture and, and what happened there, I think, I think was generally encouraging.

    In the more modern church, we have the example of some Pentecostal and charismatic churches, where a kind of open fluid spontaneous practice of worship is not uncommon. However, in those contexts, it could much more easily drift into the realm of confusing drift away from scripture in those circles, as there's this belief that those who might stand to speak are getting direct revelation from God through this gift of prophecy, or tongues, that Paul's just describing here are at least, what they believe those gifts are and how they operate. Are we in our series, and I can't reteach everything we've said. But I think we've shown in our series, as we've dealt with those gifts, that those gifts of prophecy and tongues were given for a specific purpose that was very needed in the early church, when the church did not have a New Testament, they didn't have anything other than the Old Testament, all of the teachings of Christ and the doctrines of the church had not been completely put down in Scripture ated, and they didn't have copies of it. And those gifts were given during that time, but now have become unnecessary. At this point in church history. We have the sufficient, inerrant and complete word of God. And in many, if not most of those Pentecostal and charismatic churches where they practice these open times of hearing a word from the Lord, I would say that even if they were hearing from God in those matters, there are few that are careful to follow what are actually some very pretty clear guidelines that are outlined here by Paul for how it's to be regulated. Paul's trying to help the church in Corinth, and he's trying to help the church in Corinth avoid doing things that are confusing, verse 33, because God is not a God of of confusion. He's trying to help them avoid doing things like what he describes in verse 23. If on gifted men are unbelievers enter, will they not say that you are mad? Crazy. So we should want to conduct our worship to be ordered, and unconfused thing as well. And while we aren't practicing these specific gifts which are now obsolete, tongues and prophecy, there are still general principles and applications that I think the guidelines Paul gives the church in Corinth that we need to consider that will help us cultivate in our church and its ministries. More edification, and less confusion in our worship and ministry to one another. So let's look let's look at these guidelines, shall we? Three guidelines for public worship, that promote edification And, and help us avoid confusion. Number one, avoid serving to be seen, avoid serving to be seen this section starts with Paul sort of marking off the fact that he's about to help us draw a conclusion, based on what we have just heard. That's what he means when he says, What is it then how is it then? Or what is the outcome then brethren, what what is the conclusion that we should draw, he has just said in verse 23, that an improper exercise of gifts might cause an unbeliever to, to think the churches going mad if they walked in and saw and heard what was going on. In contrast, he says in verse 24, and 25, a proper exercise of tongues and prophecy wouldn't, wouldn't confuse them. But rather, it might cause them to see the power of God and be convicted to the point of falling on their face and worshipping Him. Verse 24, if an unbeliever and gifted man enters into the church, he's convicted, he's called to account the secrets of his heart are disclosed. And so he will fall on his face and worship God declaring that God is certainly among you. Is that that second goal that Paul wishes were the most common occurrence in Corinth, unfortunately, it looks like everyone, many had an inflated view of their gifts and abilities, or maybe a confused idea of how it was to be exercised. And they were more concerned with putting it on display for everyone to see than they were about maintaining order. And edification, I think that is what Paul's describing in verse 26. When you assemble each one has a Psalm has a teaching has a revelation has a tongue has an interpretation. So again, when we remember that Paul is incorrect and conclude mode, here, it's it's easier to see that he's he's not actually advocating that everyone did all of these things together. Rather, he's saying everyone can't be doing all these things at the same time, or even in succession, because it wouldn't be edifying. In fact, it would become quite confusing. And it's not a hard picture to paint, right. Just think if only 30 of you decided to stand up and start speaking, prophesying or speaking, if only 30 of you did that, we would be scratching our heads and wondering what is happening, right? Instead, Paul says, Don't be confusing. Let all things be done for edification, or as I put it in the outline, avoid serving to be seen. Wanting the spotlight wanting recognition. It could be particularly tempting, I think, when it comes to speaking gifts, which he's he's talking about here, the tongues and the prophecy, that may be the most clear and obvious way to apply this passage, I of course, would be very wary of someone who shows up and says, I have a word from God. And you need to let me share it, I'd be a little weary. If that happened right now, or probably even more. So if someone were to simply stand up and start sharing right now without any guidance without any affirmation, perhaps without any affirmation or permission from the elders of the church to do so. And though I've seen and dealt with those kinds of situations, on a couple of rare occasions, I think there are actually more subtle ways that you and I might be tempted to serve the Lord to be seen, to want to put our gifts our greatness on display. Years ago, I was part of a group it was a it was a small group of girls group, just like we have here. And there was one particular fellow in the group. And he was, he was a go getter. There's a lot of positives. He liked to get things done. And when someone said, Hey, we should do this, he would just take charge, and he would start doing everything. And the problem was, I want the ladies to plan the Christmas party. Because it's going to be prettier, and the food is going to be better. If they do it. And my friend, he was a go getter. But when he would take control, he kinda wouldn't let other people get in on the serving action. If if you know what I'm talking about. And it really seemed like he thought his way was going to be best. And he wanted to show you that his way would be best. And it was a little off putting. So we had to have a little chat with him about his zeal and leadership style and he was he very humbly received that was actually a good thing for him and for So I remember another situation with a girl in the church out east who, every time we would have a meeting, a small meeting about some event or something that we needed to do or plan, she was the first person to volunteer. And the last person to get things done. So it was the opposite, she would jump at the chance of volunteering, when everyone was, was watching and listening. And everyone thought, Wow, she's so energetic, and she's so willing to serve. But as, as the guy who's monitoring progress, I'd be like, are you actually going to do that? Are you just going to talk about doing that? I mean, I didn't say it to her that way. But that was what I had to follow up, that's what I had to deal with was someone who wanted to be seen as serving but who wasn't actually serving our hearts. They're subtle, and we can be tempted to step in and be that kind of person. It could be as simple as just dominating conversations. That could be as simple as just always having an opinion about everything. And always having the right opinion about everything. It could be perhaps as simple as just drawing attention to ourselves just by being overly flamboyant, overly emotional, or being a speaker, or an upfront person who does what they do, the way they do it, so that people will be impressed. Now, I want to stop us and say, well, let's be careful about that. Because

    you should be applying these principles to your heart, not sinfully. Judging the motives of others, there's actually a difference between being talented and being impressive. As a preacher or a singer, musician, or, or other kind of person. And actually having humility. There's a difference between being good at what you do, and actually trying to be impressive, right? Doing it so that people will see how great you are. That's why we have phrases like he's trying too hard, right? We use phrases like that to describe somebody who is trying too hard to be seen to be impressive to make people think they're great. Well, I think the Corinthians here were being corrected by Paul. They weren't just good at songs and teaching and Revelation, and tongues and interpretation. No, they were all coming to the meeting. And they were all vying for attention, and a little bit of control and trying to serve in order to be seen. The church in Corinth had elevated the speaking gifts, and they had created a culture where people were using their gifts in this self elevating way. So without overthinking every motive, I do think we can overthink our motives sometimes. But let's take note of the danger. Let's take note of the danger that we can see here and seek God's help to not serve in order to be seen in whatever way you're serving. There are other guidelines Paul gives us here, besides just limiting the way we serve, publicly give some guidelines to help him to find and direct how we go about it, at least in regard to tongues and prophecy of the following verses. So how can we avoid the confusion and promote the edification that God desires? guideline number two, guideline number two first, don't serve to be seen second practice speaking to be understood. Pray practice speaking to be understood. Paul gives some guidelines for speaking in tongues in verse 27, and 28, which we've learned, again, is a divinely given ability to speak in a human language that you have never learned so that someone else can hear the Word of God in a language they understand that language was both a sign of judgment on the Jews that they had rejected Christ on the gospel. And it was also a sign to unbelievers that the gospel was available and going forth to every tribe and tongue and language, that Christ wasn't just the savior of the Jews, but of the Gentiles as well. That's what the gift of tongues was. Paul has already talked about how speaking in other languages without someone interpreting is basically a useless exercise of the gift of of tongues, the mind is unfruitful. If that happens, it would be as unfruitful as if we suddenly piped in DMOZ A Ukrainian translation of the sermon that's happening right now, Mike Dima, take it, take it from here. You've got my sermon manuscript, you deliver points two and three for us. And you all would learn nothing, right? Be fruitless. So Paul's already said to give talking in tongues without interpretation is a fruitless thing. How can anybody learn a truth or understand what command they're going to are supposed to obey if they can't understand the language being spoken. Instead, he's already told us verses 12 and 13, seek to abound for the edification of the church. So if one speaks in a tongue pray that he may interpret verses 12 and 13. Paul gets even more specific about that principle here in verse 27. He says, If anyone speaks in a tongue, it should be by two or at the most three, and in turn each and turn and one must interpret. So he says, a few things here about speaking in tongues that should be two, or at the most three, they should be one at a time. Right? Take turns, basically, and there must always be an interpreter. He doesn't give the details about how we might be aware of there being an interpreter, it could be because there's already someone there who naturally speaks the language like has learned the language in a normal way. Or it could be because someone is given a divine ability to understand and interpret those words, chapter 12, verse 30, speaks of interpretation in the list of gifts as well. So there could be a miraculous ability to understand a language just like there was a miraculous ability to speak it. Either way, he says, verse 28, if there's no interpreter, he must keep silent in the church, and let him speak to himself. And to God. These guidelines would certainly make it wrong to have services where there is a lot of unintelligible speech going on all the time. In the early church, this gift was operating. Right? As, as we've described, people were speaking and in languages that were known to those around them, but not known to themself with a divine miraculous gift. And Paul, knowing that this gift is operational isn't going to forbid its use. Instead, he's regulating it. He wants them to make sure they do it properly. What is often said to be a gift of tongues today is often described as a private prayer language. Often this is one of the verses that people will use to justify that description and definition, they'll say, see, Paul says, we can use our tongue gifts to speak to himself and and to God, but really what Paul has commanded here isn't to what is commanded is keep silent. If there's no interpreter, he's not contradicting what he said back in verse 13, and 14, that if you speak in a tongue, pray that he might interpret because if you don't, the mind is unfruitful Paul's not encouraging people to do unfruitful things in the church. So what he means by keep silent, let him speak to himself and to God is, is basically don't do it. If there's no interpreter. In fact, verse 19, he says, in the church, I desire to speak five words with my mind, that I understand, so that I may instruct others also rather than 10,000 words, in a tongue. That I don't understand, saying that it is 2000 times better. To speak words that are understandable than words that are not I had to do the math, because I'm a math guy. So there it is. What about for our purposes, so here we are 21st century, in an age where the gift of languages isn't being exercised, there is a broader principle of being clear and being understandable. And that broader principle of always speaking to be understood, so that the body of Christ is edified? That broad principle is still very necessary in the church. And that that is why well trained pastors and preachers will actually take the time to learn the original languages of of the Bible so they can understand it better and explain it. Well. And I say that not meaning at all, that you have to learn the original languages to understand your Bible. I'm saying that learning them provides for the preacher for someone who's called to do this like all the time, it provides a degree of clarity and our understanding and it certainly provides a measure of deficiency in our study, because we've spent countless hours already doing word studies in the Greek. Like, I'm not real fresh on my stuff. But I can tell you, I go back to First Corinthians 14. And I recognize almost every word in the original text, not because I'm studying my keeping up keeping up on my Greek, I use my software tools just like everybody else. But using them is really fast. Because this is what I'm called to do. And if I'm called to do this, friends, I gotta be clear, I gotta be clear here. And I have to be clear, here. And so it's why people who preach faithfully are laboring over their explanation and their exposition and their application of what we learn and what we're preparing to teach. And to preach, we want to just be understood more than anything. I'm not an impressive orator, and I'm never going to be handsome.

    But man, I want to be understood when I get up here. And I want you to understand what God is saying, I don't want you to be led astray from just the simplicity and purity of Christ. Paul says it in his next letter to the Corinthians, just there's there's a beauty of simplicity, a purity of being devoted to Christ. And that's, that's all I want to help lead you toward. Preachers Can I think, to have a tendency, especially in their youth, I've been there to dump the whole load. Have you ever heard a young preacher dump the whole load? Is that a phrase that you recognize, like, I learned so much? In my study this week, I want to make sure you hear all of it. Right? We were some I was joking with someone about a long sermon this week, and I was like, Oh, my record is 91 minutes. That was definitely in my youth. Right. And that was a mistake. Right? No one was listening after like, I don't know. I'm not sure anybody was listening anyway. The deal is, we need to guard herself from any way we might be tempted to engage in public ministry of the word in ways that make it less clear, less understandable, guard ourselves from practices or philosophies or methodologies that make truth, harder to receive or harder to understand. That is just a broader application of a very specific practice in the church in Corinth, where they were literally speaking words that nobody could understand. practice speaking to be understood, avoid serving to be seen the number 3/3 guideline Paul gives us here, use collaboration to be more clear, use collaboration. To be more clear, Paul moves on from giving instructions and guidelines for the proper use of tongues to giving guidelines for the proper use of the gift of prophecy. And again, his stated goal is clarity and edification for the congregation and helping them avoid potential confusion. And so he instructs the church to be orderly, and the exercise of this revelatory speaking gift of prophecy, look at verse 29. clear guidelines let two or three prophets speak and let the others discern or pass judgment. But if a revelation is made to another who is seated, the first one must keep silent, for you can all prophesy one by one or one at a time, so that all may learn and only be exhorted, and the spirits of profits are subject to profits. When it comes to these spectacular gifts, I've often heard people object to the the idea that the gifts have have stopped or that these miraculous gifts should be limited in any way. You can't put God in a box, the argument might go, you can't put limits on how God will work. But oddly, God Himself through Paul, under inspiration of the Spirit, tells us that he himself puts limits on how he's going to operate in the church. Even during that age of the church, where miraculous things were taking place. He basically says, I'm only going to do two or at the most three miracles for you today. That's kind of what he says. And so you need to kind of step in line and help this be clear and understandable and orderly and not confusing. Now, we shouldn't make up our own guidelines, our own standards, but we can't ignore that God Himself has given us guidelines now what would need to exist for this kind of orderly exercise of of revelatory gifts, I think To be a prophet, in the early church, you would have need to be a person of humility. And notice that every prophet who might stand and speak to the church knows going into it, that there will be other prophets there to explain and discern and judge and hopefully affirm the message that you're delivering from God. So you gotta go into that with some humility. The other prophets are gonna judge every word I say right now, in a discerning sense in a, with the purpose of explanation and clarity and affirmation. Now we preach, and I can tell you, every guy that's going to stand up here is expecting all of you to be good Bereans, the Bereans and acts 17, who searched the scriptures daily, to see if what the Apostle Paul was seeing was true. And I know that if I say something off this morning, that I'm going to hear about it at 1201. Because that's who you are, and I'm okay with that. And we, I think every preacher actually should be okay with that. If I don't hear it from you, I'm going to hear it at 916. Tomorrow at staff meeting, a minute into staff meeting, I'm going to hear about it. And that is a good thing. What Paul's describing here is a little bit different. The judgment involved is a discerning of truth. It's a careful dividing, and evaluation of the content of this prophetic message that's being delivered that word, let the others judge isn't a judgment of condemnation, but a ministry of discernment. As it relates to the truth of the prophets. Word and every prophet was subjected to the Spirit led evaluation of the other prophets present in the early Church takes humility, to be a person who engages in that kind of ministry, obviously, in a world where people were being enabled by the Spirit of God to stand and speak on behalf of God himself, to be able to say, Thus saith the Lord, in a historical context where people were able to do that this concept was a necessary safeguard, right? To not allow people to abuse that authority or mimic that ability for their own selfish ends. And so God puts this safeguard in place, that all the prophets needed to be submissive to the evaluation of the other prophets, that again, takes a degree of humility to simply bring yourself and your words, under the discerning evaluation of another, it would also take humility, because it might even become messy, necessary for you to take a seat, right? For revelations made to another who's seated, the first one must keep silent. I mean, I, I can't even picture this, frankly, I'm standing up delivering a message thus saith the LORD, it's a revelation from God. And someone goes, Excuse me. I have a message from God. I'm like, so do I. Yeah, but God told me the beginning of my messages, you have to stop giving yours. Like, who says okay to that? Right. I mean, it seems kind of bizarre. And I don't think that's actually what was happening. Right. I mean, I think God in His providence would probably order that in a, in a, certainly a less humorous way, and not a confusing way. But clearly, that's what it says, right? And so it takes a degree of humility, to be someone who's standing before God's people, and delivering the truth and recognizing that it's not about you. It's not about you, I can't even remember who said this, to me, was early in my Christian life, and they said, The kingdom of God is going to go on just fine without you.

    And I've never forgot it. It's been, it's been profoundly helpful, actually, when I start to think something is about me, because it's really, really not and never will be. Notice verse 31, though, says there's a design and purpose to all this, these necessary guidelines that perhaps the possibility that you may need to submit yourself to another prophet, even in the midst of your own prophecy, the purposes of verse 31, you can all prophesy one at a time, so that so that there's the purpose, so that all may learn, and all may be encouraged. Not surprisingly, right? The design and purpose his learning is understanding, first of all, and the mutual encouragement of the Body of Christ. Encouragement or exhortation or comfort that word is a very rich term that can mean any A number of those things. So how are we to apply these principles, right? We're not we're not speaking prophetic words in exactly this way. But we do have weekly and more opportunities to hear explanation and exposition of God's revelation from the Bible, and at least in the life and ministry of faith Bible Church. That process is very collaborative. It's very collaborative. In the same way, the prophets had to collaborate, and God was at work in that ministry to help everything foster learning, and encouragement. We're doing the same thing here as much as as we're able. We love to be accountable. And we love to be instructed by one another and helped by one another. I wasn't kidding that if I say something off today, that it will be discussed tomorrow morning. I'm sure of it. Almost every week when we gather as as pastoral staff on Monday, whoever is tasked with preaching the following Sunday, they come with with at least having done some, some spade work in the passage that they're preaching. And they come with questions that they might have about details in the passage that they haven't figured out yet, or they come with questions about what are the ways in which this passage particularly applies to the people here at Faith Bible Church, and we discussed that very collaborative plea for about 2025 minutes. It's an active effective iron sharpening iron kind of work. And it happens almost every week. Dan has spoken about his sermon prep team. And almost every week, he goes through a process with a group of people on Thursday to help him sharpen his communication of principles and help him sharpen how he he words and crafts, the applications, trying to make it as relevant and understandable. As as possible. We don't all do that. For schedule sake. He has a building to schedule, we don't always but the point is, there's a very collaborative process that's happening here at Faith Bible Church. And it's, it's terrific. Now we didn't sit down and go, How can we put first Corinthians 14 into practice? That's not how we did it. That's not how it came about. But it's certainly what's happening. And I can tell you this, the hardest years of ministry, for me were the first two, not only because I was young and dumb, that was also true. But because I didn't have anyone in my church, who could help me with that. So Michelle was my best counselor, and she was pretty good at it. But she was the best I had the folks in my church hadn't heard expositional preaching in 30 years. They didn't know what a good sermon was, if you will, which came with certain benefits for me, right. But when they when they would say something, why don't you preach more like this bad sermon? I used to like, I'd be like, No, thank you. But two years in, we hired an associate pastor, and we started collaborating on our sermons every week. And man, it felt so good to have a voice and outside input and encouragement and instruction from someone who is doing the same kind of ministry. I would, I would say that this principle can be extended and applied just beyond the content and verbiage of, of the teaching, and really, could be extended to all of our communication, as well. Ministry to one another constructive, kind hearted insights, even criticism offered humbly is such a good thing, I think, unnecessary thing. When I was leading that small group, California, when I was in seminary, there were two guys in the group, who were very willing to take me aside and tell me how I could lead that small group better. Like that was a really interesting discussion. I'm glad you know, all those things. But it wasn't really a discussion. Let me help you learn how to lead a discussion, and let people discover and learn and those two guys were so helpful for me like I'm so glad they did that. And in some ways, it built in me seeing that ministry done effectively over the years and grow and approve is actually what built in me the longing to come here and teach this way back and forth, as much as I do. I love preaching to y'all, but I'd rather sit over coffee and talk theology. I had someone I've told this story before, I think, maybe from the pulpit I usually tell it in the counseling class of someone who, who stopped me on a Sunday morning after a sermon in New Hampshire. and said you, you do realize that we love Jesus, right? And I was like, yes. Okay, I just wanted to make sure that you know, we love him, and we want to obey Him. And that was his very kind way of saying to me, you're, you're you scold us, you speak to us, like we're rebels, and we don't want to follow Jesus. And, yeah, that's true to a point. But it's not the heart of the matter. What we need is to be strengthened to follow him. But we need to be encouraged. Yes, sometimes exhorted, we also need to be comforted with a gospel when we fail. Because we do, right. I mean, he didn't say all those things to me. But just his very simple question to me, those, those thoughts just flooded over to over my heart and mind, I was so convicted. Man, I needed that. I needed that input. And so don't don't ever think your input into the life or the ministry of, of a humble pastor isn't needed, or effective. Do it. Be nice about it? Don't don't write anonymous letters. Those aren't fun. Come and let's get a cup of coffee and talk about it. That's the better way to do it. Look, and why? Why is it? Why is it so helpful? Why does it bear so much fruit because the goal if we're doing it right, is verse 31. Right, so that all may learn, and all may be encouraged that people have helped me over the years, they weren't prophets, and I'm no prophet, either. But they understood that every man's ministry should be subject to standards and be accountable to others, and that every man and woman who's leading people in the world doing ministry of the word, needs help to grow, and to cultivate the gifts that God has given them. That is a kind of collaboration with this goal of more and more clarity and learning and encouragement. And as he says, the elimination of confusion, for God is not a God of confusion, but of peace. I'm so thankful to be a part of faith Bible Church, a place known as the teaching church, as an equipping church. And this passage, I think, is the grounds for a commitment like that. And affirms the reality, that a commitment to be a teaching or a disciple making church is one. That must, must also be as as loving and as humble, as it is discerning and clear. So let's keep avoiding serving to be seen. Let's keep practicing speaking to be under stood and let's use collaboration to be as clear as we can. So the church would learn and be encouraged. Let's pray. God, we do thank you, we thank You for Your Word. And though, perhaps, tongues and prophecy seem obscure to us, in our day, the need that we have to be humble, to be collaborative, to be helpful to be those whose mindset is iron, sharpening iron, so that all might learn all may be encouraged. That's, we certainly can see the relevancy of that and our need for that. So I pray that you would continue to grant grace to the faith bible church family, specifically to the men and women who are ministering your word on a regular basis and to those that I believe desire to benefit from it, and to help us in that ministry. So continue to make that a fruitful reality here at Faith Bible Church, for the good of your people, the glory of your name.


Brian Sayers

Brian is the Pastor of Counseling & Equipping at Faith Bible Church. He is passionate about the local church, and equipping the saints to effectively serve one another. Before coming to Spokane, he spent 14 years serving God's people as a pastor in rural New England (Vermont & New Hampshire).

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