Love Builds up the Church

1 Corinthians 14:1-12

Posted by Dan Jarms on February 11, 2024
Love Builds up the Church
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Main idea: Love believers by using your gifts to build them up.

  1. Pursue what builds up the church not yourself 
    • Upbuilding:
    • Encouragement:
    • Consolation:
  2. Pursue what is beneficial not what is spectacular
    • After asking questions
    • After Prayer
    • Filling in Gaps
    • Applying a specific scripture
    • Unpacking a relevant passage/concept
  • Automated Transcription
  • 0:13
    Well, good morning faith Bible Church. If you're new today, welcome. I want to give you my personal welcome. Also, we would love to connect with you. And always remember at the end of the service, look around, if you don't know somebody's name, make sure you introduce yourself. And you might need to do it several times, that's fine. And and get connected to them. I know some of you are from some of you are visiting us are new to us, and you're from well, church backgrounds. Others of you are newer to the Bible, or don't really have a church background. And before we do the scripture reading, which is in First Corinthians 14, and in faith Bible Church, you can turn to that if you have a paper Bible or or get it ready for your electronic version. But I think it might be really important to give you some context, I'm always the teacher. And I'm thinking even when I read this, if you're new to the Bible, this is going to seem a little interesting, because you have somebody talking about a set of miraculous gifts. So let me give you the context. And maybe let me give it to you in context of the storyline of Scripture, the gospel and the storyline of Scripture, Nathan and I are working through a theory and I are working through a three part series on just sharing the basic storyline of the gospel, we often use a format we call two ways to live. Let me just walk you through that so that when we go to the reading, if you're new to the Bible, okay, this is what they're talking about. Here. Christians gather on Sundays, on the Lord's day, they gather midweek to study the Bible to hear and apply the gospel. So from the Old Testament to the Gospels, you find this out that the God is the creator of the world, it didn't evolve, it didn't just appear out of nowhere. He's the creator of the world. And he made mankind to rule it under his authority. And we were to be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth and rule it. But what you find out right away is that mankind Adam and Eve us ever since have rejected God as our authority. And we've wanted to rule ourselves, we want to be our own kings, we don't want God to be the king. And since God made it, he has the right to do with it what he wants. And what we're doing is rescinded rebellion. And God is righteous, and just to punish that or to judge that. What makes matters worse, is that the same thing that wanting to rule ourselves applies to every social relationship, we're in every one of them. Since we always want to be our own little kings, there's always a conflict. Governments have conflicts, nations have conflicts, marriages have conflict, siblings have conflicts. I mean, it's everywhere. But God in the person of Jesus Christ has a way. He still has a plan. And that is to save us from that rebellious condition. And so Jesus, God, the second person of the Trinity, came to Earth took on flesh, he lived among us, He taught, he did miracles, He healed people. And he offered forgiveness to anyone who would come to Him as King. Anybody who would repent and tragically, despite all the good that Jesus did, Jesus was arrested, betrayed, and sentenced to death by the rulers of his time, and he was sentenced to death on a cross, and on a cross he was murdered. And while that was happening in an unjust way, he bore from the Father the wrath that we deserved, he took our punishment. This is the nucleus of what we call the Gospel, Jesus Christ died for sinners. And on the third day, he rose from the dead, to be victorious over sin over death over Satan and to offer a new life. And as it hones in to our part of the story, he appeared to the disciples for 40 days, continuing his teaching until he ascended in heaven into heaven and took the right hand of the throne of God. And then 10 days later, what we call the day of Pentecost, those disciples are gathered in an upper room praying, and Jesus as promised, sends His Holy Spirit upon those disciples. We'll read it a little bit in our passage, but there he sends his whole The Spirit on them, and He empowers them to speak for him. Now, as we look in Acts, they were given miraculous ways of speaking prophecy, and speaking in languages that they had not heard. But from that point on, from that point on, whoever hears the gospel, and turns to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of their sins, is forgiven and empowered by the Holy Spirit, to live in a community and serve in a community called the church. Everyone who believes will be saved from the future wrath of God, and everyone who rejects will face a final judgment at Christ's return. And there will be eternal conscious separation from God. The good news of the gospel is you don't have to face that. So Fred, if you're if you're newer, if the Bible is new to you, you're new to the story. The urging I have for you is to turn to Jesus Christ from your sin, and your condemnation, find forgiveness in him which he's provided on the cross, and He will give you a new start, you'll become a new creation, and be gifted. All the letters of the New Testament then so we go all the way from the Old Testament to the Gospels to x. Then we have a whole bunch of letters, we're in a letter today, and the New Testament letters spell out how to live in light of the gospel of Jesus Christ, it helps us apply the truth of the gospel. And once once we're saved, that's what Christians call it. You know, somebody, one Christian will say to another Christian, when did you get saved which means when did you trust Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, to enter into eternal life. Once saved, we go through a process of overcoming the rest of our selfishness and pride. God grows us he doesn't immediately change us to perfect people know we grow slowly, the letters are written by the apostles and other prophets to help us grow. Now in Corinth, we come to chapter 14 In our situation. This these miraculous gifts associated with the apostles, healings, speaking in languages, prophecy, they are passed on from the apostles to a few delegates in many of the churches. Now as the apostles apostles passed off the scene, so did those miraculous gifts. But there was this battle going on in Corinth about who's most important? Is it people who speak in these languages? languages that they didn't know? Or are? Is it prophecy? And if you of course, spoke in, if I showed up and I just started speaking French are like, well, that's great spoken French. When did you learn French? Well, I didn't learn French. God just gave it to me, you really cool, that's really cool. But I don't understand French, who wouldn't do any good. There was this controversy in Corinth about who should speak in a service. There was a controversy in Corinth about what to do and chapter 13. The famous love chapter is about how we approach our gathering together. So while prophecy and tongues passed off the scene with the apostles, the lessons that we need to learn about how we speak and how we serve are invaluable. We're going to look at that today. So stand with me for the reading of God's Word as we set this up. Paul continues talking about the various gifts he's given to the church. And in this, we find what genuine love does love builds up. Chapter 14, I'll read one through 12.

    Pursue love and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy. For one who speaks in the tongue speaks not to men, but to God, for no one understands him. But he understands mysteries in the spirit. On the other hand, the one who prophesies speaks to people for their upbuilding and encouragement and consolation. The one who speaks in a tongue builds up himself, but the one who prophesies builds up the church. I want you all to speak in tongues, but even more to prophesy. The one who prophesies is greater than the one who speaks in tongues unless someone interprets so that the church may be built up. Now brothers if I come to you speaking in tongues, how will I bet benefit you unless I bring bring you some bro of elation or knowledge or prophecy or teaching. If even lifeless instruments such as the flute or the harp do not give distinct notes How will anyone know what is played at the bugle gives an indistinct sound who will get ready for battle? So with yourselves, if with your tongue you ever speech that is not intelligible? How will anyone know what is said, for you will be speaking into the air. There are doubtless many different languages in the world, and none is without meaning. But if I do not know the meaning of the language, I will be a foreigner to the speaker and the speaker, a foreigner to me. So with yourselves, since you are eager for manifestations of the Spirit, strive to excel in building up the church. This is the word of the Lord. God, we thank you, this day that you have included such a passage for us. Some parts of it are far off, people giving direct revelation from you, or speaking in languages that they didn't learn. Those kinds of things seem far off. But what is right up close is the attitude and purpose for what we say and what we do in the church and may it be shaped by love, genuinely building each other up. So give us ears to understand what's here in this passage. Help us be clear in what what is said Help me be clear. And I pray that you would put it on each of our hearts every time we move to gather in every place, that we have other believers that we would seek to build them up and with people who don't know you help us be equally clear presenting the glory of the gospel. Help us do it out of love. I pray for the churches in our five minutes circle as I think of the video and the faith and five initiative, there's 40,000 People in our five minutes circle. And we're not going to be able to reach them all as a church but we pray that we could reach many, but I pray for other churches like fortune Memorial Church, Scott Liddell, and Liddell and Eric Morris who's going to go plant a church, these these men, their, their churches, the various leaders equip them, to boldly proclaim the gospel, and encourage and strengthen them in the many situations that they deal with, in which people are still growing in their faith. Now help us be attentive to here. Help us by your Spirit's power, immediately apply it on the way out of the church as we have conversations as we go home. Christ's name, Amen. You may be seated.

    So, here's really the question I wanted to get to we had to talk about the whole of the storyline as it unfolds here. But here's what I wanted to get to. How can you use what you're gifted at? For the good of others without being swept up in self serving pride? That's the That's the question. Paul addresses in First Corinthians 14. There's these two supernatural abilities, prophecy and tongues, that the Holy Spirit gave believers in Corinth, but they were swept off the ship by the stormy waters between pride and humility and if if you are sensitive to pride and you want to be humble, you kind of know that there's there's times where the whole thing seems on uneasy it's the ship keeps rocking and here's what I mean by that you can you can be proud and not do something like I I'm afraid of looking stupid. Anybody anybody ever been in a situation where you heard something and you wanted to help and you wanted to say something but you're like I don't want to be looked stupid here. So I'm not gonna say anything. Well, that can be pride. Sometimes, we're not ready to serve or not ready to help because we're lazy we self serving. And then sometimes also, pride is the source of serving, serving because it gives us a sense of importance. I'm an important person and I want to say important things. And let's be honest, we can be selfish and not using our gifts and abilities to help others. We can be selfish in our you Use of gifts and abilities because of what we're trying to get out of what we do. That's such an American thing. Many other cultures, they're proud about their family, and the American culture, we're proud about what we do it, it ties to our identity. Just as well, though, the good news is we can be selfless, and know when not to use our gifts. You have the wisdom, that now is not the time to say something or now Now's not the time to do something, you have the wisdom to say, that's probably not the most loving thing that I say anything. Where I say the certain thing that I'm thinking, we can be selfless by using our gifts and abilities because we are aware of the timing and the place. And all we need to do is muster a little courage and prayerfully speak. So what's the guiding principle? What's the guiding principle? I find? This passage is so applicable for growth group life, if you're in a growth group, you know what I mean? You've studied the passage, you've answered all the questions and your growth group leader is leading through a discussion and somebody answers something that's strange. I don't quite understand what's going on. Or they say something that's a little off and you're like, am I the person to speak? Or is my growth group leader gonna fix it? I bet you might like your growth group leaders fix it, but you might be a blessing, if you could tactfully say, well, that's interesting that you say that. You know, when I read the passage, I read this. And of course, there's some of you who have done all 19 growth group questions. And every time that growth group leader asked a question your hands up, just like that fourth grader in class, I always know I did all the homework. You know what it might be somebody else's turn to say something. When do I speak when do I not speak. Paul is going to help us today with a guiding principle that is powerful and profound. And using as the key example, prophecy and tongues. Here's what Paul's gonna give us. It really goes through the entire chapter. And he's essentially telling us this, that we need to love others by using our gifts to build them up. We use our gifts to build others up, you'll see it repeated in the passage. And you can add the negative, love others by using your gifts to build them up, not build up yourself, not build up yourself. If you're a genuine disciple of Jesus Christ, you have been gifted by God to serve his people, not yourself. And so this is a vital passage of beginning to learn the wisdom of when it's appropriate and not appropriate to use your gifts. He's just spent two chapters correcting the pride in the church of Corinth over the issue of spiritual gifts. Some thought their gifts were better than others. Some thought that, that theirs were the only ones that mattered. But there were also that other side of people that thought their gifts were too insignificant to matter. Paul's encouraging them, whatever your gift, you have the same care for one another. That's chapter 12. And then at chapter 13, he gives them the rule, here's how you use your gifts. With love. You may have great gifts, but if you're proud and you're arrogant, if you don't have love, you're nothing. And he turns his attention then to chapter 14. Paul is going to guide us through the stormy waters of pride and humility so that we can really love each other with our gifts. Love is going to be the key love is going to be the guiding principle. It's two simple points. Pursue what builds up the church not yourself. Point one point to pursue what benefits others not what's impressive. Not what's impressive. We're going to deal with the impressive gift of tongues. Paul's gonna say it's better to benefit than it is to be impressive. So let's take a look at what what this says number one, pursue it build up the church, not yourself. So he says in chapter 14 verse one, Pursue love. So just coming right out of chapter 13 this great love chapter where we find out what love isn't what love is, how necessary it is how it's the more excellent way and 1231 and it gets done with a spiritual gift. List in 27 through 31. And he wants everybody to use it. Not everybody has every gift, but he wants everybody to use their gift and proper place. So Pursue love. And it's not pursue love and don't use your gift. No, it's Pursue love by properly using your gift. This word pursue I love it's it's this idea of running after pressing forward in it. So make it your pursuit. What is the pursuit, love is the pursuit what is love, love is thinking and doing and acting what is best for another, even if it's costly to yourself. We find the ultimate example in it in our Lord Jesus while we were still sinners, this is love. But while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. He pursued us for our benefit at his cost. And so we as following his example, benefiting from his love, we pursue love. Now we start shaping what do we do? Pursue love and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy earnestly like be, see these gifts work out. Especially that you may prophesy, nonprofits in the apostolic era gave short and direct revelation from God to declare God's plans or his will. Now some of them accumulated whole segments we've would say Luke was a prophet who recorded all of the history behind Jesus life, that an X. But in churches, there were often prophets. There often prophets who spoke direct revelation from God to declare God's plans for will. And a word from the Lord is always a word, to correct to encourage and comfort. It's always needed. Whenever the church is gathered, we need to hear correction, encouragement and comfort. Now notice he contracts contrast this with tongues. Verse two, for the one who speaks in a tongue speaks not to men but to God.

    For no one understands him. But he utters mysteries in the Spirit, he may have the genuine gift of speaking a foreign language. And that gift might be a prayer praise to God. And it might be like a prophecy that gets interpreted. But if there's no, there's no interpreter, it's not beneficial. So it's, it's almost not a compliment. He speaks not to men, but to God. It's good to speak to God. But if no one understands him, it's not helpful. I think it's going to be helpful for us to understand what this looks like. Various questions about this, jump over to Acts chapter two, where we see the gift emerge. This this scene of speaking in tongues, a version of it happens three times in the book of Acts, we're not going to go through all three, I'll show you the first one. And then by the writers, we find that similar things happened to other times, and Acts chapter two, Jesus has ascended, he's promised the Holy Spirit 120 believers are gathered in Jerusalem in an upper room, and they're praying, and as promised, the Holy Spirit was poured out. To to and suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting in divided tongues as of fire appeared and rested on each of them. I imagine it's some kind of Shekinah glory, looking like flames of fire, we're speaking and then there was more. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues, languages. What are these languages? We're gonna find it's going to define it for us. That's the Spirit gave them utterance. Here we have our first tongues, speakers, language speakers, now they were there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, development from every nation under heaven. And at the sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered because each one was hearing them speak in his own language. That's dialect. So we have a language we have a dialect. Well, what did that mean? They were amazed and started saying, are not all these who are speaking Galileans that's sort of like saying, didn't they all grow up? South of cine on a farm? Like, where would they ever learn these languages? How is it that we hear each one in his own native language? And then he just he puts up a list of countries Parthians Medes Elamites. And so on. Verse 11, we hear them telling in our own tongues, the mighty works of God. Probably praises could be prophecy that stirred a lot of attention. People who are now living in Jerusalem who had moved from another part of the Empire heard their mother tongue, what they grew up with. How did how is this possible? Peter steps up and said, This is the work of the Holy Spirit as promised in Joel 228, that God would pour out His Spirit and many people would be able to speak for God was miraculous. He then preaches he prophesies a message, that what they're talking about in their praises, is Jesus Christ, who you killed, God raised from the dead, and he's coming back to judge and in the middle of this first sermon, 3000 people repent, and are saved. What's the purpose of these tongues? There's twofold. We'll find out more about this next week. But it's twofold. One is to announce that God is going to take his message to the world as it's always been promised. So this is proof that God wants other nations and nationalities to hear the glorious truth of the gospel. Secondly, it's a judgment to unbelieving Jews who are hardened against Jesus who had been rejecting Jesus as well. If you my people won't listen, I'm gonna go to the people who will. And I'm going to prove it because I'm not going to speak in a language you understand easily. Now, this happens two more times. The Holy Spirit is poured out again in chapter eight to Samaritans. We don't have records of tongues there, but it's poured out again, Holy Spirit, He has poured out again, and pours out this ability again in Acts chapter 10. Where Gentiles, people from the nation's Peter comes preaches to them, and the spirit comes powerfully on them while Peter is preaching and these Gentiles prophesy and speak in tongues. It happens again and Acts chapter 19, to the final segment of people who need to be included into the church, which are the believers in the message of the late John the Baptist. They knew about Jesus up to John the Baptist, and they didn't know the full Gospel, Paul preaches the full gospel, they get saved and they prophesy and they speak in these languages, God's word is going out. That's what it's for. Apparently, as Paul's planting churches, there's need for this in various places, tongue speakers, to let people know that the gospel is going to further Gentiles and also Hey, Jews, you have not been listening. So I'm gonna move on without you. Both have it here. This is why tongues even existed. This was still ongoing as Paul's writing the book, this letter to Corinth. But now there weren't interpreters very often. But the tongue speakers still wanted their way. So there was this controversy, who gets to speak at the gathering? The prophets are the tongue speakers, he says if there's no interpreter, it's the prophets because the prophets speak in an intelligible way.

    Now, here's the key, verse three. On the other hand, the one who prophesies speaks to people for their upbuilding, encouragement and consolation circle those three words, prophecies, tongues, I believe passed off the scenes with the apostles. But this remains, anytime you speak. Or anytime you think of speaking, or are required to speak as a believer, from the scriptures, for other people, look at the three fold purpose. So Pursue love, especially prophecy and really saying an intelligible word from God that will do one of three things, build them up, encourage or console, a building encouragement constellation, and here are three great shaping situations. How do I know when I should say something or I should not say something? Well, is it for building up? Is it for encouragement is it for consolation? This this first word building up Literally, it can be translated in for a building project, the person who lays foundation stacks up the stones builds, you know, it's literally a building word. But it's used metaphorically very often for strengthening or supplying what's needed for someone building up. Notice it's the opposite of tearing down. What kinds of things tear down? Look back at First Corinthians 13. And we can get both sides. What should this look like? What should this look like 13 Four says, Love is patient, and kind. Whatever words are going to be spoken, they're going to spoken patiently, kindly. They're not going to be impatient or unkind. Words that don't build up or don't strengthen are impatient words or unkind words. Love does not envy or boast, they won't be boastful words, envying, and boasting will end up in speech, the tears down. It's not arrogant, assuming it knows everything or knows best or rude and considerate to other people that will tear people down. It does not insist on its own way. It's willing to allow the way of others. It's not irritable or resentful. And you could just put together the list of the kind of language that's not strengthening, that doesn't build up. That doesn't encourage it doesn't comfort. It will be the kind of language that shares the load that's bears all things. It's the kind of language that believes all things that God could do things in a person's life that hopes all things for the future that endures all things.

    There's the strengthening word. The second word that comes along, comes with this is a pair of places in the in Greek, and it's translated as encouragement. But always remember that this word, I like to think of it this way, it's always the I'll put my arm around your shoulder and help you word. Sometimes I'll help you where it is. You can do it, you're doing great. Be brave, be courageous. It's that encouragement word. You know, you kind of feel like quitting, don't quit, you're doing great. But it's also the come alongside and say, That's the wrong direction. It's the wrong direction to go. We need to go a new direction, you need to change direction. It's not a rebuke, necessarily, although good rebukes are done. But it's it's the idea of completing what's lacking by coming alongside helping someone do what pleases the Lord. This third word constellation is this idea of comforting. Somebody is suffering, of some kind, has suffering of some kind. And it's coming alongside reminding them of the promises of God, the truth about God, His grace and His love and comforting somebody in distress. mean simply to say it in our context, unknown languages can't do that. How can they do that? Unless they're interpreted, how can they do that?

    Sometimes you need to strengthen. Sometimes, you need to give courage to keep going, you're doing well. Sometimes you need to correct and modest not that way. This way. Sometimes. You need to say, I want you to know Jesus sees Jesus knows. The Spirit is in you. He'll be with you next week. He'll be with you in eternity. Your soul will be safe, comforting. So you contrast this? Yeah, it seems like tongues are so impressive. I mean, you. Paul showed up in Corinth and spoke Persian. Some people might go Where did you learn Persian? The Spirit just gave me Persian. And then somebody says, nobody knows Persian? Well, it's not very impressive if nobody knows Persian. First force is the one who speaks in a tongue built up himself but the one who prophesies built up the church. This isn't a compliment. When I was a brand new believer I got saved into a Pentecostal group and we were encouraged to speak in tongues. And and here's the Pentecostal desire. You want all of the Holy Spirit and His power in your life. So you want to receive the second blessing and the sign that you will have is speaking in tongues. And I know there is this place where you should do it publicly, in church with an interpreter, but it's okay to build yourself up. There were portions of our service in a Pentecostal tradition where everybody was speaking tongues at the same time. And they would say, as a private prayer language to God, remember, it says it's to God. And Paul's making a clear emphasis one, he said, not everybody speaks in tongues clearly and plainly. What we're going to get to that what he means by this hyperbole in a second. But this isn't a compliment, the one who speaks in a tongue built himself up. He's getting this idea that it's it's the sense of self importance. But the one who prophesies builds up the church because that was plain language. Yes, supernatural, but plain language. So this isn't a justification for private prayer language, or building oneself up through the Holy Spirit. I'm in my, my sphere, brothers and sisters believed that the second blessing was an additional power, so that you could serve God, you could better relate to God. And the illustration is, it's like the power up in a Super Mario game. You have the mushroom, you grow really big, and you can do super things against the enemies, but you just keep it all your life.

    Now notice this use of hyperbole. He says, Now I want you all to speak in tongues, but even more prophesy like, wait a second, he's already told them and 1227 through 31 that not everybody uses all the gifts. So everybody's not a tongue speaker. What's he saying? He's using hyperbole. And I think he's, he's referring us back to a situation that happens in Numbers chapter 11, where Moses and L, the elders have to go outside the camp to meet with God, and some other guys are in the camp, and they start prophesying, Joshua hears about, it's very concerned, because we have other prophets and that are not with Moses, and he runs the Moses, Jesus. There's these two guys, and they're speaking, they're prophesying, and the camp and Moses, like fantastic. This is a hard load. I wish everybody prophesied, because then they would all obey. He wasn't jealous of people speaking in tongues, he wished the whole camp would think that's the kind of language Paul's using here, I want you all to speak in tongues, but even more to prophesy. Again, he's already told us in chapter 12, not all will, but he wants everybody to value it. If we're if we're comparing gifts, of which one is actually more beneficial, the less spectacular prophecy is more beneficial than the other says the one who prophesies is greater than the one who speaks in tongues and less someone interprets. And here's a, here's the note that you need this is this is thing we have to think of, so that the church may be built up. That's the whole point. You're given a gift by God to use and love to build others up, not yourself.

    Not every one of us can apply that principle. So the church has built up, for instance, Ephesians, 415. And 616 tells every Christian that he or she has a role of speaking the truth and to other Christians lives. Speaking the truth and love for the building up of the church. And so you can think of these vital principles. Sometimes it's it's for something smaller, like growth group, sometimes it's smaller, like coffee with a friend or over a counseling table. But don't miss the rule of love. And here's these questions that we ask how do I know when I should use my gift or not? How do I know when I should speak or not? Well, if what you have to say, is to love the person by strengthening encouraging or comforting, go for it. Add number two, make sure you have time to really understand their situation. And they have time to make sure you really they really understand you if that's the case, go for it. Otherwise, you may have to wait and make make time to find those kinds of things out. And here we apply the rule to all kinds of language principles in the book of Proverbs. Don't have time to go through those but applying the rule of love is what builds up What comforts, what encourages. And if you just think that you and your gift are important, like, oh, look, I got a gift. It's since I have the gift, it is therefore important. I must have a place for it. Paul's telling the tongue speakers if there's no interpreter, yes, you have a true gift, you may actually be speaking to God and praises and prayer, but it's not going to help anyone here. So put a lid on it. It may be the more loving thing to not use your gift, because the timings not right? The audience's right not right, the situation's not right. And if you're wondering about that, like I think one of the most common things that happens, you're talking to somebody, and something's not sitting well with you, they're hurting and you don't know how to comfort, they're saying something confusing, you don't know how to straighten it out. And you go away later, and you pray about it. And you think about it, and you could solve scripture, and you're all I'm going to call my friend or I'm going to text them, because I think this might really help them.

    And finally, one other thing to say about this, these, these principles have shaped how we think and how we thought in our parenting. So we would, we would just by our example, and our teaching, remind our children when we're going to have people over to our house and they're getting the house ready and the company is coming over that we're doing this because these are Christians or these are non non Christians. And they we want them to know Jesus better. Or we want them to know Jesus at all if they're not Christians. And so helping mom clean the bathroom, is hospitable, helps people relax, helps them enjoy the place. Like all the kinds of things that you do to serve are part of what you do and training them to minister to have an attitude towards ministry at all our kids got it. They got it by your example of serving that got it by our example of serving and what we keep coming back to it's it's for the benefit of others. We love others by building them up by encouraging them by comforting them. You do it by your actions you do it by your words. Give them the purpose. Why do we do this? All right. So first, pursue what builds up pursue what builds up that's how we love second we pursue what is beneficial not what is spectacular, not what a spectacular. Loves goal is to build up not be impressive. It's not to be impressive. The tongue speaker in court Corinth were caught up in trying to be impressive. They certainly had the the more impressive sounding gift but when it's not used in the right way, it's not helpful. For six he says no brothers, he's gonna give an illustration here if I come to you speaking in tongues come into Corinth and I'm speaking Persian, then there no persons. How will I benefit you? Unless I bring some revelation or knowledge or prophecy or teaching? Yeah, Paul, where'd you learn Persian? I didn't. God just helped me cool. We have no Persians. I mean, this this is the this simple point for seven, if even lifeless instruments. So now he's giving. He's giving the choir and orchestra example. John, scheduled the choir and orchestra just to submit this point home for you today. If even lifeless instruments such as the flute or the harp do not give distinct notes. How will anyone know what is played? I had a music teacher tell tell me about the challenge of fifth grade music class. You give them you give them instruments. And there's no distinct sound for a long time. But you watched those who started earlier than that, like we had I counted eight or nine, who certainly started in fifth grade and we're not making music at the time, who are now making beautiful music. It was great. But I mean, it's a it's a really common sense kind of interpretation. If we can't understand it, it's not music. How will anyone know what the tune is? He gives this battle example same idea with music. It's as if the bugle gives an indistinct sound who will get ready for battle remember armies all the way up until the Civil War all the way up to the Civil War, had various songs for waking up going to bed and summoning to battle there Here's a battle sound for for soldiers. Oh, this is the time that we suit up and get ready this is the time we charge they won't know when to go to war if if it's not distinct it's not intelligible. So and he uses is so with yourself okay time for personal application so with yourselves, if with your tongue, you utter speech that is not intelligible How will anyone know what is said, for you will be speaking into the air. There are doubtless many different languages in the world. And none is without meaning. But if I do not know the meaning of the language, I will be a foreigner to the speaker and the speaker, foreigner, to me, this is a very powerful situation, you suddenly have a common language and suddenly somebody speaks a foreign language, it doesn't actually draw you near it pushes you apart, because nobody can follow it. You're now strangers to each other. The tongue speakers who were there without interpreters. So it didn't turn into prayer that everybody could join, or it didn't turn into prophecy that everybody could understand. Tongue speakers, were actually creating a division, not unity. So with yourselves, first 12 Since you're eager for manifestations of the Spirit, I mean, you want the spirit to move, you want the gifts of the Spirit to be in operation, you want to see them, flourish in the church, strive to excel and building up the church. And, again, we might not have as language but here are just very, very powerful lessons for everybody who has some teaching capacity. It's always more loving to be clearer than to be impressive.

    I have two complete works sets of Puritans in my office, John Owens, who is the greatest mind of the English reformation in the 1600s is the hardest to read. He knew it. He had a reputation for being hard to understand. And he knew he was hard to understand, although the most intelligent mind in the English reformation. He was a contemporary of John Bunyan, who was self taught. And he was a tin worker by trade. And 10 workers called the Tinker we adjust that. I'm gonna get loud. And John Owen loved when he had a break, to go down to bed for sure. And hear Bunyan preach. Very well educated classmates of his Why do you go down and listen to that Tinker, preach? He said, because no one preaches with such energy and beauty and clarity. He loved to hear him preach. Both gave gifts. But Pilgrims Progress until the last 50 years was the most published Christian book outside the Bible itself. Because it was so accessible and helpful. We can apply this in both speaking gifts and serving gifts. We have pre service prayer, Marty turnquist. Every week prays that I would be clear there's a second person who prays that'd be clear, my wife knows I don't have the gift of clarity. Very often I've been the young theologian but I'm not young anymore. There there are the young theologians, who as they're studying a passage are always trying to untie some Gordian knot of theology in front of people who don't know the language so they don't know don't care. They can't read the room. As the young people say these days. They're not reading the room people are lost to this discussion. I know young teachers are always are often looking for powerful quotes, or turn a powerful phrase to be in pressive and untying Gordian knots of theology and finding a great quote is good. If you're thinking about how to best build up someone else need to consider who's in front of you. Lots of time, lots of times, simple and plain is better. simple and plain is better. Don't look for what is intelligible as opposed to what is impressive. Now let's apply this to all of us turnover to Colossians 316. We've been applying it some way to that. So tongues and prophecy are off the table with the passing of the apostolic era. But Colossians says we still all have a word speaking ministry. Colossians 316 talks about our intake of the word, let the word of Christ dwell in you richly. Meditate on it, think about it, read it, digest it, let it dwell in you let it take its home and you but it's not just for you. Look what happens next, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Here's that great shaping all wisdom, meaning appropriately applied as it's, as you understand the person, as you understand the audience, as the audience understands you. In all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs. If we are back in our passage in First Corinthians, while revelation is complete, teaching remains, but I think there's some really good applications. Yeah, Revelation doesn't revelation directly from God doesn't happen. But we have revelation in His Word. But this this is a thing that happens to me very often. I'm praying for someone, and a scripture comes to mind. If you ever prayed for somebody, and suddenly you're thinking of the scripture, God helps you think of a scripture. So you say to your friend, you say to the group, you say to somebody you're teaching, I was praying, and this scripture came to mind. There's knowledge needed here. He's talking about a word of knowledge in our passage, but there is always people who need a fuller knowledge. You know, I was thinking about this and as thinking about your situation, have you ever thought of this verse? Have you ever thought about this reality? Here's a way to help you think about it. You know, there aren't necessarily prophecies today. But you could be studying the topic, a topic in a Bible this week, and you're studying along for something else. And suddenly, this friend shows up, I know, you're supposed to study the Bible for yourself. But sometimes you study the Bible, and you think of somebody. So I was thinking of you. I want to share these verses with you for your building up for your encouragement for your comfort. I've been studying this passage, I've been studying this topic, would it be helpful if I went through it with you? Could we get together? And could we talk about it? Or can I share that with you. And you might not be ready with any of those things. You might be in the middle of growth group, somebody just pours out their heart. And you're just either devastated and sadness for a situation they're in, or you're confused with how to say anything. And you can just go up to them and say, or you can just say, you know, I don't, I don't know what to say. But I do love you and I will pray for you. I will pray for you.

    I will pray for you.

    The shaping situations so helpful for us here Pursue love, then seek to build up to encourage to comfort. You'll you'll fill out your part in time. Sometimes, you'll have something to say. But you realize it's not the right time. And it's okay to wait until it is the right time. Sometimes you won't know and you won't say because you were scared, you know as text back later. You can always text back later. But if you try to force your gift into the church life because you think your gift is important. You risk being out of sync with God's timing and creating chaos or introducing chaos where they're supposed to be blessing. So here we have these valuable answers. Let's let's pray that God would apply it. In our hearts. Father, we are so grateful for a very timely word. This is a church. I'm so thankful for where people love to encourage love to study the Bible love to build each other up and disciple. So help us continue to refine us but help us never be proud about abilities and gifts that we have. We are actually not that important. You are the only one who is ultimately important. And so help the rule of love. Shaped the language we use at Faith Bible Church. We ask this in Christ's name, Amen.

Dan Jarms

Dr. Dan Jarms is teaching pastor and team leader at Faith Bible Church in Spokane Washington, as well as associate dean at TMS Spokane. He has been married for over 30 years to Linda, and has three adult children. He earned his B.A. in English at the Master’s College, B.Ed. at Eastern Washington University, M.Div and D.Min in Expository Preaching at The Master’s Seminary. His other interests include NCAA basketball, gardening, brick oven cooking.

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