Summary: This section deals with the appropriateness of expressing our gifts within the church service. Now, one thing needs to be noted at the onset, the Corinthian church was operating before a completed revelation and as such, the church is operating in a peri
ENCOURAGEMENT TO A STRUGGLING CHURCH
INTRODUCTION: our passage this morning brings us to the end of Paul’s teaching concerning spiritual gifts in general, and tongues in specifics. This last section deals with the appropriateness of expressing our gifts within the church service. Now, one thing needs to be noted at the onset, the Corinthian church was operating before a completed revelation and as such, the church is operating in a period where there is a great necessity for the gift of tongues. Today, we live in a period of completed revelation, a period where the necessity of validating God’s word in this fashion is not needed.
The book of Hebrews plainly tells us that these sign accompanied those who carried the message they heard from Christ to those who had not heard the message. Hebrews chapter two exhorts us to pay attention to what we heard. God bore witness to this message – ie: salvation by those who heard it from Jesus, and communicated it to others. The sign gifts were the evidence of God’s seal of approval with the message. This is in agreement with what Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 14:22. Sign gifts were meant for those who did not believe in order to cause them to consider the message of Christ. Each time tongues are used in the book of Acts, it is because God is fulfilling His own prophecy of Acts 1:8 and the Jewish believers themselves needed to believe that God was actually working in the Samaritans, the Greeks, and the World. In a sense those in the first church were unbelievers needing divine evidence of God’s movement.
So, here we come to a passage meant to instruct an early church on the use of gifts and divine abilities whose primary purpose has been accomplished – the evidence of spread and validity of God’s message of salvation. One could ask, “Then why are we looking at this passage then?” Simply this – This passage holds a wealth of practical information for the church today, and God meant us to have it in our Bibles, so He meant us to both study it and reap reward from our study of it.
I Expression for the good of the church – 14:26
A The Church is the place where all may use their gifts freely
1 In the early church
2 All were to be done to build up the church
3 Paul provides instruction (later in the chapter) to facilitate
a Edification in the church
b Strengthening of the church
B The only rule of participation – edification
1 All in the church were encouraged to participate
2 All were encouraged to edify others with their participation
3 All were encouraged to strengthen other with their participation
C What is done in the church is done for the strength of the church
Why Does The Church Need To Be Strong?
1 The church needs to be strong to combat Satan and his followers
Matthew 16:18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.
Ephesians 6:12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
2 The church needs to be strong in order to win as many people to Christ as possible
2 Peter 3:9 (NIV) The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
II Suppression for the good of the church – 14: 27-35
A The worship of a church should be a balanced worship
1 Worship is a total experience of our being
2 Worship in Prayer allows me to set my life clean before my God
a My confession
b God’s forgiveness and fellowship
3 Worship in music allows me to focus my spirit towards God
a Praise directed towards God is attention directed towards God
4 Worship in Instruction allows me to focus my future towards God
a Take something with me to use in my Christian life
b Take something with me to help me the rest of the week
c Take something with me that reveals Christ to others
B The worship of a church should be a purposeful worship
1 Purposeful worship and tongues
a Only 2 or 3
b Only with an interpreter
c Keep it a secret if the first two conditions are not met
2 Purposeful worship in prophecy
a Again, only 2 or 3
b What is said should be weighted carefully – remember: they did not have a complete revelation from God!