Posts Tagged ‘1st Corinthians 13’

“For to one is given by the Spirit … divers kinds of tongues” – 1st Corinthians 13:8a, 10d

Tongues is a hot topic in some churches. Godly people believe those who speak in tongues are of the devil and others, just as godly, believe only those who speak in tongues are saved – both sides saying they believe the Bible.

Tongues is a prophetic utterance in a human or angelic1 language unknown by the speaker and sometimes unknown to the hearers.

Its primary purpose is personal spiritual growth2 but there are two (2) more worth mentioning.

1. The Bible says tongues are a sign to non-believers3 that this group of people is different, and not afraid to be so.   That group may be considered strange or crazy but when everything “normal” fails one often inquires from the unique.

God excels at satisfying those who have found the world’s “normal” ways wanting.

2. There’s also another purpose and here, in combination with the gift of Interpretation of tongues, is its place in church services.4 It is encouraging when the church gathers and experiences an act of God. I have seen it, it’s awesome!

Much of what we do in church is of human origin – our liturgy, our programs, our efforts as we express our love to God. It’s awesome to experience God’s response.

Sure we’ll get it wrong sometimes and use God’s gifts ineffectively but that’s to be expected. A wise pastor will teach, direct in right ways, and encourage his people to step out into God’s gifting.

Paul’s admonition still stands

“Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues.” – 1st Corinthians 14:39

– fritz
1 – 1st Corinthians 13:1
2 – 1st Corinthians 14:4
3 – 1st Corinthians 14:22
4 – 1st Corinthians 14:5

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“For to one is given by the Spirit … divers kinds of tongues” – 1st Corinthians 13:8a, 10d

This gift has always been a little controversial so the apostle Paul goes into great detail in later in his letter.

Tongues is the prophetic utterance in a human or angelic 1 language unknown by the speaker 2 and sometimes the hearers.

Not engaging the speaker’s language, it doesn’t affect the speakers thinking unless it is interpreted2 – so what is its purpose?

Paul lists several, but primarily as a tool to strengthen the participant’s inner man.3

Originating from the speaker’s human spirit (inner man) it is a direct prayer link between the speaker and God4 unhindered by the person’s preferences and paradigms.

We dare not discount the importance of that; how and what we think affects our spiritual growth! If everything must be filtered through our thought processes much won’t make it through!

This is so important Jesus’ own brother wrote

“But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost keep yourselves in the love of God” – Jude 1:20-21a

Who can have this gift? As a manifestation of the Holy Spirit all in Christ have the equal access, as any spiritual gift.

We are admonished to seek the “best” gifts.5 Which is best? The one you need at the time, of course!

Do you need to be built up in your faith and kept in the love of God?

– fritz
1 – 1st Corinthians 13:1
2 – 1st Corinthians 14:14
3 – 1st Corinthians 14:4a
4 – 1st Corinthians 14:2
5 – 1st Corinthians 12:31

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For to one is given by the Spirit … faith” – 1st Corinthians 12:7a, 9a

Faith has the distinction of being both a Gift and Fruit of the Holy Spirit.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, – Galatians 5:22

The difference? Fruit is grown, starting small and increasing over a period of time. A gift doesn’t grow, it is either fully there or not.

Faith, the gift, is a deep sense that, in spite of doubts of mind and logic, a particular desire shall be accomplished and/or an impossible obstacle shall be removed. It’s described by the Apostle Paul’s in his “Love” Chapter,

“though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains …” – 1st Corinthians 13:2a

There is, usually, a sense of excitement with it, and a decision has to be made to either hold on to it until the desire is accomplished, or let go of it.

If you hold on it will be an amazing ride full of wonder at God’s greatness; and when it’s done the fruit of faith will have grown a lot!

– fritz

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