Topic: “ Not For Showmanship“
TEXT: 1 Corinthians 14:1-25
1. Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy.
2. For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God; for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.
3. But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.
4. He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church.
5. I would that ye all spake with tongues, but rather that ye prophesied; for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying.
6. Now, brethren, if I come unto you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, except I shall speak to you either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine?
7. And even things without life giving sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped?
8. For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?
9. So likewise ye, except ye utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? for ye shall speak into the air.
10. There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them is without signification.
11. Therefore if I know not the meaning of the voice, I shall be unto him that speaketh a barbarian, and he that speaketh shall be a barbarian unto me.
12. Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church.
13. Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret.
14. For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful.
15. What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also; I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.
16. Else when thou shalt bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest?
17. For thou verily givest thanks well, but the other is not edified.
18. I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all;
19. Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue.
20. Brethren, be not children in understanding; howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men.
21. In the law it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord.
22. Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not; but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe.
23. If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad?
24. But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all;
25. And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth.
Key Verse: 1 Corinthians 14:23
“If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad?”
One thing that is common in the secular world is the spirit of competition. There is that inner drive for self-projection and promotion. So, when people seek to acquire a new skill, educational qualifications, etc., it is primarily for the purpose of self-advancement and the actualisation of personal dream and ambition.
Believers at the church in Corinth had been known not to be behind in the manifestation of spiritual gifts. But apostle Paul began to observe that these gifts were not being used in the right way. It was no longer primarily for edification; that is, building up of the church, but to show that they had these gifts and could use them. He counsels them that while they desire to have spiritual gifts, it should not be for showmanship but for the edifying of the body of Christ. While in the church, they are to manifest only gifts like prophesy that will benefit the whole congregation.
Believers today need to be reminded of this fact. A lot of contemporary Christians are very desirous of spiritual gifts. They study, fast, pray, go to the mountains, etc. just to have these gifts. While it is good to seek spiritual gifts as the Bible enjoins us to, we must check what motivates us. Many desire spiritual gifts so that they can announce their “arrival” to the world. They want to be seen and revered as the “Man of God”! This is very sad. It is this wrong desire that has led so many into having and manifesting false spirits of divinations and lying wonders. Believers must beware!
Everyone who is born again, sanctified and filled with the Holy Spirit should strongly desire and pray for appropriate gifts that will help them fulfil their ministry in the body of Christ. However, we must guard against desiring these gifts for the purpose of self-projection and pride.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
The Holy Spirit does not project man but Christ alone!
THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR:
Daily Manna is the daily devotional of the Deeper Christian Life Bible Ministry (DCLM). It is an extraction of God’s Word designed to draw the sincere seeker closer to God on a daily basis through an insightful exposition and analysis of God’s Word. Read More…