Saturday, 7 February 2015
But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or an uninformed person comes in, he is convinced by all, he is convicted by all. 1 Corinthians 14:24
Paul has spent 22 verses arguing the point that he made in 1 Corinthians 14:1 –
“Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy.”
As soon as he said that, he began to explain why “tongues” are a lesser gift. He has clearly demonstrated that they are often more of a hindrance than a help when spoken in the congregation. It is rather astonishing to think that with all of his time dedicated to this instruction, his words have been so utterly dismissed by many churches.
As he desires that believers prophesy rather than speak tongues, he now provides the reason for it. He notes that “if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or an uninformed person comes in, he is convinced by all, he is convicted by all.” This is the reason for sharing the gospel! This is the reason for being a mature and informed Christian! And thus, this is the reason for learning Scripture and then explaining it to others in an articulate manner!
When a member of the body properly speaks the truth of God’s word, it is an argument intended for conviction. Where there is conviction, there is a change in heart. And where there is a change in heart, there is conversion. In conversion, there is belief. In belief, there is the sealing of the Holy Spirit. This is the work we are called to do – to preach, convince, and then make disciples. As Paul says in Romans 10:17 –
“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
When speaking in tongues that are unknown to the hearer, the hearer is not edified. But when a person speaks the words of Scripture, faith becomes possible. And through faith comes salvation.
Life application: Learn the Bible and share what you learn. It can have heavenly rewards.
Lord, I am so grateful to be a part of Your beautiful plan. You have given Your people a Great Commission and I am honored to participate in it. Help me to always be prepared to give a defense to everyone who asks for a reason why I have this great hope in me. Help me to give it in a loving, intelligent, and effective way so that they too can participate in this greatest story of all – the Gospel of Jesus. Amen.