Sunday, 22 February 2015
Therefore, brethren, desire earnestly to prophesy, and do not forbid to speak with tongues. 1 Corinthians 14:39
Here in the final verse of Chapter 14, Paul inverts the order of the major areas of discussion of the chapter. In his comments, he first discussed tongues and then he moved to prophesying. After having demonstrated the superiority of prophesy, he places it first here.
“Therefore” is his conclusion on the matter. In essence, “Based on this detailed evaluation and the commands which I have issued, do the following.”
“Brethren” is his way of showing that he recognizes that they are in the faith and that his words ahead are exhortations for them to conduct themselves in that manner.
“Desire earnestly to prophesy.” As this is to be considered a more valuable gift than tongues, it should be the hope and aim of the brethren to speak words of instruction and edification. By doing so, not only will they be built up, but so will those who hear their words.
“And do not forbid to speak with tongues.” He has given strict guidelines concerning tongues. If those guidelines are adhered to, then the tongues may serve a valid purpose. If not, there will be no edification and they are not to be spoken.
Life application: Chapter 14 has many important points for us to consider and to remember. It contains commands which are to be adhered to and exhortations meant for orderly church conduct. Logically, we have seen that if someone violates these through supposed tongues, prophesying, or violating the precepts concerning women preaching or teaching, their conduct is not of God. One cannot truthfully claim they are led by the Spirit while being actively disobedient to the word of God. Let us apply truth and honesty to our actions in the congregation by being obedient to His word. Everything we do in the church should be for the glory of God and for the edification of others.
Glorious God! I stand in awe of Your majesty. I see the wondrous displays of Your wisdom and power throughout this world. And yet, it is a minute bubble in a sea of froth in comparison to this marvelous universe You have created. I know that for all eternity, I will continue to see Your immense and amazing wisdom and power on display as I search out the mysteries You reveal before us. And it is all possible because of the Lamb who was slain to reconcile me to You. Thank You, O God. I stand in awe of Your majesty! Amen.