1 Corinthians 14:17


Saturday, 31 January 2015

For you indeed give thanks well, but the other is not edified. 1 Corinthians 14:17

This verse really should be taken in conjunction with the previous one in order to understand what he is saying –

“Otherwise, if you bless with the spirit, how will he who occupies the place of the uninformed say ‘Amen’ at your giving of thanks, since he does not understand what you say? 17 For you indeed give thanks well, but the other is not edified.”

Sure enough, if someone says the Eucharist in another language, Hebrew perhaps, he is indeed giving thanks in a good and appropriate way. God hears the words, understands them, and receives them as intended. This is a good thing in some sense. However, those who are in the congregation and don’t understand Hebrew are not edified.

At the Superior Word in Sarasota, the Lord’s Supper is taken every Sunday. The words of Paul, which provide the instruction for the Lord’s Supper, are read aloud from 1 Corinthians 11. However, a blessing in Hebrew is pronounced over them as well. If this were all that occurred, God would have received His praise and thanks, but none in the congregation would be edified. And so the words are repeated in English for the edification of the congregation –

Baruch atah Adonai eloheynu, melekh ha’olam, ha’motzi lekhem min ha’aretz
Blessed are You O Lord our God, King of the Universe, who brings forth bread from the earth.

Without the translation, there is no edification. With it, the congregation will, week by week, begin to understand these Hebrew words. The may even develop a desire to learn the language as well. Thus, the tongue serves a valid purpose.

Life application: In the church everything should be done with the thought of bringing edification to others.

Lord, help me to overlook the small offenses that come my way from family, friends, and close associates. People have stress, people have misunderstandings, and people are people. Some things aren’t worth carrying a grudge over or being difficult about. If I can put the petty differences which arise into proper perspective, I know that they are insignificant. When I think of my offenses against You from moment to moment, I can see where true offense should lie. And yet, because of Your great mercy, I am forgiven through Christ. Thank You for reminding me of this. Amen. 

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