20 June 2018

1 Corinthians 14
Psalm 66

12 So it is with you. Since you are eager for gifts of the Spirit, try to excel in those that build up the church.

1 Corinthians 14:12

Paul continues looking at spiritual gifts in chapter 14. It seems as if he heads off on a completely different track though. After having given a great exposition on what it means to love, he turns to two specific gifts that seemingly are causing division in the church. The gifts of tongues and prophecy still today lead to heated debate and differing interpretations. Paul’s message is that these gifts should be used to build up the church. More importantly, verse 12 highlights that we should excel in gifts that build up the church.

This seems to be Paul’s focus over the three chapters on the spiritual gifts. We should use the gifts that God has given us to build up the church with love as the thread that runs through all that we think and do. Pride should have no place for Christians who serve in the church and true humility should be the way we live. The church’s role is to glorify God rather than itself or its members.

Linking this to the gift of tongues and prophecy, Paul emphasises the importance of what is said in church. What is said should help grow those within the church and draw outsiders into a relationship with God. Our mission as Tokai Community Church, ‘Together we serve to know Christ and to make Christ known to the glory of God’  fits perfectly with what Paul is getting at in the past three chapters. This mission should be our heartbeat to challenge and encourage one another.

Prayer based on Psalm 66

Father God, we praise You today for all the great things that you have done. We praise You for the amazing work of salvation through Jesus’ death and resurrection, that has delivered us from death to life; that has set us free from our bondage to sin. Help us to share the gospel in and through the power of the Holy Spirit, so that those around may come to know Jesus to the praise and glory of Your Name. Amen.