Persue Love second part of 1 Corinthians 4 verses 1 -5

Of course, love is more important, so sometimes both sides will disagree with me but remember Love.  Paul is so right for putting that chapter in the middle of this conversation.  The master Pastor at work weaving a tapestry of love by the Holy Spirit.   We can disagree God has given us a mind and that is so important. But let our minds be tempered with God’s grace and his love. 

6th November 2020

So, let us look at the first few verses of 1 Corinthians chapter 14 verses 1 to 5

1  Pursue love, yet desire earnestly spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy. 2 For one who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God; for no one understands, but in his spirit he speaks mysteries. 3 But one who prophesies speaks to men  . 4 One who speaks in a tongue edifies himself; but one who prophesies edifies the church. 5 Now I wish that you all spoke in tongues, but even more that you would prophesy; and greater is one who prophesies than one who speaks in tongues, unless he interprets, so that the church may receive edifying. 1 Corinthians 14:1-5

We will start from a general reading and then get more particular as we go deeper.  The first assumption we can make is that we ought to pursue love. This is Pauls command but even when he says yet desire earnestly spiritual gifts.  If we then jump to verse 3, we see that that the gift isn’t for any selfish reason but to edify others.  In love there is an I, you, and a them, it is relational. In verse 4 Paul spells it out and talks about the edification of the Church.  This is a long way from the earlier chapters of Corinthians where they were only interested in their own little groups.

When we look at prophecy Paul here in these verses gives it three functions

  1. Edification
  2. Exhortation
  3. Consolation

So, in whatever church even today Pauls advice is really important, and he lays down three principles that ought to be followed in any prophecy.  It is interesting that he didn’t make telling the future one of them.   This is very interesting because sermons in traditional churches would follow these three points and yet in a Charismatic setting the three points above would be a locus for encouraging the believers to come closer to God.  Could the understanding of prophecy in Corinth have a wider scope than the 21st century?  I don’t know the answer to that, but the ancient world certainly has a place for prophecy inside the church and outside of the church.  This was part of the culture and it a historical fact. 

The next general overview of these verse also talks about tongues.  I’m not interested in the question of whether they died out or not, you need to come to your own conclusions about that. 

  1. Tongues edifies the self and prophecy edifies the Church.
  2. Unless tongues have an interpreter

The main point I think is are other believers other than yourself being built up in the faith.  This is what Paul is getting at.  Love shows greater esteem to the other.  Isn’t that so?  It is a fact that Paul was a little upset in the early parts of the letter in which he has told them off. So however, your church works;

  1. through the sermon (A traditional reformed church type)
  2. or prophecy and the sermon (Pentecostal type)
  3. or tongues with interpretation and a sermon (Charismatic type)
  4. Or no sermon at all (I certainly think this is not healthy for a church// new age type)
  5. Sacramental, sermon, tongues with interpretation (Some type of neo- orthodox, for example a local Church of England type)

I’m not making any judgements but as you can see the Church has rich and diverse traditions.  It is not for me to say which is right. When one looks at the varied backgrounds of Christians; How could I ever say this is right or that is right.  We ought to agree on one thing though.  The Bible as Holy Scripture needs to be looked at and with the help of the Holy Spirit, we can get closer to God.

We will look at the Greek text of verses 1 – 5 next time. It just takes a long time to dig into the text so patience is needed!

my other blog is https://hasan-godtalk.blogspot.com/

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


%d bloggers like this: