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Spiritual Gifts, Excel in Gifts that Build

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Last Week “The Power of God”

1 Corinthians 1:18 NIV
18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
1 Corinthians 1:24 NIV
24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
1 Corinthians 4:20 NIV
20 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.
power n. — possession of controlling influence; often understood as manifesting influence over reality in a supernatural manner.
Last week we looked at scripture that centered on the power of God as the source of power for the church.
Community ministry both inside and outside the local church must demonstrate the power of God in action.
1 Corinthians 12:27–31 NIV
27 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. 28 And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30 Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? 31 Now eagerly desire the greater gifts. And yet I will show you the most excellent way.
Clearly the church in Corinth is divided in many ways. As the Apostle addresses many divisive actions he moves to the organization and unity of the church.
He moves to the aspect of Love. The love that Paul is describing can only come about through the power of God.

Spiritual Gifts

Excel in Gifts that Build the Church

Thoughts: Paul’s goal in writing to the church in Corinth is to “Be United”

Key Verse

1 Corinthians 14:12 NIV
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.
It seems to me that Paul is addressing a pattern that has taken over in the church at Corinth. The gift of speaking in tongues had become popular to a point that was causing division in the church.

Follow the way of Love!

1 Corinthians 14:1 NIV
1 Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy.
love (Christian) n. — a strong, non-sexual affection and regard for a person and their good as understood by God’s moral character; especially characterized by a willing forfeiture of rights or privileges in another person’s behalf.
to prophesy (inspired) v. — to make a representative declaration of the mind, will, or knowledge of a god, as in his agency, under his influence, or indwelt by him.
Romans 8:5 NIV
5 Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.
I believe it is correct to say that the only way this kind of love can be extended is through the power of God. Shortly we will observe the Lord’s Supper which is intended to be a reminder of the salvation and life we have in Christ!
Next, Paul contrasts prophecy with tongues placing the spiritual gift of prophecy as more desirable than tongues. Why?

Prophecy Edifies the Church

1 Corinthians 14:2–5 NIV
2 For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to people but to God. Indeed, no one understands them; they utter mysteries by the Spirit. 3 But the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort. 4 Anyone who speaks in a tongue edifies themselves, but the one who prophesies edifies the church. 5 I would like every one of you to speak in tongues, but I would rather have you prophesy. The one who prophesies is greater than the one who speaks in tongues, unless someone interprets, so that the church may be edified.
1 Corinthians 14:22–24 NIV
22 Tongues, then, are a sign, not for believers but for unbelievers; prophecy, however, is not for unbelievers but for believers. 23 So if the whole church comes together and everyone speaks in tongues, and inquirers or unbelievers come in, will they not say that you are out of your mind? 24 But if an unbeliever or an inquirer comes in while everyone is prophesying, they are convicted of sin and are brought under judgment by all,
Tongues: language (supernatural) ⇔ tongue n. — any language but often referring to a language one has never studied and a supernatural ability to speak (or be understood) in it.

Self Edification:

1 Corinthians 14:3 NIV
3 But the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort.

Edify the church

1 Corinthians 14:5 NIV
5 I would like every one of you to speak in tongues, but I would rather have you prophesy. The one who prophesies is greater than the one who speaks in tongues, unless someone interprets, so that the church may be edified.
1 Cor 14:6-12
1 Cor 14:18

The Gift of God is to communicate

1 Corinthians 14:1–5 NIV
1 Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy. 2 For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to people but to God. Indeed, no one understands them; they utter mysteries by the Spirit. 3 But the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort. 4 Anyone who speaks in a tongue edifies themselves, but the one who prophesies edifies the church. 5 I would like every one of you to speak in tongues, but I would rather have you prophesy. The one who prophesies is greater than the one who speaks in tongues, unless someone interprets, so that the church may be edified.
To follow means to strive after. It means we are chasing after.
to strive after ⇔ chase v. — to strive for something, conceived of as going after something with the intent to catch it.
love (Christian) n. — a strong, non-sexual affection and regard for a person and their good as understood by God’s moral character; especially characterized by a willing forfeiture of rights or privileges in another person’s behalf.
Verse 5: I would like every one of you to speak in tongues, but I would rather have you prophecy.
to be zealous v. — to be or become marked by active interest, passion, and enthusiasm for something, often a cause or faith.
to prophesy (inspired) v. — to make a representative declaration of the mind, will, or knowledge of a god, as in his agency, under his influence, or indwelt by him.
Verse 5: so that the church may be edified.
building up n. — the act of bringing something closer to fullness or completion; understood as if assisting in the construction of an incomplete building.
verse 12 excel in those gifts that build up the church!

Chase After the Gifts of the Spirit

Love communicates

language (supernatural) ⇔ tongue n. — any language but often referring to a language one has never studied and a supernatural ability to speak (or be understood) in it.
Verse 2 - speaking in a tongue does not speak to people. How do we apply the bible truth in our lives today.
Flow chart:
Follow the way of Love. Literally, to strive after ⇔ chase v. — to strive for something, conceived of as going after something with the intent to catch it.
Desire: to be zealous v. — to be or become marked by active interest, passion, and enthusiasm for something, often a cause or faith.

The Gift

The goal of God’s gift to the church is to be used for the building up of the body of Christ.
Ephesians 4:11–12 NIV
11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up
The gift is given for the purpose of unity in the faith and in the knowledge of Jesus to maturity. The end goal is the whole measure of the fullness of Christ!
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