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How is it?

1 Corinthians 14:26
How is it then, brethren? Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification.

I havent had time to pull out my greek NT and exegete this passage. This journal isn't the place for that kind of study (although it may prompt it). It's a place to look at things from different angles; to process them in my imperfect way that the Lord uses to bring understanding.

As a person who comes from a traditional Pentcostal background and theology, the issues of "tongues" and the other spiritual gifts has not only been settled for me, but is an important part of my daily Xian life. As a pastor who leads a local church, I have found that the issues in chs. 12-14 cause a lot of confusion,producing a lot of different views. So I felt like Paul was asking me this question when he said, "How is it then?" - how should the gifts be facilitated in a corporate gathering?

I have two takes on this passage today in answer to this question. The first response is that order leads to edification. As I see 1 Corinthians (epecially these chapeters) as corrective, not restrictive, it seems like this church was just a free-for-all each time they got together. Each person "competing" was using thier gifts as thier proof of thier spiritual aptutide. Paul could be saying here, and I paraphrase, "Come on! You mean every time you get together every person has something to contribute? Get serious. If you don't have anything to contribute that will build up those around you, that's OK. You don't have to make sure you get your two-cents in at every gathering to prove how spiritual you are." I've been in places like that before. It's self-serving and contributes to the confusion of how the gifts really function.

The other way to look at this passage is that participation contributes to edification. 12:7 says that "the mainifestion of the Spirit is give to each one for the profit of all." It is the HS that distributes the appropriate gift to each individual for each situation. Too often (in my opinion) the church have become content to sit back and let someone else to the work of building the body - the pastor teaching, the worship leader, etc. This spectator mentality can keep people disengaged from the things of the Spirit and how He may want to use them in the building of the church.

"How is it then" in NH? I desire for it to be a place where people have the permission to use thier gifts to build the body without having the pressure to use thier gifts to prove thier spiritual worth or find affirmation.

Lord, let us be a place where your Spirit is manifest in power and in order.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on August 23, 2003 12:00 AM.

The previous post in this blog was Accepting Adversity.

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