Read I Corinthians 14:13-17
I. Problem. In our Sunday School material Paul talks about how speaking in tongues is a problem, when people in the worship service don’t understand what is being said.
Praying or singing in the spirit may be fine for personal worship, but not corporate worship, if there is no one to interpret. Paul talks about choosing to do what edifies others, instead of simply what edifies one’s self.
- Edifying others in the worship service. Notice in vss. 13-17 that when believers worship God, they should also be concerned with the others who are around them. There are too many who come to corporate worship experiences and act as if it is them and God only.
When in reality it is them, God, and those around them. There is the expectation that especially mature believers would be concerned with edifying others.
Also notice in vs. 16 that saying “amen” is expected to be announced when the truth is being shared. Thus, silent worship is not the expectation of mature believers.
Let’s work on worshipping in ways that edifies others and ourselves, not just ourselves. This often includes verbal and kinetic (i.e., motion) expressions - saying “amen,” a raised hand, standing up, etc.
- Praying for self-improvement. Notice in vs. 13 of our Sunday School material when you think your worship can be improved, the proper response is to pray for the Lord to change you. There are too many who say that “I am quiet in worship and that is just how I am.”
Even when they are made aware that their silence is not edifying to others, they refuse to say “amen” or give any expression of worshipping with the rest of the family.
Let’s work on asking the Lord to help us be more of what He is calling us to be, not just make us comfortable in who we want to be.
Read I Corinthians 14:18-26
II. Solution. Paul confesses that he speaks in tongues but chooses to speak words that others understand. He urges his readers to avoid thinking like children.
Tongues is a sign for unbelievers, while prophesy is for the edification of believers. The Sunday School material urges the readers to do what edifies or builds up the church.
- Infants and adults. Notice in vs. 20 that believers are urged to be infant like in regard to evil but adults in regard to thinking about the edification of others.
Unfortunately, we have too many who have this backwards. They are adults in practicing evil and infants in regard to edifying others.
There are too many in church who think that their seniority makes them entitled to doing whatever they want to do - just like infants. Let’s work on growing up in the Lord’s will and avoiding the evilness of this world.
- God’s word and entertainment. Notice in vs. 22 that signs are for unbelievers and prophesying/teaching/preaching the word of God is for believers. It is one thing for a person to need all kinds of signs, wonders, bells, and whistles to join a church and start their journey with God.
But it is another matter for a person to be in church 5, 10, and 15 years and still need just as much entertainment and stimulation to stay with God. The more we grow, the more sufficient the word of God should be for us.
The modern church must guard against becoming addicted to bands and studio quality choirs. When all we have is a cappella congregational singing and teaching of God’s word, believers should be able to experience edification.
Let’s work on being filled with the word of God, not simply the stuff that often comes with it. Think about how children, if left to their own ways, would eat dessert and leave the vegetables. But as we grow up, we should learn to eat more of the vegetables and less of the desserts.
- Unselfish worship. Notice in vss. 23-25 that mature believers should be concerned about how others in the worship service are impacted by their worship.
The goals of worship should include not only the glorification of God, but it should include the edification of other believers, and the evangelization of unbelievers.
In fact, a self-centered worship that chooses to give little or no effort towards the edification and evangelization of others doesn’t even glorify God.
Thus, its greatest value may be that it somehow satisfies the selfish “worshipper.” Let’s work on doing those things that edifies and evangelizes others, instead of simply those things that satisfies ourselves.
Conclusion: Let’s work on worshipping God in ways that edify others and not just ourselves. God has much for those who obey His will.Please click here to let us know, if this has been quality and helpful information for you (i.e., make sure you let us know the name of the article). Feel free to share your questions and comments about the article as well.