By: Undre Griggs, Jr.
The issues of the church in Corinth are not much different than the issues we find in the church today. There are controversies relating to the actions of a congregation, and there are concerns relating to the thoughts of the congregation. Often times, the actions are a symptom of the thoughts/mindset of the congregation. Paul understands we can do the right thing, for the wrong reason, and the result is not what was desired.
1 Corinthians 14:12 (ESV): So with yourselves, since you are eager for manifestations of the Spirit, strive to excel in building up the church.
In this case, there is nothing wrong with members desiring to receive a miraculous gift from the Holy Spirit. The problem is they are not interested in building up the church (their number 1 objective) with the gift God gave them.
1 Corinthians 14:3-5 (NKJV): But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men. He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church. I wish you all spoke with tongues, but even more that you prophesied; for he who prophesies is greater than he who speaks with tongues, unless indeed he interprets, that the church may receive edification.
Our mindset should be to build up the church through edification and exhortation. While we no longer have the miraculous abilities provided by the laying of hands (from the Apostles), the application is there. Church should bring comfort, peace, and encouragement to body of Christ. This should be accomplished by sharing God’s inspired word (prophesy) found only in the Bible. In the sharing of God’s word, we need to make sure we convey the words in a clear and understandable manner.
If we focus on learning/teaching the words of God, we will be well equipped in our personal ministries to grow the body and build up the members already in the body. Be of courage and be of good spirit.