1Cor 14:1                   Pursue Charity and Prophecy                                 9/5/2010          ßą   

 

 

 

 

#1.       Contrast Prophecy with Tongues (1Cor 14:2-4, Mark 16:17)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#2.       What Is the Word of God? (Hos 1:2, 6, 8-10, John 1:13, Rom 9:6-8, Hos 2:23, Rom 9:25-26, Heb 1:1-2)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#3.       Let All Things Be Done in Love for One Another (1Cor 14:15)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please open your Bibles to the First Epistle to the Corinthians, 1Cor 14:1 (2X). Now that we have come this far in this first Epistle to the Corinthians, it should be clear that the gift of tongues must be considered the least of all the spiritual gifts that a Christian can receive. The most valuable spiritual gift is Agape, also indicated by the word “charity”, and the second most valuable gift is “to prophesy”, for prophecy leads to faith and to increase our faith. All saints receive faith and the love of God, Agape, in their heart at the time we are born from above. We have already seen in chapter 13 that no one can be saved without having Agape in his heart. All things must be done in love for our fellow saints in the church, and therefore charity and prophecy are the most valuable in our inter-personal relationships, for they serve to edify the congregation. Why then does God spend so much time on tongues? We will pursue the answer to this question, for this is an important question. But here in 1Cor 14:1 God’s advice to us is, “Pursue charity and prophecy”. Therefore the title of this sermon is Pursue Charity and Prophecy (2X). What do we mean by that? If charity and prophesying are gifts from God the Holy Spirit, then how can I still pursue charity and prophecy? Let us just read this chapter and find out.

1Co 14:1-19 Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy. For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries. But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort. He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church. I would that ye all spake with tongues, but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying. Now, brethren, if I come unto you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, except I shall speak to you either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine? And even things without life giving sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped? For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle? So likewise ye, except ye utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? for ye shall speak into the air. There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them is without signification. Therefore if I know not the meaning of the voice, I shall be unto him that speaketh a barbarian, and he that speaketh shall be a barbarian unto me. Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church. Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret. For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful. What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also. Else when thou shalt bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest? For thou verily givest thanks well, but the other is not edified. I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all: Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue.

The first advice in verse 1 is, “Follow after charity.” In other words, now that you have received charity, apply it, and pursue to apply it. Get to know your fellow saints. Get to know their family situations. Eat with them. Love them as your own brothers and sisters. Seek in which areas you can help them. We all are special people, and we all are endowed with some special gifts that others do not have. Together we bring those gifts so that we can serve others in our own special way. Let me just illustrate this with one example. As you all know, Bob is a mechanic in a garage that services cars and trucks. No, not little trucks, but very large semi’s. And so, if you have a problem with your car and you do not know what to do next, ask Bob, and he will give you valuable advice. He will also volunteer some advice to make your car more safe, like “move this fuel injection pump to another place to reduce fire hazards.” And so on. In other words, we all bring something to the party that can be of value to others. And how do we find out? Talk to each other, and get to know one another. This is how we pursue charity. We do not pursue charity by lying on a couch and passively have good feelings about the rest of the congregation. To pursue charity actually means that we actively pursue it. You may bring up that you already provide service in another organization, but that is not where your priorities lie. Your priority is here. Your church comes first before the other organizations. What else do we find in verse 1? Pursue spiritual gifts, and these gifts have been listed in chapter 12; but rather pursue the gift of prophecy over any of the other gifts. You might be inclined to pursue the gift of tongues, but then you are pursuing wickedness. If you were living in the first century AD, pursuing the gift of tongues would be the least desirable gift, for God does not speak favorably about the gift of tongues. But, as we have seen in the previous chapter, the gift of tongues ceased to exist when the Bible was completed in about 100 AD. Therefore, if we are living in the 20th or the 21st century, pursuing the gift of tongues is pursuing wickedness, for God is no longer bringing divine revelations in a dream, or in a vision, or in an angel visitation, or in a tongue, for God said so in Rev 22:18-19. Therefore, after we have been saved we plead with God on behalf of others, so that they too may obtain mercy. We must pray for them in order that we may prophesy, that is, that we may speak a message from God. What message? How does that apply to us? Does God still give personal messages today? At the church in Corinth they did not have the NT. These were Greeks. Most likely they had only a few scrolls of the OT. Therefore, God gave messages to some of the people in the church at Corinth in a tongue, and to some of the people directly in their native language. Let us now contrast these two sorts of messages from God.

#1.       Contrast Prophecy with Tongues (1Cor 14:2-4, Mark 16:17)

In verse 2 and throughout this chapter we read about an “unknown tongue”, where the word “unknown” is in italics. It means that nowhere in this chapter is the word “unknown” found. It was a suggestion by the translators. But in today’s charismatic gospels it is believed that people are given messages in an unknown tongue, which is the language of angels. That is false information. If we would be living in the first century AD, when the gift of tongues was still legitimate, the message was given in a foreign language; a language that was not known to the tongue-speaker, but was known to the translator. The “new tongues” in Mark 16:17 refer to existing languages that have not been used before in bringing the Gospel. But in Mark 16 as well as in 1Cor 14 the tongue-speaker himself did not understand what the message was. He did not speak to men, but to God, for no man understands him. God arranged it so that whenever He gave a message in a foreign language there was always someone who knew that language, so that he could be the translator. But if we move to the 20th or the 21st century we do not hear of any new messages from God, for God will not break His own rules. Those who speak in tongues today are uttering self generated gibberish. People have recorded what the tongue-speakers claim to be a message from God, and they have given these recordings to expert linguists, who have studied these. Their conclusion was that it is not any language in the world. It is simply gibberish. God will not break His own rules.

In verse 3 we see the man who prophesies. Look at the contrast. In the first century AD this man would read a passage from the Scriptures, or he would receive a spoken word from God, but it is all intelligible. And the result is also very clear, for the congregation is edified when he has brought this message from God. Let us now move to the 20th or the 21st century. The man who prophesies is no longer receiving new messages from God, but he quotes from the Scriptures. He is prophesying by proclaiming the Word of God out loud, and thereby the congregation is edified. For example, when we discuss the Word of God in this group, we help each other grow spiritually.

In verse 4 God is comparing two persons in the first century AD in the church at Corinth. The first one brings a message from God in a tongue, and another brings a message from God in the Greek language. Before his message gets translated the first one edifies himself, for no one understands him, but he feels greatly honored that God has done a miracle in his mouth, and that God chose to use him as His spokes-tube. The second one is understood by everyone, and so he edifies the church. Let us now move to the 20th or the 21st century. The only one who speaks is the second person, for he reads from the Scriptures and the congregation is edified. The first person is silent, for God will not break his own rules. And so in every case, whether we live in the first century AD or in the 20th or the 21st century AD, the one who speaks a message from God in the common language is the one who prophesies, and he is edifying the congregation more than the one who brings a message in a strange tongue. That is why God says in verse 4, “He that speaketh in a tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church.” And that is also why God said in verse 1, “Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy”, for if we pursue to edify the congregation we are showing our love for the church; we are showing our love for one another. Can you see this? When we conduct a Bible study, or when we prepare for a Bible study, or when we speak up at a Bible study, we are showing our love for one another. This is what God values most. And God gave us a helping hand. He wrote the Bible in such a way that we will never run out of material to discuss, or to study, or to inquire of the deeper spiritual meaning, or to see Christ in the OT Scriptures, and so on. And that is also why we have our studies in the Scriptures on the Internet using Skype as the medium. We do that three times a week because we want to extend our love toward our brothers and sisters in Christ around the world by doing our level best to edify one another. We want to do this, for we always want to do those things that are pleasing in His sight.

Now we want to look carefully at the wording of verse 5, for herein we have an axe wherewith we can cut down all heresies concerning the phenomenon of speaking in tongues today. We all know that the Bible is the complete and infallible Word of God, and nothing may be elevated to the high level of the Bible. We read in V.5,

1Cor 14:5, “I would that ye all spake with tongues, but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying.”

First of all, this verse says that God desires all the saints to prophesy, rather than speak with tongues. What does that mean? It means that God discourages people from playing with speaking in tongues, and He rather wants us all to prophesy. This is in the Word of God, the Bible. Therefore, this is not just for the Corinthians, but it is also God’s Word to us here in Bellflower. The main reason people misunderstand this is because they do not know what it means to prophesy. We have already seen that it means, “Forth telling the Word of God.” Thus a prophet is “the mouthpiece through which the Word of God is spoken to the people”. And so prophesy does not necessarily mean “new prophecy”, but it can also be “old prophecy”. New prophecy is that which is new to the Bible. Old prophecy is that which is already in the Bible. The prophets told the world repeatedly, “Thus saith the Lord.” God Himself underscored these truths very early in the Bible. God stated this in Ex 4:14-17, where we read,

Ex 4:14-17   And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Moses, and he said, Is not Aaron the Levite thy brother? I know that he can speak well. And also, behold, he cometh forth to meet thee: and when he seeth thee, he will be glad in his heart. And thou shalt speak unto him, and put words in his mouth: and I will be with thy mouth, and with his mouth, and will teach you what ye shall do. And he shall be thy spokesman unto the people: and he shall be, even he shall be to thee instead of a mouth, and thou shalt be to him instead of God. And thou shalt take this rod in thine hand, wherewith thou shalt do signs.

And then God says to Moses in Ex 7:1-2,

Ex 7:1-2  And the LORD said unto Moses, See, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh: and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet. Thou shalt speak all that I command thee: and Aaron thy brother shall speak unto Pharaoh, that he send the children of Israel out of his land.

And so, a prophet is simply the mouthpiece of God. Whenever someone spoke a message which word for word came from God, and which either could be a new message or an old message, he was prophesying, because he was in truth proclaiming “Thus saith the Lord”. Before the Bible was completed, the person who received a new message from God was called a prophet, but not the person who spoke an old message from God. A clear example of this situation were the prophet Jeremiah and his scribe Baruch. Jeremiah was the prophet through whom the Word of the Lord came. Baruch was the scribe who wrote the words Jeremiah dictated to him, and Baruch spoke the words that Jeremiah had dictated to him, and so Baruch was prophesying, but Baruch was not the prophet. After the Bible was completed all the saints are called prophets, priests and kings, for we are made after the image of Christ who is also called Prophet, Priest, and King. When any of the saints reads aloud from the Bible, he is saying truthfully, “Thus saith the Lord”, which means that he is prophesying. Therefore the angel, better translated messenger, who led the apostle John to see the wonders in heaven said to John in Rev 22:9,

Re 22:9  Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellow servant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.

Thy brethren the prophets refers to all the NT saints. From the day of Pentecost in AD 33 all the NT saints are

called to be the prophets of the Lord and to proclaim the message of salvation to all the world. This was not the case in OT time, for the OT saints were not called to preach the Gospel to the entire world. But now God explains in the second half of 1Cor 14:5 how important it is to prophesy. First of all, consider all the gifts of the Spirit, and the list of ministries to the church in chapter 12. It is clear that God ranks these gifts and ministries. Therefore, consistently with these verses God says in 1Cor 14:5, paraphrased:

The one prophesying, i.e. bringing a message from God in an understandable language, IS GREATER THAN the one speaking in a tongue, i.e. bringing a message from God in a strange language. However this ranking is REVERSED if the messenger speaking in a tongue is also translating this message into an understandable language. Why is that so? Why is the ranking reversed? It is because the new message from God in a tongue, the moment it is understood, becomes NEW prophecy from God, and therefore it must be ranked on the same level as the existing Word of God as spoken by the OT prophets and the NT apostles. In fact, it will be ranked greater than the existing Word of God, for the principle holds that “The latest revelation carries the greater weight” (2X). The tongue-speaker then becomes equal to or greater than someone who is just prophesying old prophecy. What are the consequences of this conclusion? First of all, it tells us that this kind of revelation by the tongue-speaker can only occur in the first century AD, for God said in Rev 22:18 that He is finished bringing the complete Word of God. Secondly, it tells us that anyone who claims to speak in a tongue today, also claims that the message he brings is of equal value or greater than the Word of God, the Bible. Therefore he admits openly that he is a false prophet. Thirdly, since “tongues” and the accompanying “interpretation of tongues” are declared in 1Cor 14:5 to have identical status to “new prophecy”, Christians in the 20th and the 21st century have only two options: On the one hand Christians must declare that the Bible is the only and complete Word of God, and there are no Divine revelations outside of it. On the other hand, Christians are ignoring Rev 22:18, and are accepting the fact that God is still bringing Divine messages today. Only then can they accept the new messages as messages from God. Only then can they accept these new messages brought in a tongue as messages having an equal status as the Word of God, according to this passage in 1Cor 14:5. And so, those who for one reason or another are ignoring Rev 22:18 to mean that God is finished speaking, really have to understand “What constitutes the Word of God?”

#2.       What Is the Word of God? (Hos 1:2, 6, 8-10, John 1:13, Rom 9:6-8, Hos 2:23, Rom 9:25-26, Heb 1:1-2)

Allow me to give here a short version of the proof that the Bible is One Book, not 66 books as is being taught in most of the churches, and that God is finished writing this One Book. Put a sticker here in 1Cor 14:5, and please turn in your Bibles to the Prophecy of Hosea, Hos 1:2 (2X). You find Hosea right after Daniel. The prophet Hosea is commanded by God to marry a harlot by the name of Gomer. The reason for doing this is that Hosea and Gomer become an acted out historical parable, also called an allegory, of God and the nation of Israel. Hosea fills the role of God and Gomer fills the role of the nation of Israel. This was not pulled out of thin air, for God says in Hos 1:2,

Ho 1:2 ¶  The beginning of the word of the LORD by Hosea. And the LORD said to Hosea, Go, take unto thee a wife of whoredoms and children of whoredoms: for the land hath committed great whoredom, departing from the LORD.           (Then she had three children from Hosea; we will break into the story with the second child.)

Please drop down to verse 6. This second child is a daughter, who is representing the house of Israel.

Ho 1:6  And she conceived again, and bare a daughter. And God said unto him, Call her name Loruhamah: for I will no more have mercy upon the house of Israel; but I will utterly take them away.

Her name is “Lo” which means “No”, and “ruhamah” which means “mercy”. God had no more mercy on the northern kingdom of Israel, for they had abandoned the Lord by worshipping idols. So He took them away by the kingdom of Assyria. A remnant of Israel fled to the southern kingdom of Judah. But about 100 years later God took them utterly away by the kingdom of Babylon. The residue of them fled to Egypt, and there they died of the sword, and of the famine and of the pestilence. Then the land was empty. Please drop down to verse 8.

Ho 1:8   Now when she had weaned Loruhamah, she conceived, and bare a son.

Ho 1:9  Then said God, Call his name Loammi: for ye are not my people, and I will not be your God.

His name is the combination of “Lo” and “ammi”, which means “Not” and “My people”. Loammi represents all the Gentile nations who were at that time not the people of God. Then the next verse starts with Yet

Ho 1:10  Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God.

Which Israel does God have in view here? Verse 10 begins with, “Yet”, which is saying in response to the previous verse: “Even though the nation of Israel has been utterly taken away, yet the children of Israel shall be as numerous as the sand of the sea which cannot be measured nor numbered.” We have to be careful here that we do not derive from this a future millennium for the children of Jacob. That is an unbiblical idea, for God says in John 1:13, “Not of blood”, meaning “not because of the right bloodline”. We must realize that in verse 10 God reaches all the way into the NT age. After the cross God changed His terminology concerning the name Israel. Christ is called Israel and all those who are in Christ are also called Israel. Please turn to Rom 9:6 (2X) and put a sticker th.  

Ro 9:6  Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel:

Ro 9:7-8  Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children (meaning children of God): but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.

And who are the children of the promise? In the remainder of Rom 9 God gives 7 examples of who are the children of God and who are not the children of God. Let us now continue with Hos 1:10, for we are not done with Hos 1:10, for there we read, “It shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God.” Who is God speaking to when He said this, and where was Hosea when he spoke these words from God? Hosea was in the city of Samaria, the capital city of the northern kingdom of Israel. Is this the place that God has in mind? But the kingdom of Israel was a picture of the Israel of God in the NT age. And so, who was God addressing? At the time of Hosea God was speaking to the nation of Israel, and after the cross God is speaking to the new nation of Israel, consisting of all those who are and were in Christ from before the foundation of the world. Please drop down to Hos 2:23 (2X),

Ho 2:23  And I will sow her (Gomer) unto me in the earth; and I will have mercy upon her that had not obtained mercy; (I will have ruhamah upon Loruhamah) and I will say to them which were not my people, Thou art my people;  (I will say to Loammi, ammi) and they shall say, Thou art my God.

This is practically a repeat of the promise God gave in Hos 1:10, where God reversed the curse He pronounced on Loruhamah and on Loammi, where He said, “It shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God.” But significantly, both Hos 1:10 and Hos 2:23 are quoted in the NT. Please turn again to Rom 9, and this time to Rom 9:25 (2X),

Ro 9:25-26 As he saith also in Osee (Hosea), I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved. And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God.

Where was the apostle Paul when He wrote this epistle to the Romans? Most likely Paul was at Corinth when he wrote this epistle to the Romans. But definitely Paul was not at Samaria. He was more than 1000  miles away from Samaria. Then what does it mean when we read, “And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God”? It means we have been focusing on the wrong place. It was not a geographical place on this earth, but the place was the Bible. God stated that the Word of God in Hos 1 and 2 is the same place as in Rom 9. And therefore the entire Bible is One Book. We should not be talking about the Book of Hosea, or the Book of Romans, for that sounds as if we have two different authors in mind. No! The Bible is One Book and God is the Author of that Book. We should call it “the Prophecy of Hosea” and we should call it the Epistle to the Romans. Please turn now to the Epistle to the Hebrews, Heb 1:1 (2X). To whom was this epistle written? It was written to all those who safe and secure in Christ. We need to remember that the church in the first century AD was a mix of former Jews and Gentiles. And since the church was already aware of God’s terminology of NT Jews as written in Rom 2:28-29, we are not surprised to read that all of us are now also called Hebrews. We read now in Heb 1:1-2,

Heb 1:1 ¶  God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,

Heb 1:2  Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;

In the past God spoke to our fathers through the prophets. But when “the last days” have come, God spoke to us by His Son. “The last days” refer to the entire NT age. Would this not be the last message from God? When the ultimate prophet has come, the Lord Jesus Christ, and when the ultimate teacher (God the Son) has taught His disciples the doctrines of salvation by the grace of God alone, should he be succeeded by mediocre men who know the Gospel just a little? Should he be succeeded by mortal men who claim to have received additional messages from God, which now modify the teachings of the perfect teacher, the Lord Jesus Christ? Would the ultimate teacher, God the Son, have given us a Bible with a lot of holes in it, which would have to be filled with nonsense from mortal men? As you can see, this is an impossible idea. He gave us the Bible complete, and it does not need to be filled up anywhere. The Bible is One Book that is complete. Rev 22:18 is true and trustworthy.

Please return now to the First Epistle to the Corinthians, 1Cor 14:12 (2X).

What is God saying in verses 6-12 in this chapter? Paraphrased beginning in verse 6 God says through the apostle Paul, “If I come to you speaking in a foreign language, what shall I profit you. I would only be of profit to you if I would bring a message in an understandable language. Consider the sounds of musical instruments. If it is an uncertain sound, how would you know what we are trying to communicate? If a trumpet gives an uncertain sound, how would you know if an enemy is approaching and that you must defend yourselves? Or how would you know if you have to prepare yourselves for battle. And likewise, if you utter words in a strange language, how can anyone understand what you have said? There are so many languages in the world, and everyone of them is important. But if I do not understand the language, then he who speaks shall sound to me like a barbarian, and I would sound like a barbarian to him. Therefore, out of love for your brothers in Christ, seek to communicate to them clearly. Seek to edify the church. Seek to give them the encouragement they need and the Gospel of grace alone that they would like to hear again and again, and seek to give them the spiritual understanding that they are asking for. Remember that just the plain facts have not been useful to save anyone. Give them understanding. Give them the glue that binds all the loose facts together. Some have all the facts from the Bible as loose sand in their mind. Show them how all these things actually are related to one another, for this they need to gain understanding. God says in 1Cor 14:12, “Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church.” In other words, “you who are so zealous to receive spiritual gifts, even the gift of tongues, seek the greater gifts, especially that you may apply your gift of having received the love of God that is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost. Seek to edify the church, and seek to excel in it, for therein does God delight. But avoid to speak in tongues and the interpretation of tongues, for these are spiritual gifts that were in effect only in the first century AD.

#3.       Let All Things Be Done in Love for One Another (1Cor 14:15)

Let us remember that there are no unknown languages in this epistle. The word “unknown” is not in this epistle since it is a suggestion by the translators. The word “unknown” is leading us astray into other fields, such as the angelic languages, if there is such a thing. What do we read in 1Cor 14:15,

1Co 14:15 ¶  What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.

I will pray with understanding, so that others can benefit from hearing my prayers. I will sing with the spirit in such a way that I also receive the understanding when I sing. I will pray that I always may understand what I am saying and singing, for I love this congregation, and I want to do those things that are pleasing in God’s sight.

1Co 14:18-19  I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all: Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue.

What does the apostle mean when he said, “I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all”. What instruction did he have in mind? He probably had in mind that there are always those who claim that they are speaking an angelic language. But the apostle Paul eliminates this thought altogether. How can we know if we speak an angelic language? We cannot know, for it is an unknown language. But for the apostle to say that he speaks with tongues more than all that are in the church of Corinth combined must mean that he speaks more foreign languages than they all combined do. Of course, he had to travel through many regions of Asia and Greece, and he had to learn many languages quickly, so that he could preach the Gospel there in their own language. It is true that the entire known world knew how to speak and write in Greek, for Alexander the Great had paved the way for them. But there were many dialects and provincial languages that would not succumb to the rigid rules of Alexander. But the apostle, in his love for these people, would learn to express himself in the language that they liked to hear. And that is why he said, “I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all”. It is to prove that the languages in the Corinthian church were not at all like the vain gibberish of the tongue speakers today. The principle is here also: Pursue charity and pursue spiritual gifts. Do every thing to love the sheep that the Lord has put under our care.

AMEN                  Let us turn to the Lord in prayer.