Who Do You Edify?

June 11, 2013

1 Cor 14:1-12

14:1 Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy.

2 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.

3 But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.

4 He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church.

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.

6 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?

7 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?

8 For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?

9 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.

10 There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them is without signification.

11 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.

12 Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church. KJV

When God provides the gift be sure you value it and make sure you have really have the gift you think you have before you go off to use something and get discouraged.  Make sure somewhere people affirm the gift in you.  Ask a pastor you respect to give you the opportunity to exercise the gift so he can give you a fair evaluation especially if you think you have the gift of evangelism or want to be a missionary.  Do that kind of work in your local church and if people who love you share and say that you may wish to rethink or pray again about your gifts then do so.

The story is told of a young man who got up to preach in his home church and did a very bad job at it worse than just first time nerves and such.  An old deacon asked him afterward how he knew he was called to preach.  The young man said “I looked up in the sky and two clouds formed a P and a C and I took that as meaning preach Christ.”  The old man said, “Son, in your case it meant plant corn.”

Harsh, but better than the young man running from church to church getting discouraged and maybe quitting church completely.  Many men have sought to exercise gifts they did not have or jump out somewhere before they are ready.  That is partly way so many preachers quite the ministry each month.  Some were never gifted and others were in too big of a hurry to get their own pulpit.  They needed more mentoring or growth time and it so it did not go well and then they quit.  Be careful.

Pastors, do not be quick to throw someone into a position because you need a hole filled.  Do you want a spirited person filling a position or a spirit filled person in a position to serve?  Be kind, but truthful.  If the person does not have the gift they do have the gift.  How many people have been told they have had a wonderful singing voice by family and friends because no one wanted to break it to them that they are tone deaf and fingernails scraping a chalkboard has a more appealing sound.  So they get themselves signed up for a talent show and are humiliated and maybe scarred for life.  There is no love in giving people false hope.

Do not just look for talent.  Look at the attitude.  Note the passage warns about doing things that just edify you in church.  You are there to edify the church.  If the person has a lot of swagger when they minister they may be exercising a gift in the flesh and need to sit down until they get their heart right and spirit filled or the devil will use that pride to defeat and possibly destroy both the person and the church.  That is not fusion.  That is confusion and delusion.  Watch closely for it.

There is far too much hoopla over tongues today and even if there were genuine manifestations of that gift it would still be very easy to see that it is abused and elevated from the least of the gifts to a place of a mandatory evidence of salvation.  We know that not all had that gift any more than everyone had any of the gifts.  They were dispersed as the Spirit deemed them necessary and no one is just an eye, mouth, hand or foot and the Body of Christ also has a need of more than just one thing to survive.

There has been too much infusion of New Age mysticism, emotionalism and other isms that have taken the balance out of the Body much like an ear infection.  People have itching ears and listen to practically anything and they have no sense of balance and are tossed about by every sleight of man’s hand and wind of doctrine.  Their malleus, incus and stapes are either fused or broken so that they cannot hear the Lord clearly. He is muffled, but someone error is amplified.

Gentlemen, you must seek the prophetic gift if you are going to pastor, evangelize, teach or do mission work.  Now, more than ever we need solid expositors of the Word.  There are far too many motivation speakers and charlatans teaching heresy and hoo-ha.  We must dispense solid doctrine to overcome the epidemic of error.  It will not be entertaining.  You may never build a mega-church, but you will be faithful to the text and to the Lord.  He will add to your local Body as He deems of both numbers and gifts.  He will infuse and set the fuse and cause the fusion you and your Body needs if you allow the Spirit and the Word to do their work.


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