The edification of the church.

John Farley
January 19, 2020


Tom Merchberger at his daughter Megan’s wedding

Memorial servicefor Tom this Saturday January 25th at 2:00 PM.

In lieu of flowers, you can make a donation in Tom’s name to the Michael J. Fox Parkinson’s foundation


The edification of the church

1Co 14:10-15

Chapter 14 is primarily about the gift of tongues and its limitations.

Which gift does a better job of building up or edifying the church?

1. He gives direct teaching that contrasts the gift of tongues with the gift of prophecy.
(verses 1-5)

2. Paul teaches by way of analogy.
(verses 6-12)


3. He applies his teaching on tongues and prophecy to the assembly. (verses 13-25)

4. He gives instructions for conducting their worship services – focusing on the tongues speakers and prophets. (verses 26-39)

He has a problem with uninterpreted tongues in public worship.

So prophecy is the greater gift. It does a much better job at edifying others.

These analogies drive home the difference between sounds with meaning and sounds that are unintelligible.

1Co 14:7-8

1Co 14:10-12

In fact, today there are about 7,000 spoken languages in the world!


Hapo Mwanzo, Neno alikuwako; naye alikuwa na Mungu, naye alikuwa Mungu.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the word was God.

It was a term of insult, then as now.

foreigner, barbarian, rude and harsh, ignorant, uncouth, uncivilized,

who does not speak Greek, who does not speak Latin;

They behave like barbarians when they speak in tongues without an interpreter during the worship service.

“Zealous” means eagerly desiring, being passionately committed to something.

Paul wants them to redirect their zeal away from uninterpreted tongues to the speaking gifts that edify the congregation.

1Co 14:13-15

No one should have spoken in tongues during the worship service unless an interpreter was present.

Here Paul speaks from personal experience. He spoke in tongues more than anyone else (see verse 18).

If he prays only in a tongue, he will be edified but no one else will benefit.

The human spirit has a direct line to the Holy Spirit. That which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

Spiritual thoughts become spiritual words.

Prayer, to be profitable, must involve both the human spirit and the human mind.

Joh 4:23-24

He sings in an unknown tongue and then he sings the same song in the language they can understand.


The gift was designed to work hand-in-hand with the gift of interpretation.

We ought to pray and sing with the human spirit and the human mind also.

1Co 2:9-16

Our prayers are to be inspired by the Holy Spirit. And they should also be directed by the mind or thinking of Christ.

The mind of Christ is revealed in the Bible, climaxed by the mysteries that Paul reveals in his letters.

They should not be a performance where the people are whipped up into a frenzy of emotion.

The song lyrics should come from the Bible, and the music should match the meaning of the song.

A song about the resurrection of Christ should not sound like a funeral dirge.



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