Thursday, November 15, 2018

2018.11.15 Hopewell @Home ▫ 1 Corinthians 14:1-25

Questions for Littles: What are the Corinthians to pursue (v1)? What word in the English of v1 isn’t in the original? What does the church receive from prophecies that it does not receive from tongues (v3-5)? What is the problem with tongues (v6-11)? What spiritual effect should they seek for the church (v12)? With what does the apostle teach us to pray and sing (v14-15, 18-19)? What do others need to be able to do after praying or singing (v16)? What does this mean that they need to be during praying and singing? What does this do for them (v17)? What are tongues for (v22)? To whom? But for whom is prophecy (v22)? Yet, what happens to an unbeliever, when the church is speaking the Word of God in a language that can be understood (v24-25)? 
In this week’s Epistle reading, we continue hearing about the superiority of love (a sign that the true Word has taken effect in the hearers) over tongues (a sign that the true Word has been spoken) and prophecy (the speaking of the true Word).

As the apostle told us back in 8:1, “knowledge puffs up, but love builds up.” This building up, this edification, must be the purpose at which the exercise of spiritual roles in worship aims.

Therefore, edification takes center stage here in chapter 14, but notice what else takes center stage: the understanding. God’s method of transforming us is through the renewing of our minds (Rom 12:1-2). Jesus prays that we would be sanctified by God’s Word and its truth (Jn 17:17).

So, worship should aim at edification, and it should do so by being intellectual, cerebral, theological. In fact, the “Amen” in worship is designed to be an indication that while others are speaking, the rest of the congregation is paying attention and thinking and processing what is said. Then, to show that we have done so and give ourselves up to the Word to agree with it, we say, “Amen.”

But shouldn’t worship be evangelistic? Absolutely! That’s why, v24-25 say, that it should be so theological. It is theology that God has appointed as the means of exposing the unbeliever’s heart and putting him onto his face as a worshiper! Praise God for (and by means of!) theological worship!
Where can you find worship that aims at the understanding like this?
Suggested songs: ARP119W “Lord, Let My Cry Before You Come” or TPH172 “Speak, O Lord”

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