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The emphasis in worship is not on interesting and impressive spiritual gifts that might divide, but rather on lovingly using spiritual gifts to explain God's Word so that everyone understands and unites.
Historical note: Before the New Testament books were completed, God revealed instructions through speaking in tongues, paired with prophesying (explaining). Later, tongues were replaced by the completed Bible. Apostles preaching without a completed New Testament were replaced by pastors preaching with a completed New Testament.
- Build the church! tongues were less valuable, because the blessing is for one person, not the whole church. (v.1-9)
- Don't distract. tongues, like all gifts, must be used as intended. Tongues must be paired with the prophesying for the understanding of all. (v.10-19)
- Worship God together. tongues were a temporary sign to confirm to unbelievers that God was actually present. Nowadays unbelievers become aware that God is present by hearing the Bible clearly proclaimed so that the church and visitors can understand it. Understanding God's Word brings an awareness of God's presence, a conviction of sin, a call to faith, an upbuilding of faith, a unifying of the church, and the worshipping of God! (v.20-25)
Applying: What is the role of tongues in the history of redemption?
A blessing/ judgment at Babel/Pentecost? Gen.11:1-9, Acts 2:4-11
When did people did not listen to God through tongues? Is.28:21
What did Paul mean about building the church? Ephesians 2:19-22