Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy.
(1 Corinthians 14:1).
I was reading 1 Corinthians 13 this morning regarding love and continued reading into chapter 14. In Chapter 14, Paul urges us to “pursue love and strive for the spiritual gifts”, and especially the gift of prophesy (v. 1). We will see that love is not listed as a spiritual gift but as the “more excellent way” (1 Cor. 12:31).
Paul urges us to strive for the gift of prophecy above any other spiritual gift. Some will deem speaking in tongues as the greatest indication of our faith in Christ, but Paul says otherwise. Others claim prophecy is predicting the future, condemning others, or understanding the end times. We like to think the role of Hebrew prophets such as Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel was to condemn Israel for its sins. While calling them to accountability for breaking their covenant with God was part of the prophetic ministry, the prophets ultimately sought to “build up” their people by “rejoicing in the truth” and “enduring all things” (1 Cor. 13:6-7).
Paul says one who prophecies is greater than the one who speaks in tongues. Prophecy according to Paul is the greatest spiritual gift because it is directed to others for their “upbuilding and encouragement and consolation” and “builds up the church” (1 Cor. 14:3-4).
Prophecy is directly connected to love. Paul urges anyone who claims to be a prophet to acknowledge this (1 Cor. 14:37). Whatever we do, let it be done in love for building up the church (1 Cor. 14:26).
Questions to Consider:
1. What is your spiritual gift.
2. How can you act out love through your spiritual gifts?
3. If you are a pastor/preacher, do you speak/prophesy in a such a way to “build up the church?”
Read: 1 Corinthians 12-14.
-What do these chapters teach us about the connection between spiritual gifts and love?
If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge,
and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.
(1 Corinthians 13:2)
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