1 Corinthians 14
Memorise Romans 12:5
“So we, being many are one body in Christ…”

Paul says in Romans 12:5 that, “So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another”. This was to emphasize the fact that there must be unity in diversity within God’s family. This means to say that God meant for Christians from different backgrounds with different gifts and abilities to labour together for the Lord.

However, one of the problems faced by the members of the church in Corinth was that so much importance was placed on certain spiritual gifts such as the speaking of tongues (real languages) that everyone wanted to be able to do so. The Apostle Paul had to correct them. He taught them that the inappropriate use of spiritual gifts was the cause of disunity and chaos in church. Referring to the speaking of tongues in particular, he cautioned the use of this gift firstly because without interpretation only the speaker himself understood what was said when nobody else did (hence edifying only the speaker), and secondly, because it was used by the speaker to make himself appear spiritually superior. Finally, this was done for the tongue-speaker’s profit rather than for the edification of others. In 1 Corinthians 14:16, he asked how others could possibly be built up spiritually if only the speaker alone understood the prayers.

When spiritual activities are done out of pride or for selfish reasons, the consequences would be no different from that of the inappropriate use of spiritual gifts in the church of Corinth in Paul’s day - the spiritual well-being of the church suffers. Therefore, every believer must be aware that in serving the Lord, no particular gift is more important than another. Every believer has something different to offer in his labour for the Lord, but every believer must work in unity with others as part of a team much like the way different parts of the body work together. Only then can there be unity in worship which God is pleased with, and will result in healthy spiritual growth for the church.

Thought: God made us unique so that we can put our different abilities to good use together for His glory.
Prayer: O Lord, remind us daily that our gifts and talents come from You alone, that we may not fall into the sin of pride.