每日诗歌: 宝贵十架 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4d1y6iQLdLE)
把教会看成是世界上和人类历史上最大的建筑项目有助于我们的理解。就像建筑人员和各种材料是为了建造楼房一样，神赐给他百姓各样的属灵恩赐也是为了建造教会。当保罗在写今天的圣经经文时，这显然是他心里所想的，因为在20节的经文中，他6次用到了“造就” 这词。正如不同的建筑材料提供不同的功能，不同的属灵恩赐也是为了不同的目的。然而神给予的所有恩赐都是为了一个共同的目标 – 造就他的教会（林前14:4，5，12）。
Proverbs 5 [Read]
Proverbs 6 [Read]
Corinthians 14:1-20 [Read]
It always fascinates me to see houses or skyscrapers being built from scratch. The building crew starts from laying the foundation, and then they put up the frame, place the roof, add the wall, and finish the interior. Depending on the size, the project may take a few months to several years to complete. Once it’s done, it will provide comfort and protection to many.
It helps to see Church as the biggest building project in the world and the history of mankind. Instead of construction crews and materials, Church is being built by God through giving various gifts to his people. This is clearly in Paul’s mind when he wrote today’s NT reading, for he used the word “to build or to edify” 6 times in 20 verses. Just as different building materials serve different functions, different spiritual gifts are given for different purposes too. But all were given by God for one common goal – to build up His Church (1Cor 14:4, 5, 12).
Paul affirms that both prophecy and tongues are spiritual gifts (14:1-2), but he clearly distinguishes these two in their functions. The former edifies, encourages, and comforts others (14:3), while the latter edifies the speaker of tongues. As a result, Paul exhorts them “but in the church I would rather speak five intelligible words to instruct others than ten thousand words in a tongue” (14:19). From that standpoint, “he who prophesies is greater than one who speaks in tongues” (14:5). All in all, the principle is “since you are eager to have spiritual gifts, try to excel in gifts that build up the church” (14:12).
People are often attracted by the spirituality of speaking in tongues, and it can be taken as a false indication of a closer relationship with God. But the fact is that, as far as I know, none of the great theologians or scholars or spiritual giants in history was known by speaking in tongues. They were all known because they built up the Church through edifying the disciples of Christ.
I appreciate the teaching of Paul, for it helps us see the true essence of the giving of any spiritual gifts. More importantly, he only speaks about the difference between prophecy and tongues after he has talked about “parts should have equal concern for each other” (12:25) and “love never fails” (13:8). Only upon such foundation we may properly understand and apply the spiritual gifts God has given to each one of us.
Keep on reading,