December 14, 2022
Faith that pleases God is faith that comes not by sight but by believing everything written in the Bible is true.
2 Corinthians 5: For we live by faith and not by sight.
Our human instincts believe something is true when we personally eyewitness it which removes any doubt.
But our relationship with God is having faith in every word in the Bible comes from God which assures us with the hope of eternal life and certain of it even though we do not see it now.
This faith comes through our spirit’s understanding and not our flesh. That is what Jesus said in John 6.
John 6: 63, The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.
Jesus said his words are spirit, which means you cannot understand it with your human instinct but only through the Holy Spirit teaching it to your spirit.
Even the Jews did not believe Jesus was their Messiah and wanted him to prove himself by giving them a sign by miraculously providing them bread from heaven which God gave to the Israelites in the desert. But Jesus refused and told them the only sign he would give them was the sign of Jonah, that when God’s temple was destroyed, he would raise it again in 3 days, meaning his body.
The Jews wanted eyewitness proof to believe Jesus, but Jesus refused them, but gave them only what was already written prophetically in Scripture.
Eyewitness evidence is still a weakness many Christians have that can create doubt in their faith which does not come by sight but believing that God’s word is true.
Many Christians have a hard time believing the Holy Spirit dwells in them and want evidence of his presence in them. Paul teaches how we will know the Holy Spirit dwells in us by the words we proclaim who Jesus is.
1 Corinthians 12: 3 Therefore I tell you that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, "Jesus be cursed," and no one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit.
When you truly confess that Jesus is your Lord it is not you who proclaims it but the Holy Spirit who dwells you.
Jesus teaches this to Peter.
Matthew 16: 16 Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." 17Jesus replied, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven.
It was the Father that revealed to Peter that Jesus is his Son and Savior to his spirit and not his flesh.
Paul teaches salvation is through faith that proclaims Jesus as their Lord.
Romans 10: 8 But what does it say? "The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart," that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming: 9 That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
There are some who are led to believe that it is necessary to speak with the gift of tongues to be secure in their salvation which is no longer by faith alone. They are misapplying what spiritual gifts are for from what Paul teaches.
1 Corinthians 12: 4 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men. 7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8 To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.
The giving of spiritual gifts is determined by the Holy Spirit meaning no one can give spiritual gifts to another believer and gifts are for the common good of the church and not to prove one’s eternal security.
I have heard someone being told that you must speak in tongues and someone telling me I must be water baptized to be saved which both are no longer by faith. I also know of a church requirement that teaches to be a pastor you must be able to speak in tongues.
The misuse of spiritual gifts causes division in church because it is no longer for the common good but used to gather those who have the same gift.
1 Corinthians 12: 25 so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. 27 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.
Spiritual gift must be used out of love for what Jesus loves and that is his church. When gifts are not used out of love it becomes nothing to Jesus.
1 Corinthians 13: 1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 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 have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Spiritual gifts are used out of love for Jesus by obeying his command to love as he has loved us and that is to serve others and not be self-serving. If not out of love, it becomes nothing to the one you call your Lord.
We should eagerly seek spiritual gifts that will help instruct and improve the church.
1 Corinthians 14:1 Follow the way of love and eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy. 2 For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God. Indeed, no one understands him; he utters mysteries with his spirit. 3 But everyone who prophesies speaks to men for their strengthening, encouragement, and comfort. 4 He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church. 5 I would like every one of you to speak in tongues, but I would rather have you prophesy. He who prophesies is greater than one who speaks in tongues, unless he interprets, so that the church may be edified.
The gift of prophecy is to speak God’s word which strengthens, encourages, and comforts the church and builds it up in Jesus.
Tongues edifies the church only when it can be interpreted. Just gathering with those who speak in tongues is no longer out of love for Jesus but elevating a gift as greater than other spiritual gifts. This also applies to pastors who think their gift is above other gifts. There is no edification for those who gather just to speak in tongues when no one can understand what someone else is speaking in tongues.
1 Corinthians 14: 6 Now, brothers, if I come to you and speak in tongues, what good will I be to you, unless I bring you some revelation or knowledge or prophecy or word of instruction?
1 Corinthians 14: 9 So it is with you. Unless you speak intelligible words with your tongue, how will anyone know what you are saying? You will just be speaking into the air.
1 Corinthians 14: 12 So it is with you. Since you are eager to have spiritual gifts, try to excel in gifts that build up the church. 13 For this reason anyone who speaks in a tongue should pray that he may interpret what he says. 14 For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful.
If you have the gift of tongue, you should eagerly seek to understand it with your mind so you will have the mind of Christ.
1 Corinthians 14: 16 If you are praising God with your spirit, how can one who finds himself among those who do not understand say "Amen" to your thanksgiving, since he does not know what you are saying? 17 You may be giving thanks well enough, but the other man is not edified.
Tongues is expressing words that pleases God which only your spirit knows done out of thankfulness and humbleness to Jesus and not to please yourself. The gift of tongue is to speak it before other believers only when they can celebrate with your amen, thanksgiving and praises to God you are speaking.
1 Corinthians 14: 18 I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you. 19 But in the church, I would rather speak five intelligible words to instruct others than ten thousand words in a tongue. 20 Brothers, stop thinking like children. In regard to evil be infants, but in your thinking be adults.
Spiritual gifts are not for self-pleasure to use like selfish children. Tongues must be used as a mature adult who do not use it for evil.
1 Corinthians 14: 22 Tongues, then, are a sign, not for believers but for unbelievers; prophecy, however, is for believers, not for unbelievers.
Paul said the purpose for speaking tongues is for unbelievers to hear spiritual words of God and prophecy is spoken with intelligible words of God to edify believers.
1 Corinthians 14: 26 What then shall we say, brothers? When you come together, everyone has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. All of these must be done for the strengthening of the church.
Paul teaches when we gather it is for the strengthening of the church by edifying it by sharing a psalm, an instruction, a revelation, or an interpretation of tongues of God’s word.
1 Corinthians 14: 37 If anybody thinks he is a prophet or spiritually gifted, let him acknowledge that what I am writing to you is the Lord's command. 38 If he ignores this, he himself will be ignored. 39 Therefore, my brothers, be eager to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues. 40 But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way.
Paul teaches that those who are mature disciples of God’s word or gifted in the knowledge of God’s word will accepts his teachings as the Lord Jesus’ commands which cannot be ignored but obeyed or the Lord will ignore them.
In everything we do when we gather as Jesus’ church it is to serve him by loving each other by edifying each other with the gift we have received by the Holy Spirit to become on in Christ.
Be safe in Jesus, Ps. Glenn.