Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart: http://sothrichfield.podbean.com
1 Corinthians 14:18-25 (NIV)
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 and sisters, stop thinking like children. In regard to evil be infants, but in your thinking be adults. 21 In the Law it is written: “With other tongues and through the lips of foreigners I will speak to this people, but even then they will not listen to me, says the Lord.” 22 Tongues, then, are a sign, not for believers but for unbelievers; prophecy, however, is not for unbelievers but for believers. 23 So if the whole church comes together and everyone speaks in tongues, and inquirers or unbelievers come in, will they not say that you are out of your mind? 24 But if an unbeliever or an inquirer comes in while everyone is prophesying, they are convicted of sin and are brought under judgment by all, 25 as the secrets of their hearts are laid bare. So they will fall down and worship God, exclaiming, “God is really among you!”
We have seen this week that Paul’s conversation on the use of the spiritual gift of “tongues”, or as one theologian calls it “unlearned languages”, can be a little confusing. Therefore, focus on Paul’s desire that unbelievers be convicted of sin and move toward repentance (v23-25). Simply put: some things we do as a church can repel outsiders while others can bring them closer to Jesus. Are the things we are doing as a church understandable to outsiders? I often hear from visitors and new members that they felt very welcomed when stepping into the doors of Shepherd of the Hills. That is understandable to anyone. Pray that the Holy Spirit would continue to make us a church that is “understandable” to outsiders so that they, too, would come to know and follow Jesus!