“So with yourselves; since you are eager for spiritual gifts, strive to excel in them for building up the church.”
1 Corinthians 14:12
Paul wrote, “Love builds up” (1 Corinthians 8:1). Love for God and others motivates Christians to seek spiritual gifts eagerly “for building up the church.” Christians strive to excel in spiritual gifts, and they know that using some spiritual gifts in their private devotions will build them up spiritually. However, using these same gifts in public worship might not build up the church. So, when Christians think about when to use some of their spiritual gifts in the church, they put love first and remember that “not all things build up” (1 Corinthians 10:23).
For example, the Apostle Paul wrote that in the church he would rather speak five words with his mind to instruct others than 10,000 words in tongues that no one could understand (1 Corinthians 14:19). Paul wrote that if someone said things in worship that others could not understand, then he needed to pray for the wisdom to interpret what he said so others would be built up in church (1 Corinthians 14:13). When the church gathered for worship, Paul encouraged singing hymns, preaching the gospel and teaching the lessons of Jesus.
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