Paul highlights the Importance of Prophesy over Tongues Part 2
1 Corinthians 14:3 But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort. KJV
Paul now gives tangible evidence to these Corinthian believers and to us that proves the authenticity of his declaration that prophesying is the greater gift and the pursuit of it is the greater good for every one of these believers by three excellent virtues expressed by the beneficiary of this spiritual gift. First, Paul contrasts the direction of the speaking gift of prophesies to that of the speaking gift of tongues. The one who speaks in tongues is speaking a language he or she does not know or even understand and they only then speak to God the Father, but the one who prophesies not only does he know what he or she is saying, but he also understands it and speaks not just to God but also to men. God the Father is perfect and completely whole and does not need anything from any of us to make Him better. Paul declares that the person with the gift of prophesy does three tremendous things for other members of Christ Mystical Body when he or she exercises their spiritual gift of prophesying. First, they bring edification to other believers and this English word edification is translated by the Greek word oikodome which means (the act of) building, or building up; metaphorically it is the act of one who promotes another’s growth in Christian wisdom, piety, happiness, and holiness. The person gifted by God the Holy Spirit to prophesy is in a spiritual sense like an Architect or Civil Engineer is in the physical sense of building beautiful and strong structures that will be able to withstand the harshest storms and still remain standing sturdily for many years.
The one who prophecies is a spiritual Architect or Civil Engineer speaking, teaching, writing, expounding, and explaining God’s Holy Truth from His Holy Eternal Word with the singular purpose of building strong and spiritually mature men and women of God able to wax strong in spiritual warfare with the devil and grow up into spiritual maturity as it is written by the Apostle John in 1 John 2:12-14. Paul spoke of this truth in another place when he was saying his goodbyes to the brethren in Ephesus knowing he would never see them again here on the earth as he sensed his eminent death was near, but before he departed he said these words to them, “And now I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able ‘to build you up’ (epoikodomeo from the Greek word oikodome) and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified” (Acts 20:32). Second, Paul declares the person gifted by God the Holy Spirit to prophesy speaks to the exhortation of men and this English word exhortation is translated by the Greek word paraklesis which means to call near or to implore or to encourage someone. The prophesier with his expounding and explaining of the Word of God helps the growth of the hearer and inspires them to be confident in God and His Word and encourages them with hope in the eternal purposes, plans, and practices of God as revealed in His Holy Word which gives them great courage to stand for our Lord Jesus Christ, even in the toughest of circumstances. When Paul wrote to brother Timothy instructing him, one of the many things he said to him was this, “Until I come, give attention to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation (paraklesis) and teaching” (1 Timothy 4:13).
Thirdly, the person who prophesies speaks comfort to other believers and this English word comfort is translated by the Greek word paramuthia which means any address made for the purpose of calming, consoling, and comforting one in their afflictions or times of disappointment. The person who prophecies speaks the Word of God and the Wisdom of God that brings relief to the distressed souls of the members of Christ Mystical Body and thereby comforts them. Paul wrote of this reality we have in God the Father to these very same Corinthian believers in his second letter to them in this manner, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4). Paul here in this one verse has presented strong irrefutable evidence of why the gift of prophesy is far greater a gift for these Corinthian believers and us to pursue “in love” for our own good, but more importantly for the good of every one in Christ Mystical Body that hears the speaking forth of God’s Holy Word.
“A popular evangelist reaches your emotions. A true prophet reaches your conscience.” Leonard Ravenhill
“Sound doctrine and holy living are the marks of true prophets. Let us remember this. A minister’s mistakes will not excuse our own.” J. C. Ryle
“We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum.” A. W. Tozer
“Let a thing here be noted, that the prophet of God sometimes may teach treason against kings, and yet neither he nor such as obey the word, spoken in the Lord’s name by him, offend God.” John Knox
“The gift of prophesy does nothing to bring edifying or building up to God (He needs none) but what makes it so much more necessary than speaking in tongues is that it does so much to make babes in Christ into full grown fathers in Christ (1 John 2:13-14) mature and able to take in the meat of the Word of God and able to discern good from evil (Hebrews 5:14).” Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ and His amazing healing power, pray this from your heart to the Lord Jesus Christ (you speaking directly to Him), Dear Lord Jesus, I confess to You that I am a sinner and I need Your forgiveness. I believe You shed Your Blood and died for my sins. I believe that You rose from the dead proving that You alone are God. I repent of my sins. I want to turn from my sins. I ask You Dear Lord Jesus to come into my heart and take control of my life. I want You to be my Lord, Savior, and my God. Amen...
Sincerely in Christ,
Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
Author of “Silent Assassins of the Soul - Are you Broken by Pornography and Masturbation? You can be Restored by the Lord Jesus Christ and brought into Deliverance, Freedom, and Victory! A Guide for Men and Women in the Enemy’s Crosshairs” e-book available now @ Amazon Kindle, @ Apple I Bookstore for IPod, Barnes and Noble for Nook, Reader Store for Sony Reade, Kobo, Copia, Gardners, Baker and Taylor, and eBookPie…
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