Background: My exhortation is taken from 1 Corinthians 14 but to understand that chapter I will summarize the previous one chapter 13. In chapter 13 Apostle Paul wrote strongly about charity and the importance of it. Going as far as to say without charity we are nothing [1 Corinthians 13:2]. And in the very next verse said we can sacrifice of ourselves but without charity it will profit us nothing. And to end the chapter Apostle Paul speaks of the virtues of faith, hope, and charity but the greatest of the three being charity [1 Corinthians 13:13]. So what is charity and Why is it important? This then leads us to the next chapter speaking of gifts. The gifts of speaking in tongues and Prophecy are great edifying tools given unto the church to change the trajectory of a person’s life. But which does Apostle Paul say is more important?
Title: Charity and Prophecy
Scripture: 1 Corinthians 14:12 Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church.
• You might think I will go to the dictionary to define charity so you can understand what it is but I am not going to do that this time. Charity just like your salvation is a personal thing and can only truly be defined by you. Charity is your and my ministry charged to us by God with the words “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” [Mark 16:15]. Which was God’s way of arming and deploying us similar to soliders of the army. Charity to me is synonymous with the word love and can also with substituted with purity of heart. We are (I believe) carriers of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and should follow his example of servitude. With all things we do it should be in purity of heart. So charity is going out into the world armed with the tools whether that be the word of God, food to feed the hungry, clothes to give to those that have not, or even just the song that God put into heart. Which ever tool it is use it to win a soul for the kingdom, because we by inheritance being a child of God take on his mission.
• And why is charity so important? Without purity of heart it will be hard to please God. You can not go through life just doing things without rhyme or reason. You must be intentional with every action and every word. With a heart of charity you will give of yourself without any expectation of return. One day I heard some advice saying a man(or woman) is judged not on doing things for people who can reciprocate but instead for those that don’t have anyway of paying you back. If more people gave without looking forward to receiving we would not face world hunger, war threats from neighboring kingdoms, pandemics going as far as it has, and oppression of your fellow man. Can charity really do all that? It sure can, it is written charity never faileth. [1 Corinthians 13:8]
• Moving on to chapter 14, Apostle Paul continues with practical advice about the use of tongues and Prophecy. Saying that when tongues are spoken it is to God but when prophecy is spoke it is to the edification in of man. [1 Corinthians 14:2-3]. The point he is making isn’t that tongues are not needed (since it is a gift from God) but rather that to impact the life of the people prophecy is needed to speak in plain language. We as christians should develop the gifts given to us from God in order to edify the souls we encounter. If a distressed person in spirit came to a Sunday service and the whole time the church spake in tongues, that person will leave in the same fashion in which they came. No change, no revelation, no deliverance, and no breakthrough that they desperately need. The key verse in the chapter is verses 21 and 22 saying that by prophecy the secrets of the heart are revealed resulting in the conclusion that God alone had manifested the truth in which you speak. And if that person was in need of affirmation and loves truth they will worship God for the revelation they have received. Apostle Paul for the purpose of winning souls rather speak five words in a common tongue than a thousand in an unknown language. [1 Corinthians 14:19].
Conclusion: Charity and Prophecy goes a long way in our mission. Charity to help those that are down on their luck or can not help themselves which shows forth the love of God. Prophecy is a gift to the believers to edify the people that come to God in order for them to get on the right path. It is written those that God loves he chasten. [Hebrews 12:6] So if we say that God loves us why would we not feel some constructive words from time to time. Before we make a fuss about harsh words, instead we should praise the God who reveals all things for the betterment of your heart, mind, body, and soul.