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I agree with Luch. The "fruits" of the Spirit are more important than the "gifts" of the Spirit.

Paul has just finished talking about the "body of Christ" and all members are important no matter their "gifts".

Remember the Corinthians are enamored with the Spiritual Gifts (byproduct of the Greek Culture), and they place a premium on the gift of "tongues".

Now this has proved distracting at meetings, and/or promoted divisiveness in the Corinthian church.

Three Directives:
-Pursue Love (Gk. implies aggressively)
-desire spiritual gifts (Gk. imples strive or eagerly)
-Especially the gift of prophesy.

Why Prophecy?

Tongues speaks to God.
Prophecy speaks to man.

NOTE: Prophecy is declaring something revealed by divine inspiration: could be future, the gospel, or about the church.

Paul is here in Corinth, as with all the churches he planted, - interested in exhorting, encouraging and edifying the "body". He is primarily interested in the maturing of the individual Christian, and the maturing of the ""body of Christ".

By accomplishing that "maturing" - we, as Christians are saltier, give off more light, and reflect more of God's glory.
Paul,despite what some will say, does not think speaking in tongues is bad.

He would like that all could speak in tongues, but if a choice - he would prefer "prophecy".

Because Prophecy edifies the church. And unless one can interpret or have someone interpret the utterances of tongues - Paul would prefer the understandable language that prophesies.

(Remember Paul is trying to deflate some of the over-emphasis of tongues in the Corinth Church.)

To promote unity and edification of the church, since you seek spiritual gifts - SEEK those in ABUNDANCE that build the church.
If you are going to speak in tongues, pray for an interpretation, so that others can understand the Praise to God and be built up.

The phrase "those who do not understand" in verse 16 is a Greek idiom meanng "inquirers". The thought here may be you have people not yet Christians in the meeting, yet by being there are curious and interested - that would have no idea of what was going on.

[NOTE: I can vouch for that from my visits to some churches after being a Christian less than one year. When the pastors or church members would get into their proclamation to God in tongues - it was disconcerting (at best). I actually looked for the exits.]
1) Paul is not denouncing tongues - If one could ask Paul I would think that the praying in tongues at home or in a private place is fine and good. As a gift of the Spirit it should edify the individual.

2)It makes me wonder about the idea that "tongues" is speaking another (earthly)language. I know two Christians that I trust that say they have witnessed someone speaking another language to a group or individual. The speaker of the language did not know the language or ever study it in his/her life.

I wonder if that is really "tongues". The speaker was not speaking to God, but to individuals on earth. Bob Deffingbaugh addresses this issue, but I still wonder.

Anyway, to sum up, - tongues good;prophecy better. It is ok and good to seek the gifts of the Spirit, but eagerly seek the gifts that especially build up the "body of Christ".

Job 6 (NKJV)
“To him who is afflicted, kindness should be shown by his friend, even though he forsakes the fear of the Almighty.
My brothers have dealt deceitfully like a brook, like the streams of the brooks that pass away,
Which are dark because of the ice, and into which the snow vanishes.
For now you are nothing, you see terror and are afraid.

I hope and pray that when I see somebody suffering like that, I will not automatically assume it is because they have sinned against God. And I pray that I will not try to offer “advice” to them all the time on how to “repent”.

I pray I will BE a friend and ask God to minister His love through me through the MINISTRY OF PRESENCE. Then, may I pray and really seek the Lord, and only speak what God has given me. I pray that I will make sure to ENCOURAGE as much as possible.

It is true that we can respond to people or things we don’t understand in fear instead of waiting on God and listening to the Spirit, and responding likewise.

Psalm 37 (NKJV)
The mouth of the righteous speaks wisdom, and his tongue talks of justice.
The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide.

But the salvation of the righteous is from the LORD; He is their strength in the time of trouble.
And the LORD shall help them and deliver them; He shall deliver them from the wicked,
And save them, because they trust in Him.

I like this quote from the article about Billy Graham entitled “Pilgrim’s Progress”:

“[T]he core message of the Gospel, and the love of God ‘for all people’ should take priority: ‘The older I get, the more important the eternal becomes to me personally.’ His mind is on the heavenly more than the temporal, on the central promises of Christianity more than on the passing political parade.”

The only way we can truly interpret our individual lives and our family lives on earth, as well as life on the world, is through the lens of living and operating in the mind of Christ.

As the Holy Spirit said through the Psalmist: “The mouth of the righteous speaks wisdom, and his tongue talks of justice. The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide.”

Salvation is a many-faceted diamond, and it has many facets: Strength, help, deliverance, forgiveness. This is what I hear the Spirit of God saying in the last verses of Psalm 37.

So, no matter what God allows that we do not understand, God will completely, totally, and thoroughly save us. He is God. He may not do everything in the way we thought He would—but He is righteous and He can be trusted!

Proverbs 21 (NKJV)
The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination; how much more when he brings it with wicked intent!

This makes me think of the need to live with true, inner purity of heart. If I do that every day, then I will see God more and more clearly, and I will interpret the world and people around me with the mind of Christ.

Even the Lord Jesus waited until He was filled with the Spirit before He ministered to people. We should do likewise.

We cannot be who Jesus wants and minister as Jesus wants unless the Spirit of Jesus fills us and works through us.

May we walk more in this way!

Matthew 5 (NKJV)
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

Isaiah 28 (NKJV)
To whom He said, “This is the rest with which You may cause the weary to rest,” and, “This is the refreshing”; yet they would not hear.

May we not refuse intimacy with the Spirit of God, and the inner rest God promises for all of life which wisdom produces from the Spirit.


"God loathes the sacrifice of an evil person, especially when it is brought with ulterior motives."
Like Mike,I also feel an ouch at the "ulterior motive"part.I have come to wonder now if giving isn't fast becoming investing these days.If you give a person a gift with all your heart,you really don't think about what gift he's going to give back right...yet these days,we hear about giving so God will bless you...etc.
My dad(yet to become a believer)got even more convinced that christianity is just another business of getting what you can from God or people...the first tv sermon he heard was about first fruit and their benefits,the second about how God will prosper you and kill off your enemies.
I have to admit early in my christian walk I did give to the prophets to get a prophets reward...yet now I wonder are we giving or investing expecting divine returns...I know I did that and I guess when God talks about ulterior motives,yep I was very guilty...
God bless you all


Regarding your post about the verses in 1Cor12. I see no one posted, and I do not know if anyone emailed you.

22 In fact, some of the parts that seem weakest and least important are really the most necessary. 23 And the parts we regard as less honorable are those we clothe with the greatest care. So we carefully protect from the eyes of others those parts that should not be seen, 24 while other parts do not require this special care. So God has put the body together in such a way that extra honor and care are given to those parts that have less dignity.

As Paul is using the physical body as an explanation of the interactive functions of the "church body, most commentators say this refers to the "internal organs" of the body. I believe the idea is that kidneys, liver, heart, stomach, etc. are not much to look at and would not survive long if on the exterior of the body. Most could not identify their function in the body by looking at them. So those organs may be considered weak and less important when viewed individually - yet they are essential to life and the existence of the outer body. Those internal organs are what we clothe with the greatest of care - by skin and layers of fat. ["we" in the sense that it is our body and our skin and fat that cover the organs - although God is the designer and creator.]

The parts that should not be seen: I would think are the reproductive organs and mammaries (as source of child's early nurturing). They are protectively covered up with clothing. Looking at them with no knowledge of Human anatomy - one would not know their function - nor how important the reproductive function is to humans.

"So God has put the body together in such a way that extra honor and care are given to those parts that have less dignity."

These internal parts and reproductive organs are given special treatment and deference, even though they appear to have less dignity. Dignity being the idea that by casual observance and inspection the "parts" would not appear to be of much value. While they may not appear to have value, their "function" demands much respect.

These organs are being looked at in contrast to the outer body and its obvious capabilities. Eyes, nose, hand, feet, legs, back, etc.

When compared to the "body of Christ" there are members that do work covered-up behind the scenes of the "active" body dealing with the public. Some members function in delicate vital areas that are essential to the "body of Christ" that has to do with edification and growth of the church, but do not need to be seen by public. They are also covered. To the Corinthians that valued the high profile gifts - Paul is reminding them that all are important in the interactive nature of the "body of Christ". Everything is essential, and none are to be taken for granted. Some of the behind the scenes gifts are essential to "lifeblood" of the Church.

Thank you John, I appreciate all your hard work/research in explaining the scriptures to those of us who have questions in understanding.



Now we get into the Hebrew Poetic form in Scripture. Wish I knew and understood Hebrew Poetry better, but I do not. Going to go with general ideas of what is going on. If someone else comes up with added insight - I, for one, would be very interested to see the comment(s).

1) Theme in chapter 4: Follow your own line of thinking. You have advised others, now apply it to yourself.

Trouble comes only from sin; all misfortune is punishment.

Ergo: Job has sinned.

This is a shallow concept - a primitive theology if you will - I think perhaps that one of the purposes of this book is for God to deepen the understanding (theology) of Job and friends (and readers).

There are deeper reasons for suffering than it is just because of sin. (more later)

In the times before Mosaic covenant, apparently that was the belief. God punishes the wicked, and blesses the innocent (or good people).

2) In Chapter 5 Eliphaz continues: Might of God is irresistible; Infinite Justice rules the heavens.

Can't play games with God.

Chastisement of God is a blessing, we should be happy about it as it will correct our path.

God exalts those that are lowly. If Job repents of his sins (obvious by punishment), then God will restore Job.

3) So far I believe Eliphaz is sincere but misguided.

Job initially ignores Eliphaz's comments.

1) Job prays for death. In 6:10 - he could have joy despite the pain, knowing he had not denied the words of the Holy One (blasphemed?)

2) Job seeks pity from his friends. What did I do to deserve this? You are my friends - don't resort to platitudes. Look me in the eye and tell me what I did? Tell me how I sinned? Reconsider your statements Eliphaz, tell me the truth- for my integrity (righteousness) is at stake.

3) Job continues in chapter 7. Life is fleeting. Death is permanent. Some think verse 9 implies Job does not believe in ressurection. To me it just means the permanence of death compared to life on earth. Once I die, you will never see me here on earth anymore. Once in the grave, I will not cross the threshold of my house (on earth) again.

4)Man is nothing.

5) Job although he walks upright is not pure. He has sinned, but he has confessed and made sacrifices? So why has God done this to him? Why have you not forgiven my offenses and sins? Why have you not accepted my atonement offerings? What have I done to you?

Job 7:21
Why do you not pardon my offenses
and forgive my sins?
For I will soon lie down in the dust;
you will search for me, but I will be no more."

Again Job is questioning God, and again I think that is OK for anyone to do. Job has not cursed God.

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