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Posts Tagged ‘Gifts’

Happy Thanksgiving 2016

November 24, 2016 2 comments

Reformedontheweb would like to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving.

With that said, I will leave you with a quote by Spurgeon:

“But how shall we give crowning thanksgiving for this crowning mercy of the year? We can do it, dear friends, by the inward emotions of gratitude. Let our hearts be warmed; let our spirits remember, meditate, and think upon this goodness of the Lord. Meditation upon this mercy may tend to nourish in you the tenderest feelings of affection, and your souls will be knit to the Father of spirits, who pitieth his children. Again, praise him with your lips; let psalms and hymns employ your tongues to-day: and tomorrow, when we meet together at the prayer-meeting, let us turn it rather into a praise-meeting, and let us laud and magnify his name from whose bounty all this goodness flows. But I think, also, we should thank him by our gifts. The Jews of old never tasted the fruit either of the barley or of the wheat-harvest, till they had sanctified it to the Lord by the feast of ingatherings. There was, early in the season, the barley-harvest. One sheaf of this barley was taken and waved before the Lord with special sacrifices, and then afterwards the people feasted. Fifty days afterwards came the wheat-harvest, when two loaves, made of the new flour, were offered before the Lord in sacrifice, together with burnt offerings, peace-offerings, meat-offerings, drink-offerings, and abundant sacrifices of thanksgivings, to show that the people’s thankfulness was not stinted or mean. No man ate either of the ears, or grain, or corn ground and made into bread, until first of all he had sanctified his substance by the dedication of somewhat unto the Lord. And shall we do less than the Jew? Shall he, for types and shadows, express his gratitude in a solid manner, and shall not we? Did he offer unto the Lord whom he scarce knew, and bow before that Most High God who hid his face amidst the smoke of burning rams and bullocks? And shall not we who see the glory of the Lord in the face of Christ Jesus come unto him and bring to him our offerings? The Old Testament ordinance was, “Ye shall not come before the Lord empty;” and let that be the ordillance of to-day. Let us come into his presenoe, each man bearing his offering of thanksgiving unto the Lord. But enough concerning this particular harvest. It has been a crowning mercy this year, so that the other version of our text might aptly be applied as a description of 1863, “Thou crownest the year of thy goodness.””

Charles H. Spurgeon- Sermon Delivered On Sunday Morning, September 27th, 1863 (Text that Spurgeon preached from: “Thou crownest the year with thy goodness; and thy paths drop fatness.” —Psalm 65:11.)

Does the Bible Teach That the Charismatic Gifts Are For Today?

January 26, 2016 5 comments

 

Above is a debate between Dr. Sam Waldron, Dean and Resident Professor of Systematic Theology at Covenant Baptist Theological Seminary, and Matt Slick, President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry. They debate the question, “Does the Bible teach that the charismatic gifts are for today?”

No matter which side of the issue you may be on, I highly recommend watching this debate, which is very instructive and helpful in seeking to understand the important issues involved. I think it may be the best debate I have seen on the issue, especially since it is between two men who share a commitment to Reformed theology.

 

 

Source [Reformed Baptist Blog]

 

 

 

 

 

 

Old and New Perspectives on Paul: A Third Way?

January 14, 2016 1 comment

By J. V. Fesko

John Barclay, professor of divinity at Durham University in England, has written a sizable contribution to New Testament studies in Paul and the Gift. His basic thesis is that gift is the proper first-century category for comprehending Paul’s term grace (2). His primary focus is examining the divine gift giving, which for the apostle Paul is God’s gift of Christ (4).

Barclay believes gift is the best way to understand Paul’s concept of grace for three chief reasons.

First, grace is a multifaceted concept that theologians frequently use but seldom define. Some stress the incongruity of grace (giving to an unworthy recipient); others the efficacy of grace. Barclay points out that these different “perfections” of grace (conceptual extensions) aren’t better or worse interpretations of the concept, just different aspects of it (6). He identifies six possible perfections of grace (70–75, 563):

•Superabundance—the size or permanence of a gift

•Singularity—the giver’s sole and exclusive desire to express benevolence and goodness

•Priority—the timing of the gift, namely, that it takes place prior to the initiative of the recipient

•Incongruity—a gift given without regard to the worthiness of the recipient

•Efficacy—the effect of the gift, namely, what the gift is designed to accomplish

•Non-circularity—the gift escapes reciprocity and a system of exchange

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

Honorable Gifts

October 13, 2014 1 comment

Spurgeon 1We shall divide God’s gifts into five classes. First, we shall have gifts temporal; second, gifts saving; third, gifts honorable; fourth, gifts useful; and fifth, gifts comfortable. Of all these we shall say, “Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own?”

3. We now come, in the third place, to notice the differences which God often makes in his Church in HONORABLE GIFTS. There is a difference made between God’s own children — when they are his children. Note what I mean: One hath the honorable gift of knowledge, another knows but little. I meet, every now and then, with a dear Christian brother with whom I could talk for a month, and learn something from him every day. He has had deep experience — he has seen into the deep things of God — his whole life has been a perpetual study wherever he has been. He seems to have gathered thoughts, not from books merely, but from men, from God, from his own heart. He knows all the intricacies and windings of Christian experience: he understands the height, the depths, the lengths, and the breadths of the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge. He has gained a grand idea, an intimate knowledge of the system of grace, and can vindicate the dealings of the Lord with his people.

Then you meet with another who has passed through many troubles, but he has no deep acquaintance with Christian experience. He never learned a single secret by all his troubles. He just floundered out of one trouble into another, but never stopped to pick up any of the jewels that lay in the mire — never tried to discover the precious jewels that lay in his afflictions. He knows very little more of the heights and depths of the Savior’s love than when he first came into the world. You may converse with such a man as long as you like, but you will get nothing from him. If you ask why is it, I answer, there is a Sovereignty of God in giving knowledge to some and not to others. I was walking the other day with an aged Christian, who told me how he had profited by my ministry. There is nothing humbles me like that thought of yon old man deriving experience in the things of God, receiving instruction in the ways of the Lord from a mere babe in grace. But I expect that when I am an old man, if I should live to be such, that some babe in grace will instruct me. God sometimes shutteth the mouth of the old man and openeth the mouth of the child. Why should we be a teacher to hundreds who are, in some respects, far more able to teach us? The only answer we can find is in the Divine Sovereignty, and we must bow before it, for has he not a right to do as he wills with his own ? Instead of being envious of those who have the gift of knowledge, we should seek to gain the same, if possible. Instead of sitting down and murmuring that we have not more knowledge, we should remember that the foot cannot say to the head, nor the head to the foot, I have no need of thee, for God hath given us talents as it hath pleased him.

Note, again, when speaking of honorable gifts. Not only knowledge, but office is an honorable gift. There is nothing more honorable to a man than the office of a deacon or a minister. We magnify our office, though we would not magnify ourselves. We hold there is nothing can dignify a man more than being appointed to an office in a Christian church. I would rather be a deacon of a church than Lord Mayor of London. To be a minister of Christ is in my estimation an infinitely higher honor than the world can bestow. My pulpit is to me more desirable than a throne, and my congregation is an empire more than large enough; an empire before which the empires of the earth dwindle into nothing in everlasting importance. Why does God give to one man a special call by the Holy Ghost, to be a minister, and pass by another? There is another man more gifted, perhaps, but we dare not put him in a pulpit, because he has not had a special call. So with the deaconship; the man whom some would perhaps think most suitable for the office is passed by, and another chosen. There is a manifestation of God’s Sovereignty in the appointment to office — in putting David on a throne, in making Moses the leader of the children of Israel through the wilderness, in choosing Daniel to stand among princes, in electing Paul to be the minister to the Gentiles, and Peter to be the Apostle of the Circumcision. And you who have not the gift of honorable office, must learn the great truth contained in the question of the Master, “Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own ?”

There is another honorable gift, the gift of utterance. Eloquence hath more power over men than all else besides. If a man would have power over the multitude, he must seek to touch their hearts, and chain their ears. There are some men who are like vessels full of knowledge to the brim, but having no means of giving it forth to the world. They are rich in all gems of learning, but know not how to set them in the golden ring of eloquence.

They can collect the choicest of flowers, but know not how to tie them up in a sweet garland to present them to the admirer’s eye. How is this? We say again, the Sovereignty of God is here displayed in the distribution of gifts honorable. Learn here, O Christian man, if you have gifts to cast the honor of them at the Savior’s feet, and if you possess them not, learn not to murmur; remember that God is equally as kind when he keepeth back as when he distributeth his favors. If any among you be exalted, let him not be puffed up; if any be lowly, let him not be despised; for God giveth to every vessel his measure of grace. Serve him after your measure, and adore the King of Heaven who doth as he pleaseth.

Charles H. Spurgeon-Sermon-Divine Sovereignty-Delivered May 4 1856

Gifts Temporal

September 29, 2014 1 comment

Spurgeon 1We shall divide God’s gifts into five classes. First, we shall have gifts temporal; second, gifts saving; third, gifts honorable; fourth, gifts useful; and fifth, gifts comfortable. Of all these we shall say, “Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own?”

1. In the first place then, we notice Gifts Temporal. It is an indisputable fact that God hath not, in temporal matters, given to every man alike; that He hath not distributed to all His creatures the same amount of happiness or the same standing in creation. There is a difference.

Mark what a difference there is in men personally (for we shall consider men chiefly); one that is born like Saul, a head and shoulders taller than the rest — another shall live all his life a Zaccheus — a man short of stature. One has a muscular frame and a share of beauty; another is weak, and far from having anything styled comeliness. How many do we find whose eyes have never rejoiced in the sunlight, whose ears have never listened to the charms of music, and whose lips have never been moved to sounds intelligible or harmonious. Walk through the earth and you will find men superior to yourself in vigor, health, and fashion, and others who are your inferiors in the very same respects. Some here are preferred far above their fellows in their outward appearance, and some sink low in the scale and have nothing about them that can make them glory in the flesh. Why hath God given to one man beauty and to another none? to one all his senses, and to another but a portion? Why, in some, hath He quickened the sense of apprehension, while others are obliged to bear about them a dull and stubborn body? We reply, let men say what they will, that no answer can be given except this, “Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in thy sight.” The old Pharisees asked, “Did this man sin or his parents, that he was born blind?” We know that there was neither sin in parents nor child, that he was born blind, or that others have suffered similar distresses, but that God has done as it has pleased Him in the distribution of His earthly benefits, and thus hath said to the world, “Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own?”

Mark, also, in the distribution of mental gifts, what a difference exists. All men are not like Socrates; there are but few Platos; we can discover but here and there a Bacon; we shall but every now and then converse with a Sir Isaac Newton. Some have stupendous intellects wherewith they can unravel secrets — fathom the depths of oceans — measure mountains — dissect the sunbeams, and weigh the stars. Others have but shallow minds. You may educate and educate, but can never make them great. You cannot improve what is not there. They have not genius, and you cannot impart it. Anybody may see that there is an inherent difference in men from their very birth. Some, with a little education do surpass those ‘who have been elaborately trained. There are two boys, educated it may be in the same school, by the same master, and they shall apply themselves to their studies with the same diligence, but yet one shall far outstrip his fellow. Why is this? Because God hath asserted His sovereignty over the intellect as well as the body. God hath not made us all alike, but diversified His gifts. One man is as eloquent as Whitefield; another stammers if he but speaks three words of his mother tongue. What makes these various differences between man and man? We answer, we must refer it all to the Sovereignty of God, who does as He wills with His own.

Note, again, what are the differences of metz’s conditions in this world. Mighty minds are from time to time discovered in men whose limbs are wearing the chains of slavery, and whose backs are laid bare to the whip — they have black skins, but are in mind vastly superior to their brutal masters. So, too, in England; we find wise men often poor, and rich men not seldom ignorant and vain. One comes into the world to be arrayed at once in the imperial purple — another shall never wear aught but the humble garb of a peasant. One has a palace to dwell in and a bed of down for his repose, while another finds but a hard resting place, and shall never have a more sumptuous covering than the thatch of his own cottage. If we ask the reason for this, the reply still is, “Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in thy sight.”

So, in other ways you will observe in passing through life how sovereignty displays itself. To one man God giveth a long life and uniform health, so that he scarcely knows what it is to have a day’s sickness, while another totters through the world and finds a grave at almost every step, feeling a thousand deaths in fearing one. One man, even in extreme old age, like Moses, has his eye undimmed; and though his hair is grey, he stands as firmly on his feet as when a young man in his father’s house. Whence, again, we ask, is this difference? And the only adequate answer is, it is the effect of Jehovah’s Sovereignty. You find, too, that some men are cut off in the prime of their life the very midst of their days — while others live beyond their threescore years and ten. One departs before he has reached the first stage of existence, and. another has his life lengthened out until it becomes quite a burden; we must, I conceive, necessarily trace the cause of all these differences in life to the fact of God’s Sovereignty. He is Ruler and King, and shall He not do as He wills with His own?

We pass from this point — but before we do we must stop to improve it just a moment. O thou who art gifted with a noble frame, a comely body, boast not thy self therein, for thy gifts come from God. O glory not, for if thou gloriest thou becomest uncomely in a moment. The flowers boast not of their beauty, nor do the birds sing of their plumage. Be ye not vain ye daughters of beauty’; be not exalted ye sons of comeliness; and O ye men of might and intellect, remember, that all you have is bestowed by a Sovereign Lord: He did create; He can destroy. There are not many steps between the mightiest intellect and the helpless idiot — deep thought verges on insanity. Thy brain may at any moment, be smitten, and thou be doomed henceforth to live a madman. Boast not thyself of all that thou knowest, for even the little knowledge thou hast has been given thee. Therefore, I say, exalt not thyself above measure, but use for God what God has given, thee, for it is a royal gift, and thou shouldst not lay it aside. But if the Sovereign Lord has given thee one talent, and no more, lay it not up in a napkin, but use it well, and then it may be that He will give thee more. Bless God that thou hast more than others, and thank Him also that He has given thee less than others, for thou hast less to carry on thy shoulders; and the lighter thy burden the less cause wilt thou have to groan as thou travels on towards the better land. Bless God then if thou possessest less than thy fellows, and see His goodness in withholding as well as in giving.

Charles H. Spurgeon-Sermon-Divine Sovereignty-Delivered May 4 1856

Dr. Michael Brown and Dr. Sam Waldron debate the question, “Have the New Testament Charismatic Gifts Ceased?”

December 2, 2013 3 comments

Dr. Michael Brown and Dr. Sam Waldron had a very cordial debate on the question, “Have the New Testament Charismatic Gifts Ceased?” Dr. Brown’s rebuttal arguments did not appear to me to reflect an understanding of Dr. Waldron’s primary argument, the so-called Cascade Argument.

I strongly believe that it is important to a dialog that both sides understand the other. Thus, my hope is that by spelling out this argument in writing, I can clarify the argument to Dr. Brown, to those who agree with him, and more broadly to those considering the question of the gifts.

 

The Cascade Argument can be summarized thus:

1) There are no apostles of Christ on earth today.

2) Because there are no apostles of Christ, there are no prophets.

3) Because there are no prophets, there are no tonguespeakers.

4) In view of 1-3, there are no miracle workers on earth today.

 

Read the rest here.

Confession statement 45

September 25, 2013 2 comments

Published in 1646

The Text used: There has been some updating of Old English words but otherwise no changes have been made to the original texts.

CONFESSION OF FAITH of seven congregations or churches of Christ in London. which are commonly, but unjustly, called Anabaptists; published for the vindication of the truth and information of the ignorant; likewise for the taking off those aspersions which are frequently, both in pulpit and print, unjustly cast upon them. Printed in London, Anno 1646.

XLV ALSO such to whom God hath given gifts in the church, may and ought to prophecy [viz., teach] according to the proportion of faith, and to teach publicly the word of God, for the edification, exhortation, and comfort of the church.

1 Cor.14:3, etc.; Rom.12:6; 1 Pet.4:10,11.; 1 Cor.l2:7 1 Thess.5:19, etc.

The First London Baptist Confession 1644/46 

The Chief Way to Attain Wisdom

The chief means for attaining wisdom, and suitable gifts for the ministry, are the holy Scriptures, and prayer. The one is the fountain of living water, the other the bucket with which we are to draw. And I believe you will find, by observation, that the man who is most frequent and fervent in prayer, and most devoted to the word of God, will shine and flourish above his fellows. Next to these, and derived from them, is meditation. By this, I do not mean a stated exercise upon some one particular subject, so much as a disposition of mind to observe carefully what passes within us and around us, what we see, hear, and feel, and to apply all for the illustration and confirmation of the written word to us. In the use of these means, and an humble dependence upon the Lord in all the changing dispensations we pass through our spiritual experience will enlarge: and this experience is the proper fund of our ministerial capacity, so far as it may be considered inherent in us: Pro_16:23; Mat_13:52; 1Jo_66 1:3.

These means are of universal importance. The wisest can do nothing without them, the weakest shall not use them in vain. There are likewise subordinate means, which may be healthful, and should in general be attended to: yet they ought not, I apprehend, to be considered as a sine qua non in a minister’s call and fitness. The first preachers had them not, and some in the present day are enabled to do well without them. Under this head, I principally intend all that comes under the usual denomination of literature. A competent acquaintance with the learned languages, history, natural philosophy, &c. is very desirable. If these things are held in a proper subservience, if they do not engross too much of our time, nor add fuel to the fire of that self-importance which is our great snare; they may contribute to increase and enlarge our ideas, and facilitate our expressing ourselves with propriety. But these attainments (like riches) are attended with their peculiar temptations; and unless they are under the regulation of a sound judgment, and a spiritual frame of mind, will prove (like Saul’s armor to David) rather cumbersome than useful in preaching. The sermons of preachers thus qualified are often more ingenious than edifying, and rather set off the man, than commend the Gospel of Christ.

As you desire my advice with respect to your future studies, I shall comply without hesitation or ceremony. The original Scriptures well deserve your pains, and will richly repay them. There is doubtless a beauty, fulness, and spirit, in the originals, which the best translations do not always express. When a word or phrase admits of various senses, the translators can only preserve one; and it is not to be supposed, unless they were perfectly under the influence of the same infallible Spirit, that they should always prefer the best. Only be upon your guard lest you should be tempted to think, that, because you are master of the grammatical construction, and can tell the several acceptation’s of the words in the best authors, you are therefore and thereby master of the spiritual sense likewise. This you must derive from your experimental knowledge, and the influence and teaching of the Spirit of God.

Another thing which will much assist you, in composing and speaking properly and acceptably, is logic. This will teach you what properly belongs to your subject, and what may be best suppressed; and likewise, to explain, divide, enumerate, and range your ideas to advantage. A lax, immethodical, disproportionate manner, is to be avoided. Yet beware of the contrary extreme. An affected starchiness and over-accuracy will fetter you, will make your discourses lean and dry, preclude an useful variety, and savor more of the school-lamp, than of that heavenly fire which alone can make our meditations efficacious, and profitable either to ourselves or our hearers. The proper medium can hardly be taught by rule; experience, observation, and prayer, are the best guides.

John Newton-Letter 2 Extract of a Letter to a Student in Divinity.

We Have Been Given, in Order to Give

February 15, 2012 Leave a comment

All the blessings we enjoy are Divine deposits, committed to our trust on this condition, that they should be dispensed for the benefit of our neighbours.

John Calvin (1509-1564), The Institutes of the Christian Religion

A Simple Commentary on 1 Corinthians 14:14

Charismatics are big on using this scripture to try and prove that there is a prayer language in tongues that cannot be understood by those who are praying. The fact is, however, that no such prayer language is ever revealed in scripture. When men spoke in tongues in the book of Acts they spoke in the languages of the nations. When Paul speaks of tongues in 1 Corinthians 12-14 he is speaking of the gift of tongues that was manifested on the day of Pentecost or he is speaking of the pagan false god tongues that were being manifested atCorinth.

First I will say that those at Corinthwere using the same pagan gibberish that they were using down at the pagan temples. The terms lalein glossei/glossais (to speak in a tongue/in tongues) that Paul uses so frequently in chapter 14 were commonly used in his day to describe pagan ecstatic speech. Also Paul opened up the whole discussion on spiritual gifts in 1 Corinthians 12 by saying, “Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant. Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led. Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.” In other words those atCorinth were still being led by the dumb idols at the pagan temples. This is why Paul had to write to them. He had to rebuke them and straighten out their church worship. They were getting drunk and dancing into a frenzy till they passed out or went into a subconscious state. (Paul also dealt with this atEphesus see Ephesians 5:18).  While under these pagan ritual influences they would curse Christ in these ecstatic utterances. Paul told them that no one who truly has the Holy Spirit would ever curse Christ. If one truly has the Spirit he would call Christ Lord.

The whole letter to the Corinthians was a rebuke. Paul got onto the Corinthians for divisions, holding onto worldly knowledge above the scriptures, fornicating, going to law against one another, coming to church drunk, taking the Lord’s supper while drunk, despising the poor with the Lord’s supper, operating in pagan spiritual manifestations over and against the true worship of Christ, etc…. No one can convince me that those atCorinthwho were practicing all the fleshly stuff that they did were actually using gifts given by the Holy Spirit. Paul had to rebuke them time and again and remind them that their bodies were the temple of the Holy Spirit and not to be used in idolatrous practices.

Let’s now go to our interpretation of 1 Corinthians 14:1-14.

I have been asked by some why Paul used the word ‘unknown’ if the tongue was a language that could be known. My answer is that the King James translators supplied the word ‘unknown’ into the translation. This is why the word is italicized. Those who publish the King James Version will italicize the words in the translation that are not in the manuscripts that were used to translate the scriptures. These are words supplied by the translators. These words were added to make the sentences flow more smoothly. Therefore the word ‘unknown’ should be omitted from the text.

What I want to deal with today is the interpretation of 1 Corinthians 14 because there are Charismatics who think that Paul was saying that when he prayed his understanding was unfruitful. The reason Charismatics get this interpretation is because they take this one scripture out of the context of the entire chapter and interpret it by itself. This is wrong. When interpreting scripture we must leave scripture in context in order to understand what is being said. No one who reads the Newspaper, Comic Strips, Field and Stream Magazine, TV Guide, or any publication will take sentences out of context and make them say something that is foreign to the concept of what the author’s original meaning was. Yet when it comes to Holy writ men will take and dissect the Bible by pulling scriptures from context in order to prove their made up doctrines. This much said we will now begin to show what Paul was saying in the chapter of 1 Corinthians 14.

 

1Co 14:1 Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy.

 

There should not have been a break between chapter 13 and 14. Paul is still speaking about the greatest of all gifts—charity (love).

 

1Co 14:2 For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.

Charismatics read this and think that Paul is saying that the speaker is speaking in words that no one can know and therefore he is speaking mysteries to God. But this is a wrong interpretation. Let me give a correct interpretation.

The word ‘unknown’ was supplied by the translators and throws off the meaning of the text. Paul is discussing the right use of tongues, therefore these tongues would be defined as languages that people understood, but was unknown to those who heard it. This definition comes from the tongues which were used on the day of Pentecost. The Jews heard every man speak in their own language.

He that speaks in a foreign language (tongue) speaks not to men, unless there is an interpreter. This is why Paul later explains that one needs to pray to interpret the tongue. If no interpreter is present, then the speaker is speaking unto God and not man because what the speaker is speaking is a mystery. Therefore no one understands the speaker because he does not understand the language.

 

1Co 14:3 But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.

 

Paul shows the Corinthians that if one prophesies (preaches) he speaks to men to edification, exhortation, and comfort. But speaking in an unknown language does nothing.

 

1Co 14:4 He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church.

 

A man that speaks in an unknown language edifies himself because he is built up in himself as the Spirit moves through him. But the man who prophesies edifies the church because they understand what he is saying.

 

1Co 14:5 I would that ye all spake with tongues, but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying.

 

Charismatics believe that all who receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit will speak in tongues. I argue that there is no second baptism. Paul states in Ephesians 4:5 that there is one Lord, one faith, and one baptism. If a man is not born of water and Spirit then he is not born again. Yet if he is born again, then he has the Holy Spirit.

This scripture disproves the Charismatics notion that all are to speak with tongues as evidence for the baptism. Paul here states that he wished they all could speak with tongues. The fact is that there were several there who manifested this gift because an apostle was present among them. Paul told them in 2 Corinthians 12:12 that truly the signs of an apostle were present among them. Only an apostle had the signs that proved that he was sent from God. Others who were claiming to speak in tongues were doing so by the power of the dumb idols that they used to worship at the pagan temples.

Paul explains that speaking in unknown languages is a lesser gift than preaching, unless you interpret what you are saying because no one understands you. But he that prophesies (preaches) edifies the whole church.

 

1Co 14:6 Now, brethren, if I come unto you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, except I shall speak to you either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine?

 

Now brothers, if I come speaking in tongues it will not profit you, unless I speak in languages that you know by speaking revelations, knowledge, preaching or doctrines to you, then you are not profited.

 

1Co 14:7 And even things without life giving sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped?

 

There are things in this world that have no life in and of themselves, but even when they are heard there is no profit or purpose in them, unless they bring forth sounds that have distinction such as musical instruments.

 

1Co 14:8 For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?

 

If the bugler gives an uncertain sound on his bugle, then who will know that another army is approaching?

 

1Co 14:9 So likewise ye, except ye utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? for ye shall speak into the air.

 

If a man does not speak in a language that everyone understands, then what he says cannot be known and he just speaks into the air.

 

1Co 14:10 There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them is without signification.

 

There are many kinds of voices in the world and they all have significance.

 

1Co 14:11 Therefore if I know not the meaning of the voice, I shall be unto him that speaketh a barbarian, and he that speaketh shall be a barbarian unto me.

 

If two people meet who know different languages, then they cannot communicate and therefore are barbarians to one another.

 

1Co 14:12 Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church.

 

Paul told the Corinthians that he knew that they were zealous of spiritual gifts, but that the gifts that they need are the ones that edify others. When someone speaks a word of comfort to a dear brother who is hurting, then he is edifying the dear brother.

 

1Co 14:13 Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret.

 

Paul tells the Corinthians that if any man speaks in tongues or languages unknown by the hearer then the speaker needs to pray that he interpret it.

 

1Co 14:14 For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful.

 

Charismatics rip this scripture from context and try to say that Paul is praying in an unknown language and his understanding of what he is saying is unfruitful or he doesn’t know what he is saying. But if this interpretation is correct then it fits nothing that Paul has said up to this point or nothing after it.

Interpreting this scripture with the one above we see that Paul says that if he prays in the assembly in a foreign language (tongue) and he does not interpret it, then the understanding of what he has said is unfruitful to all those who heard it. In other words, if I pray in a foreign language, my spirit prays, but my understanding to those who are present is unfruitful. See verse 16.

I will prove this interpretation with the next few verses.

 

1Co14:15 What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.

 

I will pray with my spirit, but I will pray in the congregation so that I am understood. I will sing with my spirit, but I will sing so that I am understood. The reason I added the word ‘my’ is because Paul stated in verse 14 that he prayed with his spirit and not the Holy Spirit. Therefore in this verse when he states that he can pray with the spirit, then the word ‘my’ fits because he was praying with his spirit.

 

1Co 14:16 Else when thou shalt bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest?

 

Paul states here that if a person prays in a foreign language ((tongue) and those in the room know not the language, then they understand not what has been spoken. Notice in verse 14 Paul states that his understanding is unfruitful. Charismatics say that Paul knew not what he was saying. But in this scripture we see that it wasn’t Paul’s understanding that was unfruitful, but the congregations understanding that is unfruitful, for Paul says that the congregation cannot say Amen because they understand not what you are saying.

 

1Co14:17 For thou verily givest thanks well, but the other is not edified.

 

If someone prays in a foreign language (tongue) they may pray well, but no one is edified. Why? Because no one knew what was said.

 

1Co14:18 I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all:

 

Paul said that he thanked God that he spoke in tongues more than all the Corinthians. This was because that the gift of tongues was the gift given to an apostle, whereby he could go into other cities and countries and preach the gospel in the language of the people without ever having learned the language.

 

1Co 14:19 Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue.

 

Paul said that he would rather speak five words with understanding among the congregation, than ten thousand words in a foreign language (tongues). The reason is simple; those who are present cannot be edified unless you speak in their language so that you are understood.

 

1Co14:20 Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men.

 

Paul tells the Corinthians that they used to be children in malice (evil), but now in understanding they are not to be children, but are rather to be men. So when one goes into a Charismatic church and they hear all this gibberish, then those speaking it are acting just like little children.

 

The commentaries that agree with my interpretation of 1 Corinthians 14:14:

John Calvin Commentary (1509-1564)

Geneva Bible of 1599

Dutch Annotated Bible by Theodore Haak 1657

Matthew Henry Commentary on Bible (1712-1714)

Adam Clarke Commentary on Bible 1825

Albert Barnes Commentary on Bible

John Gill Commentary on Bible (1697-1771)

Matthew Poole (1688) Poole had passed on by 1688, but his annotations were finished by others

John Trapp Commentary on New Testament 1656

John Wesley Commentary

Primitive Baptist Commentary

Charles Hodge Commentary on 1 Corinthians

Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary

Self Interpreting Bible 1914

The King James Study Bible 1988

B. H. Carroll (1843-1914) Interpretation of the English Bible

John MacArthur’s Commentary on Bible 1997

The Reformation Study Bible 1995

 

I will say as I close that I know of one man in particular and also there are other examples that I have either read or heard about, who have went into Charismatic churches to test them and have spoken a language such as French, Hebrew, etc…. and then someone got up and supposedly interpreted what was said. The sad part was that when this happened the Charismatics were exposed as fraudulent because the one speaking the foreign language told the congregation what the true interpretation was. I warn you that you ought to be careful when you claim that you can speak a language that you do not know because God might expose you next.

 

Hershel Lee Harvell Jr.

 

Read my previous articles on “Today’s Charismatic Tongues Examined”.

Today’s Charismatic Tongues Examined Pt 1

Today’s Charismatic Tongues Examined Pt 2

Today’s Charismatic Tongues Examined Pt 3

Today’s Charismatic Tongues Examined Pt 4