Building up the Church

1 Corinthians 14_4

1 Corinthians 14:1-12

There is a tale of two builders. The first worked alone building a house he could enjoy. The outside was not much to behold, but the inside was beautiful. The builder spared no expense in building himself a lovely and comfortable home.

The second builder worked as member of a team of craftsmen. They received instruction from their foreman, followed detailed plans and built a magnificent church, beautiful and inviting to all who saw it. The workers, guided by their leader, built a cathedral that would glorify God for centuries.

The story of the two builders is an example of the apostle Paul’s teaching in our text. Paul gives a contrasting view of one who builds up personal spirituality and one who builds the spirituality of others. Paul points out that the one who speaks in tongues builds up himself, while the one who prophesies builds up the church (1 Cor. 14:4).

There is nothing wrong with building a personal spirituality. It is good that we do this. Yet, if we strive for this only, and do not build up the faith of others, we have gained little. Christians gathered for worship and prayer strengthens the entire body. As God’s people share their faith and work together in the mission of God, we build up the Church. By this, others may come taste and see the goodness of God.

Bless the worship of your people, O God, that your name be glorified throughout the world. Amen.

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