Thanks for all your hard work, Andy! I hope there are some other questions from other forum users, so we can be built up through this study.
I was wondering: Has your study of this chapter impacted whether or not you believe that the gift of tongues is for today?
I wanted to bring up some issues with modern tongues-speaking which, though they don’t establish that tongues-speaking isn’t for the modern church, yet their presence in a church reveals a dangerous ignorance of the Scriptures. And I’m curious to know your thoughts on this.
First, it seems that often, in tongues speaking in modern church meetings, whether or not tongues-speaking is for the modern day, it is definitely unbiblical because there is no interpreting! Nor is it done in an orderly way.
Secondly, there can be a misplaced emphasis in Charismatic groups, so that tongues-speaking is highly sought-after. Some have even said, I believe, that speaking in tongues is a necessary sign of being saved.
One more thing. In reading your paraphrase, I was struck by Paul’s focus on edification. Too often, our debates on this topic focus on the lawfulness of tongues or not, and we forget about the priority God gives us in this passage of edifying the congregation. Whatever we do, are we seeking to build other people up, to help the church grow spiritually? Or are we more interested in pushing our own viewpoint and making sure others agree with us?
So I would ask everyone reading this post: Does every believer come to your church with a desire to build others up, and prepared to build others up? I don’t ask that so you can peer at your fellow church members’ lives, but into your own heart. Encouraging and building up other believers is not just for the pastor, but for all believers! See Ephesians 4:12 and 16.