Miraculous Gifts

1 Corinthians 14:4

He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church.

It would be a disservice to pretend to solve the issue of the miraculous gifts that are prevalent in Pentecostal and charismatic churches today.  Numerous books have been written and dividing lines are still drawn.

Paul is not denouncing the use on tongues in this verse because he too speaks in tongues and he continues in verse five wishing they would all speak in tongues, but would rather have them prophesy.

Paul’s point is that gifts are meant to edify God and the church.  As the church was being established miraculous gifts were clearly used to demonstrate that what was happening was of God.  Now that the church has been established, such proof may or may not be needed today.  Perhaps it is useful in places where the church is still being established and not useful in other locations.  We must be careful that we don’t tell God what He can and can’t do.

That being said, we need to remember the purpose of spiritual gifts.  They are to bring glory to God.  Some, but certainly not all, who claim to perform miracles do so for their own glory because God has gifted them in such a way.  But all gifts are gifts of God and none are greater than others, even miraculous ones.  And all are to be used for His glory.

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