Worship in Vain (Study Guide)

Hi, Welcome back to Views from the Pew. I’ve been on hiatus since May, finding a new direction for this blog. Please feel free to share!

It will be coming out in Midweek Emails, and you will have a chance to email me at thepew@gccbg.com and let me know your thoughts on the usefulness of this endeavor.

I want to take this blog in more of a “study guide” direction for each Sunday’s message for those of you who genuinely care about absorbing as much as you can from God’s incredibly valuable message to us. Make it a weekly challenge for yourself or quiz your family members. Can you answer the questions? If not, just read the synopsis and stir your memory. It takes a little brain work sometimes to digest the message while we are listening to it on Sunday morning and a little diligence to own the information after the message.


Well, on with the show…

1 Corinthians 14:1-9

Well, I picked a doozie of a place to jump back into blogging with one of the most challenging text in the whole Bible. The chapter where Paul takes the Corinthians to task on the misuse of tongues in the church. I highly encourage you all to go back and listen to last week’s message, Worship In Vain and let Pastor Wilson bring some welcomed simplicity to this confusing topic.

Most of us probably never thought it mattered because we aren’t one of the 500 million confessing charismatics in the world listening to or using unintelligible speech on Sunday morning. Well, it does matter. For all scripture (instruction) is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16).


So, let’s see what you’ve learned…

Q1: Why was the unique spiritual gift of speaking in tongues so prone to error and abuse?

Q2: What does Paul say is the greatest spiritual gift?

Q3: What book of the Bible does God show us the first and only Biblical uses of tongues?

Q4: What are the two reasons why God used speaking in tongues?

Q5: What four elements must be present for speaking in tongues to be legitimate Biblical tongues and not some gibberish (no matter how well-intentioned)?

Q6: What is the highest purpose/goal of the assembling of the body of Christ each week?

Q7: Why did Paul go to the unbelieving Jews first whenever he came into a new town?

Q8: What is the beautiful thing that comes alongside the judgment of Israel?

Q9:  Where are spiritual gifts listed in the Bible?


Sermon Summary

The primary purpose of all spiritual gifts, listed in 1 Corinthians 12 and Romans 12, is for the common good of the church body. They are varied and given by the Holy Spirit. All of these gifts are easily identified with their impact on the common good of the church, except tongues. It is tough to see the effect of gibberish. Well, that’s Paul’s whole point. Real Biblical tongues, born out of the work of the Holy Spirit, isn’t gibberish. It doesn’t need clarification or interpretation except when it is used in the assembly of the church, so that all present can benefit. Then it becomes, in essence, prophecy.

If the tongues are from God, then they are on par with the gift of prophecy, which Paul declares to be the most significant spiritual gift because speaking forth the word of God is the most edifying thing one can do for the whole body of Christ. Edification of the body is the greater purpose of the assembly

See January 12, 2020 sermon, Life Under the Influence as Pastor Wilson goes into detail (1 Corinthians 14:5-6) about where the three events of “speaking in tongues” first occurred in Acts chapters 2, 10 & 19.

Each time God had a perfect pattern for the use of this spiritual gift.

  1. The speaker would accurately speak in a language they didn’t know.
  2. The hearer would hear and thoroughly understand the words spoken in his/her own language.
  3. The message was useful to edify the whole body of Christ.
  4. There was always an unbelieving Jew to witness this.

God had two reasons for doing this. Firstly, He wanted to show the fulfillment of the prophecy in Joel, where God said that the Holy Spirit would be poured out upon all of mankind, not just Israel. Secondly, speaking in Biblical tongues was also a message of judgment on Israel (Acts 2:22-23) for their failure to recognize Jesus as their savior.

When God speaks judgment, He always speaks of Grace (Acts 2:37-39). He tells them to repent and receive salvation. This spiritual-gift-message would either harden their hearts or bring them to Christ. Paul loved his people, the Jews, so much that he always went to them first when he entered a new town. He even said later in Romans 9 & 10 that he’d give up his own salvation for them if he could.

That’s it. Short & Sweet


Melissa Strautman

What do you think? Please email me at thepew@gccbg.com and let me know your thoughts. Was this helpful? Do you have any suggestions for me? If you’d like to exercise your spiritual gift and pinch-hit for me one Sunday, let me know.