BMS Updates

Verse of the Day (February 10, 2020)

Verse of the Day (February 10, 2020) #BMSeminary – [tongues of men] cf. 12:10; 28; 14:4–33. That this gift was actual languages is established in Acts 2:1–13, affirmed in this text by Paul’s calling it “of men”—clearly a reference to human language. This was the gift that the Corinthians prized so highly, abused so greatly, and counterfeited so disastrously. God gave the ability to speak in a language not known to the speaker, as a sign with limited function (1 Cor. 14:1–33). [tongues . . . of angels] The apostle was writing in general hypothetical terms. There is no biblical teaching of any special angelic language that people could learn to speak. love. Self-giving love that is more concerned with giving than receiving (John 3:16; cf. 1 Cor. 14:1; Matt. 5:44–45; John 13:1; 34–35; 15:9; Rom. 5:10; Eph. 2:4–7; Phil. 2:2; Col. 3:14; Heb. 10:24). The word was not admired and thus seldom used in ancient Greek literature, but it is common in the NT. Without love, no matter how linguistically gifted one is to speak his own language, other languages, or even (hypothetically) the speech of angels, his speech is noise only. In NT times, rites honoring the pagan deities Cybele, Bacchus, and Dionysius included ecstatic noises accompanied by gongs, cymbals, and trumpets. Unless the speech of the Corinthians was done in love, it was no better than the gibberish of pagan ritual. [prophesy] In 14:1–5, Paul speaks of this gift as the most essential one because it brings God’s truth to people. Even this gift must be ministered in love (cf. Eph. 4:15). [understand all mysteries and all knowledge] This encompasses gifts of wisdom, knowledge, and discernment (1 Cor. 12:8, 10), which are to be exercised in love (see Phil. 1:9). [all faith] This refers to the gift of faith (enduring, believing prayer; 1 Cor. 12:9), which is useless without selfless love for the church. [burned] The practice of burning Christians at the stake did not begin until some years later, but it was clearly understood to be an extremely horrible death. Neither volunteering for giving up all your possessions or being burned would produce any spiritual benefit if not done out of love for the body of Christ. (MacArthur Study Bible)

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