Growing through Worship

KEY VERSE: “How is it then, brethren? When ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.” —I Corinthians 14:26

SELECTED SCRIPTURE: I Corinthians 14:20-33

BY WAY OF commentary on this selection of Scripture, we quote from a book entitled, “The New Creation,” which gives much good advice regarding the conduct and character of Bible studies.

“The Lord’s injunction, through the apostle[s], respecting the assembling of his people, is in full accord with his own words, ‘Where two or three of you are met in my name, there am I in the midst’. (Matt. 18:20) The object of these gatherings is clearly indicated; they are for mutual advancement in spiritual things—opportunities for provoking or inciting each other unto more and more love for the Lord and for each other, and to increased good works of every kind that would glorify our Father, that would bless the brotherhood, and that would do good unto all men as we have opportunity. He who says, I love God, yet hateth his brother, knows not what he says, and deceives himself. (I John 4:20) Similarly mistaken, we believe, are those who say, ‘I long to be with the Lord and to enjoy his blessing and fellowship’, if they meantime neglect opportunities to meet with the brethren, and do not enjoy their company and fellowship.

“In the Early Church we have the example of the apostles as special teachers. We have the example of the elders, doing pastoral work, evangelistic work, and prophesying or public speaking; and from one illustration, given with particularity in I Corinthians 14, we may judge that each member of the church was encouraged by the apostles to stir up whatever talent and gift he might possess, to glorify the Lord and to serve the brethren—thus to exercise himself and to grow strong in the Lord and in the truth, helping others and being helped in turn by others. This account of an ordinary church meeting in the apostle’s day could not be followed fully and in detail today, because of the peculiar gifts of the Holy Spirit bestowed upon the Early Church temporarily for the convincing of outsiders, as well as for personal encouragement at a time when, without these gifts, it would have been impossible for any of the number to be edified or profited to any extent. We can draw from this early custom, approved by the apostle, certain valuable and helpful lessons, which can be appreciated by the little companies of the Lord’s people everywhere. …

“The chief lesson is that of mutual helpfulness, ‘building one another up in the most holy faith’. It was not the custom for one or even several of the elders to preach regularly, nor to do, or attempt to do, all the edifying or building up. It was the custom for each member to do his part, the parts of the elders being more important according to their abilities and gifts; and we can see that this would be a very helpful arrangement and bring a blessing not only to those who heard, but also to all participating. And who does not know that even … the most illiterate person may, if his heart be full of love for the Lord and devotion to him, communicate thoughts which will be precious to all who may hear.

The class of meetings here described by the apostle evidently was a sample of the majority of meetings held by the church. The account shows that it was a mixed meeting, at which, … one might exhort, another might expound, another might offer prayer, another propose a hymn, another read a poem, … in harmony with the topic of the meeting; another might quote some Scriptures bearing on the topic under discussion, and thus the Lord might use each and all of these members of the church in mutual edification, mutual upbuilding.”—Excerpts from pages 309-313

Dawn Bible Students Association
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