In First Corinthians, chapter 14, Paul continues with this thought.
Now, brothers, if I come to you and speak in tongues, what good will I be to you, unless I bring you some revelation or knowledge or prophecy or word of instruction?
1 Corinthians 14:6
Having already told the church that he desires everyone to pray in the spirit, the apostle now talks about his own ministry. He, personally, has a rich spiritual prayer life. And he will continue it when he comes to the Corinthian church.
When Paul prays in the spirit, he’s speaking to God. When he comes to the gathering of believers, he wants to speak to them. That’s how the church will be built up.
This statement is not an either/or proposition. Paul prays in tongues so that he will be built up. Then, when he comes to the church, he’ll have something to impart from the spirit.
He says there are four things that you can expect from his ministry. They’re the same four things that should be the earmark of a healthy church, even in our generation.
Revelation. The word, revelation, means an uncovering. There are times when the preaching of the Word will uncover things that have been hidden.
We’re told to be the light of the world. There are times when people don’t want to come into the light because it exposes the things that they’re hiding.
Anointed preaching has a way of opening people’s mail. That’s a step in setting them free from their sin nature.
Knowledge. Knowledge is simply the understanding of facts. It’s learning something that you didn’t know before hearing it.
Godly preaching will expose you to facts about the people and places in the Bible that you hadn’t heard about before. The more knowledge we receive, the stronger our faith in God will become.
This is a very important aspect of preaching. Unfortunately, there are churches where knowledge is just about the only thing you get from their ministry.
Prophecy. I’ve talked about this one before. Prophecy is speaking a message that God wants to be delivered. It doesn’t always deal with the future.
I believe that all preaching should be prophetic. Personally, I don’t want to stand before a congregation unless I know that I’m saying what God wants them to hear.
But it’s not just preaching. It could be a word of encouragement that the Lord wants you to share with a friend at work. It doesn’t always have to be spoken before the whole church.
Word of Instruction. This is specifically teaching that applies to your life. It’s an instruction on how to live for Christ.
We have lived in the world, according to its rules, for our whole life until coming to Jesus. Now, we’re a new creation, in a new kingdom, with a new destination, and therefore have a new lifestyle. We need to be instructed on how this new life works.
When I come to a church gathering, there’s an expectation that one or more of these four aspects will impart God’s power to me. Prayer in the spirit equips those in ministry to walk in this anointing. It also prepares me to receive what the Lord has for me.
Question: How would the body of Christ look if this were in place in all church meetings?
© 2019 Nick Zaccardi