Notes by Mary Van Nattan
unless marked otherwise.
1Corinthians 14:7-12 7 And even things without life giving sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped? 8 For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle? 9 So likewise ye, except ye utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? for ye shall speak into the air. 10 There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them is without signification. 11 Therefore if I know not the meaning of the voice, I shall be unto him that speaketh a barbarian, and he that speaketh shall be a barbarian unto me. 12 Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church. This passage is primarily dealing with the issue of speaking in tongues. It is very clear on this. Speaking in tongues does not edify others because they cannot understand what is being said. We will discuss this more later.
One thing this can also be applied to is the music. Hymn arrangements should be done so that the hymn can be easily recognized by and minister to the hearer. Some musicians are so good at embellishments that you can't figure out what hymn they are playing for anything. This is useless. The words of singing better be intelligible too. If people cannot understand what you are saying, you might as well sit down and shut up. The message is the important part, not the voice of the soloist (or group). (Now this is not to exclude people with speech impairments or little kids. We had a man in our church once who had a sever speech impediment. At least once when my Dad asked if anyone in the congregation wanted to sing a solo on the next verse for us, this brother volunteered. This not talking about that. That was a blessing to us. This is talking about people who CAN speak/sing distinctly and won't because they are too busy showing off their voice!) The reason for such behaviour from both musicians and singers is plain, ugly pride. Proverbs 6:16 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: 17 A proud look...
People who get the warm fuzzies over operatic type singing and songs in foreing languages have their reactions mixed up. For example, there are people that get really moved if they hear a Hebrew song in church. The people could be singing "Don't eat Ham, keep the Sabbath," and these yo-yos would not know the different, but because it is in church they get all gooey and emotional.
These verses also totally close the subject on CCM and "Christian" rock. They have a certain sound. They certainly sound like the devil's music! They are barbarian to Christians. A simple test to judge the sound of music is to listen to some from a distance. Can you tell that it is not secular rock/country/jazz etc. when you are far enough away to not distinguish the words? If it sounds just like everyone else's music, you better take a second look at it no matter who the singers are.
1Corinthians 14:14 For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful. Some folks will say that they do not speak in tongues at church on Sunday morning, but they think it is all right to pray in tongues at home or "in their closet." This verse indicates clearly that even if this praying could be of God (which it can't now), it is unfruitful for their understanding. They are not being strengthened or blessed in their understanding even if their spirit was. What use is that?
1Corinthians 14:15 What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also. This verse is the response of a servant to the problems generated by speaking in tongues. Also, it is the Biblical response to the problems regarding music discussed above.
1Corinthians 14:16 Else when thou shalt bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest? Or as it may be, what you sing or what you play on an instrument?
This is a very important question in these days since tongues have ceased. Today's tongues are often of the flesh, but they are often produced by devils too. A person would not dare to say "amen" because the babbler may be blaspheming God in another language. There have been cases in which someone actually heard "good, godly" people blaspheming God fluently in tongues which were actually another language known to the hearer.
1Corinthians 15:1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; 2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. It is possible to believe in vain! This can happen by believing another gospel which is false, and thus cannot save. Galatians 1:6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: 7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. It can happen by believing without godly repentance. 2Corinthians 7:10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. It can happen by believing like the devils do. James 2:19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. In Acts 8 Simon the sorcerer believed for gain and was told that he was still lost. Perhaps you can think of more instances. Sadly, this is not an uncommon problem in the Lord's church. [Please see the article on Salvation.] 2Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?
1Corinthians 15:3-4 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: This shows Gnosticism to be a lie. Christ died and was buried and rose again! (vs. 12 & 20 also) There was not a man named "Jesus" who had the "Christ Spirit" in him till just before he died! Christ Himself died! Jesus Christ is not two separate beings. He is God and man, and both were present in Him on the cross for He could not be divided into parts any more than you or I could be.
1Corinthians 15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. This verse implies that God's grace can be bestowed in vain. How can this be? In the context, it seems that this would occur when a person is saved, but they do not labour for the Lord! But then, as we will see elsewhere in the Bible, if a person claims to be saved and does not do anything to show it, we cannot really be sure of their salvation in the first place!
Secondly, we must remember that it is God's grace that works with us, or we could not do anything useful for God! 2Corinthians 3:5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God;
1Corinthians 15:12-18 Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: 14 And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. 15 Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. 16 For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: 17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. 18 Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. Origin and all of his Gnostic buddies (past, present and future) are all unsaved for they did/do not believe Christ died and rose again. They believe that a sinful, common man named Jesus, had the "Christ Spirit" put into him at his baptism and that "Christ" left him before his actual death on the cross. So, Christ did not rise according to them, and they went to hell, and go to hell believing that.
The modern perversions of the Bible come from Origin's work. Thus, the NIV, NASB, RSV, Living Bilge, etc. are firmly based on the work of a man that is burning in hell right now! Not only so, but he spread his blasphemous unbelief liberally throughout his work. This is why the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ is attacked and messed with on an appalling scale in these perversions! Need we any better reason to be King James 1611 Only?!
1Corinthians 15:31 I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily. One reason the world finds us frightening is because we are dead in a different way than they are. They are spiritually dead, but we are dead to the world and the flesh. Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. Galatians 6:14 But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world. Luke 9:23
2Corinthians 4:8-9 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 9 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; One amazing thing about being a Christian, and one that sets us apart from the non-Christian, is that the Christian is never a victim of circumstances! We say, "I'm doing the best I can - under the circumstances!" What are you doing there? God makes provision for His children on earth to not be controlled by this world.
The Christian can say with Paul, Not that
I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am,
therewith to be content. Philippians 4:11. The
Christian needs to recognize with John, For
whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that
overcometh the world, even our faith. 1John 5:4
David E. Matthews
graphics by mary vannattan