In 1 Corinthians 14:23, Paul described the normal reaction of a visitor to a church meeting where he understood nothing. That visitor declared that the Christians were mad. Now, Paul describes the opposite situation.
At this meeting, the Christians are not only thinking about their own experiences with God. It would be good for them to speak in tongues (in other words, to speak in unknown languages by the power of the Holy Spirit); but it would not benefit anyone else (14:4). These Christians want God to work in the lives of everyone present at their meeting.
These Christians are not merely explaining their own thoughts at the meeting; they are prophesying.† In other words, they are declaring messages from God by the power of the Holy Spirit. That is why the visitorís reaction is so powerful. He can see that God really is working in that place.
The Christians are not speaking in an unknown language. They are speaking in a language that the visitor knows very well. From their words, the visitor discovers the true state of his heart in front of God. He understands, perhaps for the first time, how many wrong and evil things he has done against Godís law. He feels like someone in court whom the judge has declared to be guilty.
That visitor will not say that the Christians are mad. He knows that they have spoken Godís words. So, his reaction is to be humble in front of God. He gives God honour; he asks God to save him. He knows that God was present at that meeting.
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© 2014, Keith Simons.