This week in our study, the apostle Paul continues his discussion on spiritual gifts. Paul reinforces in chapter 14 that all spiritual gifts are “so that the church may be built up” (verse 5). Over and again Paul emphasizes, “…since you are eager for spiritual gifts, strive to excel in them for building up the church” (verse 12). In worship, Paul writes, “Let all things be done for building up” (verse 26).
Any time something in the Bible is repeated in a short span of space, we need to take note. Repetition is a literary device used often to drive home a point, and Paul certainly does that here in this letter. In a community like Corinth, diverse peoples express faith and worship in a variety of ways. The temptation to rank or prioritize certain gifts over others is strong, then and now. The measure is whether they build up the church?