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1 Corinthians 14:12 meaning...

In this verse from the first letter to the Corinthians, the apostle Paul addresses the Corinthians' enthusiasm for spiritual gifts. The Corinthians were known for their eagerness to experience and demonstrate spiritual manifestations and gifts, but there was also an element of disorder in their gatherings. Paul acknowledges their zeal but encourages them to channel it appropriately for the benefit of the church.

  • Abounding in Edification

Paul's exhortation is clear: "seek that you may abound to the building up of the assembly." While he recognizes their passion for spiritual gifts, he directs them to channel that passion toward the edification and strengthening of the entire church community. The term "building up of the assembly" emphasizes the communal aspect of their faith. Spiritual gifts should be used not for personal glory or individual experience but for the mutual growth and well-being of believers.

  • Balancing Zeal with Order

This verse addresses the balance between spiritual enthusiasm and orderly worship. While the Corinthians' enthusiasm was commendable, Paul also addresses the importance of maintaining order and harmony in their gatherings. Throughout 1 Corinthians 14, Paul provides guidelines for the proper exercise of spiritual gifts within the context of corporate worship.


Cross-References:

Romans 14:19: "So then, let’s follow after things which make for peace, and things by which we may build one another up."

Ephesians 4:12: "for the perfecting of the saints, to the work of serving, to the building up of the body of Christ"


In conclusion, 1 Corinthians 14:12 emphasizes the importance of directing one's zeal for spiritual gifts toward the edification of the church. Paul acknowledges the Corinthians' enthusiasm while also encouraging them to use their gifts in ways that contribute to the growth and unity of the church body. This verse serves as a reminder that spiritual gifts are not for personal gratification but are to be employed in service to others and for the collective spiritual growth of the community of believers.


1 Corinthians 14:12. Since you are zealous for spiritual gifts, seek that you may abound to the building up of the assembly.