About Jesus - Steve (Stephen) Sweetman
1 Corinthians 14
concerns a common sense approach to conducting a meaningful Christian
meeting. In part, Paul wrote
that two or three prophets could speak while those listening were to
evaluate what was said, after which everyone was welcome to say a few
words. The bottom line to this
chapter is that the meeting should be orderly so all can benefit.
Included in this orderliness is controlling one's spirit, as seen
in verses 32 and 33.
"The spirits of
prophets are subject to the control of prophets.
For God is not a God of disorder but of peaceóas in all the
congregations of the Lordís people."
The Greek verb that is
translated into English as "are subject" in the phrase "the
spirits of the prophets are subject to the control of the prophets"
is a present passive indicative verb.
That means that in present time (present) it is a certain fact
(indicative) that the spirits of the prophets are subject (passive) to the
control of the prophets. In
other words, prophets, and I believe all Christians, have the inherent
ability to exercise control over their spirits, and all which that
I recently participated
in a time sensitive meeting of pastors that lasts sixty minutes.
At the five minute mark of the meeting a pastor was asked to share
a devotional, after which another pastor would share an important
organizational issue. The
devotional lasted forty eight minutes, leaving an insufficient seven
minutes for the important issue to be addressed. The
devotional pastor spoke with much zeal, but was she in control of her
spirit by monopolizing the sixty minutes?
In another recent
meeting I attended, two brothers in Jesus got into a nasty shouting match
over a doctrinal issue. Both
men zealously argued their opinion, but their zealous outbursts brought a
sad and sudden end to the meeting where few could hear the closing prayer.
Did these men have control over their spirits as they zealously
yelled at each other?
We all express zeal
based on our individual emotional makeup.
Some express zeal with forceful vigour, while others with quiet
confidence. However you
express zeal, it is a human emotion of the spirit, which according to
Paul, is subject to our control.
The Holy Spirit can
inspire zeal, but not all outbursts of zeal are Holy Spirit inspired.
To think that the Spirit of God will seize our emotions which cause
us to lose all control, as some believe, is Biblically unfounded.
It's a misrepresentation of Ephesians 5:18 to condone a claim to be
drunk in the Spirit. Read
Ephesians 5:15 through 18.
"Be very careful,
then, how you liveónot as unwise but as wise, making the most of every
opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but
understand what the Lordís will is. Do
not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead,
be filled with the Spirit,"
Note the words, "be
careful, not unwise but wise, do not be foolish, understand, and do not
get drunk." In other
words, don't act like a drunk who has lost all control of his spirit, his
emotions, and his senses. Take
control of yourself for the benefit of your brothers and sisters in Jesus.
"Be filled" in Ephesians 5:18 doesn't mean "be drunk."
The spirit of the prophet is subject to the prophet.
Zeal is to be controlled.