The Bible Edge
Everyone needs an Edge, Believers can have a Bible Edge
I Corinthians 14:37
If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.
Paul was not a common apostle. He was more. Just like some pastors today are not common pastors. They are more. They are not better, different, more spiritual, or have a higher calling, but they are not common, or average. From time to time the Lord calls, equips and uniquely uses a pastor on a statewide, nationwide, or even worldwide scope of influence. Peter, John, and Paul were on equal footing considering their calling and office, but God used Paul in a larger fashion in establishing churches, training future pastors, and evangelizing the Gentile world than anyone else in the Biblical era that we know of.
Peter was no less than Paul, neither was John or any of the other apostles. God just seemed to give Paul something extra, a certain authority or leadership that the others did not share. As such Paul makes an amazing statement in today’s verse. He basically states that if anyone thinks themselves a prophet or even a spiritual person, that they should confess that Paul’s writings are more than the mere writings of a man, but that they are in actuality commandments of the Lord. Who other than Paul would have the gravitas to think such a thing, much less write it?
In other words, this special apostle, the one that was “born out of due time” (I Corinthians 15:8), stated that if anyone disagreed with him, they were wrong. Even if they considered themselves, or if anyone else considered them, to be a prophet or spiritual. But he goes even further. In the very next verse this apostle wrote: But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant. Wow what a statement! He is not belittling them as much as he is pointing out that they have not yet learned that which Paul is teaching.
From the time that Paul, originally known as Saul, burst on the scene in the New Testament he was special. Even Jesus Christ said so. When Jesus called a man named Ananias to go to Paul the Lord said of this man …he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children or Israel… (Acts 9:15). Every person that is called unto ministerial service for the Lord is a chosen vessel and they all have a specific purpose to fulfill. Paul’s calling was one of worldwide leadership and authority unlike any other.
Getting back to the verse today, make sure to note that in the entirety of I Corinthians 14 Paul is expounding upon spiritual gifts and their proper use and purpose. All would do well to read the entire chapter, for in it this man lays out clear cut commands governing spiritual gifts. The chapter ends with Let all things be done decently and in order. This is more than advice, this is a command of God. It and all the other commands Paul gives combine to give an edge, a Biblical Edge in how to keep all things decent and orderly in any church setting.
William T. Howe, Ph.D.