In this passage Paul continues to deal with the question of speaking in tongues and the primacy it was given in the church at Corinth. He begins with an appeal to them not to be childish. Now, we are called to come to God as a child, with the idea that we seek His face and bring our requests in the same way as a child would bring to a loving father. However, childishness is not an attractive trait in adult human beings and the believers here are behaving churlishly in their wanton and selfish use of a divinely given gift.
The use of spiritual gifts must be in order to bless, encourage and unite the fellowship and to speak to those who come in to observe. Tongues, if wildly used, can make church services appear to be like entering a madhouse, but preaching can bring a person face to face with him or herself and God.
What happens when the truth of God is intelligibly proclaimed?
1. It brings a person under judgement. There are many testimonies from people throughout the years who have felt a desire to go to church and, when there, have been made aware that their time on earth is short and then what? The veil has been lifted and they have been given a glimpse of what life is really about.
2. It convicts a person of sin. The message of God brings light to a person's real condition and it is not pleasant!
3. It shows a person the secrets of their heart. It is one of the most difficult things in life to face up to what we truly are, so often we long for the day when God would show up that blind spot and help the person to address it. We know a wonderful, beautiful Christian lady who was compassionate and caring and thoughtful, but let her into the church kitchen and she would terrorise the others who were working there!
4. It brings someone to their knees before God. The gateway to God's presence is so low that we can only enter on our knees. A person who has faced God and himself can only cry out, ''God be merciful to me, a sinner!''
To conclude, the test of any worship is that we should experience the presence of God.