Do not quench the Spirit. Do not treat prophecies with contempt but test them all; hold on to what is good, reject every kind of evil. 1 Thessalonians 5:19-22 NIV
Paul, from the text, exhorts Christians how worship should be conducted. He offers short commands, the first two of which are negative. These admonitions probably come out addressing specific problems and practices. From the negative commands, “Do not quench the Spirit” (1 Thessalonians 5:19), and, “Do not treat prophecies with contempt” (1 Thessalonians 5:20), it appears that the church leaders were too restrictive in controlling the various expressions of the gifts of the Spirit. A church must use all of the resources that come from the giftedness of its members if it is to be a vital body of Christ. Paul does not want the Thessalonians to restrict or suppress the supernatural workings of God’s Spirit in their midst by being insensitive to what God is doing. He is specifically referring to the gift of prophecy, the forth-telling or proclamation of God’s word, which is a burning flame in the church and must not be extinguished. When the gift is used properly it strengthens, encourages and comforts the church. Christians must not go to the opposite extreme and accept everything that is said in a prophetic way. They must “test them all” to see if it is in accordance with God’s written revelation from His word. If it does not agree with God’s word, they must throw it out. If it does agree with the Scriptures, they must “hold on to what is good” and be thankful for it. It should not be an “anything goes” approach and “reject every kind of evil” (1 Thessalonians 5:21, 22). After testing, that which is proven true is to be maintained and that proven false should be discarded. It is the working of the Holy Spirit in the life of believers that enables us to pray, rejoice and give thanks, gives us a thirst for the things of God, and guide us to the truth. “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth” (John 16:13).