1 Corinthians 14

1 Corinthians 14:1-40

1  Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy.

2  For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries.

3  But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men.

4  He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church.

5  I wish you all spoke with tongues, but even more that you prophesied; for he who prophesies is greater than he who speaks with tongues, unless indeed he interprets, that the church may receive edification.

6  But now, brethren, if I come to you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you unless I speak to you either by revelation, by knowledge, by prophesying, or by teaching?

7  Even things without life, whether flute or harp, when they make a sound, unless they make a distinction in the sounds, how will it be known what is piped or played?

8  For if the trumpet makes an uncertain sound, who will prepare for battle?

9  So likewise you, unless you utter by the tongue words easy to understand, how will it be known what is spoken? For you will be speaking into the air.

10  There are, it may be, so many kinds of languages in the world, and none of them is without significance.

11  Therefore, if I do not know the meaning of the language, I shall be a foreigner to him who speaks, and he who speaks will be a foreigner to me.

12  Even so you, since you are zealous for spiritual gifts, let it be for the edification of the church that you seek to excel.

13  Therefore let him who speaks in a tongue pray that he may interpret.

14  For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful.

15  What is the conclusion then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding.

16  Otherwise, if you bless with the spirit, how will he who occupies the place of the uninformed say “Amen” at your giving of thanks, since he does not understand what you say?

17  For you indeed give thanks well, but the other is not edified.

18  I thank my God I speak with tongues more than you all;

19  yet in the church I would rather speak five words with my understanding, that I may teach others also, than ten thousand words in a tongue.

20  Brethren, do not be children in understanding; however, in malice be babes, but in understanding be mature.


22  Therefore tongues are for a sign, not to those who believe but to unbelievers; but prophesying is not for unbelievers but for those who believe.

23  Therefore if the whole church comes together in one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those who are uninformed or unbelievers, will they not say that you are out of your mind?

24  But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or an uninformed person comes in, he is convinced by all, he is convicted by all.

25  And thus the secrets of his heart are revealed; and so, falling down on his face, he will worship God and report that God is truly among you.

26  How is it then, brethren? Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification.

27  If anyone speaks in a tongue, let there be two or at the most three, each in turn, and let one interpret.

28  But if there is no interpreter, let him keep silent in church, and let him speak to himself and to God.

29  Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others judge.

30  But if anything is revealed to another who sits by, let the first keep silent.

31  For you can all prophesy one by one, that all may learn and all may be encouraged.

32  And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.

33  For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.

34  Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak; but they are to be submissive, as the law also says.

35  And if they want to learn something, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is shameful for women to speak in church.

36  Or did the word of God come originally from you? Or was it you only that it reached?

37  If anyone thinks himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things which I write to you are the commandments of the Lord.

38  But if anyone is ignorant, let him be ignorant.

39  Therefore, brethren, desire earnestly to prophesy, and do not forbid to speak with tongues.

40  Let all things be done decently and in order.

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10 months ago

Having just learned that any sound produced apart from love is just a bothersome clanging, it is emphasized here that love will always be the driving pursuit while there is a desire for the gifts that will facilitate it. It’s almost assumed that all have been born again and empowered with a heavenly language for self-edification and spiritual strengthening. What is magnified here, though, is the need for maturing in the reception of this gift for much more than just a selfish function. With spiritual growth will come a kingdom mission to grow those around us with Spirit-inspired revelation and wisdom. Instead of just responding uncontrollably to the Spirit’s moving as if our sound must be recognized and appreciated, the purpose for our expressions shifts from self to that of the hearer, the one for whom the gift is operating in a corporate setting. There is no place for the immature exalting of vessels where the will of God is to bring revelation and transformation to those in need. How much better it is to remain silent in deference to the clarity and order of a truly Spirit-led presentation. The desire for prophecy will be that the words proceeding from our mouths be much more than our own in imparting change that can only come by the Spirit. This desire will prompt an emulation of Paul, where much time is given to personal edification in tongues so that the opportunities for edification, exhortation, and comfort are given truly Spirit-inspired utterance and not something conjured up from the natural mind. Adherence to the Spirit in the order of a gathering will produce an atmosphere of love where the needs of all are rising above the promotion of any. Personal discussions and conversations will be postponed until they can be held where necessary revelation will not be hindered. The pursuit of love will always require the laying down of personal ambition and inhibition for the lifting of another to their place in Christ.

9 months ago

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