Chapter Fourteen OBJECTIVES IN STUDYING THIS CHAPTER 1) To understand the proper use of tongues, especially their use in the assembly 2) To understand the principles which are to govern the assembly of the church SUMMARY In this chapter Paul concludes his discussion of spiritual gifts. In comparing the gift of prophesying with that of speaking in tongues, he points out that prophesying excels when it comes to the edification of the church (1-5). In fact, unless the speaking of tongues provides a new revelation or teaching, and is properly interpreted, it does little good (6-19). Designed to convince unbelievers, improper use of speaking in tongues in the assembly can even bring reproach on the church (20-25). Therefore Paul regulates the proper use of spiritual gifts in the assembly with a series of instructions, including commandments from the Lord about the place of women (26-40). OUTLINE I. SPIRITUAL GIFTS: PROPHESYING AND SPEAKING IN TONGUES (1-25) A. PROPHESYING VERSUS SPEAKING IN TONGUES (1-5) 1. A call to love, but also spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy (1) 2. Speaking in tongues (as done at Corinth) is speaking to God and is speaking mysteries (2) 3. Whereas prophesying edifies, exhorts, and comforts others (3) 4. Speaking in tongues (as done at Corinth) was not edifying the church, thus the desire that they had the gift of prophecy more than the gift of tongues (4-5) B. USING TONGUES IN A PROFITABLE WAY (6-19) 1. Without a revelation, knowledge, prophecy, or teaching, speaking in tongues profit nothing (6) 2. Like playing an instrument without giving any distinction in the sounds (7-9) 3. Without interpretation, it is no better than a foreigner speaking to you (10-11) 4. Therefore the admonitions: a. To excel in the area of edifying the church (12) b. For those who speak in tongues to pray that they may be able to interpret (13) c. To be able to pray and sing with both the spirit and the understanding, that all might be edified (14-19) C. ANOTHER COMPARISON BETWEEN TONGUES AND PROPHESYING (20-25) 1. Tongues are a sign for unbelievers, while prophesying is for believers (20-22) 2. Tongues in the assembly (without interpreters) will give people the wrong impression (23) 3. But prophesying in the assembly can bless even the unbeliever and uninformed person (24-25) II. SPIRITUAL GIFTS: REGULATING THEIR USE (26-40) A. LET ALL THINGS BE DONE FOR EDIFICATION (26) B. REGULATING THE USE OF TONGUES (27-28) 1. Two or three may speak, in turn, and let one interpret (27) 2. If there is no interpreter, keep silent in church (28) C. REGULATING THE USE OF PROPHESYING (29-33) 1. Two or three prophets may speak, and others may discern (29) 2. To be done in turn, that all may learn, for the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets (30-32) 3. God is not the author of confusion but of peace, in all the churches (33) D. REGULATING THE PLACE OF WOMEN IN THE ASSEMBLY (34-38) 1. They are to keep silent in the assemblies (34) 2. Let them ask husbands at home if they have questions (35a) 3. For it is shameful for women to speak in church (35b) 4. These are commandments of the Lord which must be recognized as such (36-38) E. FINAL COMMENTS (39-40) 1. Desire to prophesy, and do not forbid to speak with tongues (39) 2. Let all things be done decently and in order (40) REVIEW QUESTIONS FOR THE CHAPTER 1) List the main points of this chapter - Spiritual Gifts: Prophesying And Speaking In Tongues (1-25) - Spiritual Gifts: Regulating Their Use (26-40) 2) As being practiced at Corinth, what did speaking in tongues accomplish? (2,4) - Edifying only the speaker 3) What is the value of prophesying? (3) - Provides edification, exhortation and comfort 4) What is necessary for speaking in tongues to be of value in the assembly? (6) - It must provide a revelation, knowledge, prophecy, or teaching 5) What is the purpose of speaking in tongues? (22) - To serve as a sign to unbelievers 6) What restrictions does Paul place on speaking in tongues in the assembly? (27-28) - Must be two, no more than three - Must have an interpreter, or remain silent 7) What restrictions does Paul place on women in the assemblies? (34-35) - To be silent 8) What two basic principles are to govern the assembly of the church? (26,40) - Let all things done for edification - Let all things done decently and in order
1 Corinthians 14
Prophecy and tongues
[1Co 14:1-40 NASB] 1 Pursue love, yet desire earnestly spiritual [gifts,] but especially that you may prophesy. 2 For one who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God; for no one understands, but in [his] spirit he speaks mysteries. 3 But one who prophesies speaks to men for edification and exhortation and consolation. 4 One who speaks in a tongue edifies himself; but one who prophesies edifies the church. 5 Now I wish that you all spoke in tongues, but [even] more that you would prophesy; and greater is one who prophesies than one who speaks in tongues, unless he interprets, so that the church may receive edifying.
Tongues must be interpreted
6 But now, brethren, if I come to you speaking in tongues, what will I profit you unless I speak to you either by way of revelation or of knowledge or of prophecy or of teaching? 7 Yet [even] lifeless things, either flute or harp, in producing a sound, if they do not produce a distinction in the tones, how will it be known what is played on the flute or on the harp? 8 For if the bugle produces an indistinct sound, who will prepare himself for battle? 9 So also you, unless you utter by the tongue speech that is clear, how will it be known what is spoken? For you will be speaking into the air. 10 There are, perhaps, a great many kinds of languages in the world, and no [kind] is without meaning. 11 If then I do not know the meaning of the language, I will be to the one who speaks a barbarian, and the one who speaks will be a barbarian to me. 12 So also you, since you are zealous of spiritual [gifts,] seek to abound for the edification of the church. 13 Therefore let one who speaks in a tongue pray that he may interpret. 14 For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful. 15 What is [the outcome] then? I will pray with the spirit and I will pray with the mind also; I will sing with the spirit and I will sing with the mind also. 16 Otherwise if you bless in the spirit [only,] how will the one who fills the place of the ungifted say the "Amen" at your giving of thanks, since he does not know what you are saying? 17 For you are giving thanks well enough, but the other person is not edified. 18 I thank God, I speak in tongues more than you all; 19 however, in the church I desire to speak five words with my mind so that I may instruct others also, rather than ten thousand words in a tongue.
Tongues a sign to unbelievers
20 Brethren, do not be children in your thinking; yet in evil be infants, but in your thinking be mature. 21 In the Law it is written,
"BY MEN OF STRANGE TONGUES AND BY THE LIPS OF STRANGERS I WILL SPEAK TO THIS PEOPLE, AND EVEN SO THEY WILL NOT LISTEN TO ME,"
says the Lord. 22 So then tongues are for a sign, not to those who believe but to unbelievers; but prophecy [is for a sign,] not to unbelievers but to those who believe. 23 Therefore if the whole church assembles together and all speak in tongues, and ungifted men or unbelievers enter, will they not say that you are mad? 24 But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or an ungifted man enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all; 25 the secrets of his heart are disclosed; and so he will fall on his face and worship God, declaring that God is certainly among you.
Order in church meetings
26 What is [the outcome] then, brethren? When you assemble, each one has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has a tongue, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification. 27 If anyone speaks in a tongue, [it should be] by two or at the most three, and [each] in turn, and one must interpret; 28 but if there is no interpreter, he must keep silent in the church; and let him speak to himself and to God. 29 Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others pass judgment. 30 But if a revelation is made to another who is seated, the first one must keep silent. 31 For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all may be exhorted; 32 and the spirits of prophets are subject to prophets; 33 for God is not [a God] of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints. 34 The women are to keep silent in the churches; for they are not permitted to speak, but are to subject themselves, just as the Law also says. 35 If they desire to learn anything, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is improper for a woman to speak in church. 36 Was it from you that the word of God [first] went forth? Or has it come to you only? 37 If anyone thinks he is a prophet or spiritual, let him recognize that the things which I write to you are the Lord's commandment. 38 But if anyone does not recognize [this,] he is not recognized. 39 Therefore, my brethren, desire earnestly to prophesy, and do not forbid to speak in tongues. 40 But all things must be done properly and in an orderly manner.
v21 from Isaiah 28:11-12