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I Corinthians Chp 14

                                                  I Corinthians

                                                                       By Joyce Webb 2017

Chapter 14

Vs.1 Paul continues to talk about spiritual gifts. He said, Follow after love.

It is good to desire spiritual gifts. But is is better to desire to have the gift of prophecy than to speak in “tongues” (a language that the speaker does not know, but can speak it through the power of the Holy Spirit).

Paul said that to speak in “tongues” does not help anyone, unless:

*There is someone there who understands that language.

*Or, there is someone in the group who has the spiritual gift of interpreting what has been said in “tongues”.

Otherwise no one will understand, only God.

Vs. 3 The person who has the gift of prophecy speaks to everyone and they can understand what is said. The words he speaks is for warning, teaching, and encouragement.

Vs. 4 The person that speaks in “tongues” feels the spirit move in him, but it does not benefit (help) others. The person who speaks prophecy, speaks to the whole church.

Vs. 5 Paul said I would like for all of you to speak in tongues. But it would be even better if all of you would speak prophecy------unless, there is a person who can interpret what someone says in “tongues”.

Vs. 6 Paul said, What good would it be if I came to you and spoke in “tongues”?

You would not learn anything. I need to speak to you telling you things that God has revealed to me, or tell you of the knowledge He has given me, or by giving a prophecy, or by teaching you doctrine (teaching facts from the Bible about God).

Vs.7 Musical instruments like a flute or harp they have no life but they give different sounds so that you know what is being played.

Vs. 8 The trumpet gives certain sounds so that men know they are to get ready to go to battle.

Vs. 9 So it is with speaking. It does no good to stand and speak in “tongues” (unless someone interprets it ) . It is just speaking into the air.

Vs. 10,11 There are many languages in the world. If I do not understand them, then it is just babble to me.

Vs. 12 You very much want to have spiritual gifts, but seek the ones that help the most.


( It seems that the people here in Corinth were very much liking the idea of speaking in a language that they did not know. From what Paul says it makes us think that they were standing up in service speaking paragraphs if words in “tongues”, but no one could interpret them. So it became more of a “show-off” my spiritual gift time but it had no useful purpose.

In later verses, it seems to be that several people were standing up at the same time talking in “tongues”. There was no interpretation. It was just “babble” and confusion.

There was nothing wrong with speaking in tongues. It had its place to be used. But it was not being used in a right way in their group. So Paul is trying to teach them and help them understand.)

Vs.13, 14 Paul explains If someone speaks in tongues, let him pray that someone interprets. Otherwise the person is just talking to God. He is only one who understands what was said.

Paul said If he prays in tongues my spirit prays but my mind does not understand.

In Romans 8:26 tells how he prayed in the Spirit with the sound groaning (sounds of sorrow and pain).

The Spirit prayed through him to God, the Spirit prayed things that Paul’s mind did not understand, but his spirit was joined with the Holy Spirit as he prayed. This is way of speaking in tongues in prayer is very useful. The Holy Spirit prays with our spirit directly to God.

We may not know what to pray for or how to pray but the Holy Spirit knows and as we pray “in tongues” unto God, our prayer goes to God beyond our understanding.

Vs. 15 Paul said that prays in tongues in the spirit and he prays in his own language and understanding. He sings in tongues in the spirit , and he sings in his own language.

Vs. 16 When a person speaks in a room of people in tongues by the spirit they do not understand what was said (unless there is someone to interpret) so how can the people understand and agree and say Amen?

Vs. 17 What the person says in tongues may be good, but no one knows or understands.

Vs. 18 Paul said, I speak in tongues more than all of you, for that I thank God.

Vs. 19 But when I am in church before a group of people, It would be better for me to speak 5 words that they understand so I can teach them than to speak 10,000 words in a language they do not understand.

Vs.20 Paul tells them, Do not be like children, but have the understanding of a grown person.

Vs. 21 Paul quotes from the book of Isaiah 28:11.12 God is talking, He said I will use other men with other tongues and languages to speak unto the people but still they will not hear me, says the Lord.

Vs. 22 Speaking in “tongues” was a “sign” unto those who did not believe. It was a miracle of God to make someone be able to speak a language they did not know.

If the person who did not believe in God heard them speak in their language, they could see it as a miracle of God working through that speaker. It would help them believe in God.

So speaking in tongues could be a mirage sign to the person who did not believe if it was something said in their language.

For the person who did not know or understand what was said it mean nothing.

For people who do not believe in God, if they hear someone speak in “tongues” but do not know the language being spoken it does not mean anything to them it may make them think that the person speaking is very strange.

Vs.22 Also, when someone gives a prophecy by the spirit, this is more for the believers than for those who do not believe.

People who believe in God will listen to the prophecy and learn from it but the person who does not believe in God, probably will not learn much from it because he does even believe in God.

However, he may feel the Holy Spirit convict him of sin and then begin to believe. See Vs.24.

Vs. 23 If people in the group are all speaking in tongues and someone comes in who is a stranger and does not believe if he hear these people stand and talk in ”tongues” they will think they are crazy.

Vs. 24, 25 Paul repeats what he said in Vs.22 Prophecy is mostly for believers but a person who does not believe it may make them think then will see their sin and they would become a believer.

Vs. 26 Paul said When you come together one of you has a song or psalm, one of you explains a doctrine or teaching from the Bible, one has a revelation, one has a message in “tongues” and one gives the interpretation.

Let all things be done in order. Let all things be done in order for people to understand and learn.

Vs. 27 If a person has a message to give in “tongues” let there be only 1 or 2 at the most 3 and let them speak one at a time and let there be an interpreter that interprets the message.

Vs. 28 If there is no one in the group who has the gift of interpretation, then let the person who would speak in tongues keep quiet. He can speak to himself and God in tongues.

Vs. 29 For those who think they have a prophecy, Let them speak 2 or 3 one at a time and let those who listen judge what they have heard.

Vs. 30 If someone is speaking, and someone else gets a revelation to be spoken, let the one speaking be quiet, and let the second one speak. Speak one at a time, so all can be heard, and the people can learn, and be encouraged.

Vs. 32 The Spirit is subject to the prophet. (In other words, the person speaking can control his mouth and can speak or stop as is needed.)

Vs. 33 God does not want confusion (everyone talking at once and talking over one another).

Vs. 34, 35 The women are not allowed to stand speak in the church. If they have questions about what happened or what they heard they should ask their husbands at home. For it is a shame for a woman to speak in church.

(This was an Old Testament law and a custom that continued in Paul’s time. It is still a custom in that part of the world.

In the Western nations of Europe and America, that was also the custom. Only in recent modern times have things changed).

Vs. 36.37. 38 Paul asked them Do you think that the word of God comes only to you? Do you think that you are the only ones that God speaks to?

If any one thinks he is a “Prophet” or is spiritual let him admit and confess that the things I have written to you are the commandments from the Lord. If you do not choose to accept this teaching I have written then you will not be recognized and accepted as a prophet of the Lord.

Vs. 39 So brothers, seek to prophecy, but do not forbid (but allow) people to speak in tongues.

Vs. 40 Let all things be not correctly and in order.



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