1 Corinthians 14:1-40  Understanding & Order



Intro: Continuing study in 1 Cor. Section dealing w/ gifts of H.S.

A) Once again Begin tonight w/ a quick  review –

12:1  Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant: Don’t Ignore / Don’t be Unaware


B) V. 4-11 Give us a brief foundational introduction into gifts learn 3 key



  V.4 Diversity of Gifts – Same spirit / v.5 Diversity of functions … same Lord !


2nd PURPOSE OF GIFTS V. 7   But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all:


3rd THE SOVERNIGNITY OF THE SPIRIT IN THE DISTRUBUTING OF THE GIFTS V.11 11  But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.




Romans 12 we have another list often called MINISTRY GIFTS


Then in v. 12-31  Paul goes into this brilliant Discussion of how the church has been formed by the Lord as a body

A) Body that has many members / doing different / functions / still one body


Then from there Paul gives us the Key ingredient in this whole DISCUSSION ON  THE GIFTS & FUNCTION OF BODY / He calls it  A MORE EXCELLENT WAY  THE WAY OF LOVE / AGAPE



B) Last week we  Looked at that awesome passage 1 Cor. 13 -   but

      examined it in it’s proper context seen here -  

1)                           gifts -  Paul essentially says w/ out love – Nothing !!!!


C) Every gift in world but if there is no love – you are missing the on

      essential key ingredient to be an effective member of Body !!!


D) That was the focus of Chapter 13 that leads us right into chapter 14 where Paul says  14:1  Pursue love, & desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy



Pursue love    (SEE lovelessness was the root of their problems )

A) Pursue = Dioko = ( to follow , hunt, chase after w/ intensity ) Pursue love Go after it- w/ intensity – make it priority


0      And desire spiritual gifts especially that you may prophesy !

1)  Some today have this reversed order - pursue gifts & desire love !


C) Delight your self in the Lord …………  desires of the heart !        Delight leads to love !    He is Love !    Jn15 – Abiding – Delighting

1)  I am to pursue love because the goal is Edification /


C) Lord I love you so much want to bless you/ you can use me to bless others

1) Emphasis isn’t on what I want but what He wants !!!!!



Now Here in Chapter 14 Paul reveals that when talking about the gifts of the Spirit in the body/ we know purpose is for  edification

A) Achieving that EDIFICATION involves 2 important things that should be Characteristics of any Spirit Led meeting /   Understanding & order


A) Unfortunately these are often times the very things that are lacking in many settings – NO ORDER – results in No UNDERSTANDING

1)               People walk away scratching their heads – what was that ?????



A) Now  To illustrate the need for UNDERSTANDING & ORDER / Paul focuses in on 2 of the gifts to contrast their place in the body

1)               & their function in edification /      Prophecy & Tongues



A) Prophecy we have noted already in a previous study is speaking forth the word of God ! / Primarily in N.T. Forth Telling / vs. fore or Predictive

1)                in v. 3 Paul declares that he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men.


A) That is the Purpose of  Prophesy-  edification / exhortation (stir up ) &

    comfort !


The gift of tongues & the Interpretation of tongues are two gifts we have yet to discuss -  ( A TONGUE in this context would be unknown language.)

A) Speaking in tongues is speaking in a language, through the ability of the Holy Spirit, that you did not NATURALLY acquire.


a) It is the ability to WORSHIP God and PRAY in a language that you have not naturally learned.



B) The gift of the Interpretation of tongues is a supernatural ability by the

     H.S. to be able to give an interpretation of a tongue that was spoken

1)                           Thus the interpreter is interpreting a Language that He or she doesn’t           know & has possibly never even heard before.


1       Now in v. 2 Paul says something important about who tongues are directed to  V2  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.


D) The Person speaking in tongues is speaking to God – not to man /

1)                           Which means that when an interpretation of the gift of tongues is going to be given it is going to be directed to God / not men

2       Common – mistake – tongue / interpretation = a word directed to men



Learn a good lesson on this in Acts 2 what took place on the day of Pentecost

A)   Remember people have gathered to Jerusalem from all over the region for Pentecost


B) 2:1  When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.

2  And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.

3  Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them.

4  And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.-   KEY


5  And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven. And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language.

7  Then they were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another, "Look, are not all these who speak Galileans?

8       "And how is it that we hear, each in our own language in which we were born?


He gives a list of each background & language represented there & then says in v. 11 we hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God."


A) So here we see that the tongues being uttered were directed to God in the form of PRAISE  speaking  forth the wonderful works of God."

A)   Now I believe that this is the nature of tongues – praise & worship oriented – in the spirit – proclaiming the goodness of God

So Paul says because the goal is for the edification of the BODY Desire the gift of Prophesy over tongues / v. 4   He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church.


A)    NOTE Tongues is the only gift that personally edifies the Believer – rest are to build up the Body .


B) Paul continues

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


B)    Now when there is someone in the meeting  whom the H.S. equips to interpret /

1)                 then  the whole body is edified as we are reminded at how awesome the Lord is !


Now by contrasting these two gifts we see how important it is to the Lord that His people are understanding what is going on .


A)   And Because His goal & Desire for us when we come together is that we are edified & build up – Put a Priority on Prophecy

1) So that People can  hear & understand & be built up


B)   V.6-25 Paul gives some illustrations of the  importance of  understanding in edification V.6-12   read



Here Paul uses 3 simple illustrations To make  his point. That there needs to be understanding  if there is to be edifying spiritual ministry taking place

A)  Musical instruments / trumpet calls to battle / & daily conversation !


B) If the Musical instrument does not give a clear distinct sound nobody will recognize the music being played ( what is that )

1)  Trumpet in battle - not clear charge or retreat !


A)  And there are many  Languages in world / but if I can not understand who cares it is no use to me !    ( Interpreters in Yugo / Hungary )


D) Paul in using these 3 illustrations Is basically stating that Tongues are great but 

     if there is no one who can interpret it is like being in a foreign country !

          1)  Very frustrating


Having said that He reminds them again of the purpose of the gifts v.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.


A) As if to say – Let your growth in ministry & Desire for the gifts be not for you – but for the building up of the Body !!!!!


13 Therefore =   For this reason /  the importance of understanding,v13-22



Now Since Understanding is a key for the profit of all /  if speak in tongues / pray that you can interpret / or better yet just Prophesy !

A)   Now verse 22 is interesting – almost think – Paul is contradicting Himself 

     here / by saying tongues is a sign to unbeliever – prophesy to the Believer


B) This is where context is so important – Tongues is a sign to the unbeliever How?   2 ways  


C) 1st Day of Pentecost –unbelievers heard  & marveled how speak in our  

       language. ?

1)   Courson at Bible school !




2nd    With interpretation /   How know my Lang. ?  

A)   Context – tongues is mentioned w/ interpretation the 2 going hand in hand through out this whole section !!!!



Now Prophesy is a sign to the Believer because He is declaring God’s Heart – Purpose is to Build up

B)   But that doesn’t mean that the unbeliever can not be touched & pricked in his heart


C)   H.S. doesn’t seek to build up the unbeliever /  or encourage the unbeliever or comfort the….

1)                 Convict / -  But  Satan seeks to build up comfort / encourage the  

     unbeliever to stay in His sin!



Now in v. 23 - 40 Paul begins to focus on the 2nd key principle for edification that of order ! V. 23-25

A) All speaking in tongues crazy !  Unbeliever comes in   Circus !


B) Convicted & judged by Prophecy heart is pricked - why  ?   Remember prophesy is speaking forth the word of God –

1)   Word is  Living & powerful / sharper……….


B) Faith comes by hearing & hearing by the word!   



v. 26-28 Specific guidelines


A)   Come together each person using their gifts – 1ST Remember the goal

EDIFICATION / how many times said this ( get the Point)


B)   2nd Tongues – order – v.27 2 or at the most 3 and each in turn / not a free for all


C) 3rd – v. 28 No interpreter – keep silent in the Church

1)                             This would indicate that the person w/ the gift has control – not an uncontrollable urge – couldn’t help it the H.S. took control of my tongue


D) How Know if there is an interpreter – FAITH – NOT – NO MORE


v. 29-33  Guidelines w/ Prophesy –


Same let 2 or 3 prophets speak – words be given

A)   Judge or Prove = test – How -  By using the word


B)   Does it match up -  i.e.  build up encourage & comfort – or does it tear down !!!!


C)   v.32 Prophets have control – Spirit of is subject to ….


D)   V.33 Key verse 33  For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, 

       as in all the churches of the saints.

1)                           ALL THE CHURCHES / Not - MORE CHARASMATIC



V.34 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.


Now, you recall that we pointed out when we were in the 11th Chapter, that Paul there speaks of a woman praying or prophesying w/ her head unveiled.


A)    So when Paul is declaring here that a woman is not to speak but is to keep silent, he is not referring to women not praying in church

1)                 or not prophesying in church, because he already has made allowances for that back in the 11th Chapter.


A)    Then what does he mean that "your women.." -- notice "YOUR women keep silence in the church." V.35 gives insight 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.


B)    The early church followed the pattern of the Jewish synagogue. Men sat on one side, the women sat on the other side.



C)    They did that because they felt that they might be distracted by women, so they kept them on one side separately -- the men on the other so they would not be distracted by them.


D)   Now we don’t do that – we sit together / and  if you Wife has a question – whispers or note


E)    But in that culture  because their husband was on the other side, "HONEY, WHAT'S HE TALKING ABOUT?"


And so Paul said, let the woman keep silent -- your women keep silence – ie your wife, let her keep silent.

A)    If she wants to learn anything, if she has a problem, a question, let her ask you when you get it home.

1)                 It's a shame the way the women are calling out in church.


Remember This is still in the Context of those guidelines & in the idea of God not being the author of confusion – all things done ….and in order



Now in v. 36-38 Paul anticipates their REACTION

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


A)   Now this is clearly satire here – He is recognizing that there was a tendency among some in Corinth to think they had unique Rev.

B)   So Paul says rather sarcastically – Did the word of God originate w/ you or are you the only ones who received it


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.


A)    In other words the truly spiritual people are those who always recognize the authority of the scriptures


B)    Important to note especially in our day & age where people claim all kinds of special Rev. that contradicts scripture

1)                 Paul is merely reestablishing that God’s word is our Authority


A)    Word is Superior to peoples emotions / experiences / and Extra Biblical Revelation


B)    Truth – H.S. never operates or functions in a way Contrary to the written word


3RD THING HE SAYS TO THEM IN V.38  But if anyone is ignorant, let him be ignorant.

A)    Literally If any one be ignorant – Let him be ignored


B)    In other words don’t pay attention to him / don’t get caught up in needless conversations or lengthy debates w/ some one who doesn’t want to pay attention to the Word !


Paul closes Ch. W/ a couple of Key thoughts

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.


All things done / Decency & in Order


Giving place in big Church