1 Corinthians 14
I Corinthians 14
· The Corinthians are zealous for spiritual gifts
· Paul encourages them both in vs. 1 and vs. 39 to desire the gift of prophecy, creating bookends to this section of verses
· 7 times Paul reminds the Corinthians that the purpose of gifts, and prophecy in particular, is the edification or building up of the church
· Paul spends 20 verses comparing the gifts of tongues and prophecy
o Is for edification (building up) of the church,
o Is for exhortation (encouragement/help) of the church
o Is for consolation (comfort) of the church
o Can disclose the secrets of an unbelieving man’s heart
o Can cause the believing man to fall on his face in worship to God
· Tongues is:
o Spoken to God
o Edifying to the one speaking in tongues
o Needing interpretation for the edification of the church
o Compared to the flute and harp which make no distinct sounds
o Compared to the bugle that can’t sound the battle cry
o Compared a barbaric language that no one can understand
o An ineffective witness to the unbeliever (vs.21 they will not listen, vs. 23 are they mad?)
o Desirable, but not in the church, unless there is a interpreter
· Paul also encouraged orderly conduct when the church assembled
o Paul envisioned a gathering where multiple people were contributing: a psalm, a teaching, a revelation, a tongue, an interpretation
o Only two or three speaking in tongues with someone to interpret
o Two or three prophets might speak but the rest are to judge their words
o All this is to be one by one
o Women were not to speak
o Women were supposed to learn from their husbands at home
· Vs. 39-40 is a summary statement: desire earnestly to prophecy; don’t forbid tongues; do so in a properly and orderly manner
· I should desire gifts that edify and build up the body of Christ
· As a leader I should encourage people to use their gifts, especially prophecy, for the building up of the body.
· As a leader/teacher I should allow for multiple people to speak and contribute to the building up of the body.
· I should encourage those with gifts of tongues to use and enjoy their gifts in the right contexts.
· My personal understanding of the verses about women not speaking in the church is this. In Corinth and in many parts of the world today the women were uneducated and did not speak the formal language spoken in the church. So they would talk to their husband so they could learn what someone was saying. Their talk was disruptive to the service. A modern comparison might be if someone chatted with their neighbor while the pastor was preaching. Paul was encouraging these women to wait until they got home to learn.
Heavenly Father, we want your church to be edified, exhorted and consoled. We ask that you would bring in all the gifts that the church needs to become your beautiful bride who is bringing light to a dark world. Help us to desire those gifts that really edify the church. Teach us how to wisely use our gifts for the building of your kingdom and for your glory. Help us to use the gifts you’ve given us with humility. As we use our gifts may we always be motivated by love for You and love for others.
Posted on Tue, April 14, 2015
by joel king