1 Corinthians 14:26-40


1 Corinthians 14:26-40


  • Paul now brings this section to a conclusion
  • When they gather Christians should use their gifts in singing, teaching, sharing a word directly from God, speaking in tongues, and the interpretation of that tongue.
  • All these things should be done so everyone is built up and encouraged
  • If someone speaks in tongues there needs to be an interpreter
  • If there is no interpreter, then there should be no tongues spoken (keep silent)
  • If there is an interpreter, there should be about three people that speak in tongues
  • Likewise, if someone gets a word from the Lord (prophesy) it should be limited to two or three people
  • The others with that gift should judge if the prophecy is truly from God
  • If someone else is speaking (prophesying) and someone gets a message from the Lord they should wait (keep silent) until the other person is done (as long as no more than two people have gone before)
  • They are not to all speak at the same time so that everyone can hear and be encouraged by the message
  • Paul teaches that everyone has control over themselves and can make the decision when and if to share. The Holy Spirit doesn’t make them interrupt others.
  • For the things that are truly from God bring peace to all not confusion.
  • In terms of interruptions women new to the worship experience are also to wait (keep silent) when they have questions about what is going on.
  • They can get answers from others (husbands) at home rather than interrupting the service.
  • Paul is writing all these things (in regards to orderly worship) not as a suggestion but as a command from the Lord Jesus
  • In conclusion, they should desire to speak things known that encourages everyone (like prophesy)
  • They are not to overreact and forbid people from speaking in tongues (they can if there is an interpreter)
  • The general rule is that what is done in the church gathering should be done with respect to all and in an organized manner


The bottom line is that the gathering of Christians should serve to encourage and benefit all the saints. It isn’t about individuals getting their personal needs met whether it is speaking in tongues that encourages just them, interrupting others because you think you have a word from God that supersedes someone else, or interrupting the service by asking questions about what is going on or clarifying a point. The gathering should be organized in such a way that different brothers and sisters have an opportunity to use their gifts for the betterment of everyone, and each gift should not dominate the time to allow for other gifts. Church is about us, not about me.


Father, thank you for adopting me into Your family and giving me brothers and sisters in Christ to do life together with. Help me to continue to grow and use my gifts to encourage and bless others in the gathering. Help me appreciate the gifts that others have and provide space and time for them to use their gifts to encourage others. May our gathering become a place where everyone is welcomed, encouraged, and can contribute. In Jesus name I pray, AMEN.

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