1 Corinthians 14 by Pastor Don Moore
This Bible study was taught August 17, 2012
When Paul wrote his Epistles, he did not write them with chapters and verses. The people who published the Bibles put in the chapters and verses, and sometimes they placed chapters in the wrong place. Corinthians Chapter 13 flows into Chapter 14 without an artificial chapter break.
With Spiritual gifts, chapter 13 tells us that the spiritual gifts operate in love. The table on which faith sits is love. Chapter 14 gives an ordered and specific way to walk in love to handle worship services and Bible studies. This letter was in response to the Corinthians and their inappropriate ways of worshipping and applying the Spiritual gifts. God likes order in His service and the Corinthians were out of order.
Because of the pagan culture they were in, God had released a lot of spiritual gifts in the Corinthian church. They were experiencing a move of God with all the giftings. Some people in the church in Corinth got puffed up with prophecy, healings, and Words of interpretation. These are genuine operations of the Holy Spirit. Without God moving you have nothing. But the blessings of God must also be done in the proper order.
1 Corinthians 13 – Love is the attitude and must be present for the operation and function of the gifts of the Spirit. Love is the greatest of the gifts. Power is magnified according to the will of God.
Chapter 14 breaks down the oral gifts:
Interpretation of tongues
The whole church in Corinth was operating in the gifts and willing to be used by God to manifest His supernatural power. The people were all speaking in tongues and psalms, but there was no interpretation of tongues. The services were in disorder and if there were any visitors in the Corinth Church they would have been thoroughly confused. Paul will tell the Corinthians that there is a proper way to worship, a way that will edify the body and expedite the prophesies to open the hearts of the people in the service.
The church today is divided about spiritual gifts, some claim they ended with the apostles, others operate in the gifts in an appropriate manner, and others go overboard with the gifts.
Many in the church read Scripture through the cultural bias of Gentiles in the year 2000. They are not reading it as Jewish people would have read it 2000 years ago. We need to read this chapter for what does it say and for what Paul meant.
What did the Apostle Paul learn and teach about tongues? Not one Apostle said that two thousand years from now the Spiritual gifts would be gone. Wouldn’t Jesus, John, and Paul have told us that this would be the case if it were going to happen?
We accept the gift of Salvation. If we don’t operate in the gift of tongues that doesn’t make us bad – but if we don’t use tongues and the other gifts, we aren’t operating with all that God has given us. Why not open all the gifts mentioned in these chapters and use them for the Kingdom?
Prophecy needs a yielded heart and the willingness to hear the Word of God and to speak the Word of God.
Pastor Don mentioned Samuel, who was brought to the temple as a young child. Samuel thought Eli the High Priest was calling him. Eli denied it and finally realized that God was speaking to Samuel. Eli tells Samuel to say “Speak God for your servant is listening.” Samuel hears what God says and it is an unpleasant message about Eli and his sons. Samuel chooses to obey God and speak what God told him to say.
We need to hear the Word of God and discern it is the Word of God. Will you repeat what God said?
Most people aren’t willing to hear from God especially if it is a message that does not agree with what the people want to hear. It is difficult to believe the prophet and the prophecy. It is difficult for the prophet to hear and repeat an unpopular message.
The prophets step into the office and gift of prophecy resides in them. God speaks concisely but sometimes the person who heard the simple prophecy elaborates, adding more than what God says. Sometimes God gives a Word of Knowledge or a Word of Wisdom.
When you prophesy – say the Word of the Lord, don’t elaborate on that. God gives prophecy to encourage and edify.
Pastor Don said to preach the regular basics until the anointing falls and then walk in the office of the prophet.
1 Corinthians 14:1 Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy.
The gift to speak in tongues comes as an outward manifestation of receiving the Holy Spirit, and those tongues are for personal edification. The other kind of tongues is to speak in tongues as a prophet with interpretation.
1 Corinthians 13:13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
Since there are no chapters and verses in this epistle, 13:13 is followed by 14:1 with no break in the narrative.
We are to desire spiritual gifts and the greatest gift is love. Prophecy is to speak forth the Word or God or to foretell the future.
If you are looking for the heart of God, you will speak a Word of Prophecy and God will open up the prophecy.
Step into your prophetic gift. Paul said that He wished all would prophesy.
1 Corinthians 14:2 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.
God has an appointed time for all to hear His Word. When we speak in tongues we are speaking mysteries to God. When we speak in tongues we have the faith to know that we are speaking to God. The reason people don’t believe in tongues is they don’t believe that tongues are speaking mysteries to God. It does not make sense to their natural mind.
You have to have faith to believe something supernatural, that God speaks to our hearts, bypassing our brain. The tongues in this verse are personal prayer language. Verse three deals with prophecies in tongues that edify others.
1 Corinthians 14:3 But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men.
These tongues are to speak to the edification of others, to exhort and comfort . Verse 4 is easier to believe.
1 Corinthians 14:4 He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church.
It is easier to believe verse four because people want to help others. It takes faith to believe that nonsense syllables can speak mysteries to God and man. People resist this until they are taught the truth about tongues. Sometimes we need to get our mind out of the way so that we are open to hear what God has to say to our spirit.
Pastor Don continues teaching on this in the following Bible study.
Hoping you have a great day.