1 Corinthians 14 by Pastor Don Moore
Bible study notes from August 31, 2012
1 Corinthians 14:14 For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful.
Speaking in tongues occurs in the realm of faith. Tongues silences and distracts the mind, but the spirit man is connected to God. We can pray for interpretation of tongues.
As carnal people, we are not comfortable with things we do not understand.
1 Corinthians 14:15 What is the conclusion then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding.
You don’t have to be bound to do it only one way, do both. Then the spirit man and the carnal man can both be fed and developed. The intellectual part of us is happy and the spiritual is heightened.
We sing in the spirit all the time. Pastor Don gave the example of a person singing a song, and in the middle of the song forgetting the lyrics, so they fill in with la da de dah, dah da and then goes back to singing the lyrics they know. God knows the lyrics you forgot and filled in with the nonsense syllables.
If you apply faith to it in the spiritual realm it has value.
1 Corinthians 14:16 Otherwise, if you bless with the spirit, how will he who occupies the place of the uninformed say “Amen” at your giving of thanks, since he does not understand what you say?
Someone who doesn’t speak in tongues can’t know to say Amen if they do not understand the spiritual language, but if we do tongues with interpretation even the uninformed can worship and say Amen – we serve a great God who provides for all.
1 Corinthians 14:17 For you indeed give thanks well, but the other is not edified.
If you only pray in tongues, not mindful of the others worshipping who do not speak in tongues, what good is that to the other people? If you sing only in tongues, an uninformed person will think you are a fool.
Most people who think they are hearing from God aren’t, because they are speaking from their emotion. God speaks spirit to Spirit. We need to hear the transitional voice. Hearing from God in the inner voice, not to hear from the emotion and attributing that to God.
We’re here as a vessel. We need to pray what God wants us to pray. God knows what the prayer needs to be. I will pray in tongues and God can use what He needs from my tongues.
When we agree and pray in tongues our spirit is big enough to hear what God saying. What does the Word of the Lord say?
When we pray with our words instead of tongues we want to pray the will of God. Make your prayer with praise and thanksgiving. Read the prayers of David, Jeremiah, and the other prophets. Imitate those prayers and the prayers of Jesus and the Apostles.
Ask God in Jesus’ Name. Give him the ability to change or alter what we are praying in error. We must not judge, just obey God.
1 Corinthians 14:18 I thank my God I speak with tongues more than you all;
Paul spoke more tongues than even the Corinthians who were super spiritual. We should resolve to speak in tongues more. Imitate Paul.
1 Corinthians 14:19 yet in the church I would rather speak five words with my understanding, that I may teach others also, than ten thousand words in a tongue.
Yet, in church we must edify – so all understand. If there are tongues, there must be interpretation.
1 Corinthians 14:20 Brethren, do not be children in understanding; however, in malice be babes, but in understanding be mature.
We are still children grappling with some stuff. Paul says that we should be babes in malice but mature in understanding.
1 Corinthians 14:21 In the law it is written: “With men of other tongues and other lips I will speak to this people; and yet, for all that, they will not hear Me,” says the Lord.
God is making every effort to speak with men who speak with different languages. God speaks to us in the spirit language. Learn how to hear his distinctive voice. When God speaks it isn’t flowery language or a dissertation. Often it is one or two words, a picture or vision of something. We get hung up on the issues.
1 Corinthians 14:22 Therefore tongues are for a sign, not to those who believe but to unbelievers; but prophesying is not for unbelievers but for those who believe.
This verse has several different aspects of the same subject. Tongues are a sign to unbelievers (this is tongues with interpretation). The spiritual impact on an unbeliever when God speaks directly to a person’s needs, and the one speaking in tongues and prophesying has no direct knowledge of the person’s needs. The reason this kind of tongues is not a sign for the believer is because all believers should be speaking in tongues. Prophesying is for the believer. When someone comes and prophesies over you in a prayer line, it is a sign for the believer for it is God helping a person to line up with the will of God. An unbeliever would not understand getting their “mail” read.
1 Corinthians 14:23 Therefore if the whole church comes together in one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those who are uninformed or unbelievers, will they not say that you are out of your mind?
If the whole church is speaking in tongues and there are unbelievers or uninformed people in the church they will think the members of the church are out of their mind and the unbelievers won’t be changed by the service.
Pastor Don spoke about a time when he went to a church, before he spoke in tongues, and everyone in the church was speaking in tongues. No one came over to greet Pastor and his wife and no one explained what was happening. They were all in their own little world praying in tongues. After a while Pastor Don and his wife left the church. No one noticed they left.
1 Corinthians 14:24 But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or an uninformed person comes in, he is convinced by all, he is convicted by all.
If there is a meeting where everyone are believers and are speaking in tongues and prophesying – go for it. If an unbeliever or uninformed person comes in, they will be convicted what they are saying. For the prophesying would also come with interpretation.
1 Corinthians 14:25 And thus the secrets of his heart are revealed; and so, falling down on his face, he will worship God and report that God is truly among you.
If the church together is preaching the Word of God, the prophecies of God, the spoken Word with signs and wonders, the unbeliever will fall down on their face and worship God.
1 Corinthians 14:26 How is it then, brethren? Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification.
In the Corinthian church everyone would come in speaking in tongues, teaching, singing psalms, and sharing revelations. This made for great confusion in the Church and God is God of order. All of these are appropriate for a church service, but they must be done so everyone is edified. There are many times we get a tongue with interpretation that is for our own self, not for the whole body of Christ. Paul will lay down guidelines to bring order into the chaos that was happening in the Corinthian church. These guidelines are also applicable to churches today because God still likes order.
1 Corinthians 14:27 If anyone speaks in a tongue, let there be two or at the most three, each in turn, and let one interpret.
Only two or at most three should speak in tongues at a service and those tongues should be interpreted. We are to be worshipping in unity, and speaking the heart of God.
1 Corinthians 14:28 But if there is no interpreter, let him keep silent in church, and let him speak to himself and to God.
In a church with believers and unbelievers, if you have a tongue but there is no interpreter, do not speak the tongue. By the way, it is possible to pray in tongues in church or even at home or work – you can pray so quietly under your breath so it is not heard by those around you (Pastor Don demonstrated this). The service should be conducted in decency and order for the benefit of the congregation.
1 Corinthians 14:29 Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others judge.
We don’t just accept any prophecy, we must judge to see that it really is from God and if the Spirit and the Word agree.
1 Corinthians 14:30-32 But if anything is revealed to another who sits by, let the first keep silent. For you can all prophesy one by one, that all may learn and all may be encouraged. And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.
Given the two or three prophets speak, if you get a prophecy it doesn’t mean you have to speak it out loud. We don’t want to get caught up in church politics. People want to speak so their prophecy is heard, but then the church is out of order. The spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets – meaning we have the choice to speak out or not speak out.
1 Corinthians 14:33 For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.
This is the key – God is a God of order, not confusion.
1 Corinthians 14:34-35 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. 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.
These verses have been taken out of context. This has been used today to say that women are not to speak in the church or minister from the pulpit.
Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
Paul is speaking to the church in Corinth, and the Greek married women, in their culture. But this does not apply for all. In that time, the Greek women spoke out disturbing the services. Women were on one side of the room, men on the other. If a woman had a question, she would call out to her husband across the room and ask a question. That made for chaos in the service. Paul was saying that if a woman had a question, she could wait and ask it of her husband at home.
Paul speaks of Phoebe who is a lady preacher. Philip’s daughter was a prophetess. We are to take the whole Bible literally, but we can’t pull the Word out of its cultural setting, and thus it can’t be taken literally for all situations.
Paul is saying that churches should maintain order.
Two thousand years ago women were not educated and had no rights. Now, in this day and age, women are educated with different cultural rules and spiritual roles. When God is in action, cultural rules are set aside.
Azusa Street Revival broke down the color barriers with signs and wonders.
1901-1950’s was the Pentecostal revival. Speaking in tongues returned to the Church.
We stopped our Bible study at this point, will continue the following week.
I hope you are enjoying these notes.