Prophesy in Public Worship
1 Corinthians 14:1-5
(1) Always pursue the way of love and zealously seek the gifts of the Holy Spirit, especially that you should prophesy.
(2) For whoever speaks in a spiritual language (tongues) in a church gathering does not speak to people but to God; he speaks mysteries in the Holy Spirit that no one can understand. (3) But, on the other hand, whoever prophesies speaks to people for their upbuilding (strengthening), encouragement, and comfort. (4) Whoever speaks in a spiritual language (tongues) edifies themselves, but whoever prophesies builds up (edifies) the church.
(5) Now I want all of you to speak in spiritual languages (tongues), but I would rather have you prophesy. For whoever prophesies is greater (much more effective) than those who speak in spiritual languages (tongues)—unless someone is given the ability by God to interpret (make understandable) the tongues, so that the church will be edified (built up).
The Speaking Gifts in Public Worship
1 Corinthians 14:6-12
(6) Now, my brothers and sisters, if I come to you in Corinth and speak in spiritual languages (tongues), what good would I be doing for you, unless I bring you some revelation or knowledge or prophecy or teaching (word of instruction), so you can understand what I am saying?
(7) Even in the case of lifeless musical instruments that make sounds, like the flute or harp, how will anyone know what melody is being played unless there is a distinction in the notes? (8) Again, if the trumpet does not produce a clear call, who will get ready for battle?
(9) It’s the same with you. Unless you speak understandable words in the church gathering how will anyone know what you are saying? You will simply be speaking into the air! (10) Yes, there are many languages in the world, but there is no language that does not have a meaning. (11) If then I do not understand the meaning of what someone is saying, I am a foreigner to the speaker, and the speaker is a foreigner to me. (12) So it is with you in Corinth.
Since you are zealously pursuing the gifts of the Holy Spirit, be sure you excel in those gifts that build up (edify) the church.
Spiritual Languages in Public Worship
1 Corinthians 14:13-19
(13) Therefore, for this reason, whoever speaks in a spiritual language (tongue) in a church gathering should pray that they are given the ability by God to interpret—to explain what they are saying so that others can understand. (14) For if I pray in a spiritual language (tongue), my spirit prays, but I do not know what I am saying (my mind is unfruitful). (15) So what should I do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my understanding (mind); I will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my understanding (mind). (16) Otherwise when you are praising God in the Holy Spirit, how can outsiders (seekers, inquirers) respond by saying, “Amen” to your thanksgiving, since they do not know what you are saying? (17) For you are surely giving thanks to God, but no one else in the church gathering is being built up (edified).
(18) I thank God that I speak in spiritual languages (tongues) more than all of you. (19) But in a church gathering I would rather speak five intelligible words to instruct others than 10,000 words in a spiritual language (tongue) that no one can understand.
Unbelievers in Public Worship
1 Corinthians 14:20-25
(20) My brothers and sisters, stop thinking like children. Be infants in evil, but in your thinking be mature adults. (21) As it is written in Isaiah 28:11-12, “Through men of strange languages and through the lips of foreigners, I will speak to this people; but even then they will not listen to me, says the Lord.” (22) So then, spiritual languages (tongues) are a sign to unbelievers but not believers; however prophecy is a sign to believers, but not unbelievers.
(23) Therefore, when the whole church gathers together and everyone speaks in spiritual languages (tongues), and outside inquirers and unbelievers come in, they will say that you are crazy, out of your minds. (24) But if outside inquirers and unbelievers enter the church gathering while everyone is prophesying, they are convicted of their sin and are brought under judgment by all—(25) and the secrets of their hearts are exposed. So they will fall down and worship God, declaring, “God is really among you!”
Spiritual Order in Public Worship
1 Corinthians 14:26-33
(26) Therefore, what then should we say my brothers and sisters? When you gather as the church, each of you has a song (hymn), or a teaching (word of instruction), a revelation, a spiritual language (tongue), or an interpretation of tongues.
Everything must be done so that all the people of the church will be built up (edified). (27) Whenever believers speak in a spiritual language (tongue) during a church gathering, only two people—or at the most three—should speak, in proper order, and someone must be present to provide an interpretation so that everyone can understand. (28) If there is no one present to provide an interpretation, then no one should speak in a spiritual language (tongue) in the church, and only speak in a spiritual language (tongue) to himself and to God.
(29) Only two or three prophets should speak in a church gathering, so that the others can discern (weigh carefully) what is being said. (30) And if a revelation comes to a person sitting down, the first speaker should stop speaking. (31) For you can all prophesy in turn—one by one—so that everyone in the church can be instructed and encouraged. (32) The spirits of prophets are subject to the control of prophets. (33) For God is not a God of confusion (disorder), but of peace (order)—this is my teaching in all the churches of the Lord’s people.
Wives in Public Worship
1 Corinthians 14:34-35
(34) Wives should not speak out of order in church gatherings (remaining silent does not mean wives can’t speak in the church, for 1 Corinthians 11:5 tells us that they pray and prophesy. The context of this passage clearly concerns wives, not women in general). They should not be allowed to speak out of order, but should show respect (submission) to their husbands, as the law of Moses says. (35) If wives want to ask their husbands a question (possibly to learn the meaning of a prophesy), then they should ask them at home, because it is disgraceful for a wife to speak out of order during a church gathering.
Paul Corrects the Corinthian Church
1 Corinthians 14:36-40
(36) Did God’s word originate with you in Corinth? Or are you the only people that have received it? (37) If anyone in Corinth claims they are a prophet or gifted by the Holy Spirit, they should acknowledge that what I am writing to you is the Lord’s command. (38) But if anyone ignores my teaching, then they should be ignored.
(39) Therefore, my brothers and sisters, zealously seek to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in spiritual languages (tongues). (40) But make sure that everything is done in a proper and orderly way in the church gathering.