1 Corinthians 14:1-40 Comments by Stephen Ricker
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Prophecy and Public Worship
Comments for Study 10

1 Corinthians 14:1-40
Memory Verse: 24

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I. Prophecy Better Than Speaking in Tongues (14:1-25)

>1. What two things should Christian's desire? (1a)

* 1 Corinthians 14:1a "Follow the way of love and eagerly desire spiritual gifts"

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>What is the gift of prophecy? (1b)

* 1 Corinthians 14:1b "especially the gift of prophecy."

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>What is speaking in tongues? (10; Acts 2:5-6)

* 1 Corinthians 14:10 "Undoubtedly there are all sorts of languages in the world, yet none of them is without meaning."

* Acts 2:5-6 "Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard them speaking in his own language."/p>

* Speaking in tongues was never taught by men, but given by God for a specific purpose, so others could hear the gospel.

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>why is it the most desirable of the gifts? (2-4)

* 1 Corinthians 14:2-4 "For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God. Indeed, no one understands him; he utters mysteries with his spirit. But everyone who prophesies speaks to men for their strengthening, encouragement and comfort. He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church."

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>2. How can speaking in tongues be as important as prophecy? (5-6)

* 1 Corinthians 14:5-6 "I would like every one of you to speak in tongues, but I would rather have you prophesy. He who prophesies is greater than one who speaks in tongues, unless he interprets, so that the church may be edified. Now, brothers, if I come to you and speak in tongues, what good will I be to you, unless I bring you some revelation or knowledge or prophecy or word of instruction?"

* "unless he interprets"

* "so that the church may be edified"

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>Why was the Corinthian Christian practice of speaking in tongues all wrong? (7-8)

* 1 Corinthians 14:7-8 "Even in the case of lifeless things that make sounds, such as the flute or harp, how will anyone know what tune is being played unless there is a distinction in the notes? Again, if the trumpet does not sound a clear call, who will get ready for battle?"

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>How has some modern day congregations followed the Corinthian congregation's error? (9-11)

* 1 Corinthians 14:9-11 "So it is with you. Unless you speak intelligible words with your tongue, how will anyone know what you are saying? You will just be speaking into the air. Undoubtedly there are all sorts of languages in the world, yet none of them is without meaning. If then I do not grasp the meaning of what someone is saying, I am a foreigner to the speaker, and he is a foreigner to me."

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>How might one excel at a spiritual gift? (12)

* 1 Corinthians 14:12 "So it is with you. Since you are eager to have spiritual gifts, try to excel in gifts that build up the church."

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>3. If given speaking in tongues what should be my motive in doing it publicly? (13, 16)

* 1 Corinthians 14:13 "For this reason anyone who speaks in a tongue should pray that he may interpret what he says."

* 1 Corinthians 14:16 "If you are praising God with your spirit, how can one who finds himself among those who do not understand say "Amen" to your thanksgiving, since he does not know what you are saying? You may be giving thanks well enough, but the other man is not edified."

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>What should be recognized if done in private? (14-15)

* 1 Corinthians 14:14-15 "For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful. So what shall I do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my mind; I will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my mind."

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>What did Paul personally practice? (18-19)

* 1 Corinthians 14:18-19 "I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you.But in the church I would rather speak five intelligible words to instruct others than ten thousand words in a tongue."

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>4. What kind of thinking should be part of the Christian life? (20)

* 1 Corinthians 14:20 "Brothers, stop thinking like children. In regard to evil be infants, but in your thinking be adults."

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>How does the word of God support the use of tongues and prophecies? (21-22)

* 1 Corinthians 14:21-22 "In the Law it is written: "Through men of strange tongues and through the lips of foreigners I will speak to this people, but even then they will not listen to me," says the Lord." Tongues, then, are a sign, not for believers but for unbelievers; prophecy, however, is for believers, not for unbelievers."

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>5. Who should we consider when we conduct a worship service? (23-24)

* 1 Corinthians 14:23-24 "So if the whole church comes together and everyone speaks in tongues, and some who do not understand or some unbelievers come in, will they not say that you are out of your mind? But if an unbeliever or someone who does not understand comes in while everybody is prophesying, he will be convinced by all that he is a sinner and will be judged by all,"

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>What should be the outcome of an unbeliever if he is brought or enters our worship service? (25)

* 1 Corinthians 14:25 "and the secrets of his heart will be laid bare. So he will fall down and worship God, exclaiming, "God is really among you!"

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II. Orderly Public Worship (14:26-40)

>6. How did personal enthusiasm get out of control in the Corinthian worship services? (26)

* 1 Corinthians 14:26 "What then shall we say, brothers? When you come together, everyone has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. All of these must be done for the strengthening of the church."

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>7. What kind of personal control must a person have if they have the gift of tongues? (27-28)

* 1 Corinthians 14:27-28 "If anyone speaks in a tongue, two--or at the most three--should speak, one at a time, and someone must interpret. If there is no interpreter, the speaker should keep quiet in the church and speak to himself and God."

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>What kind of personal control must a person have if they have the gift of prophecy? (29)

* 1 Corinthians 14:29 "Two or three prophets should speak, and the others should weigh carefully what is said."

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>What kind of mutual respect should a speaker and a listener have? (30-31)

* 1 Corinthians 14:30-31 "And if a revelation comes to someone who is sitting down, the first speaker should stop. For you can all prophesy in turn so that everyone may be instructed and encouraged."

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>8. What does verse 32 mean?

* 1 Corinthians 14:32 "The spirits of prophets are subject to the control of prophets."

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>What is the conclusion about way to conduct a worship service? (33a)

* 1 Corinthians 14:33a "For God is not a God of disorder but of peace."

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>9. Why might the direction in verses 33b-35 be given?

* 1 Corinthians 14:33b-35 " As in all the congregations of the saints, women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church."

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>How might these verses be applied in a congregation today?

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>10. What should all congregations remember and publicly acknowledge? (36-37)

* 1 Corinthians 14:36-37 "Did the word of God originate with you? Or are you the only people it has reached? If anybody thinks he is a prophet or spiritually gifted, let him acknowledge that what I am writing to you is the Lord's command."

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>Why?

* 1 Corinthians 14:38 "If he ignores this, he himself will be ignored."

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>What is the three directions we should follow then? (39-40)

* 1 Corinthians 14:39-40 "Therefore, my brothers, be eager to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues. But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way."

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