Christian Basics Bible Sampler - Page 27

page 1317 • 1 Corinthians 14
nothing. If I gave every­thing I have to the
poor and even sacrificed my body, I could
boast about it;* but if I didn’t love others,
I would have gained nothing.
Love is patient and kind. Love is not
jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does
not demand its own way. It is not irritable,
and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It
does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices
whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never
gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful,
and endures through every circumstance.
Prophecy and speaking in unknown lan­
guages* and special knowledge will become
useless. But love will last forever! 9 Now our
knowledge is partial and incomplete, and
even the gift of prophecy reveals only part
of the whole picture! 10 But when the time of
perfection comes, these partial things will
become useless.
When I was a child, I spoke and thought
and reasoned as a child. But when I grew
up, I put away childish things. 12 Now we see
things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections
in a mirror, but then we will see every­thing
with perfect clarity.* All that I know now
is partial and incomplete, but then I will
know every­thing completely, just as God
now knows me completely.
Three things will last forever—faith,
hope, and love—and the greatest of these
is love.
Tongues and Prophecy
Let love be your highest goal! But you
should also desire the special abili­
ties the Spirit gives—especially the ability
to prophesy. 2 For if you have the ability
to speak in tongues,* you will be talking
only to God, since people won’t be able
to understand you. You will be speaking
by the power of the Spirit,* but it will all
be mysterious. 3 But one who prophesies
strengthens others, encourages them, and
comforts them. 4 A person who speaks in
tongues is strengthened personally, but one
who speaks a word of prophecy strengthens
the entire church.
I wish you could all speak in tongues,
but even more I wish you could all proph­
esy. For prophecy is greater than speaking
in tongues, unless someone interprets what
13:4-7 See Loving others, page 1220.
you are saying so that the whole church will
be strengthened.
Dear brothers and sisters,* if I should
come to you speaking in an unknown lan­
guage,* how would that help you? But if
I bring you a revelation or some special
knowledge or prophecy or teaching, that
will be helpful. 7 Even lifeless instruments
like the flute or the harp must play the notes
clearly, or no one will recognize the melody.
And if the bugler doesn’t sound a clear call,
how will the soldiers know they are being
called to battle?
It’s the same for you. If you speak to
people in words they don’t understand, how
will they know what you are saying? You
might as well be talking into empty space.
There are many different languages in
the world, and every language has meaning.
But if I don’t understand a language, I will
be a foreigner to someone who speaks it,
and the one who speaks it will be a for­
eigner to me. 12 And the same is true for you.
Since you are so eager to have the special
abilities the Spirit gives, seek those that will
strengthen the whole church.
So anyone who speaks in tongues
should pray also for the ability to inter­
pret what has been said. 14 For if I pray in
tongues, my spirit is praying, but I don’t
understand what I am saying.
Well then, what shall I do? I will pray
in the spirit,* and I will also pray in words
I understand. I will sing in the spirit, and I
will also sing in words I understand. 16 For if
you praise God only in the spirit, how can
those who don’t understand you praise God
along with you? How can they join you in
giving thanks when they don’t understand
what you are saying? 17 You will be giving
thanks very well, but it won’t strengthen
the people who hear you.
I thank God that I speak in tongues more
than any of you. 19 But in a church meeting
I would rather speak five understandable
words to help others than ten thousand
words in an unknown language.
Dear brothers and sisters, don’t be
13:3 Some manuscripts read sacrificed my body to be burned. 
13:8 Or in tongues. 
13:12 Greek see face to face. 
14:2a Or in
unknown languages; also in 14:4, 5, 13, 14, 18, 22, 26, 27, 28, 39. 
14:2b Or speaking in your spirit. 
14:6a Greek brothers; also in
14:20, 26, 39. 14:6b Or in tongues; also in 14:19, 23. 14:15 Or
in the Spirit; also in 14:15b, 16. 

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