Christian Basics Bible Sampler - Page 28

1 Corinthians 14 • page 1318
childish in your understanding of these
things. Be innocent as babies when it
comes to evil, but be mature in under­
standing matters of this kind. 21 It is written
in the Scriptures*:
“I will speak to my own people
through strange languages
and through the lips of foreigners.
But even then, they will not listen to me,”*
says the Lord.
So you see that speaking in tongues is a
sign, not for believers, but for unbelievers.
Prophecy, however, is for the benefit of
believers, not unbelievers. 23 Even so, if
unbelievers or people who don’t under­
stand these things come into your church
meeting and hear every­one speaking in an
unknown language, they will think you are
crazy. 24 But if all of you are prophesying,
and unbelievers or people who don’t under­
stand these things come into your meeting,
they will be convicted of sin and judged by
what you say. 25 As they listen, their secret
thoughts will be exposed, and they will fall
to their knees and worship God, declaring,
“God is truly here among you.”
A Call to Orderly Worship
Well, my brothers and sisters, let’s sum­
marize. When you meet together, one will
sing, another will teach, another will tell
some special revelation God has given, one
will speak in tongues, and another will in­
terpret what is said. But every­thing that is
done must strengthen all of you.
No more than two or three should speak
in tongues. They must speak one at a time,
and someone must interpret what they say.
But if no one is pres­ent who can interpret,
they must be silent in your church meeting
and speak in tongues to God privately.
Let two or three people prophesy, and
let the others evaluate what is said. 30 But
if someone is prophesying and another
person receives a revelation from the Lord,
the one who is speaking must stop. 31 In this
way, all who prophesy will have a turn to
speak, one after the other, so that every­one
will learn and be encouraged. 32 Remember
that people who prophesy are in control of
their spirit and can take turns. 33 For God is
not a God of disorder but of peace, as in all
the meetings of God’s holy people.*
Women should be silent during the
church meetings. It is not proper for them
to speak. They should be submissive, just
as the law says. 35If they have any questions,
they should ask their husbands at home, for
it is improper for women to speak in church
Or do you think God’s word originated
with you Co­rinthians? Are you the only ones
to whom it was given? 37 If you claim to be
Prophecy in the New Testament
Despite the Corinthians’ misuse of spiritual gifts, Paul does not try to stop their
use but rather encourages them to seek the gifts all the more (1 Corinthians 14:1)—
especially prophecy. Prophecy is not a sermon. As in Old Testament times, it is a
word brought directly from God. But its purpose has changed. In the Old Testament,
the prophet’s role was to call Israel’s king and people to live in line with the
covenant God had made with them (see Prophecy in the Old Testament, page 903).
But the church is not a theocratic nation, so prophecy’s purpose is now different.
While it may still involve predicting future events at times (e.g., Acts 11:27-30;
21:10-11), its main purpose now is to strengthen, encourage, and comfort others
(1 Corinthians 14:3) in order to strengthen (or “build up”) the church (14:4-5, 12, 17).
While only some will become recognized as “prophets” (e.g., 12:28-29), all should
desire to prophesy (14:1)—at least at this level of strengthening, encouraging,
and comforting others. And just as in the Old Testament (Deuteronomy 18:17-22),
prophecy should always be tested (1 Corinthians 14:29).
The need for prophecy will only disappear “when the time of perfection
comes” (13:10)—the perfected order at Christ’s return—for once he is in our
midst, there will be no need of prophecy or any other gift of the Holy Spirit.

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