ImmerseMessiah NLT - Page 155



13:13–14:17
1 C o ri n thia n s
143
Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest
of these is love.
Let love be your highest goal! But you should also desire the special abilities the Spirit gives—especially the ability to prophesy. 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. But one who prophesies strengthens others, encourages them, and comforts them. 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 prophesy. For prophecy is greater than speaking in tongues, unless
someone interprets what 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 language, how would that help you? But if I bring you a revelation
or some special knowledge or prophecy or teaching, that will be helpful.
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 foreigner
to me. 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
interpret what has been said. 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. 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? You
will be giving thanks very well, but it won’t strengthen the people who
hear you.





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