Gifts of Speech and Their Use in the Church

Gifts of Speech and Their Use in the Church

1 Corinthians 14:­1-19

Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy.

For one who speaks in a tongue speaks not to men but to God; for no one understands him, but

he utters mysteries in the Spirit. On the other hand, the one who prophesies speaks to people for

their upbuilding and encouragement and consolation. The one who speaks in a tongue builds up

himself, but the one who prophesies builds up the church. Now I want you all to speak in

tongues, but even more to prophesy. The one who prophesies is greater than the one who speaks

in tongues, unless someone interprets, so that the church may be built up.

Now, brothers, if I come to you speaking in tongues, how will I benefit you unless I bring

you some revelation or knowledge or prophecy or teaching? If even lifeless instruments, such as

the flute or the harp, do not give distinct notes, how will anyone know what is played? And if the

bugle gives an indistinct sound, who will get ready for battle? So with yourselves, if with your

tongue you utter speech that is not intelligible, how will anyone know what is said? For you will

be speaking into the air. There are doubtless many different languages in the world, and none is

without meaning, but if I do not know the meaning of the language, I will be a foreigner to the

speaker and the speaker a foreigner to me. So with yourselves, since you are eager for

manifestations of the Spirit, strive to excel in building up the church.

Therefore, one who speaks in a tongue should pray that he may interpret. For if I pray in

a tongue, my spirit prays but my mind is unfruitful. What am I to do? I will pray with my spirit,

but I will pray with my mind also; I will sing praise with my spirit, but I will sing with my mind

also. Otherwise, if you give thanks with your spirit, how can anyone in the position of an outsider

say “Amen” to your thanksgiving when he does not know what you are saying? For you may be

giving thanks well enough, but the other person is not being built up. I thank God that I speak in

tongues more than all of you. Nevertheless, in church I would rather speak five words with my

mind in order to instruct others, than ten thousand words in a tongue.