1 Corinthians 14



1 Corinthians 14 addresses the appropriate use of spiritual gifts, particularly the gifts of tongues and prophecy, in the context of worship gatherings. Paul emphasizes the priority of edification, orderliness, and clarity in the exercise of these gifts for the benefit of the entire church.


  1. The Priority of Prophecy (1 Corinthians 14:1-5): Paul encourages the Corinthians to pursue the gift of prophecy, as it benefits the entire church by providing understanding and edification. He contrasts speaking in tongues, which is primarily a personal communication with God, with prophecy, which benefits the community.
  2. Understanding in Worship (1 Corinthians 14:6-19): Paul emphasizes the importance of intelligible communication in worship. If there is speaking in tongues, there should be interpretation for the benefit of the assembly. He highlights the need for clarity and order in the use of spiritual gifts during gatherings.
  3. Orderly Worship (1 Corinthians 14:20-33): Paul provides guidelines for the orderly exercise of spiritual gifts in the worship setting. He emphasizes that everything should be done for edification, and there should be no confusion. Speakers in tongues should take turns, and there should be interpretation. Women are also instructed to be silent in the church and not to speak in tongues without interpretation.
  4. Final Instructions on Tongues and Prophecy (1 Corinthians 14:34-40): Paul concludes with instructions on the proper use of speaking in tongues and prophecy. He reiterates the importance of order and decency in worship. He encourages the Corinthians to earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially prophecy, but to ensure that everything is done decently and in order.