1 Corinthians 14:1-25

Talks for Growing Christians

The Spiritual Gifts of Tongues and Prophecy

1 Corinthians 14:1-25

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Lesson Number 20

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. The gift of prophecy is greater for the church than the gift of tongues.
  2. The gift of tongues should be limited in the church, but not condemned.

Practical Application

  1. It’s okay to say “Amen” at church.


  1. What is the topic of 1 Corinthians 12-14?
  2. What is the best way to find out your spiritual gift?
  3. What is the point of 1 Corinthians 12:31 and 14:1?
  4. Why is the gift of tongues not as great as the spiritual gift of prophecy?
  5. Define the gift of prophecy.
  6. Review the limits put on the gift of tongues in the church.


  1. The proper use of spiritual gifts.
  2. Get involved in Christian service and seek feedback from fellow believers about how your ministry best builds up the body.
  3. You should pray for the Lord to raise up individuals in your church that have the spiritual gifts that are of the greatest benefit for the body.
  4. Because unless the tongues are interpreted, there is no edification of the body (verse 5).
  5. Prophecy is telling forth the truth of God in the language of the people.
  6. a. The limit of interpretation. b. The limit of priorities. c. The limit of order.


  1. Review the argument that the gift of prophecy is greater for the church than the gift of tongues. The end result is the edification or building up of the body. This is the goal we should have in mind when we practice our spiritual gifts.
  2. Review this teaching on the spiritual gift of tongues. Is it different than what you have heard before? Does it help you have a better understanding of the issue?


  1. Do you agree with what someone is teaching at church? Go ahead, say, “Amen!”

Key Verses

  • “He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church.” 1 Corinthians 14:4
  • “Even so you, since you are zealous for spiritual gifts, let it be for the edification of the church that you seek to excel.” 1 Corinthians 14:12
  • “Brethren, do not be children in understanding; however, in malice be babes, but in understanding be mature.” 1 Corinthians 14:20

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