1 Corinthians 14:26-40

Talks for Growing Christians

Further Instructions About Spiritual Gifts in the Church

1 Corinthians 14:26-40

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Lesson Number 21

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. The priesthood of all believers should be practiced in the church today.
  2. God’s structure of authority should be practiced in the church today.

Practical Application

  1. Don’t pull Galatians 3:28 out of context.


  1. Why did Paul need to lay out limits and regulations for the use of spiritual gifts in the church?
  2. What limits were given in the first half of this chapter?
  3. What additional regulations were given for the gift of tongues?
  4. What regulations were given for the gift of prophecy?
  5. Explain 1 Corinthians 14:32, “And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.”


  1. The Corinthian Christians were placing an undue emphasis on the gift of tongues. Not only was there pride and jealousy concerning the gift of tongues, but they were exercising this gift in a disorderly way in the church.
  2. a. The limit of interpretation b. The limit of priorities c. The limit of order
  3. a. At most, only three individuals should speak in tongues at any given worship service. b. No more than one person should speak in a tongue at one time. c. There must be an interpretation.
  4. a. At most three prophets should speak at a worship service. b. They were also to speak in turn. c. One speaker should not monopolize the time, but give way to the other prophets.
  5. Both in control and content of the prophecy, the prophet rules what he says. There is no excuse that his spiritual gift went “out of control.” The prophecy should be in line with the Word of God and the way it is delivered should not lead to confusion in the church, but rather peace.


  1. The priesthood of all believers should be practiced in the church today. All believers should be encouraged to use their spiritual gifts in various ministries and opportunities. Does your church encourage this? Are you personally fulfilling your opportunity for priesthood?
  2. 1 Corinthians 11, 1 Corinthians 14, and 2 Timothy 2 all deal with the role of women in the church. While there is some room for discussion with these passages, the structure of authority with male leadership in the church is to be maintained as God ordained it. Discuss this.


  1. Galatians 3:28 should not be used to deny the role distinction between men and women in the church. The context of this verse is salvation—praise God that He offers salvation to us all equally!

Key Verses

  • “Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification.” 1 Corinthians 14:26
  • “Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak; but they are to be submissive.” 1 Corinthians 14:34
  • “Let all things be done decently and in order.” 1 Corinthians 14:40

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