1 Corinthians 14:1-25 : Easy-to-Read Version  | SearchSearch | Next Version | Previous Page | Next Page |

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Use Spiritual Gifts to Help the Church

14 1Love is the thing you should try for. And you should truly want to have the spiritual gifts. And the gift you should want most is to be able to prophesy.* 2I will explain why: A person [that has the gift of] speaking in a [different] language is not speaking to people. He is speaking to God. No one understands that person--he is speaking secret things through the Spirit.* 3But a person that prophesies is speaking to people. He gives people strength, encouragement, and comfort. 4The person that speaks in a [different] language is helping only himself. But the person that prophesies is helping the whole church. 5I would like all of you [to have the gift of] speaking in [different] languages. But more, I want you to prophesy. The person that prophesies is greater than the person that can only speak in [different] languages. But the person speaking in [different] languages is the same as the person that prophesies if he can also interpret those languages. Then the church can be helped [by what he says]. 6Brothers [and sisters], will it help you if I come to you speaking in [different] languages? No! It will help you only if I bring you a new truth or some knowledge, or some prophecy,* or some teaching. 7It is the same as with non-living things that make sounds--like a flute or a harp. If the different musical notes are not made clear, then you can't understand what song is being played. Each note must be played clearly for you to be able to understand the tune. 8And [in a war], if the trumpet does not sound clearly, then the soldiers will not know it is time to prepare for fighting. 9It is the same with you. The words you speak with your tongue must be clear. If you don't speak clearly, then no person can understand what you are saying. You will be talking to the air! 10It is true that there are many kinds of speech in the world. And they all have meaning. 11So if I don't understand the meaning of what a person says to me, then I think that he talks strange, and he thinks that I talk strange. 12It is the same with you. You want spiritual gifts very much. So try most to have those things that help the church grow stronger. 13So the person that has the gift of speaking in a [different] language should pray that he can also interpret the things he says. 14If I pray in a [different] language, then my spirit is praying, but my mind does nothing. 15So what should I do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my mind. I will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my mind. 16You might be praising God with your spirit. But a person there without understanding cannot say "Amen"* to your prayer of thanks. Why? Because he does not know what you are saying. 17You may be thanking God in a good way, but the other person is not helped. 18I thank God that my gift of speaking in [different kinds of] languages is greater than any of yours. 19But in the church meetings I would rather speak five words that I understand than thousands of words in a [different] language. I would rather speak with my understanding, so that I can teach other people. 20Brothers [and sisters], don't think like children. In evil things be like babies. But in your thinking you should be like full-grown people. 21It is written in the Scriptures*: "Using people that speak different kinds of languages and using the lips of foreigners, I will speak to these people; but even then these people will not obey me." Isaiah 28:11-12 

That is what the Lord says. 22So, [here, different] languages are a proof for people that don't believe, not for people that believe. And prophecy* is for people that believe, not for people that don't believe. 23Suppose the whole church meets together and you all speak in [different] languages. If some people come in that are without understanding or don't believe, then those people will say you are crazy. 24But suppose you are all prophesying* and a person comes in that does not believe or a person without understanding comes in. If you are all prophesying, then that person's sin will be shown to him, and he will be judged by all the things you say. 25The secret things in that person's heart will be made known. So that person will bow down and worship God. He will say, "Truly, God is with you."

prophesy(ing) To speak or teach things from God. Spirit, Holy Spirit Also called the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Christ, and the Comforter. Joined with God and Christ, he does God's work among people in the world. Scriptures Literally, "law," which sometimes means the Old Testament.

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