1 Corinthians 14:1-12
Spiritual Gifts and the Gift of Preaching
Sunday, February 13, 2022
Scripture: 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. (1 Corinthians 14:1–12).
Main Point: The main point is that clear biblical preaching has the power to change lives that is essential for corporate worship.
I. The whole chapter describes corporate worship. “The one who prophesies speaks to the people.”
II. Love must be our foundation for worship. “Pursue love. . .”
III. We all should desire the gift of prophecy (good biblical preaching). “Yet, desire earnestly spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy” (14:1).
a. Tongues is unnecessary in worship because it edifies the speaker alone. “For one who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men, but to God; for no one understands him, but in his spirit he utters mysteries. . . . One who speaks in a tongue builds up himself” (14:2, 4).
b. Prophecy (good biblical preaching) edifies the whole church. “The one who prophesies speaks to people for upbuilding and encouragement and consolation. . . . But the one who prophesies edifies the Church. . . . The one who prophesies is greater than the one who speaks in tongues” (14:3-5).
c. Tongues requires additional spiritual gifts. “But now, brethren, if I come to you speaking in tongues, what shall I profit you, unless I speak to you either by way of revelation or of knowledge or of prophesy or teaching” (14:6).
d. Only clear speech and biblical preaching can teach spiritual truth that benefit worshippers. “Unless you utter by the tongue speech that is clear, how will it be known what is spoken? For you will be speaking into the air. . . . If then I do not know the meaning of the language, I shall be to the one who speaks a barbarian” (14:9, 11).
IV. Consequently, we must use our gifts and preaching to build up the Church. “So also you, since you are zealous of spiritual gifts, strive to excel in building up the Church” (14:12).
Challenge: God’s love should be the foundation of Christ’s Church. Do you seek clear, biblical preaching, and do you use your gifts and talents to bless people and build up the church?
Invitation: Respond to this message by making God’s love the motivating factor of your life, and then ask God to bless you with additional spiritual gifts so you can minister more.