Summary: A look at applying the spiritual gifts to our service

Text: 1 Corinthians 14

Title: Applying Spiritual Gifts (Part 2)


If 1 Corinthians 12 was about discovering spiritual gifts; 1 Corinthians 14 is about the application of spiritual gifts.

Summarize the chapter under the following 4 headings

1.Our prayer

2.Our preference

3.Our parameters

4.Our participation

1.Our prayer (v1)

“Follow the way of love and eagerly desire spiritual gifts.”

“…and eagerly desire spiritual gifts.”

A. Not to have “I can take it or leave it” mentality towards the spiritual gifts

B.No. I am to eagerly desire spiritual gifts

C.Not just to desire but to… eagerly desire spiritual gifts

D.I am to pray with passion for the manifestation of spiritual gifts

E.One translation says “make spiritual gifts your aspiration.”

F.James says; “you have not because you ask not.”

G.Interpretation- you don’t have spiritual gifts because you don’t ask for spiritual gifts.

-“if you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.” (Lk. 11:13)

H. Refuse to have spiritual apathy- we have no desire for more of God; more of the spiritual gifts

I. Prayer of intercession-“I will not let you go until you bless me.”

J. Challenge –for each of us to eagerly desire spiritual gifts

2. Our preference

“Since you are eager to have spiritual gifts, try to excel in gifts that build up the church.”(v12)

A.Notice that Paul makes a distinction with the spiritual gifts.

B.Certain gifts build up the church and certain gifts don’t.

C.Which gifts does Paul prefer that we excel it? The gifts that build up the church.

D.Question: Which specific spiritual gifts build up the church?


1. The gift of prophecy. “Follow the way of love and eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy. (v1) How does the gift of prophesy build up the church? “But everyone who prophesies speaks to men for their strengthening, encouragement and comfort (v3); he who prophesies edifies the church (v4)

The gift of prophesy ministers to believers for their strengthening, encouragement and comfort.

The gift of prophesy is to be eagerly desired because it also ministers to unbelievers. “if a unbeliever or someone who does not understand comes in while everybody is prophesying, he will be judged by all, and the secrets of his heart will be laid bare. So he will fall down and worship God, exclaiming, “God is really among you.”(v24-25)

Spiritual gifts # 2 and 3. The gifts of tongues and the interpretation of tongues.

“For anyone who speaks in a tongue …utters mysteries with his spirit. (v2) For this reason anyone who speaks in a tongue should pray that he may interpret what he says. (v13)…so that the church may be edified. (v5)

Utters mysteries/interprets the mysteries thereby also edifying the church

Conclusion: it’s clear there is a preference for the gift of prophesy and the gifts of tongues and the interpretation of tongues.

Challenge : Pray with a preference

3. Our parameters

“Therefore, my brothers, be eager to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues. But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way.” (V39-40)

A.The Corinthian church was abusing the Spiritual gifts; especially the gift of tongues

B.Excuse “I can’t help it”

C. “The spirits of prophets are subject to the control of prophets. For God is not a God of disorder but of peace” (v32-33)

D.The Holy Spirit gives us the ability to speak in tongues, to interpret tongues, to prophesy- but He does not force us to blurt out those gifts. He expects His gifts to be exercised with discretion and maturity.

E.Parameters is not Quenching the Spirit

F.Parameters is Obeying the Spirit

G.What kind of parameters are mentioned in 1 Cor. 14?

H.# of messages in tongues or prophecy allowed in the service was limited to two or three.

“If anyone speaks in a tongue, two- or at the most three should speak” (v27)

“Two or three prophets should speak, and the others should weigh carefully what is said.” (v29)

I.Every message in tongues must be interpreted.

J.“For this reason anyone who speaks in a tongue should pray that he may interpret what he says.” (v13)

“If there is no interpreter, the speaker should keep quiet in the church, and speak to himself and God.” (v28)

“Unless you speak intelligible words with your tongue, how will anyone know what you are saying? You are just speaking into the air.” (v9)

“If then I do not grasp the meaning of what someone is saying, I am a foreigner to the speaker, and he is a foreigner to me.” (v11)

K.The manifestation of spiritual gifts must edify the church.

“but he who prophesies edifies the church…he who prophesies is greater than one who speaks in tongues unless he interprets, so that the church may be edified.” (v4-5)

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