Summary: We are to be careful communicators.

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  Study Tools


I Corinthians 14:6-25

S: Tongues

C: Communication

Th: Orderly Worship


?: How? How do we practice careful communication?

KW: Concept

TS: In our study of I Corinthians 14:6-25, we will discover three concepts that will enable us to be careful communicators of God’s Word.

Type: Expository, Propositional

The ____ concept is…

I. MEANING (6-12)

II. THINKING (13-19)


PA: How is the change to be observed?

• When considering tongues, the root meaning of “language” must give direction to your study.

• We are responsible to communicate clearly.

Version: ESV

RMBC 23 January 05 AM


Have you ever been confused by the language?

A new missionary recruit went to Venezuela for the first time. He was struggling with the language and didn’t understand a whole lot of what was going on. Intending to visit one of the local churches, he got lost, but eventually got back on track and found the place. Having arrived late, the church was already packed. The only pew left was the one on the front row.

So as not to make a fool of himself, he decided to pick someone out of the crowd to imitate. He chose to follow the man sitting next to him on the front pew. As they sang, the man clapped his hands, so the missionary recruit clapped too. When the man stood up to pray, the missionary recruit stood up too. When the man sat down, he sat down. When the man held the cup and bread for the Lord’s Supper, he held the cup and bread. During the preaching, the recruit didn’t understand a thing. He just sat there and tried to look just like that man in the front pew.

Then he perceived that the preacher was giving announcements. People clapped, so he looked to see if the man was clapping. He was, and so the recruit clapped too. Then the preacher said some words that he didn’t understand and he saw the man next to him stand up. So he stood up too. Suddenly a hush fell over the entire congregation. A few people gasped. He looked around and saw that nobody else was standing. So he sat down.

After the service ended, the preacher stood at the door shaking the hands of those who were leaving. When the missionary recruit stretched out his hand to greet the preacher, the preacher said, in English: "I take it you don’t speak Spanish."

The missionary recruit replied: "No I don’t. It’s that obvious?"

“Well yes," said the preacher, "I announced that the Acosta family had a newborn baby boy and would the proud father please stand up."

When you don’t know the language, it can be really confusing.


This is an issue we were discussing in last week’s study in I Corinthians 14.

We are in the second part of a three-part series on orderly worship.

And what we discovered, last week, was that…

1. In the corporate worship in Corinth, there was much confusion.

Because many of the Corinthians had a seeming flair for the dramatic, they were exercising the spiritual gift in tongues in excess.

Now, as a reminder, let us remember what spiritual gifts are.

Spiritual gifts are special abilities distributed by the Holy Spirit to every believer according to God’s design and grace for the common good of the body of Christ.

As you note by this definition, they are given to believers for the common good of the body.

In Corinth, though, the exercise of one particular gift – tongues – was causing division, not unity.

This was occurring because…

2. There was a misunderstanding of the nature and place of the spiritual gift of tongues.

Simply, the spiritual gift of tongues is the ability to speak a language that you have not learned.

The first appearance of tongues occurred in Acts 2.

People from all over the Roman empire had gathered for the Feast of Pentecost, and they heard the apostles speaking in their own language.

We learn some basic things about this first appearance.

First, it was a known foreign language, and they understood what the apostles were saying.

Second, it was evangelistic in purpose.

Its intention was to capture the attention of its hearers and to communicate truth to them.

This being said, it is also good to understand that…

3. Tongues would certainly have a place in cosmopolitan Corinth.

Corinth was a port city that was strategically located.

It was literally the crossroads of Greece, linking the eastern world to the western.

It would constantly be occupied by people of many nationalities that were traveling to another part of the world.

It was a place of many languages, and thus, a place where the gift of tongues would be, at times, highly useful.

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