Summary: Our worship is to be intelligible.


I Corinthians 14:1-5

S: Prophesy

C: Intelligibility

Th: Orderly Worship


?: How? How do we make worship intelligible?

KW: Practices

TS: We will find in our study of I Corinthians 14:1-5 five practices that will help our worship to be intelligible.

Type: Expository, Propositional

The ____ practice is to…






PA: How is the change to be observed?

• Think of others over self.

• Speak what God brings to your mind.

• Aim to build the church.

Version: ESV

RMBC 16 January 05 AM


Have you ever struggled with communication?

ILL personal

My family is filled with those who have communicated for a living.

For example, my great-grandfather on my mom’s side was a Baptist pastor.

My dad was a teacher and a principal.

On Dondra’s side, her dad is a pastor and her mom is a teacher.

So you think there wouldn’t be a struggle in this area.

Yet, when JJ was two years old, he showed no real interest in English as a means of communication. He would talk, but it was gibberish, all with the correct inflection. But there was no English, until one day, a school bus could be seen driving by from our living room window, and he said “bus.”

But JJ came by it honestly. When I was three, I did not do any kind of conversation with people. In fact, I did rather well with one word sentences and a lot of pointing.

But to be truthful, it is my dad that takes the prize in this matter. He spoke very little through age five, and most of it was not English. In fact, what he spoke resembled English, but was purely of his own making. For example, whenever he saw a horse, he would call it “gorky.”

My poor grandmother…

When it came time to send my Dad to Kindergarten, she was a bit distraught. Was he ready? He doesn’t even speak the language (though he did seem to understand it)! Was there something wrong with her child?

Kindergarten turned out not to be any problem. In fact, after one week of classes, as my grandmother prepared to read my dad a book at bedtime, he stopped her, and then read the whole story to her from beginning to end.

I guess a lot he had been going on in that mind!

But until he communicated in an intelligible way, no one knew it.


You know…

1. Our corporate worship doesn’t work if we don’t understand each other.

If, when I speak, it makes no sense to you, you are going to be frustrated.

You are going to wonder why you came.

Understanding what was going on was a problem the church in Corinth had.

And before I tell you why that was a problem, let us note that…

2. The worship in Corinth was confusing.

It was not supposed to be, but it was.

You may remember, if you were here for our studies last year, that Paul writes a letter to this church that consistently and lovingly challenges them to get their act together.

They were Christians, but they often did not act like it.

They were possessors of the Holy Spirit, but the way they treated one another, put that fact into question.

We have learned in our study of I Corinthians that as Christians, the Holy Spirit resides in us.

And because He resides in us, He blesses us with gifts…spiritual gifts…special abilities…that are for the benefit of the church.

When they are used properly, they bring a unity of voice and purpose to the church.

In Corinth, we know that…

3. Spiritual gifts were being used and abused.

We know they were being abused because the church community did not have unity.

There were individuals in the church that did not want to be reigned in by the truth of God’s Word.

In fact, we might have heard people in that day say something I have heard in today’s culture, “I don’t care what the Bible says. I know what I have experienced.”

And this speaks to a principle we must never forget…

God does not contradict himself.

This means that we do not interpret the Bible by our experience.

It is the opposite…

We always interpret our experience with the Bible.

We are to never let ourselves become the final authority.

That belongs solely to God and His Holy Word.

As we come to our passage today, we will see that Paul discusses two specific gifts: tongues and prophesy.

3.1 The spiritual gift of tongues is the ability to speak God’s words in a language that you do not know.

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