Summary: If God can’t trust us to function in this most basic gift correctly he is not going to give us anything more...
THE ABUSE OF TONGUES
I Cor. 14:1-25
As Pentecostals we tend to look upon 1 Cor 12 and 14 as instruction for Pentecostal worship
The reality is that it is really correction not instruction.
The problem that needed correction was their unbridled use of tongues in church which is specifically dealt with in I Cor. 14:1-25.
In the larger context of this Problem – Paul talks about 9 gifts – He says Tongues are just one of 9 gifts specifically given by the Spirit.
Christians that have sought after and received the Baptism in the Hoy Spirit have received the gift of God “Power for Service” evidenced by speaking in other tongues.
It is the first gift we become familiar with and flow in
Paul says he spoke in tongues more than anyone else
But when it comes to church
He says it is unintelligible and has no place
I believe that God wants us, like the Corinthians to get a handle on this issue of tongues…
In my opionion, he is certainly not going to allow us to move in gifts of miracles, signs, wonders, healing, etc…, if we can’t even get the use of this most basic of gifts in order.
So tonight I want to go step by step through Paul’s teaching
and as we accept his words
I believe God would have us grow in this area and stop abusing tongues
A. Follow the Way of Love.
1 Cor. 14:1
Follow the way of love and eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy.
This verse is a transitional statement
All that he has said in Ch 12 and 13 build up to these 25 verses
1. The Gifts are to be governed by Love.
We know that Love is patient, kind, gentle etc…
No matter how spiritual you may think you are if you do not likewise manifest love then what you do counts for nothing
The way of Love Builds up the church – so no matter how much spiritual zeal you have if you don’t also build others up Your spirituality is nothing…
2. Desire Spiritual Gifts to be manifested among us
This a restatement of
1 Cor. 12:31
But eagerly desire the greater gifts.
And now I will show you the most excellent way.
Thus showing its unity
3 Especially Desire Prophesying
IS PROPHECY BETTER THAN TONGUES WITH INTERPRETATION?
The words especially the gift of prophecy really fit best with verse 2 which adds to the context
Which leads me to answer – NO
We should desire prophecy over just tongues speaking
1 Cor. 14:2-5
For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God. Indeed, no one understands him; he utters mysteries with his spirit.  But everyone who prophesies speaks to men for their strengthening, encouragement and comfort.  He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church.  I would like every one of you to speak in tongues, but I would rather have you prophesy. He who prophesies is greater than one who speaks in tongues, unless he interprets, so that the church may be edified.
B. What Paul sets out to do is contrast tongues/interpretation &
Prophecy against Tongues speaking
C. Tongues are addressed to God
1 Cor. 14:2
For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God. Indeed, no one understands him; he utters mysteries with his spirit.
When I speak in tongues my Spirit is in communication with God’s Spirit
The content of our communication in tongues is mysteries.
WHY IS IT MYSTERIES?
It is a mystery because the language is not understood.
An understanding of the words lies outside the understanding of the hearer and the speaker
D. (VERSE 3) - Prophesying in contrast is addressed to humans/people,
(1) For edification
(2) For encouragement
(3) For comfort
E. (Verse 4) When one speaks in tongues who is edified (ie. Built up)
a. Those who speak in tongues in church edify themselves
b. Those who prophesy in church edify the whole church
Remember this is a contrast…
1 Cor. 14:5
I would like every one of you to speak in tongues, but I would rather have you prophesy. He who prophesies is greater than one who speaks in tongues, unless he interprets, so that the church may be edified.
F. Paul says, I want everyone to speak in tongues
I want everyone to edify themselves in this way
I want everyone to make Spirit communication to God
G. In order to build up the church though, prophesying is better.
Prophesying is guaranteed to edify the church
Tongues alone never edify the church unless - unless interpreted – then they are equal to prophesying.
H. Why must tongues be interpreted