Summary: Tongues & Prophecy Part 2 – sermon by Gordon Curley PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email:


(1). Prophecy and the Insider (vs 1-19).

• Tongues don’t edify the Church but prophecy does (vs 2-4)

• Tongues don't benefit the hearer without an interpreter, but prophecy benefits everyone (vs 5-15).

• Tongues don't instruct the assembly, but prophecy does (vs 16-19).

(2). Prophecy and the Outsider (vs 20-25).

• The purpose of the gift of tongues (vs 20-22).

• The response to the gift of tongues (vs 23-25).

(3). Principles to follow (vs 26-40).

• The edification principle (vs 26)

• The procedure principle (vs 27a)

• The interpretation principle (vs 27b-28)

• The silence – subjection principle (vs 34-35)

• The dignity principle (vs 36-37)



• Last week I was at a three day evangelists conference;

• One of the speakers there was a vicar called Jonathan Fletcher,

• Who was the vicar of Immanuel Church London.

• He was telling the story of how he sometimes gets things wrong;

• i.e. When the Mel Gibson film ‘The passion of the Christ’ came out in the cinemas;

• His Church decided to do some evangelism;

• By handing out some leaflets to the people coming out of the cinema.

• After a while he had given out all his leaflets;

• So he found another Church member and asked her ‘How many have you given out’

• Her reply was, ‘None, because the film isn’t over yet!’

• He had already given his fifty leaflets away;

• Before it dawned on him that he was giving out leaflets;

• To people who had been to see ‘Scooby Doo 2’!

• The leaflet they got started by saying,

• “If there is anything you did not understand in the film and if you would like further help, then please contact etc.”

• TRANSITION: We all at sometimes get things wrong!

• Classic example is the Church at Corinth!

• They had spiritual gifts in abundance;

• But they got it very wrong when it came to using those gifts!

• And many a Church since then has made the same mistakes.


• Last week we spent our timing defining the terms ‘tongues and prophesy’.

• If you were not here, then do listen to the talk which is available on the website.

• For the sake of time we are not coving that ground again.

• This morning we are carrying on the outworking of tongues and prophesy.

• In a local Church setting.

• We will look at this Church in Corinth and the instructions given to them.

Note: I also shared 4 principles last week that I want to remind you of:

• First: We are studying 1st Corinthians, not just tongues and prophesy.

• So do not expect every question answered on tongues and prophesy.

• Second: The main subject of chapters 12-14 is spiritual gifts

• And not just tongues and prophesy – do not miss out on the bigger picture.

• That is why this chapter is part of a section starting at chapter 12 finishing in verse 40.

• Third: Paul addresses chapter 14 to a local church, not an individual.

• So these instructions apply to a local Church setting.

• Not to somebody speaking in tongues in their own home or their private devotions.

• Fourth: the apostle Paul is primarily writing to correct a problem.

• That is why tongues and prophesy are emphasised more than the other gifts.

• Paul wants to correct a problem in the Corinthian church,

• He is not primarily writing to elevate the gift of tongues and prophecy.

• He wants to correct a problem that was dominating this Church at Corinth.


• The main point of this chapter is that prophecy is superior to tongues

• Verse 1 the apostle writes:

• “Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy”

• This first section of chapter 14 divides into two parts;

• Verses 1-19 and verses 20-25.

• In these two parts the apostle talks about tongues and prophecy to two types of people.

FIRST: Prophecy and the Insider (vs 1-19).

• The apostle Paul first writes to ‘insiders’;

• That is believers who belonged to the church.

• Christians who were ‘in fellowship’ (members) of a local Church.


• Sign on a Church notice board.

• “When you were born, your mother brought you to church.

• When you were married, your wife brought you to church.

• When you die, your friends will bring you to church.

• Why not try coming on your own sometime”.

• TRANSITION: This letter (1st Corinthians) was not written to Church goers;

• But to the Church! Those on the inside.

• The term ‘Church’ inside does not mean the inside of four walls of a building;

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