Sermon Summary

Pastor Chris continued in our Healthy Church series, walking through 1 Corinthians 14. In our text, Paul provides clear understanding for the purpose of the gifts of prophecy and tongues. Paul urges us to have zeal for the spiritual gifts because they encourage the people of God in personal and corporate ways. Prophecy and tongues are essential because they bring life where there is death, and they build up our inner man in order for the holy spirit to have greater domain within us.

1 Corinthians 14:1–5 (ESV)
1 Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy. 2 For one who speaks in a tongue speaks not to men but to God; for no one understands him, but he utters mysteries in the Spirit. 3 On the other hand, the one who prophesies speaks to people for their upbuilding and encouragement and consolation. 4 The one who speaks in a tongue builds up himself, but the one who prophesies builds up the church. 5 Now I want you all to speak in tongues, but even more to prophesy. The one who prophesies is greater than the one who speaks in tongues, unless someone interprets, so that the church may be built up.

Gift of Prophecy

“Telling something that God has spontaneously brought to mind.” – Dr. Wayne Grudem

Why Does God Speak?

  1. To encourage, comfort, and strengthen. (1 Corinthians 14:3).
  2. To foster an intimate relationship with the Lord. (John 10:2–4; 27).
  3. To reveal Christ. (John 16:12-14; Revelation 19:10).
  4. To demonstrate God’s loving concern for the heart condition of individuals. (1 Corinthians 14:24–25).
  5. Clarify direction and provide courage. (Acts 13:1–3).
  6. To prepare for difficulties and trials. (Acts 20:22–23).
  7. To purify and sanctify. (Acts 5:3–5).

The Three Components of the Prophetic

  1. Revelation: The divine message received. Simply what God said by whatever means he used, whether a dream, vision, word, etc.
  2. Interpretation: What is meant by the revelation? What does God want to teach us?
  3. Application: What are we to do with the revelation and interpretation we have received?

Prophetic Protocol

1 Thessalonians 5:19–21 Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.

  1. Do not quench the Spirit: Make room for God to speak.
  2. Do not despise prophecies: If we despise prophetic words we become responsible for quenching the Holy Spirit.
  3. But test everything
    • Testing Prophecy
      • Is it in harmony with Scripture?
      • Does it glorify Christ?
      • Does it show any signs of manipulation?
      • Does it carry a peaceful and righteous spirit?
      • Do those to whom I am accountable agree?
  4. Hold fast what is good; Abstain from every form of evil: With joy hold onto every prophetic utterance that survives the testing.

Gift of Tongues

“Prayer or praise spoken in syllables not understood by the speaker.” Dr. Grudem

3 Kinds of Spiritual Language

Public Ministry

1. Tongues as a sign to the unbeliever

Acts 2:6–7 (ESV)
6 And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language. 7 And they were amazed and astonished, saying, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans?

2. Tongues for interpretation

1 Corinthians 14:4–5 (ESV)
4 The one who speaks in a tongue builds up himself (private prayer language), but the one who prophesies builds up the church. 5 Now I want you all to speak in tongues (private prayer language), but even more to prophesy. The one who prophesies is greater than the one who speaks in tongues, unless someone interprets (tongues for interpretation), so that the church may be built up.


3. Tongues for self–edification of the believer

1 Corinthians 14:4 (NIV)
4 He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church.

• Tongues build up the individual who has it, and, if interpreted, builds up the church.
• Prophecy is greater because, as intelligible speech that needs no interpretation, it is more directly useful to the church.

1 Corinthians 14:6-12 (ESV)
6 Now, brothers, if I come to you speaking in tongues, how will I benefit you unless I bring you some revelation or knowledge or prophecy or teaching? 7 If even lifeless instruments, such as the flute or the harp, do not give distinct notes, how will anyone know what is played? 8 And if the bugle gives an indistinct sound, who will get ready for battle? 9 So with yourselves, if with your tongue you utter speech that is not intelligible, how will anyone know what is said? For you will be speaking into the air. 10 There are doubtless many different languages in the world, and none is without meaning, 11 but if I do not know the meaning of the language, I will be a foreigner to the speaker and the speaker a foreigner to me. 12 So with yourselves, since you are eager for manifestations of the Spirit, strive to excel in building up the church.

1 Corinthians 14:13-19 (ESV)
13 Therefore, one who speaks in a tongue should pray that he may interpret. 14 For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays but my mind is unfruitful. 15 What am I to do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will pray with my mind also; I will sing praise with my spirit, but I will sing with my mind also. 16 Otherwise, if you give thanks with your spirit, how can anyone in the position of an outsider say “Amen” to your thanksgiving when he does not know what you are saying? 17 For you may be giving thanks well enough, but the other person is not being built up. 18 I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you. 19 Nevertheless, in church I would rather speak five words with my mind in order to instruct others, than ten thousand words in a tongue.

1 Corinthians 14:20–22 (ESV)
20 Brothers, do not be children in your thinking. Be infants in evil, but in your thinking be mature. 21 In the Law it is written, “By people of strange tongues and by the lips of foreigners will I speak to this people, and even then they will not listen to me, says the Lord.” 22 Thus tongues are a sign not for believers but for unbelievers, while prophecy is a sign not for unbelievers but for believers.

Isaiah 28:11 (ESV)
11 For by people of strange lips and with a foreign tongue the LORD will speak to this people,

1 Corinthians 14:23–25 (ESV)
23 If, therefore, the whole church comes together and all speak in tongues, and outsiders or unbelievers enter, will they not say that you are out of your minds? 24 But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or outsider enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all, 25 the secrets of his heart are disclosed, and so, falling on his face, he will worship God and declare that God is really among you.

Discussion Questions

  1. What are God’s purposes for the gifts of prophecy and tongues?
  2. What is your personal history with the gift of the prophecy? What about the gift of tongues?
  3. What is the role of a person providing a prophetic word to another person? What is the role of the person receiving the word?
  4. What are the 3 different types of tongues that Chris shared and what are each of their purposes? Have you ever experienced one of these?
  5. Share a prophetic word you have received recently that built you up in your inner man.

Application Questions

  1. Have you ever received a prophetic word that built you up in your inner man? Revisit it this week in your personal time with the Lord.
  2. Do you desire to have the gift of prophecy or the gift of tongues? This week, ask the Lord to activate the gift within you if it is within His will to do so.