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1 Corinthians 14:1–19

Appropriate Use of Prophecy and Tongues

14 Pursue love, and strive for spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy. For the one who speaks in a tongue does not speak to people but to God, because no one understands, but by the Spirita he speaks mysteries. But the one who prophesies speaks to people edification and encouragement and consolation. The one who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but the one who prophesies edifies the church. Now I want you all to speak with tongues, but even more that you may prophesy. The one who prophesies is greater than the one who speaks with tongues, unless he interprets, in order that the church may receive edification.

But now, brothers, if I come to you speaking with tongues, how do I benefit you, unless I speak to you either with a revelation or with knowledge or with a prophecy or with a teaching? Likewise, the inanimate things which produce a sound, whether flute or lyre, if they do not produce a distinction in the tones, how will it be known what is played on the flute or on the lyre? For indeed, if the trumpet produces an indistinct sound, who will prepare for battle? And so you through the tongue, unless you produce a clear message, how will it be known what is spoken? For you will be speaking into the air. 10 There are probably so many kinds of languages in the world, and none without meaning. 11 Therefore, if I do not know the meaning of the language, I will be a barbarian to the one who is speaking, and the one who is speaking will be a barbarian in my judgment. 12 In this way also you, since you are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek for the edification of the church, in order that you may abound.

13 Therefore the one who speaks in a tongue must pray that he may interpret. 14 For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays but my mind is unproductive. 15 Therefore what should I dob? I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my mind. I will sing praise with my spirit, but I will also sing praise with my mind. 16 For otherwise, if you praise in your spirit, how will the one who fills the place of the outsider say the “amen” at your thanksgiving, because he does not know what you are saying? 17 For indeed you are giving thanks well, but the other person is not edified. 18 I give thanks to God that I speak with tongues more than all of you, 19 but in the church I prefer to speak five words with my mind, in order that I may instruct other people, than ten thousand words in a tongue.

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