The Book of 1 Corinthians Bible Study Chapter 14 Part 3

Our last reading this week is from 1 Cor 14:20-25

The Apostle Paul taught that things should be done properly and in order within a local congregation. If we want G-d’s order in our lives, if we want to behave in a way that is proper before Him, we are absolutely dependent upon His revelation.

v20: Brethren: Male and female believers. 

  • Children: This word means small, immature children.
  • In understanding: In the way we think. We must not be like small children when it comes to our thoughts or understanding. We are supposed to be growing and maturing in our faith. 
  • Malice: Things that are evil
  • Babes: Infants. We need to be innocent of evil (not wise or mature in it – evil should be something foreign to us) but mature in our understanding or in our thinking. 
  • Mature: Reached a degree of perfection – our thoughts need to be in line with Scriptural truth.

v21: In the law it is written: Paul constantly falls back on Biblical truth. Here he is quoting from Isaiah 28:11-12. It is important to recognize the context here. People were in rebellion.  They had become drunk on alcohol, and the leadership were living in filth. 

  • Tongues: Speaking of known languages. The people were far removed from the things of G-d and were not in the right spiritual condition. Therefore, when G-d spoke to them it was as if He was speaking a foreign language, in a tongue not their own. Because of their disobedience, they could not understand G-d, nor could they comprehend what He was telling them. They were spiritually immature. 

v22: Over and over again in this chapter Paul elevates prophesy (Although they are both gifts of the Spirit, prophecy has a higher ‘status’ than tongues, as far as a believer is concerned). What does he mean by prophecy? And what does he not mean by prophesy? There are no major and minor (not minor because they are less significant, but minor because of how few words they wrote) prophets today – ie there are no prophets still receiving revelation from G-d in order to write down as Scripture (eg Isaiah, Jeremiah, Zechariah, etc). NO more Scripture is being written. G-d, however, can still speak to people today – words of wisdom, revelation etc that need to be shared with others. Another thing we need to be aware of is that the true prophets in the Bible were not well received. They were persecuted and sometimes killed for the revelation they had received. Today if someone brings a word etc we have to discern whether they really are a recipient of revelation.

  • A sign: This Scripture (1 Cor 14:21-25) is not contradicting itself. In 1 Cor 14:21 the context is unbelieving Israel who were not living in faith despite being a covenant people. The fact that they couldn’t understand what G-d was saying to them was a sign that they had rejected the truth of G-d (they didn’t believe) and had embraced something else. The hope was that because they couldn’t understand what G-d was saying (”tongues”) it would lead them to repent and to be restored. 

v23: Uninformed or unbelievers: This is not talking about someone who is rebellious – but about someone who is ignorant of the things of G-d. Tongues do not produce repentance in this person (unlike the hope that a lack of understanding of a tongue will produce repentance in a once faithful people… ie Israel). Instead, he sees tongues as foolishness. 

  • Out of your mind: Crazy 

v24: Prophesy: We are talking about revelation from G-d – revelation that is relevant for the moment. Prophecy may have a future fulfilment, but even those things for the future need to change or impact how we live now. 

  • Judged: Prophecy (revelation from G-d) causes an unbeliever to be convicted, and it also causes him to evaluate himself. 

v25: Falling down on his face: He will adopt a posture (a heart attitude) of humility. 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top