1 Corinthians 14 MSG/NIV - Online Parallel Bible

 
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1 Go after a life of love as if your life depended on it - because it does. Give yourselves to the gifts God gives you. Most of all, try to proclaim his truth. 1 Follow the way of love and eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy.
2 If you praise him in the private language of tongues, God understands you but no one else does, for you are sharing intimacies just between you and him. 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.
3 But when you proclaim his truth in everyday speech, you're letting others in on the truth so that they can grow and be strong and experience his presence with you. 3 But everyone who prophesies speaks to men for their strengthening, encouragement and comfort.
4 The one who prays using a private "prayer language" certainly gets a lot out of it, but proclaiming God's truth to the church in its common language brings the whole church into growth and strength. 4 He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church.
5 I want all of you to develop intimacies with God in prayer, but please don't stop with that. Go on and proclaim his clear truth to others. It's more important that everyone have access to the knowledge and love of God in language everyone understands than that you go off and cultivate God's presence in a mysterious prayer language - unless, of course, there is someone who can interpret what you are saying for the benefit of all. 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.
6 Think, friends: If I come to you and all I do is pray privately to God in a way only he can understand, what are you going to get out of that? If I don't address you plainly with some insight or truth or proclamation or teaching, what help am I to you? 6 Now, brothers, if I come to you and speak in tongues, what good will I be to you, unless I bring you some revelation or knowledge or prophecy or word of instruction?
7 If musical instruments - flutes, say, or harps - aren't played so that each note is distinct and in tune, how will anyone be able to catch the melody and enjoy the music? 7 Even in the case of lifeless things that make sounds, such as the flute or harp, how will anyone know what tune is being played unless there is a distinction in the notes?
8 If the trumpet call can't be distinguished, will anyone show up for the battle? 8 Again, if the trumpet does not sound a clear call, who will get ready for battle?
9 So if you speak in a way no one can understand, what's the point of opening your mouth? 9 So it is with you. Unless you speak intelligible words with your tongue, how will anyone know what you are saying? You will just be speaking into the air.
10 There are many languages in the world and they all mean something to someone. 10 Undoubtedly there are all sorts of languages in the world, yet none of them is without meaning.
11 But if I don't understand the language, it's not going to do me much good. 11 If then I do not grasp the meaning of what someone is saying, I am a foreigner to the speaker, and he is a foreigner to me.
12 It's no different with you. Since you're so eager to participate in what God is doing, why don't you concentrate on doing what helps everyone in the church? 12 So it is with you. Since you are eager to have spiritual gifts, try to excel in gifts that build up the church.
13 So, when you pray in your private prayer language, don't hoard the experience for yourself. Pray for the insight and ability to bring others into that intimacy. 13 For this reason anyone who speaks in a tongue should pray that he may interpret what he says.
14 If I pray in tongues, my spirit prays but my mind lies fallow, and all that intelligence is wasted. 14 For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful.
15 So what's the solution? The answer is simple enough. Do both. I should be spiritually free and expressive as I pray, but I should also be thoughtful and mindful as I pray. I should sing with my spirit, and sing with my mind. 15 So what shall I do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my mind; I will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my mind.
16 If you give a blessing using your private prayer language, which no one else understands, how can some outsider who has just shown up and has no idea what's going on know when to say "Amen"? 16 If you are praising God with your spirit, how can one who finds himself among those who do not understand say "Amen" to your thanksgiving, since he does not know what you are saying?
17 Your blessing might be beautiful, but you have very effectively cut that person out of it. 17 You may be giving thanks well enough, but the other man is not edified.
18 I'm grateful to God for the gift of praying in tongues that he gives us for praising him, which leads to wonderful intimacies we enjoy with him. I enter into this as much or more than any of you. 18 I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you.
19 But when I'm in a church assembled for worship, I'd rather say five words that everyone can understand and learn from than say ten thousand that sound to others like gibberish. 19 But in the church I would rather speak five intelligible words to instruct others than ten thousand words in a tongue.
20 To be perfectly frank, I'm getting exasperated with your infantile thinking. How long before you grow up and use your head - your adult head? It's all right to have a childlike unfamiliarity with evil; a simple no is all that's needed there. But there's far more to saying yes to something. Only mature and well-exercised intelligence can save you from falling into gullibility. 20 Brothers, stop thinking like children. In regard to evil be infants, but in your thinking be adults.
21 It's written in Scripture that God said, In strange tongues and from the mouths of strangers I will preach to this people, but they'll neither listen nor believe. 21 In the Law it is written: "Through men of strange tongues and through the lips of foreigners I will speak to this people, but even then they will not listen to me," says the Lord.
22 So where does it get you, all this speaking in tongues no one understands? It doesn't help believers, and it only gives unbelievers something to gawk at. Plain truth-speaking, on the other hand, goes straight to the heart of believers and doesn't get in the way of unbelievers. 22 Tongues, then, are a sign, not for believers but for unbelievers; prophecy, however, is for believers, not for unbelievers.
23 If you come together as a congregation and some unbelieving outsiders walk in on you as you're all praying in tongues, unintelligible to each other and to them, won't they assume you've taken leave of your senses and get out of there as fast as they can? 23 So if the whole church comes together and everyone speaks in tongues, and some who do not understand or some unbelievers come in, will they not say that you are out of your mind?
24 But if some unbelieving outsiders walk in on a service where people are speaking out God's truth, the plain words will bring them up against the truth 24 But if an unbeliever or someone who does not understand comes in while everybody is prophesying, he will be convinced by all that he is a sinner and will be judged by all,
25 and probe their hearts. Before you know it, they're going to be on their faces before God, recognizing that God is among you. 25 and the secrets of his heart will be laid bare. So he will fall down and worship God, exclaiming, "God is really among you!"
26 So here's what I want you to do. When you gather for worship, each one of you be prepared with something that will be useful for all: Sing a hymn, teach a lesson, tell a story, lead a prayer, provide an insight. 26 What then shall we say, brothers? When you come together, everyone has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. All of these must be done for the strengthening of the church.
27 If prayers are offered in tongues, two or three's the limit, and then only if someone is present who can interpret what you're saying. 27 If anyone speaks in a tongue, two--or at the most three--should speak, one at a time, and someone must interpret.
28 Otherwise, keep it between God and yourself. 28 If there is no interpreter, the speaker should keep quiet in the church and speak to himself and God.
29 And no more than two or three speakers at a meeting, with the rest of you listening and taking it to heart. 29 Two or three prophets should speak, and the others should weigh carefully what is said.
30 Take your turn, no one person taking over. 30 And if a revelation comes to someone who is sitting down, the first speaker should stop.
31 Then each speaker gets a chance to say something special from God, and you all learn from each other. 31 For you can all prophesy in turn so that everyone may be instructed and encouraged.
32 If you choose to speak, you're also responsible for how and when you speak. 32 The spirits of prophets are subject to the control of prophets.
33 When we worship the right way, God doesn't stir us up into confusion; he brings us into harmony. This goes for all the churches - no exceptions. 33 For God is not a God of disorder but of peace. As in all the congregations of the saints,
34 Wives must not disrupt worship, talking when they should be listening, 34 women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says.
35 asking questions that could more appropriately be asked of their husbands at home. God's Book of the law guides our manners and customs here. Wives have no license to use the time of worship for unwarranted speaking. 35 If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.
36 Do you - both women and men - imagine that you're a sacred oracle determining what's right and wrong? Do you think everything revolves around you? 36 Did the word of God originate with you? Or are you the only people it has reached?
37 If any one of you thinks God has something for you to say or has inspired you to do something, pay close attention to what I have written. This is the way the Master wants it. 37 If anybody thinks he is a prophet or spiritually gifted, let him acknowledge that what I am writing to you is the Lord's command.
38 If you won't play by these rules, God can't use you. Sorry. 38 If he ignores this, he himself will be ignored.
39 Three things, then, to sum this up: When you speak forth God's truth, speak your heart out. Don't tell people how they should or shouldn't pray when they're praying in tongues that you don't understand. 39 Therefore, my brothers, be eager to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues.
40 Be courteous and considerate in everything. 40 But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way.