1 Keep on pursuing love, but still keep cultivating your spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophesying. 2 For whoever speaks in ecstasy is speaking not to men but to God, for no one understands him, and yet by the Spirit he is speaking secret truths. 3 But whoever prophesies is speaking to men for their upbuilding. encouragement, and comfort. 4 Whoever speaks in ecstasy builds up himself alone, but whoever prophesies builds up the congregation too. 5 I would like for all of you to speak in ecstasy, but I would rather that you prophesy. The man who speaks with real prophetic insight renders greater service than the man who speaks in ecstasy, unless the latter explains it, so the congregation may receive an uplift.
6 But as it now is, brothers, if I do come back to you speaking in ecstasy, what good shall I do you, unless my speech contains a revelation or new knowledge or a prophetic message or some teaching? 7 Even inanimate things, like the flute or the harp, may give out sounds, but if there is no difference in the notes, how can the tune that is played on the flute or the harp be told? 8 Again, indeed, if the bugle does not sound a call distinct and clear, who will prepare for battle? 9 So it is with you; unless in your ecstatic speaking you speak a message that is clearly intelligible, how can the message spoken by you be understood? You might just as well be talking to the air! 10 There are, supposedly, ever so many languages in the world, and not one is without its own meaning. 11 So if I do not know the meaning of the language, I should be a foreigner to the man who speaks it, and he would be a foreigner to me. 12 So, as you are ambitious for spiritual gifts, you must keep trying to excel for the upbuilding of the church.
13 Therefore, the man who speaks in ecstasy must pray for power to explain what he says. 14 For if I pray in ecstasy, my spirit is praying, but my mind produces no results for anyone. 15 What is my conclusion then? I will certainly pray with my spirit, but I will pray with my mind in action too. I will certainly sing with my spirit, but I will sing with my mind in action too. For if you give thanks with your spirit only, 16 how is the man who occupies the place of the illiterate to say "Amen" to your thanksgiving? For he does not know what you are saying. 17 You are, indeed, doing right to give thanks, but your neighbor is not built up. 18 Thank God, I speak in ecstasy more than any of you. 19 But in the public congregation I would rather speak five words with my mind in action, in order to instruct the people too, than ten thousand words in ecstasy.
20 Brothers, stop being children in intelligence, but as to evil keep on being babies; and yet as to intelligence be men of maturity. 21 In the law it is written, "By men of foreign languages and by the lips of foreigners I will speak to this people, but even then they will not listen to me, says the Lord." 22 So speaking in ecstasy is meant as a sign, not for believers but for unbelievers, while prophecy is meant, not for unbelievers but for believers. 23 Hence, if the whole church has met and everybody speaks in ecstasy, and illiterate people or unbelievers come in, will they not say that you are crazy? 24 But if everybody prophesies, and some unbeliever or illiterate man comes in, he is convinced of his sins by all, he is closely questioned by all, 25 the secrets of his heart are laid bare, he falls upon his face and worships God, declaring, "God is really among you."
26 Then what is our conclusion, brothers? When you meet together, everybody has a song, something to teach, a revelation, an ecstatic utterance, or an explanation of one. It must all be for the upbuilding of all. 27 If anybody speaks in ecstasy, there must be only two, or three at most, and let one speak at a time, and someone explain what he says. 28 But if there is no one to explain it, let him keep quiet in the church and speak to himself and God alone. 29 Let two or three prophets speak, and the rest consider carefully what is said; 30 and if anything is revealed to another who is seated, let the speaker stop. 31 For in this way you can all, one after another, speak your prophetic message, so that all may learn and be encouraged, 32 for the spirits of prophets yield to prophets; 33 for God is not a God of disorder but of order, as it is in all the churches of God's people. 34 Women must keep quiet in the churches, for no permission is given them to speak. On the contrary, they must take a subordinate place, just as the law says. 35 If they want to find out about something, they should ask their own husbands at home, for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in church. 36 Did the message of God begin with you Corinthians? Or, are you the only people it has reached?
37 If anyone claims to have the prophetic spirit, or any other spiritual gift, let him recognize that what I now am writing is the Lord's command. 38 If anyone ignores it, let him ignore it. 39 So, my brothers, cultivate the gift of prophetic speaking, but stop preventing others from speaking in ecstasy. 40 Everything must always be done in a proper and orderly way.