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What does mysteries mean in 1Cor. 14:2?

Paul is comparing what is useful to the church and what is not.

1 Cor. 14:2: “For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries.”

 What he is saying is that others do not understand the language he is speaking when he speaks it out loud, unless there is an interpreter. This is made plain by the following verses.
V.3  “But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men.”V.4 “He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church.” V.5b “for he who prophesies is greater than he who speaks with tongues, unless indeed he interprets, that the church may receive edification.”

Paul’s concern is for the gifts to be used for others not just for ones self so that the body is built up.

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