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Today we are continuing our study the “Gifts of The Holy Spirit.”

It is important to remember that a positive response on our part as believers to the Father’s gift of the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential if we are to truly be God’s people. 

Today we are discussing The Gift of Tongues.

Text

1 Corinthians 12:10 (ESV)

10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.

Scripture Reading

1 Corinthians 14:1-28 (ESV)

Prophecy and Tongues

14 Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy. 

2 For one who speaks in a tongue speaks not to men but to God; for no one understands him, but he utters mysteries in the Spirit. 

3 On the other hand, the one who prophesies speaks to people for their upbuilding and encouragement and consolation. 

4 The one who speaks in a tongue builds up himself, but the one who prophesies builds up the church. 

5 Now I want you all to speak in tongues, but even more to prophesy. The one who prophesies is greater than the one who speaks in tongues, unless someone interprets, so that the church may be built up.

6 Now, brothers, if I come to you speaking in tongues, how will I benefit you unless I bring you some revelation or knowledge or prophecy or teaching? 

7 If even lifeless instruments, such as the flute or the harp, do not give distinct notes, how will anyone know what is played? 

8 And if the bugle gives an indistinct sound, who will get ready for battle? 

9 So with yourselves, if with your tongue you utter speech that is not intelligible, how will anyone know what is said? For you will be speaking into the air. 

10 There are doubtless many different languages in the world, and none is without meaning, 

11 but if I do not know the meaning of the language, I will be a foreigner to the speaker and the speaker a foreigner to me. 

12 So with yourselves, since you are eager for manifestations of the Spirit, strive to excel in building up the church.

13 Therefore, one who speaks in a tongue should pray that he may interpret. 

14 For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays but my mind is unfruitful. 

15 What am I to do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will pray with my mind also; I will sing praise with my spirit, but I will sing with my mind also. 

16 Otherwise, if you give thanks with your spirit, how can anyone in the position of an outsider say “Amen” to your thanksgiving when he does not know what you are saying? 

17 For you may be giving thanks well enough, but the other person is not being built up. 

18 I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you. 

19 Nevertheless, in church I would rather speak five words with my mind in order to instruct others, than ten thousand words in a tongue.

20 Brothers, do not be children in your thinking. Be infants in evil, but in your thinking be mature. 

21 In the Law it is written, “By people of strange tongues and by the lips of foreigners will I speak to this people, and even then they will not listen to me, says the Lord.” 

22 Thus tongues are a sign not for believers but for unbelievers, while prophecy is a sign not for unbelievers but for believers. 

23 If, therefore, the whole church comes together and all speak in tongues, and outsiders or unbelievers enter, will they not say that you are out of your minds? 

24 But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or outsider enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all, 

25 the secrets of his heart are disclosed, and so, falling on his face, he will worship God and declare that God is really among you.

Orderly Worship

26 What then, brothers? When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up. 

27 If any speak in a tongue, let there be only two or at most three, and each in turn, and let someone interpret. 

28 But if there is no one to interpret, let each of them keep silent in church and speak to himself and to God.

Introduction

Few issues have ever risen in a local church that are more divisive than speaking in tongues.

Because of the gravity of the subject, i’m going to discuss it in two messages instead of one.

  1. Speaking in tongues is a gift of the Holy Spirit.

1 Corinthians 12:10 (ESV)

10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.

General references to the term are ecstatic utterances and strange tongues.

The common reference in contemporary usage is charismatic.

The definition of this term varies with the insights, schools of thought, and historical setting of the person making the explanation.

2. Speaking in tongues has several New Testament references.

  1. A Pentecostal experience (Acts 2:1-13).

The word “other” is found in verse 4.

The words, “speak in his own language,” are in verse 6, “own tongue” in verse 8, and “our tongues” in verse 11.

Some exegesis will help here.

In verse 4 the word is simply “other”.

In verse 8 it is “tongue,” or dialect, and in verse 11, it is plural “our tongues”.

We may conclude that this biblical reference is to the language of the people who heard the disciples.

B. The Caesarean experience (Acts 10:44-48).

The word in verse 46 refers to inanimate things.

It means to give sounds.

Applying to a person, it simply means to speak, or the ability to express yourself..

The word “tongues” is plural for “tongue”.

The conclusion is that these were ecstatic utterances intended for the Gentile world.

C. The Ephesian experience (Acts 19:1-6)

In verse 6 the word ‘spoke” is what is known in the Greek as both a first person. Singular and third person plural.

The word for “tongues” in verse 6 is the same word in Acts 10:46 and is simply the plural for “tongue”.

Here more than one person is speaking.

3. Some conclusions can be drawn from these studies.

  1. The greek words throughout refer to languages and dialects.

Where the plural is found, it is in the multiple, that is, multiple number of languages and dialects.

B. Historically, the use of multiple languages and dialects that were originally the language of people developed into ecstatic utterances.

This is sometimes the situation among charismatics and pentecostals today.

Conclusion

Spirit controlled believers will be careful about their attitude toward others in regard to their philosophy in the use of this gift.

If certain people believe in speaking in tongues, they should be tactful towards those who do not.

Likewise, if certain people don’t believe in speaking in tongues, they should be tactful towards those who do.

All Christians must keep in mind that the purpose of the gifts is for edification of the church, and the proper use of the gifts will build up the church.  

Until next time

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I really want to encourage you to be diligent with your Bible study time, because God has so much more for us than we can get from just going to church once or twice a week and hearing someone else talk about the Word.

When you spend time with God, your life will change in amazing ways, because God is a Redeemer.

Theres nothing thats too hard for Him, and He can make you whole, spirit, soul and body!

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