• Pastor Jill

5.27.2020 Speaking in Tongues

May 27, 2020 Word for the Warrior Speaking in Tongues

Worship Song for today: Singing in the Spirit by The Secret Place

Acts 2:1-4: When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

The spiritual gift of speaking in tongues remains controversial in our day & yet is a subject deserving of our attention. The following article from attempts to describe the nature and function of tongues speech, according to their respected resources. There are many who may disagree, but let’s take a look at this & see if it resonates with you.

The "tongues" spoken on the Day of Pentecost were real human languages.

The variety of nations represented would confirm this. In Acts 1:19; 21:40; 22:2; 26:14. Can this phenomenon still occur today? Absolutely, yes. Some insist that the tongues in Acts 2 were not human languages. Acts 2 describes not the hearing of one’s own language but the hearing in one’s own language. At the same moment that “other tongues” were spoken through the Holy Spirit, they were immediately translated by the same Holy Spirit into the many languages of the multitude --according to J. Rodman Williams, in Renewal Theology, 2:215. Thus, there is both a miracle of “speech”— different, spiritual tongues—& a miracle of “understanding,” each by the Holy Spirit.

If this view is correct…a miraculous charisma of the Holy Spirit (namely, the gift of interpretation) was given to every unbeliever present on the day of Pentecost. But it is Luke’s purpose “to associate the descent of the Spirit with the Spirit’s activity among the believers, not to postulate a miracle of the Spirit among those who were still unbelievers” (Carson, Showing the Spirit, 138).

The gift of speaking in tongues can include “heavenly” dialects.

The gift of speaking in tongues that continues throughout church history and is so widespread today is the Spirit-prompted ability to pray and praise God in a heavenly dialect, possibly even an angelic language that is not related to anything spoken on earth such as German, Swahili or English. The Holy Spirit personally crafts or creates a special and unique language that enables a Christian to speak to God in prayer, praise, and thanksgiving. This gift is not a human language that one might encounter in some foreign country, but a Spirit-empowered capacity to speak meaningful words that are only understood by our Triune God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (unless, of course, God provides the interpretation through the one speaking or through another believer.)

Speaking in tongues is prayer, praise, and self-edification.

Paul says that the one who speaks in a tongue “speaks not to men but to God” (1 Cor. 14:2). This means that tongues is a form of prayer. See especially 1 Cor. 14:14. Tongues is also a form of praise (1 Cor. 14:15) and a way in which we give thanks to God (1 Cor. 14:16-17).

Tongues is also a way in which we edify or strengthen ourselves. Paul writes, “The one who speaks in a tongue builds up himself, but the one who prophesies builds up the church” (1 Cor. 14:4). Self-edification is a good thing, as we are commanded to edify ourselves in Jude 20: “But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God.

Interpreted tongues edify others in the same way prophecy does:

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” (1 Cor. 14:5). Prophecy is to be preferred over uninterpreted tongues in the corporate gathering of the church because it is intelligible and thus can serve better than unintelligible tongues speech to build up, edify, and encourage the people of God. But this obtains only in the absence of an interpretation for tongues. If “someone interprets” (1 Cor. 14:5b), then tongues can also serve to strengthen and instruct God’s people. Most of the above resource is from Sam Storms, Pastor & author.

Let us pray:

Abba Father, your ways are higher than our ways, yet you give us spiritual understanding. Holy Spirit, we understand that your POWER given on Pentecost was extraordinary—as the result was 3000 becoming believers in one day! We know that every day that still happens--& we give you credit for this supernatural evangelism as we could never do this in our own limited ways! We need you 100% TO FULFILL the assignment given us—to go into all the world & proclaim the gospel. That’s a big job! Maybe our part is to stay home---pray, intercede, support! Maybe our part is to give generously—financially—so others can go. Maybe we are called to teach, be spiritual warriors, encourage, administrate or HELP. But most importantly of all—is the call to love YOU with all our heart, mind, soul & spirit, to hear your voice & to speak to you. Please, show us the best way to do this. Give us the courage to ask for this ability! In Jesus’ Name, Amen

Note: Some may be asking, Do we have to speak in tongues, also called a prayer language? My answer is: You don’t have to, but you get to. It is available for all Spirit-filled believers. This is different from the Gift of Tongues in 1 Corinthians 12:10 (intended for public meetings/congregational/corporate gatherings). I find it invaluable, as I don’t always know how to pray as I ought. This way the Holy Spirit prays through me according to the Father’s will---and I don’t need to know what that is! (Good thing, as I might be tempted to share things which are meant to be confidential--or find out information that is none of my business!) God flows through us as VESSELS of His power, will & ways.

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