Corinthian 1: 26 On The True Order Of Worship
What then shall we say, brothers and sisters? When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. Everything must be done so that the church may be built up
This bible verse about praying in tongues can be misinterpreted. Paul is not saying you need to speak in tongues in the church.
He is only amplifying how God should be worshiped. He want us to sing hymns, hear Gods word, prophesy whatever revelations we may have received, and also speak in tongues only on one condition.
One Baptism And Many Gifts
In one sense, you’ll find this in many places, sometimes, the idea of baptism with the Holy Spirit is taught in such a way that it distinguishes one group of Christians from the next. Here are those who have it, here are those who do not. In 1 Corinthians 12:13 we’re told that in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body. It speaks of the baptism with the Holy Spirit in this part of the Bible as something that all Christians have experienced initially, placing us into the one body of Christ.
It’s confirmed at the end of the chapter as well. He gets into some rhetorical questions and he says, “Do all speak with tongues? Do all work miracles? Do all do this?” No, which helps us again because sometimes you’ll hear, Well if you have been baptized with the Holy Spirit, then you will definitely speak with other tongues. Yet, in 1 Corinthians 12:13, we see that this kind of being baptized with the Spirit is a common and initial experience of all Christians who are entering the body of Christ, and then we’re told at toward end of chapter 12 that not all who have had this experience speak with other tongues.
Summary Question 3 Why Do Some Believe The Gift Of Tongues Has Ceased
The gift of speaking in tongues is a legitimate spiritual gift. No Bible-believing Christian doubts this. Indeed, it is clear that it was exercised by the immediate followers of Jesus.
However not everyone agrees as to whether this gift was to be permanent in the church. Indeed, many people believe it was only meant to serve a temporary purpose. Now that this purpose has been reached the gift has ceased to function in the church. A number of arguments are raised concerning the temporary nature of the gift of tongues. They consist of biblical arguments and non-biblical arguments.
The biblical arguments concern the nature of the following.
First, it is the nature of the gift of tongues. As we mentioned, the gift was only meant to serve as a temporary sign to unbelievers. Once certain things took place in the church, the sign of tongues was removed.
Furthermore, the Bible itself limits the duration of the gift. It makes it clear that the gift is not to be seen as permanent.
There is also the argument which is made from Greek grammar. Paul told the Corinthians that the gift would cease of itself. This is exactly what took place late in the first century.
There is also the fact that speaking in tongues, along with certain other signs, were not existent later in Pauls ministry. This is another reason to believe that the gift had ceased.
Furthermore, when it is mentioned, we find that only heretical groups spoke with tongues. The mainstream church did not embrace the gift.
Also Check: What Is The Easiest Bible To Read And Understand
The Biblical Evidence For The Cessation Of The Gift Of Tongues
Those who believe that the gift of tongues is no longer available in the church provide a number of biblical arguments to support their case. These include: the nature of the gift of tongues, the fact that the Bible says it has a limited duration, Scripture says it will cease of itself, the meaning of the word perfect, and the lack of use of the gift later in the ministry of the Apostle Paul. They support these points as follows.
The Nature of the Gift of Tongues
The nature of the gift of tongues shows that it was only temporary. Speaking in tongues was one of the sign gifts. These gifts were given for only a short period of time. Their purpose was to confirm the Word of God before there was written Scripture. Every occurrence of tongues in the Book of Acts was to authenticate the gospel message.
The Old Testament did not need any confirmation by miraculous signs. It was already accepted as the Word of God. However this was not the case with the message of Jesus. The people had to be convinced that it too was a divinely given revelation. This is why we find the miraculous signs that were given.
Thus, it is argued that before the message about Jesus had been committed to writing its divine authenticity was accomplished through the miraculous sign gifts.
Once the New Testament was written, then the gift was no longer operating since its purpose had been served. The writer to the Hebrews states the word had already been confirmed at the time when he wrote. He wrote.
The Holy Spirit And Speaking In Tongues
We see in 1 Corinthians 12:13 that baptism of the Holy Spirit is a common and initial experience of all Christians who are entering the body of Christ. However, we see later in chapter 12 that not all who have this experience speak in tongues. Reading through the Bible in context helps us understand this question better.
Whenever I get questions about the baptism with the Holy Spirit, I’ll start by showing someone that in the New Testament, seven passages deal with that explicitly.
Recommended Reading: Real Life Church Greenfield Indiana
The Ministry Of Speaking In Tongues
At this point in our study we shall pursue an examination of the reasons why God gave the gift of speaking in tongues.
First, to communicate the Gospel message. With unmistakable clarity Paul says, Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not . . . . The word sign in the New Testament is often associated with the conveying of a Divinely-given message to unbelievers. This is the emphasis in John 20:30, 31 where we read, And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God and that believing ye might have life through His name. The signs were never performed without purpose, but because of the message they communicated.
The true function of the gift of tongues is for a sign . . . to them that believe not. To exercise the gift when unbelievers were not present would be exercising the gift above the purpose for which it was given. The gifts were never given for the self-satisfaction or self-glory of the recipients. The one upon whom the gift was bestowed was merely an instrument through whom God wanted to communicate His message.
During the Tribulation the Antichrist will appear, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders , and at that time many Jews will be deceived into receiving the Antichrist as their Messiah.
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 . 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 , then tongues can also serve to strengthen and instruct Gods people.
You May Like: How Long Does It Take To Read The Bible
Speaking In Tongues For Edification
Speaking in tongues in itself can benefit a person. Paul states: He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself. 1 Corinthians 14:4. Speaking in tongues can help you express what is in your spirit and which you cannot express with words. Paul makes it clear that the best way to edify the church is to speak prophetically, with plain words that build faith and understanding for all who hear the message. I thank my God I speak with tongues more than you all yet in the church I would rather speak five words with my understanding, that I may teach others also, than ten thousand words in a tongue. 1 Corinthians 14:18-19.
However, speaking in tongues can also be of profit to all in a Christian assembly if it is interpreted to a common language of those in the gathering: How is it then, brethren? Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification. If anyone speaks in a tongue, let there be two or at the most three, each in turn, and let one interpret. 1 Corinthians 14:26-27.
When used in this way, the gift of tongues should be used to emphasize and support the spiritual message, and not because you feel strongly moved in your emotions. In this way, others besides the one speaking in tongues will be edified.
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 or Swahili or Mandarin 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.
Read Also: Who Wrote Ecclesiastes In The Bible
Who Receives This Spiritual Gift
It is expressed in the Bible that not all believers will receive this gift: God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? 1 Corinthians 12:28-30. We can see here that only some will receive the gift to speak in tongues, just as only some are called to be apostles, etc.
As with all gifts of the Spirit, the speaking of tongues is not necessarily a sign of spiritual maturity. Many of the Corinthians spoke in tongues but Paul states that they were babes in Christ. However, when used in an orderly and appropriate manner, it can be used to build up the individual and other members of the body of Christ.
The Principle Is This:
When God speaks to people in a language they cannot understand, it is a form of punishment for unbelief. It signifies his anger. Incomprehensible speech will not guide or instruct or lead to faith and repentance, but only confuse and destroy. Thus, if outsiders or unbelievers come in and you speak in a language they cannot understand, you will simply drive them away. You will be giving a sign to unbelievers that is entirely wrong, because their hardness of heart has not reached the point where they deserve that severe sign of judgment. So when you come together , if anyone speaks in a tongue, be sure there is an interpretation . Otherwise the tongue-speaker should be quiet in the church . Prophecy, on the other hand, is a sign of Gods presence with believers , and so Paul encourages its use when unbelievers are present in order that they may see this sign and thereby come to Christian faith .
Therefore, Paul is not talking about the function of the gift of tongues in general, but only about the negative result of one particular abuse of tongues-speech . So, do not permit uninterpreted tongues-speech in church, for in doing so, you run the risk of communicating a negative sign to people that will only drive them away.
Read Also: How Many Books Did Paul Write In The Bible
Speaking In Tongues Is Prayer Praise And Self
Paul says that the one who speaks in a tongue speaks not to men but to God . This means that tongues is a form of prayer. See especially 1 Cor. 14:14. Tongues is also a form of praise and a way in which we give thanks to God .
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 . Self-edification is a good thing, as we are commanded 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. Self-edification is only bad if it is done as an end in itself. It is good to take whatever steps you can to edify yourself, to build up and strengthen your soul, so that you might be better able and equipped to build up others .
Speaking In Tongues In Church Is Acceptable
Speaking and praying in tongues in the church is not acceptable, except you are talking to yourself.
1 Corinthians 14: 27, 27
If anyone speaks in a tongue, twoor at the most threeshould speak, one at a time, and someone must interpret.If there is no interpreter, the speaker should keep quiet in the church and speak to himself and to God
Also Check: What Does The Bible Say About Lying And Deceit
There Is No Evidence That Tongues
The content of tongues-speech was the mighty deeds of God . People dont hear an evangelistic message but doxology or worship. So, again, how can tongues be evangelistic when the only two occurrences of tongues outside of Acts 2 took place when only believers were present? Neither is tongues the invariable sign of Spirit-baptism or Spirit-filling. There are numerous instances in Acts of true conversion and Spirit-baptism where no tongues are mentioned .
What Does The Bible Teach About Speaking In Tongues
The topic of tongues is covered very clearly in the Bible, but for some reason there is still a lot of misunderstanding about this spiritual gift. So lets examine the Scriptures together. Please see the relevant list of Bible verses about speaking in tongues at this link. Here are a few unequivocal statements from the Bible about speaking in tongues:
They will speak in new tongues.
All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on Gentiles. For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God.
When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.
Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one.
And God has placed in the churchdifferent kinds of tongues Now eagerly desire the greater gifts.
I would like every one of you to speak in tongues
I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you.
Do not forbid speaking in tongues.
What Did Jesus Say About Speaking in Tongues?
Last, the Apostle Paul, inspired by the Holy Spirit, gives aclear command: Do not forbid speaking in tongues.
Paul Preferred To Exercise The Gift Of Speaking In Tongues In Private
If Paul speaks in tongues more frequently and fervently than anyone else, yet in church almost never does , where does he speak in tongues? In what context would the affirmation of v. 18 take shape? Clearly, Paul exercised his remarkable gift in private, in the context of his personal, devotional intimacy with God. Again, the only grounds I can see for objecting to this scenario is the reluctance that many cessationists have for spiritual experiences that bypass or transcend the mind.