Thursday, January 13, 2011

Spiritual Gift of Tongues (Part 2 of 2)

"For to one is given by the Spirit ... divers kinds of tongues" - 1st Corinthians 13:8a, 10d
Tongues is a hot topic in some churches. Godly people believe those who speak in tongues are of the devil and others, just as godly, believe only those who speak in tongues are saved - both sides saying they believe the Bible.

Tongues is a prophetic utterance in a human or angelic1 language unknown by the speaker and sometimes to the hearers.

Its primary purpose is individual spiritual growth2 but there are two (2) more I should mention.

1. The Bible says tongues are a sign to non-believers3 that this group of people is different, and not afraid to be so. They may be thought of as strange or crazy, but when everything "normal" fails one often inquires about the unique.

God excels at taking those who have tried the world's ways and found them wanting.

2. There's also another purpose and here, in combination with the gift of Interpretation of tongues, is its place in church services.4 It is encouraging when the church gathers and experiences an act of God. I have seen it, it's awesome!

Much of what we do in church is of human origin - our liturgy, our programs, our efforts as we express our love to God. It's awesome to experience God's response.

Sure we'll get it wrong sometimes and use God's gifts ineffectively but that's to be expected. A wise pastor will teach, direct in right ways, and encourage his people to step out in God's giftings.

Paul's admonition still stands
"Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues." - 1st Corinthians 14:39
- fritz

1 - 1st Corinthians 13:1
2 - 1st Corinthians 14:4
3 - 1st Corinthians 14:22
4 - 1st Corinthians 14:5

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