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Summary: A message that clearly bring out Paul’s position in tongues

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I Wish that you all spoke in tongues.

1 Cor 14:5 reads:

5 I would like every one of you to speak in tongues,[a] but I would rather have you prophesy. He who prophesies is greater than one who speaks in tongues,[b] unless he interprets, so that the church may be edified.

The apostle Paul said he would like everyone of the Corinthians to speak in tongues.

I wonder if Paul know his words would spark such a running battle among 20 century churchmen as is being waged today?

In many circles the gift of tongues receives the most determined putdown of all the Holy Spirit’s manifestation.

Such as

1. “The gift of tongues is an inferior gift!” they

contend

(2) “It is near the bottom of the list!”

(3)”Paul said tongues would cease!” they argue

(4)” Tongues is divisive!”

(5) “It is better to speak five words with the

understanding than 10,000 words in an unknown

tongue!”

These are standard objections from those who are against this practice. But someone who has never experienced the infilling of the Holy Spirit is like a man who has never eaten an orange trying to judge its flavor of oranges—whatever their qualifications

Let’s make a brief examination of these objections.

I. “THE GIFT OF TONGUES IS AN INFERIOR GIFT”

A. Who said so? The Bible certainly makes no such

declaration.

I doubt that a thoughtful scholar would classify

any gift from God as inferior.

B. The Scofield Reference Bible notes, “ The important

gift is that of prophecy” One might just as

logically say that the husband is the important

member of the family. It overlooks that without a

wife there is no husband Nor would there be a

family without both.

C. So prophecy, together with tongues and

interpretation and six other gifts, are spiritual

enablements placed in the hurch for the formation

and development of member of Christ’s body.

D. Even Paul, who said, “Covet the best gifts” (1cor.

12:31), declined to name the best—Someone needing

guidance would not benefit from gifts of healing---

similarly, one desperately in need of healing would

find prophecy inadequate.

E. While Paul was opting for prophecy in the open

meetings, he acknowledged that tongues, when

accompanied by interpretation, served the same

purpose (I Cor 14:5 5I would like every one of you

to speak in tongues,[a] but I would rather

have you prophesy. He who prophesies is greater

than one who speaks in tongues,[b] unless he

interprets, so that the church may be edified.

2. THE GIFT OF TONGUES IS NEAR THE BOTTOM OF THE

LIST!

A. This objection doesn’t deserve a rebuttal. It’s

like saying Admiral Zumwalt (the head of the Navy

some years ago) is the least important naval

officer because his name appears near the bottom of

the list.

B. There is no reason to believe that Paul positioned

the gifts in relation to their importance.

3. TONGUES ARE DIVISIVE!

A. Why pick out tongues? Everything God does is

divisive. There has never been a move of God that

didn’t set factions to warring.

The Problem is that people refuse to take God

seriously.

1.Jews wrote many decisions and commentaries to

deaden the impact of the Law.

2. Churchmen have written volumes with the intent

of removing objectionable passages from the

bible.

3.Satan has set liberal churchmen against the gift

of tongues because if is the kiss of the great

Prince upon the cheek of his sleeping beauty—

breath of life to his bride---a thorn in the

flesh to those who would maintain dignity at any

cost.

4. BUT IT IS BETTER TO SPEAK 5 WORDS WITH THE

UNDERSTANDING THAN 10,000 WORDS IN AN UNKNOWN

TONGUE!

(A) Paul was opting for prophecy in the open

meetings:

(I Cor. 14:18-19) 18 I thank God that I speak

in tongues more than all of you. 19 But in the

church I would rather speak five

intelligible words to instruct others than ten

thousand words in a tongue.

(B) The sole purpose of speaking in church was to

instruct others. This could best be done with

inspired utterance (prophecy) in the local

setting.

(1) TONGES Per SE WERE NOT AT ISSUE. At issue were

Tongues or messages in tongues that were not

being interpreted, which tended to disrupt the

services and distract worshipers, while

instructing none.

(2)This is evident from (I Corin. 14:5, 13, 19) 5

I would like every one of you to speak in

tongues,[c] but I would rather have you

prophesy. He who prophesies is greater than one

who speaks in tongues,[d] unless he interprets,

so that the church may be edified.

(v-13) 13For this reason anyone who speaks in a tongue

should pray that he may interpret what he says.

(V-19) 19But in the church I would rather speak five

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