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Summary: Explains the importance of Speaking in tongues

The Importance of Speaking in Tongues


Text: 1 Corinthians 14

1 ¶ Follow after charity (love), and desire (be zealous for, let it be a burning desire, pursue ardently, desire eagerly or intensely) spiritual gifts ,

But covet earnestly the best gifts: (1 Corinthians 12:31 AV)

Spiritual Gifts: 1 Cor 12:8-10,28

For to one is given by the Spirit the (1) word of wisdom; to another the (2) word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another (3) faith by the same Spirit; to another the (4) gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the (5) working of miracles; to another (6) prophecy; to another (7) discerning of spirits; to another (8) divers kinds of tongues; to another the (9) interpretation of tongues: (1 Corinthians 12:8-10)

but rather that ye may prophesy.(especially desire the gift of prophecy) 2 For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries. 3 But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification (strengthening), and exhortation (encouragement), and comfort. 4 He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church. 5 I would that ye all spake with tongues, but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying. (1 Corinthians 14:1-5 AV)


Chapter 14 of 1 Corinthians has been used to discredit or diminish the use of speaking in tongues. Because Paul builds up the gift of prophecy here it seems to some that there is now no purpose for “tongues”. And yet all that Paul is doing is trying to give order to the church. Trying to give understanding to the gifts that God has given, especially to this gift of tongues. Before the Day of Pentecost the gift of tongues was not used. It is the only gift that is unique to the God’s New Testament church. There were prophets who would be moved on by the Holy Ghost and preach but yet there were no tongues.

It would seem that in the New Testament church there was an misunderstanding of the use and purpose of tongues. It was a gift that was on everyone’s mind and the other gifts were being neglected especially the gift of prophecy which is the “interpreting of these tongues”.

Today it seems we don’t have this as a major problem. The gift of tongues has diminished somewhat. Whereas in the New Testament church the evidence of the baptism of the Holy Ghost was speaking in tongues today this has been watered down in that all you have to do is believe that you have received the Holy Ghost and it happens.

There are two extremes today. One group that says tongues are for the past and that the gifts of the Holy Ghost are no longer in operation today and the other group who is teaching the speaking in tongues. Who has tapes of words to say, “untie my bow tie”.

I am still of the belief that there is a great purpose to this speaking in tongues. This purpose goes beyond the fact of just a gift but a special relationship that is there. A special prayer language and a way of worship.

Before I begin let me say that I am not advocating tonight for a person to seek “speaking in tongues”. This is a gift that is given from the Holy Ghost. We are to seek the gift from God. Our most important desire would be to draw closer to God and after we are saved, sanctified and filled with Holy Ghost the next logical step would be to seek for the working of the gifts of the Holy Ghost in our lives.

Tonight I would like to talk about the “Importance of Speaking in Tongues”. Speaking mainly against those who diminish the gift and say it has not purpose or work today. Also speaking against those who have taken this gift and made it into a man made work.

Let us look at 1 Cor.


1. The initial evidence of the Baptism in the Holy Ghost

2. Used as way of interpretation.

I. He that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh . . . unto God

For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries. (1 Corinthians 14:2 AV)

A. Tongues are addressed to God

A person who speaks in tongues has a special language that is addressed to God himself and the only one who can interpret or understand it is God. It is a special language. Not for the church but for God and as we will see for the edification of the person who receives the gift.

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