Speaking in tongues Pentecost

What the Bible Says about Tongues

By Betty Miller

Praying in tongues is a tremendous weapon available to us as Christians. This form of prayer has caused much controversy in the body of Christ. Even so, it should not be left out because it is definitely one of the keys to the kingdom. This valuable type of prayer is praying in an unknown tongue or praying in the spirit. Paul declares in 1 Corinthians 14:14-15“For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful. What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.”

Due to the commotion that “tongues” has raised in the body of Christ, many people would just as soon do away with it. Yet, there have been many other issues within the church which have caused problems that have not been put aside simply because they created discord. We must resolve the contention, not throw out speaking in tongues. The Bible has to remain the standard of truth. We cannot eliminate portions of it just because we do not understand it all.

My People are Destroyed for Lack of Knowledge

Paul wrote a letter to the Corinthians because they were having problems in the church, including the same one we are having today regarding speaking in tongues (see 1 Corinthians 14). Nowhere in this chapter does Paul recommend doing away with this gift of the Holy Spirit; instead he deals with correcting the problem. Most of the problems regarding speaking in tongues stem from a lack of understanding of what the purpose of this beautiful gift is.

Let us look at this entire chapter to clear up the confusion. Verse 1 begins: “Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy. 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.”

From this we can see that when one speaks in tongues, he is not speaking to men, but to God. We need to understand this because many people do not see any purpose for speaking in tongues, and therefore do not see their need for this gift. They contend that love is the only thing in a Christian’s life. We find two main groups, one emphasizing on the gifts, and the other the fruit of the Spirit. The truth is, however, that it is necessary to possess both. It takes “two wings for a bird to fly.”

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