Elephants 2021 part 4: Speaking in Tongues


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What is speaking in tongues? Is it Biblical? Is it something Christians should do today? In this message, Pastor Jamie shares about one of the most divisive theological topics in Christianity.

Christians should get our theology about tongues from text, not tradition.

Things to know about tongues:

1. The word “tongue” in Greek can mean your physical tongue, but it usually means “language.”

2. The Book of Acts first mentions speaking in tongues as a result of receiving the baptism in the Holy Spirit .

Acts 2:4

Acts 10:44-46

Acts 19:6

Tongues is ONE possible evidence of Holy Spirit baptism, not THE evidence.

3. Our main Biblical instruction on tongues is within the context of correction.

Paul says he speaks in tongues in 1 Corinthians. 14:18 and wants his readers to speak in tongues in 1 Corinthians 14:5

Scripture records 3 types of speaking in tongues.

1) Publicly speaking an unknown language that is understood by the hearer.

- Spoken in public

Acts 2:6-8

- A sign to the unbeliever.

1 Corinthians 14:22a

2) Publicly speaking in an unknown language during church gatherings and interpreted.

- A spiritual gift.

1 Corinthians 12:7-11

- Tongues in church should be interpreted.

1 Corinthians 14:13

3) Privately praying in the spirit. (praying in tongues/prayer language)

- Your spirit is praying. 1 Corinthians 14:14-15

(Dr. Andrew Newberg – praying in tongues bypasses the frontal lobe.)

- Builds up the believer.

1 Corinthians 14:4

- Fosters intimacy with God.

Jude 20-21a

- Preparation for spiritual warfare

Ephesians 6:18

How does VFC handle speaking in tongues?

1. We desire all spiritual gifts.

1 Cor. 12:31

2. We don’t forbid speaking in tongues.

1 Cor. 14:39

1 Cor. 13:8-10

3. We will do things decently and in order.

1 Cor. 14:23

1 Cor. 14:26-28

1 Cor. 14:40

4. We will be motivated by love.

1 Cor. 14:1

Your spiritual gifts are only as good as your spiritual fruit.

At VFC, we encourage praying in the spirit, we do not forbid speaking in tongues, we interpret public tongues, and we still love you if you’re weirded out by all of this.

Homework: Read 1 Corinthians 14 in the Message Bible.

Are you willing to believe what scripture says about speaking in tongues?