Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Speaking in Tongues

1 Corinthians 12:31-13:1

12:31But eagerly desire the greater gifts. And now I will show you the most excellent way. 13:1If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.

photo on 6-11-19 at 10.52 amDuring our study of Acts – we have read and studied the movement of the Holy Spirit upon the early church. Questions have arisen about the gifts of the Holy Spirit. We will cover them as we continue our study and as we study the gifts later.

A few years ago – I was talking to a friend of mine who attended a church in Virginia. He asked me about something his pastor said. His pastor – in a recent sermon – said that if a person didn’t speak in tongues they were not baptized in the Spirit. My friend was questioning this statement.

This is not a new debate for sure. Some believe that when the Bible says that speaking in tongues is the least of the gifts (1 Corinthians 12) – that implies that all Christians – baptized in the Spirit – would have the least of the gifts. There are also passages that connect the moment of salvation with water baptism and speaking in tongues.

I do not believe that an argument needs to be ensued. For me – the debate is not about who is baptized by the Spirit or not – or what gifts a person has or doesn’t have. I believe that the gifts are not to be worn as trophies but rather used as God gives them to His glory – not the glory of the person God is blessing.

In describing the many gifts the Holy Spirit desires to give to believers – Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 12:11 – All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as He determines.

Rather than spend time debating what gift someone may or may not have – use whatever gift God has given you to God’s glory. The gifts are not merit badges to be worn on a banner across one’s chest as scouts do. We are to eagerly desire the greater gifts – but the gifts are not effective without God’s love – If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.

Seek the gifts of God – but do so serve God – not to lord it over another by suggesting they are not as good a Christian if they don’t have what you have – only Satan wins in such a debate as he occupies the Body of Christ in useless debate.

By-the-way – some even believe the gifts were only for the early church – that when the Bible came into existence – many of the gifts were no longer needed (I don’t agree with this approach). Again – whatever you believe – let’s spend our time serving our God rather than debating what God can or cannot give us.

Just something for us to think about today as we go on our way.

August 23, 2019 - Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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