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.

img_0063-2In the last month or so I have had two conversations about speaking in tongues. One was a family member and one was a friend of mine that goes to a church in another state. The friend from another state asked me about something their pastor mentioned. The 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. My family member did as well.

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 and the importance of each gift – we should use whatever gift God has given us 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 the Holy Spirit – but do so to serve God – not to lord it over another by suggesting they are not as good a Christian if they don’t have the gift you might have or that you think they should have. Only Satan wins in such a debate as he occupies the Body of Christ in useless debate.

Use whatever God gives you to draw others to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. If there is a gift you believe would help your evangelical works for Jesus – ask God for it – and the God that knows how to give good gifts to His children will give generously. One of my family members was researching the gifts and they prayed for God to show them His power and God did not disappoint. Check out their story here. I urge you to follow their blog – (https://shorelyseeking.wordpress.com/) – for the powerful ways God is working in this young adult.

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

February 12, 2020 - Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology, Vision | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Good word, Ray! Thank you for your faithfulness in so many ways.

    Blessings in doing Christianity together, David



    Comment by davidwentz | February 12, 2020 | Reply

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