Gift of Tongues

Thought I’d post stuff about Tongues here for ppl’s reference, since I didnt get to go that in depth at TECBC.

Tongues Workshop

I. What Speaking in Tongues IS
a. Glossolalia – a Greek word which means to speak in a language
i. Languages: known/unknown; human/angelic (Acts 2; 1 Cor. 13:1)
b. A Spiritual Gift (1 Cor. 12)
i. Who has them? Believers only! (I Cor. 12: 1-7)
ii. What are they? (Not an exhaustive list.)
1. Eph. 4: the various offices (positions ordained by God and legitimized by the church)
2. Romans 12: the motivations (using gifts in proportion to your faith)
3. I Cor. 12: the manifestations (what can be seen)
iii. How are they given?
1. By God (James
2. As promised by Jesus (Mark
3. Through the Holy Spirit (Acts 2)
4. As a fulfillment of Scripture (Joel
5. For all time. (Acts 2:38-39, Rom.
iv. Why are they given?
1. To strengthen the church (I Cor.
a. Regardless of whether or not you agree with your church stance on the issue, remember to submit to your spiritual leaders. Be a blessing, not a burden. (Heb 13:17)
2. To build yourselves up in the Spirit (Jude 20)

II. What Speaking in Tongues is NOT
a. NOT gibberish. (Acts
b. NOT uncontrollable. (1 Cor. 14:32-33)
c. NOT only for “special” people. (Acts
d. NOT a status symbol. (1 Cor. 14:5-6)
e. NOT a substitute for spiritual growth. (1 Peter 1:13)
f. NOT to be rejected in the Church. (1 Cor. 14:39-40)
g. NOT a common language to be used in conversation. (1 Cor. 14:23)
h. NOT for everyone. (1 Cor. 12:30)

III. Three Functions of Tongues
a. “A Sign for Unbelievers” – Wherein the speaker speaks in a foreign language an unbeliever can understand. (Acts 2:5-13; 1 Cor.
i. Example: missions field
b. “Message in tongues” – Wherein the speaker speaks in the Church and the Gift of Interpretation of Tongues is needed (1Cor.
12:10; 14:5b, 23, 27-28)
i. Example 1: Used during a Sunday service
ii. Example 2: Used during a prayer meeting
1. Note – Just because you speak in tongues does not mean that you always have a message from God for your church. You can have a desire to worship and pray in tongues in church and still do it privately. Also, you are under the authority and guidelines of your church. So, do not presume to speak in public without pastoral permission.
c. “Private spiritual language” – Wherein the speaker speaks only to God and cannot be understood. Interpretation is not needed, but can be sought. (1 Cor. 14:2,13-15)
i. Example: Apostle Paul (1 Cor.
14:18-19) – praying and praising (v.15-16a)

IV. The Fruit of the Spirit
a. Gal 5:22-23 – Spiritual Gifts administered properly will produce Spiritual Fruit. (Matt 7:17-18)

V. Misc. Questions
a. How can I use my tongues to build up my spiritual family?
i. Intercession-God gave you the gift, so use it to pray for your church, esp your leaders!
ii. Praying for individuals-always ask them first if it’s ok that you use your tongues
iii. Interpretation-if you use it in public service, or a large group, be prepared to interpret, or make sure someone can interpret
b. How do I know when to use tongues in corporate or one-on-one prayer?
i. Ask for permission (stated above)
ii. Use it silently
c. What if I’m the only person in my church that has tongues?
i. Use it all the time in private devotion and worship
ii. Submit to leadership authority and church guidelines
1. Talk to pastor/elder/mentor
iii. Educate yourself – Bible, books, etc – but be discerning!

VI. Book List
a. The Beauty of Spiritual Language, Jack Hayford
b. They Speak with Other Tongues, John Sherill
c. Your Spiritual Gifts Can Help Your Church, C. Peter Wagner
d. Chasing the Dragon, Jackie Pullinger

a. Online Gift Inventory:


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