In the past few weeks we have been looking at steps to receiving the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in tongues. During one of the previous lessons, we mentioned that there was a difference between the gift of the Spirit called diverse kinds of tongues (as we see in 1Corinthians 12:10 KJV): “To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another diverse kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues” and the speaking in unknown tongues that 1 Corinthians 14:2 refers to: “For one who speaks in an [unknown] tongue speaks not to men but to God, for no one understands or catches his meaning, because in the [Holy] Spirit he utters secret truths and hidden things [not obvious to the understanding].” [AMP]
Paul very definitely encouraged the Corinthian Christians (and ultimately every believer) to follow the practice of speaking with tongues in their own private prayer lives as well as coveting earnestly the best gifts (see 1 Corinthians 12:31). In this study we will be looking at the importance of speaking in tongues in the life of a believer; whether [unknown] tongues or diverse kinds of tongues.
We will group these importance into two parts: “Speaking in unknown tongues” and “Speaking with diverse kinds of tongues”
1. SPEAKING IN UNKNOWN TONGUES
(a) Needed For Devotion & Prayers:
All believers are encouraged to speak in tongues to themselves and to God (1 Cor.14:2, 4). It enables us to have spirit-to-Spirit communication with God. It is a continual experience for the rest of a believer’s life to assist in our relationship and the worship of God. The Spirit also helps us in our weakness by interceding for us; as we see in Romans 8:26 - especially when we don’t know how to pray. Speaking with tongues therefore helps us pray according to the will of God, eliminating selfishness (by praying about things that we wouldn’t think to pray about or things we not even aware of), and praying out the mysteries of God’s divine plan.
(b) Needed For Fulfilment of Scriptures:
Speaking in tongues helps us fulfil the Scriptures that instruct us to:
• Be filled with the Spirit – Ephesians 5:8
• Led by the Spirit – Romans 8:14
• Walk in the Spirit – Galatians 5:16
• Live in/by the Spirit - Galatians 5:25
• Worship the Father in Spirit and in truth – John 4:23
(c) Needed For Spiritual Edification & Spiritual Refreshing:
The word "edify" means to build up.
Paul said, "He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifies himself. . ." (1 Cor. 14:4).
Greek language scholars tell us there is a word in our modern vernacular that is closer to the meaning of the original Greek than the word "edifies" and that is the word "charge". We use the word "charge" in connection with charging a battery. Praying in tongues charges our spirits like a battery charger powers a battery. Also, Isaiah 28:11-12 says: “For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. To whom he said, this is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear”
(d) Needed To Best Give God Thanks:
1 Cor. 14:16-17 (AMP) says: “Otherwise, if you bless and render thanks with [your] spirit [[f]thoroughly aroused by the Holy Spirit], how can anyone in the position of an outsider or he who is not gifted with [interpreting of unknown] tongues, say the Amen to your thanksgiving, since he does not know what you are saying? To be sure, you may give thanks well (nobly), but the bystander is not edified [it does him no good].”
The focus here is that when we give God thanks by praying in the Spirit, we cannot go wrong because we do it well.
(e) Needed To Exercise, Activate and Stimulate our Faith:
Exercising our faith develops and builds it up. When we pray, sing, talk, worship or praise in tongues it is by faith. By faith we speak out, by faith we trust the Holy Spirit for the next word. Speaking in tongues is a faith workout. “But you, beloved, keep building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit.” (Jude 1:20)
(f) Needed For Spiritual Warfare:
Ephesians 6:12 (KJV)
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
Ephesians 6:18a (KJV)
“Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit.”
2. SPEAKING WITH DIVERSE KINDS OF TONGUES
(a) Needed For Ministration:
Tongues and interpretation of tongues can also minister to the unbeliever (1 Cor. 14:22a AMP):
“Thus [unknown] tongues are meant for a [supernatural] sign, not for believers but for unbelievers [on the point of believing]”
(b) Needed by God when He Chooses To Use It For His Glory:
“And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?” Acts 2: 4-7 (KJV)
“. . . We do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.” Acts 2: 11 (KJV)
(c) Needed For Supernaturally Magnifying God:
In Acts 10:46 when Peter went to Cornelius and his household to minister to then and the Holy Spirit fell on them and they began to speak with tongues magnifying God:
"For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. . . ."
Also, we see this in Acts 2: 11 as well with the Apostles on the day of Pentecost.
Speaking in tongues is the initial evidence of the infilling of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:4). God has given us this wonderful spiritual gift to bless us, edify us, and refresh us throughout our lives on this earth. There is more to being filled with the Holy Ghost than speaking in tongues, it is an integral part of the believer's devotional prayer life, for as the Apostle Paul said, "I thank my God, I speak with tongues . . ." (1 Cor. 14:18).
Finally, from the very words of the Apostle Paul himself (1 Cor.12:3): “. . . no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.”
So don’t be afraid or ashamed to manifest these gifts of the Holy Spirit as the Holy Spirit gives you utterance. You will be doing yourself a whole lot of good if you do; and most importantly you will be a vessel unto honour as you allow the Lord use the gifts He’s deposited in you for His glory!
Contributor: Isekhua Evborokhai