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Are Speaking in Tongues a Requirement for Justification or Sanctification: Part 1?

Are Speaking in Tongues a Requirement for Justification or Sanctification: Part 1?

 1) If tongues are the ultimate spiritual gift and the ultimate witness of the Spirit’s work in the life of the believer, then why is it mentioned only three times in the book of Acts, only one of the epistles, and never in the Gospels?

  • Acts 2, 10, 19 are the only clear times recorded in Scripture that people spoke in tongues in the book of Acts.
  • In Acts 2, the only ones that we know spoke in tongues were the apostles.
  • In the three gift lists in the NT, tongues are only mentioned in 1 Corinthians.  This is an earlier epistle, so tongues were already in the process of ceasing. Notice in Romans 12 a parallel passage to I Corinthians 12, it is never mentioned.  Paul does not mention this gift as well as the other sign gifts that accompany it.  This is consistent with the history of Acts and the statement that tongues would cease. 

Romans 12:3-11 “For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness. Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord.”

  •  The gift of tongues is never mentioned again in any of the epistles.  There are not even hints of its use again in the New Testament. 

 2) If tongues are the ultimate spiritual gift and the ultimate witness of the Spirit’s work in the life of the believer, then why is this gift not given to every believer?

  •  Not every believer had the gift of speaking in tongues.

I Corinthians 12:4-11 “Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of **healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of **miracles; to another prophecy; to another **discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of **tongues; to another the **interpretation of tongues: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally **as he (God) will.”

  •  Not every believer was to desire speaking in tongues.

I Corinthians 14:1-12, 19 “Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy. For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries. But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort. He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church. I would that ye all spake with tongues, but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying. Now, brethren, if I come unto you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, except I shall speak to you either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine? And even things without life giving sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped? For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle? So likewise ye, except ye utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? for ye shall speak into the air. There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them is without signification. Therefore if I know not the meaning of the voice, I shall be unto him that speaketh a barbarian, and he that speaketh shall be a barbarian unto me. Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church… in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue.”

 

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