Now what exactly are the gifts of the Holy Ghost? The gift of tongues is one and we find mention of this in 1Cor.12:4-10. However, Paul teaches that God’s people will be given a variety of gifts. Some will preach, some will teach, some will have the gift of tongues and some will have the ability to interpret.
The gift of tongues is not a requirement, but a gift to some. For this gift is for the purpose of spreading the gospel. Peter, quoting from the prophet Joel states that those of us who truly and sincerely want to spread the gospel message, will be given this gift of the Spirit. The purpose is to possess the ability to share the gospel with someone that speaks another language. This gift given by the Holy Spirit is quite powerful and many of us have not experienced the true gift of tongues nor have we even seen it at work among ourselves.
Standing out in my mind is what a Pastor shared before prayer. He wanted to pray for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the church so that we can go out and knock on doors for if a brother or sister who spoke another language were to answer the door, we may have the ability to go forward with our presentation in faith knowing that what the person heard was understood. This is what it is all about.
On the day of Pentecost, the disciples were having church. There were about 120 in attendance. They were Jews from different lands who spoke different languages.
“And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. "And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” Acts 2:1-4.
This diversity of languages would have been a great hindrance to the proclamation of the gospel; God therefore in a miraculous manner supplied the deficiency of the apostles. The Holy Spirit did for them that which they could not have accomplished for themselves in a lifetime. This was the only way the gospel could have been heard on that day during that particular service.
Then in 1 Cor. 14:2, Paul speaks about this gift stating that just as it was then, there will come a time when people will speak in tongues just to be speaking and not for the
purpose of sharing the gospel. “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.”
The Word of God gives us specific instruction on this in 1 Cor. 14:27. “If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret. So it’s clear that this is not for everyone to do.
Tongues are only one of the spiritual gifts. It is not the sign of the infilling of the Holy Spirit, witnessing is (Acts 1:6-8). Not everyone will receive the gift of tongues (reallanguage) to preach the gospel. When it is needed to further God’s work, He will give it. (1 Cor. 12:6-11, 18, 29, 30.)
Christ didn’t leave us inadequate. Here’s a gift that we can receive when the occasion arises, by His spirit and His spirit only.
Let’s pray for the Holy Spirit that we might continue to spread the gospel until He