The gift of tongues is a form of communication. It's a form of communication we discover in chapter 14 to God.
He who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men, but he speaks to God. It's prayer. It's worship.
It's directed heavenward. It's to God. That's why some people refer to the gift of tongues as a prayer language. A prayer language. They're directing a prayer to God. It's not a message from God to people. It's a prayer to God.
It's worship to God. The gifts of the Spirit can seem so mysterious, especially the ones we don't quite understand. Today on Connect with Skip Heitzig, Skip shares startling insight with you about the spiritual gift of tongues. Now we want to tell you about a resource that will inspire you to shine God's love even more to the world and those around you. The United States fought the devastating civil war to overcome a deeply dividing issue. As followers of Jesus and people who represent his love, we can help one another deal with this topic today.
Here's Skip Heitzig and Tony Clark. Speak to white evangelical pastors about how in churches we can create spaces for black and brown voices to be heard in a loving atmosphere, in a concerned atmosphere. This is the church's finest moment because racism is a sin.
It's a sin in the heart. So now it's our job to begin to guide them and to have a biblical mindset and also having sympathy and empathy for those who are trying to live out this Christianity and their skin may be a little bit darker than yours. Cultivate the empathy that comes from gaining a biblical perspective on racism. Get your copy of this conversation between pastors Skip and Tony when you give $20 or more today. We'll also send you Pastor Skip's booklet, The Church and Racism.
Call 800-922-1888 or give online securely at connectwithskip.com slash offer. Okay, we're in 1 Corinthians chapter 12 as we join Skip Heitzig for today's study. Then they laid hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit. Now when Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money saying, give me this power also that anyone on whom I lay hands may receive the Holy Spirit. But Peter said to him, your money perish with you because you thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money. You have neither part nor portion in this matter for your heart is not right in the sight of God.
Repent therefore of your wickedness and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you. Wow, he had the gift of discernment. Philip had the gift of miracles and evangelism not discernment. Now the apostles come, they have discernment. They know there's a motivation underlying that.
How would they know that? Holy Spirit impressed that upon them and so they spoke that word out. A few chapters later in the 13th chapter Paul is on his first missionary journey and they first go to the island of Cyprus. They go to one of the main towns in Cyprus, Solomus, and they encounter a guy by the name of Bar Jesus. Great name, son of Jesus, but he really was the son of the devil. So Bar Jesus also called Elamas in that chapter. Paul the apostle in seeing him says, oh full of deceit and fraud you son of the devil. Wow, Paul, you're having like a bad hair day or something. What up, dude? No, he had the gift of the discerning of spirits and he knew that this guy was out for a different motivation.
I'll give you one more example. This one I want you to turn to and that's Acts chapter 16. In Acts chapter 16 they come to the city of Philippi. It is Paul the apostle again at the city of Philippi verse 16. Chapter 16 verse 16, now it happened as we went to prayer that a certain slave girl possessed with a spirit of divination met us who brought her masters much profit by fortune-telling. This girl followed Paul and us and cried out, these men are the servants of the most high God who proclaimed to us the way of salvation. Stop right there.
That sounds pretty good. I mean if you want a PR person you want to hire her. These men are going to tell you the truth. Listen to what these guys have.
They teach us salvation. What she is saying here is true. What she is saying here is true.
Great PR. But keep going. Verse 18, and this she did for many days but Paul greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out that very hour.
But when her master saw that the hope of profit was gone they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to the authorities. Paul had the gift of the discernment of spirits. Now here's the hard part if you ever have this gift. The hard part is that it's so obvious to you but not to everybody else.
And that's where it's frustrating. You see it. You know it. You know that person's goofy, weird, false prophet, demonic, whatever. Everybody else, there's a, I mean here's a girl saying, these people speak the word of God, the true salvation of God. And Paul goes, you you've come out of her and just rebukes the spirit. I'm sure that people standing by would have said, Paul is so judgmental.
He's so harsh and critical. What gives him the right? God gave him the right. The gift of the discerning of spirits is so vital to the body of Christ. It's like your liver. Your liver filters out poisons. People with discernment filter out poison. There's enough people in the body of Christ that are gullible that will follow anybody and anything.
It takes somebody with real discernment but it's it's frustrating. And so if you have it buckle your spiritual seat belt because you'll see it. Others will not see it. Just be aware that you're going to get flack for it when you exercise this gift.
And then let me add a warning to that. If you have the gift of discerning of spirits which makes you valuable to the body of Christ, be careful that you don't let the gift of discernment denigrate into pride and always being critical of everything because after all you're so gifted with discernment. You're still a sinner. You're still flawed.
You still need to be corrected from time to time. So don't let that degenerate into something that is self-righteous and critical in nature. So that is the gift of the discerning of spirits. So now we've covered a bunch of them already, haven't we? Taken a month but we've done a word of wisdom, a word of knowledge, and faith, and healings, and the working of miracles, and prophecy, and the discerning of spirits.
Wow! Good. Now let's get on to the next one. Chapter 12, 1 Corinthians verse 10. To another working of miracles, prophecy, discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, and another the interpretation of tongues. Would you agree that the gift of tongues, the idea of tongues, talking about tongues, talking in tongues, is one of the most controversial things in Christianity?
It is. It has divided many a church and many a friendship. It is very controversial and sadly it has become very divisive. And so you have on one end people who say those gifts are done with, those are signed gifts that were for the early church before the scripture was given in its totality. We already covered that in the several studies ago and dismantled that belief, but there are some that hold to that. And I think they hold to it because it's very convenient to say the gifts passed away because then you don't have to deal with the messiness of their use and abuse in your group. So just say, oh, I dismiss that.
Next. On the other end of the spectrum, it always has to be a healing, a miracle, a tongue, a prophecy, and something, you know, or God hasn't moved. So there's a joke about a charismatic and a Baptist and they're arguing about this. And the charismatic, of course, says, well, it's a gift and it's for today. And the Baptist said, I don't believe in that stuff.
That stuff's nuts. The charismatic turned to his friend and says, I bet you I can get you to speak in tongues today. The Baptist said, no way. The charismatic says, way. No way.
Way. So the Baptist folds his arms and says, try it. Let's see it. So the charismatic kicks the Baptist as hard as he can with his right foot just below the knee, right in the shin. And the Baptist grabs him and goes, oh, my knee, oh, my shin, oh, my knee, oh, my shin, oh, my knee. And the charismatic goes, you got it, brother. Just keep it going, oh, my knee, oh, my shin. Just keep it going, keep it going.
And it's true. I've heard some tongues that just, you go, oh, that guy's just making stuff up. She rode a Honda. Really, where did she ride the Honda to?
From the economy car show to the curio shop. Back to the text. Different kinds of tongues. What is the gift of tongues? The gift of tongues is a form of communication. It's a form of communication we discover in chapter 14 to God.
He who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men, but he speaks to God. It's a prayer. It's worship.
It's directed heavenward. It's to God. That's why some people refer to the gift of tongues as a prayer language, a prayer language. You're directing a prayer to God. It's not a message from God to people. It's a prayer to God.
It's worship to God. Language itself is a pact, right? It's a pact. It's an agreement. It's a pact that certain things, that certain words mean certain things to certain people.
That's what language is. It's a pact that certain words mean certain things to certain people. So you and I, we have a pact with each other. It's called the Pact of English. That's our covenant with each other.
So when I say certain words, they mean certain things to certain ears, your ears. That's our pact. But over in India, they don't have the same pact that we have. So if you hear somebody say, and you think, oh, that guy's being weird, speaking to one of them weird tongues. No, it's a pact he is speaking, but it's a different pact.
It's a different agreement. He is speaking the language Malayalam, one of the dialects, one of the languages of southern India. And he is saying in his language, praise the Lord. If somebody says, maraming salamat po, you have to be Filipino to have that pact. That's a special language group all to its own.
You and I in America wouldn't understand that unless somebody interprets it for us. If we have an interpreter, that bridges the gap where the pact breaks down, right? So that's what language is. Language is an agreement. It's a pact. But let's say you and I decided to have our own secret pact, our secret language, just you and I know. So the words in our secret pact will be huzzah wuzzah, jazza wuzzah, surface, murphus, calyrex, flex. And we make an agreement in advance. If after the surface, I say to you, huzzah wuzzah, jazza wuzzah, what I mean by that is let's go to Starbucks and have coffee. So after the service, I turn to you, huzzah wuzzah, jazza wuzzah. Everybody goes, that's weird. But you and I know what that means.
We've made that pact. And then if you say to me, surface, murphus, calyrex, flex, that means, okay, I'll meet you at Starbucks, but you're buying. Again, we can employ that language and you and I would be fine, but nobody else would understand. Tongues is a language directed to God that God understands.
It's very effective and very edifying. It's unique among the gifts because the gifts of the Spirit, we are told by Paul, generally are for the edification of the church, right? For the profit of all, for the edification of the body of Christ, except the gift of tongues. We've already read it.
We'll read it in chapter 14 when we get to it again. That he who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, builds himself up. So whereas the gifts of the Spirit are for mutual edification, the gift of tongues is unique in that it is exercised for, not mutual edification, but self-edification. You build yourself up. You edify yourself, except or unless there's an interpretation.
There's an interpretation. God and I have the pact. But if somebody interprets that to the group so that you now understand what I have said to God, what I prayed to God, what I am worshiping to God, then you will be edified.
That'll build you up. You go, oh, that's beautiful. Other than that, it's for self-edification. But it is a pact. It is a language. It is a code that God understands.
Number one, it's directed to God. Number two, when you speak in a tongue, you don't understand what you are saying. You don't understand what you are saying. Nobody else understands what you are saying unless there is an interpretation. Now, I know some of you are thinking, what about the book of Acts chapter two? I'll get to that.
Not tonight, unfortunately. Here I was saying I'm going to finish the chapter. Ha ha. So when you speak in a tongue, you don't understand it. People around you don't understand it unless they have the gift of interpretation or you yourself are given the interpretation. Now, to show that, because I want to prove that to you, turn to chapter 14, verse 14. Don't worry. We're not going to go through these chapters like this. I'm covering gift at a time, and then we're going to, I was going to say zoom through it.
We'll go faster through it. Chapter 14, verse 13. Therefore, let him who speaks in a tongue pray that he may interpret. The only reason you have to pray that is if you said something you didn't understand. For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, there it is, it's a prayer language, but my understanding is unfruitful. I don't understand what I'm saying. It bypasses my intellect. So it is directed to God, and what did I say, second?
Yeah, you don't understand it. When you say it, others don't understand unless there's the interpretation. Let me give you another factoid about the gift of tongues. It requires interpretation, and when it is interpreted, it brings edification to the whole church. Verse 17, I just want to touch on this point since we're at the end of our study. Verse 17, for you indeed give thanks well, but the other is not edified. So you're praising God, you're worshiping, you're giving thanks.
The others are not edified unless you have this, a gift of interpretation. Now what about the book of Acts? Okay, I'm going to try to tackle this in the three minutes I have left, because in the book of Acts chapter 2, when the early church on the day of Pentecost spoke in tongues, remember that? They spoke in languages that people did understand. They spoke in dialects and languages of people who were gathered together at Jerusalem, and they said, how is it? And by the way, that kind of tongues and this kind of tongues were the same essential thing with one caveat, and I want you to know that caveat.
They were the same essential thing. That is, it wasn't a message to the people. It wasn't evangelism to the people. Peter wasn't preaching the gospel in different languages.
That's nonsense. It says, they heard them speak in tongues, and the people in all these different languages said, how is it that we hear them speaking in our own native tongues? Listen, the wonderful works of God. They heard them worshiping the Lord, praying to God, speaking the wonderful works of God in their own language. The difference between the Corinthians 12 tongues, glossolalia, and the Acts chapter 2 tongues, dialectus, different dialects in different regions, is that one required interpretation, Corinthians, the other did not require interpretation, Acts chapter 2. What was all that about?
It was a one-off. Acts chapter 2 was the first day the church existed. It was the birth of the church. It was the day of Pentecost. It was a sign to the unbelievers that the message of the gospel, even though tongues wasn't preaching the gospel, how do I know that? Because Peter afterwards preached the gospel to them after the tongues incident. But in hearing the tongues in different languages, it was a sign to the rest of the world that what is going on in the church is for everyone in the world.
It's for everyone in the world. But it was a one-off. It was never repeated again in history. There is no second Pentecost or third or fourth. It was the birth of the church. It was a thing that happened so that they heard them worshiping the Lord, but in their own different language and dialects, earthly languages. Whereas here, tongues in 1 Corinthians 12, the word is different. Paul distinguishes between, in this chapter, in the Greek language, he distinguishes between human languages, phonē, and this kind of speaking in tongues, glossolalia, two different words. So I see tongues, as I put it all together, as a precognitive speech to God that bypasses the intellect. So you don't know what it is. You don't have time for an orderly arrangement of thought, like in the pact of English or any other language. So it's precognitive thought that is very powerful in communicating to God.
Why would anybody do it? He says, you give thanks well for your own private devotions. Paul said, I speak in tongues more than you all.
He will say that to him. I speak in tongues more than you all, which is interesting because we never read of Paul speaking in tongues. So if Paul said, I speak in tongues more than you all, he afterwards said, but in the church, I'd rather speak one word of understanding than 10,000 words in an unknown tongue because you wouldn't know what I'm saying. So if Paul spoke in tongues more than anybody else, where did he speak in tongues? In his own personal private devotional life, his prayer life. That's where I see its place primarily.
The only time it has a place publicly is if it's in a setting that's designed for believers getting together, and it must accompany interpretation, as we will see when we get to chapter 14. So it's for devotion, number one. Number two, it's for intercession. It's for intercession because you're praying. You're praying. Sometimes when we pray, we don't know what we should pray for, right?
That's what Paul said in Romans. He said, we don't always know how to pray. We don't pray like we should, as we are.
And so here's an example. I might pray when somebody is suffering, oh Lord, deliver them. They're suffering, deliver them. That may be the worst thing for them if God were to answer my prayer.
I'm knowledgeable. I'm praying in English in my mind or out loud, and I say, Lord, deliver them. And that may be the worst thing because that suffering may be the very tool God is using to develop and mature that person. If God delivers them, that would circumvent the work God wants to do.
They need to stay in it a while. When Jesus said to his disciples, I'm going to Jerusalem, and then they're going to beat me up and kill me. I'm going to be crucified, but I'm going to rise again. Peter said, far be it from you, Lord. What if the Lord would have answered that prayer? Okay, Peter, you prayed it.
You said, far be it from me, so I'm not going to the cross. That'd be the worst answered prayer in history. So we don't always know how to pray as we ought. So when you bypass your intellect and you trust that the Lord in that speech of tongues is discerning the will of God and praying accordingly, so I might say, Lord, give me a brand new speed boat. I don't know why I'd pray that living in New Mexico where there's no place to really exercise it, but let's say I pray that.
And then I'm also praying in the Spirit, praying in tongues. I might very well in that language say, Lord, cancel out that prayer that he prayed cognitively. Don't give him the speed boat.
First of all, he does live in New Mexico. Number two, he doesn't need that. Number three, that'd be bad for his marriage. Number four, whatever it might be.
It would correct that. And so for personal devotion and worship, for intercession, and as I said, and we'll get to it, private personal edification. These Bible teachings are available to friends like you, and you can help connect even more people to God's Word today through a generous gift. Here's how you can give now to impact others' lives with God's truth. Visit connectwithskip.com slash donate to give a gift. That's connectwithskip.com slash donate or call 800-922-1888.
800-922-1888. Thank you for your generosity. And come back tomorrow as Skip Heitzig shares how you can serve even more effectively as a member of the body of Christ. Using the analogy of the body, Paul speaks here about the body of Christ.
It's one of his favorite analogies, favorite metaphors. The church is more than an organization. Yes, it should be organized, but it's an organism. It's alive. It's living like a body. There are other analogies the Bible uses to speak about the church, not just the body of Christ, but all of them are living analogies, the bride of Christ. Connect with Skip Heitzig is a presentation of Connection Communications, connecting you to God's never-changing truth in ever-changing times.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-23 01:32:39 / 2023-01-23 01:42:15 / 10