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October 8, 2020 1:00 am
Some feel that the gift of tongues is crucial evidence of the presence of the Holy Spirit. Others say that modern tongues do not form words in any known language. In this message, Erwin Lutzer begins a careful study in First Corinthans 14, a study you won’t want to miss.Click here to listen (Duration 25:02)
Reese is looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our feeling that the gift of tongues is the Holy Spirit's presence. Others say modern tongues do not form words.
Any known language today when Sir begins the careful study in first Corinthians chapter 14 study.
You won't want to miss church in Chicago. This is running to win with Dr. when Sir was clear teaching helps us make it across the finish line, pastor, loser, why has this issue been so divisive in the past day.
The reason is because the Bible does describe speaking in tongues so naturally the question would arise as to whether or not we should be experiencing today. And so it is something over which the church has been divided but I would say this, no matter where you come down on this difficult topic. I encourage you to listen carefully to the exposition that I give up. First Corinthians chapter 14 I think it will shed a lot of light on what the purpose of speaking in tongues is really all about. Let me ask you a different question. You know there many people when the pandemic was upon us.
Speaking of course of COBIT, but there many other difficulties that happen on this planet. Earthquakes and tidal waves and so forth. People asked the question, where is God in the midst of this and can he be trusted their pastors who tell their people to trust in God and that's great. I encourage that. But the impression is given that if you trust in God he will bring you through it victoriously. You will be healthy. Everything is going to work out, you're going to get your job back. What do you do when that's not the way you're experiencing life can you go on believing in the goodness of God does God care about this world or does he just say that he does. These are the kinds of questions I answer in the new book I've written entitled pandemics, plagues and natural disasters.
What is God is saying to us. Five chapters on what God is saying to us through his word and then our response. I think it will be a great encouragement. By the way, it's a great book for unbelievers because many of been turned off on the idea of God because of what is happening on this planet for a gift of any amount. It can be yours. Here's what you do go to RTW offer.com that's RTW offer.com or call us at 1-888-218-9337 if you're in a place where you have a Bible turn to first Corinthians chapter 14 right now as we begin this important exposition in the early church, God gave some people the ability to speak the languages that they had ever heard and to speak them for naturally and I'm sure they spoke them very very well. It's spoken of in the Bible is the gift of tongues. It's a subject that we should all be interested in for some obvious reasons. First of all we should wonder whether or not God wants us to speak in time there. Some of our brothers and sisters who say that we aren't filled with the spirit. Unless we speak in tongues and the gift is for everyone that if you want all God has for you better get the gift we have to find out whether or not that's the case. Second, we should be interested because we have to ask ourselves this question is the gift as it is described in the New Testament, the same kind of gift that is oftentimes exercise today, especially on television by certain ministries. That's where we hear about it the most is that the same words that something different. We should be interested in that and then for all of us the power of the tongue all the Bible has much to say about the power of the time.
The Bible says that the tongue is a fire set on fire by hell.
So important that God wants the control of your tongue and the devil.
Also, once the control of your tongue so anything that has to do with the tongue I think is important. Paul devotes a whole chapter in the New Testament to the gift of tongues. So what were going to do is we can answer various questions were to answer questions like what was that what was its intention. What was its purpose is it something that we should seek is it something that is practiced today, is that scriptural all that in the next 30 or 35 minutes. So today, I invite you to fasten your seatbelts. You can even put your seat back could, but you can't and let's go on a journey were gonna take off and in a few moments we are going to land and we hope that you enjoy the journey. As you know, when I preach. I want people to have their Bibles open. That's always important, never has it been more important than today. All Christians bring their Bibles to church. You didn't bring one draw the conclusion, there are some limited ones in the pews view not enough for everybody. We expect all members and attenders to regularly bring their Bible to church in today so many times I'm going to ask you put your finger on.txt you be ready. Was this gift. Acts chapter 2 all tell you the story. They are there in the day of Pentecost there praying in the upper room, the Holy Spirit comes upon them, and God supernaturally gives them the ability to speak languages they've never heard for lack of time. I'm going to begin at verse six of chapter 2 and at this sound, the multitude came together, and they were bewildered because each one was hearing them speak in his own language and they were amazed and astonished, saying are not these who are speaking Galileans and how is it that we hear, each in his own native tongue. The Greek says his own dialect and then it lists them Parthians means later on Egyptians people from Cyrene and you'll notice it says in verse 11 we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God. Awesome miracle. Now let's take your Bibles and turn to the major text for today and that's first Corinthians chapter 14.
This is a series of messages entitled the passion for the church, chapter 12 we had two messages on spiritual gifting and the unity of the body.
Chapter 13 love for the body and now Paul is going to give some some instruction on regulating this gift of tongues, which was out of control in the Corinthian church. So what I'm saying today applies particularly to the body of Christ. If you're here today and you're not a believer, I want you to listen and by the time were finished we will indeed be speaking to you as well. But for this for this message, which always isn't my favorite because I know that it stirs some controversy which being interpreted means for making all be getting some letters but for this message is primarily to believers, but all the rest of you listen in as you're going to learn when Corinthians was written by Paul. There was a problem in the church regarding tongues. Some people had the gift and they were exercising at that was perfectly fine but they weren't exercising it in the right way and in chapter 12. The memory says the foot should say to the hand. I have no need of the etc. he was arguing for the unity of the body. We can just imagine a foot having the gift of helps. That would make sense with your foot in the body of got the gift of helps, but you know the person with the tongue. The gift of the tongue, he meets the person with the gift of helps in the lobby and says you know you're not as spiritual as I am, because I can speak in tongues you should become like me, you should be, tongue to. In fact I don't even know whether or not you're saying because you're not speaking tongue. We can imagine that that kind of thing was going on. So Paul writes first Corinthians 14 to straighten out two issues number one if you're going to use the gift of tongue. Be sure that an interpreter is present and number two don't think that it's a gift that just comes upon you that you can't help later on. Paul is gonna say that in any meeting at the most two should do it. Maximum three. Do it in order to keep quiet unless an interpreter is present so is going to straighten this out in the Corinthian church. Are you ready now for the text he says in verse one pursue love. That's of course playing off of the last chapter, and earnestly desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy what is prophecy prophecy primarily is what I'm doing right now it is speaking the word of God in a language that you can understand it is bringing a word from God to a congregation. Often times it included being able to predict something but not necessarily in all instances, prophecy is the proclamation of the word. If we extend the meaning we could even say that it pertains to Sunday schools and elsewhere where the word of God is being proclaimed in a relevant way.
In a prophetic way to the needs of the day so he says I especially want you to emphasize that, he says, and now Paul in this chapter has two verses which in my way of thinking has been seriously misinterpreted and has spun all kinds of theories that I really don't think the apostle Paul had in mind in the first instance of a verse like that comes in verse two for one who speaks in a tongue, speaks not to men but to God, for no one understands him, but he utters mysteries in the spirit. Some people have said well you see what happens is when you have this gift in your you're using it. Why indeed you're speaking out to God and that nobody is understanding you and your uttering mysteries.
You have no clue what you're saying. Your mind is disengage and there you are. Your uttering things and you don't have a clue what is coming out of your mouth and all these mysteries that nobody knows anything about adding is a very dangerous way to interpret what Paul is saying when we come to this verse send another like it in a few moments when we need to do is to understand that Paul is speaking here from the standpoint of the congregation what he saying is, is that a man who speaks in an unknown language.
He speaks to God and God is listening to him and he's even being edified because believe it or not I'm edified by my own sermons. I hope that you are to he's being edified pretty speaking mysteries because nobody understands and there's no interpreter (no notice in the book of acts.
There were no interpreters there didn't have to be because that was a cosmopolitan situation you had 10 or 12 different language groups represented so you know if Peter is up there and he speaking Egyptian.
All the people from Egypt got around and say we can't believe Peter is doing this and if James is speaking Parthians, then all the people from there gather around James when you're in a church and a captive audience and a man speaks in some actual language and there is no interpreter, he is speaking mysteries speaking mysteries.
That's what pole I believe is trying to say. On the other hand, the one who prophesies speaks to people for their upbuilding, their encouragement and their consolation.
The one who speaks in a tongue builds up himself, but the one who prophesies builds up the church. Some people have interpreted this to mean that you can have your private prayer language etc. etc. I see the gift of tongues functioning only in the church and for the benefit of the church.
Now he says I want you all to speak in tongues, but even more to prophesy the one who prophesies is greater than the one who speaks in tongues, unless someone interpret so that the church may be built up. Some people interpret that to mean well, prophecy is better than tongues but if you have an interpreter is brought up to the level of tongues.
What Paul is going to imply as he moves through the argument is hey, in light of the fact that it's the message that is important. The tongues really aren't necessary. If you are prophesying that is to say, if you're expounding the Scriptures and then he says in verse six and following our brothers.
If I come to you speaking in tongues. How will I benefit you unless I bring you some revelation or knowledge or prophecy are teaching something that you can understand even if lifeless instruments such as the flute or harp.
Do not give distinct notes how will anyone know what is played and if the bugle gives an indistinct sound who will get ready for battle. So with yourselves if with your tongue you utter speech that is not intelligible. How will anyone know what is said or you will be speaking into the air firsthand shows me that indeed here in Corinth. The gift of tongues was actual dialects actual spoken languages. There's no reason to make some great distinction between acts and Corinthians, look at what Paul says in verse 10 there are doubtless many different languages in the world and none is without meaning. But if I do not know the meaning of the language.
I will be a foreigner to the speaker and the speaker a foreigner to me. So with yourselves since you are eager for manifestations of the spirit, strive to excel in the building up of the church.
That's what Paul is saying it's the message that is important.
Now we get to another verse that is often been misinterpreted. Verse 13. Therefore, one who speaks in a tongue should pray for the power to interpret either. He should interpret it. If he can do it or gift of interpretation was a separate gift for if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is on.
All I need to stop there so many of our friends. Take that person they say see there is such a thing as praying in your spirit and you have no idea what you're saying. Your mind is totally disengaged and you're saying things that you don't understand nobody else understands them. These are ecstatic utterances.
They are mysteries and even your mind is blocked off. I have to tell you again my opinion very very dangerous. I could tell you stories of people who shutdown their minds and spoke what they spoke under the inspiration of the Spirit is not coming from God. What Paul means is this look at it again from the standpoint of the congregation what he means is this, and in the text and later on he equates praying in the spirit as praying without an interpreter and praying with the mind as praying with an interpreter so that the content of what you are praying or speaking about becomes intelligible to people what he means.
Here is this verse. 14 for if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind, my being understood is unfruitful.
Let's take an illustration. Sometimes that had passed the Ramos Spanish pastor close in prayer and I always tell them that when you give the benediction always give it in Spanish. That's why we bring you here is so that we can hear it in Spanish, now Spanish is a very beautiful language. It's almost a musical language and some of you can can speak it and you understand that I don't apart from a few words when he prays I know that he's praying in the spirit because I can see the enthusiasm on his face. His intensity the glow on his face, but from my standpoint, he's not praying with his mind because his being understood is unfruitful for me. I III say amen at the end because I trust his theology, but II can't just chime in and say yeah I don't know exactly what he said.
In fact, that's exactly what pulses here is is is if somebody prays in a tongue you don't even know whether or not you should saying that at the not that he doesn't know what he's saying or that the gift of tongues means that the person who speaking doesn't know what he's saying is mind is engaged but from my standpoint, is mind is unfruitful because I don't understand what he saying so he says in verse 15. What am I to do. I will pray with my spirit. That is to say, I will pray with the intensity of the spirit and even the gift of the spirit, but I will pray with my mind. Also all pray in such a way that my being understood will be of benefit.
I will sing praise with my spirit that I will sing with my mind. Also pulsing in such a way that I can communicate the contents of what my mind has verse 16.
Otherwise, if you give thanks with your spirit.
No interpreter all that you hear is this on intelligible language. How can anyone in the position of an outsider. Say amen to your Thanksgiving when he does not know what you're saying for you may be giving thanks well enough, but the other person is not being built up. He says in verse 18.
I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you. Nevertheless, interchurch.
I would rather speak five words with my mind in order to instruct others than 10,000 words in tongue. I believe verse 19 confirms the interpretation. I just gave Paul is saying that I am using the expression of speaking with my mind when I'm talking about giving and intelligible lecture or sermon or revelation in language. People can understand. To speak in the spirit means that I'm talking I know what I'm saying. Nobody else receives any benefit in my mind is unfruitful for them. Bottom line, if we have to miss it. And I know we can't is that Paul is saying, clarity, clarity, clarity so important to speak intelligibly now. I grew up in an atmosphere where my parents frequently took us to meetings where there was speaking tongue so I been to tongues meeting and then even as I grew up. I deliberately attended some just to observe and to try to understand one of the things I even noticed as a child is sometimes everybody was speaking in tongues simultaneously. Sometimes there were interpretations that were given. Sometimes they were just snatches of Scripture like John 316, and so forth.
In all of this was going on about when it came time for the offering. I noticed it was always given in plain English at that time the tongue stopped and we all began to understand very clearly what the needs were and how much we should give Paul would agree with that, he says in the church. He said I would rather speak five words that people can understand then 10,000 words that nobody understands. So the first question that we try to answer is, the question is, what was the gift and I believe it was the gift of actual intelligible dialects that were spoken in that day. I also believe it was exercised within the church, intending to build up the body and that was what the gift was all about. We come to another question. Critical question why this gets doesn't seem strange that God would do that on the what was have you ever wondered when you come across something like this and you say to yourself, you know, what was God thinking when he gave this gift. What was its purpose.
Paul is going to answer that, you'll notice now were answering that question number two what is its purpose.
Verse 20 brothers do not be children in your thinking be infants in evil but in your thinking be mature but he saying is get beyond some of the squabbles that you're having about this act mature and as far as being an infant has concerns regarding evil.
Have you ever noticed how kids can fight they can fight in the sandbox until there crying pound each other and then two minutes later the tears are gone and the role-playing as if nothing happened.
Pulses regarding evil be like infants, but in your thinking be mature.
Verse 21 in the law it is written by people of strange tongues and by the lips of foreigners. I will speak to this people, and even then they will not listen to me, says the Lord. Thus, tongues are for a sign, not for believers but for unbelievers I'm to stop there and that I'm go to pick it up in a moment. I have to ask you to hang on there is your finger in the text. That's what I want to ask my friend this is pastor looser obviously it's very important that you listen to running to win next time because actually I've come to a place in the sermon where I think it's going to shed so much light on what tongues is all about the gift of tongue. I sure hope that you're with us.
Meanwhile, let me say that there are hurricanes there are tidal waves, there are earthquakes that are happening in the world.
What is God's relationship is he a bystander does he have anything to do with these. Does he actually plan these events. How can we go on trusting him in the midst of such despair. Those are the kinds of questions I answer in the book entitled pandemics, plagues and natural disasters, subtitle what is God saying to us. I wrote this book to encourage your faith. It's very realistic. There is no doubt that there is plenty of pain out there for a gift of any amount.
The book can be yours. Here's what you do go to RTW offer.com or you can call us at 1-888-218-9337 you can write to us running to win 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago, IL 60614 21 outsider hearing people speak in unknown languages may raise more questions than answers. That's why Paul argued for clear teaching in known dialect. He refers to the book of Isaiah tells us why the gift of tongues was given next time. The real purpose of this gift, this is Dave McAllister running to win is sponsored by the teacher