Speaking In Tongues 1 Cor 14
1. The subject of speaking in tongues is one many people believe in.
(1) Amazes me when I see someone on television claiming to “speak in tongues.”
(2) Many claim they have this ability. They say it is evidence of their salvation.
2. Regarding the text:
(1) In Chapters 12, 13, and now 14 Paul has stressed three main things:
A. Christians should love and have concern for the church more than they glory in their spiritual gifts (especially a spectacular gift like tongues).
B. Tongues are not to be used in the assembly unless for edification and then only if there is an interpreter.
C. Tongues and all nine of the spiritual gifts were temporary. Stress 13:10 They were to pass away. They were a part of immaturity!
(a) People, even brethren strive for tongues and other “spiritual gifts” today. To do so is striving for immaturity.
(2) The word tongue is used in various ways.
A. Tongue = the little member of our body so hard to control (James 3:5-10; Mk. 7:33).
B. Tongue = our speech. E.g. – “Watch your tongue” or “Watch your mouth!”
C. Glossolia = a reference to human language.
(a) Not muttering or jabbering.
(b) Not stringing a bunch of unrelated syllables together.
D. In general the Bible uses the word “tongue” in reference to known language.
(3) As we study 1 Corinthians 14 and the “tongues” we question:
A. Are these “tongues” the same type of “tongues” many claim today?
B. Were these tongues “ecstatic jabber” with no meaning at all.
C. Were they “heavenly language” that humans couldn’t understand?
(4) There is difficulty in answering the question. Seen in English translations. Some translate it in a neutral manner, some as language, some ecstatic.
A. ASV, RSV, NASB, NKJV = translate glossolia = tongue.
B. KJV = Unknown tongue (unknown in italics).
C. NIV = tongue, but in margin reads another language.
3. If you examine well known Bible commentators, you will encounter a variety of opinions (large number = “ecstatic utterances” while many = “language.”).
4. In this lesson we propose that the “tongues” spoken of in Acts 14 is a reference to the speaking of a human language foreign to the speaker. The ability given by the Holy Spirit.
I. THE “TONGUES” CLAIMED BY SOME TODAY ARE NOT THE SAME AS AUTHENTIC “TONGUES” MADE MANIFEST IN THE BIBLE.
1. What many “Pentecostal” believers claim to have today, is not what the apostles and some Christians of the first century had.
(1) What did THEY have?
A. They had Holy Spirit Baptism and spoke in tongues.
a. Jesus promised (Lk. 24:49; Acts 1:2-5, 8).
b. They were “Galileans” (Acts 2:7).
B. The tongues they spoke were human languages (Acts 2:6).
C. They spoke in human language (Acts 2:8).
D. The people called their “tongues” – “our language” (Acts 2:11).
(2) Tongues at the house of Cornelius were understood language (Acts 10:46).
2. A standard rule of hermenutics (obscure passages are explained by clear passages on same subject).
(1) Acts 2:1-13 is clear on what is happening.
(2) Glossa = tongues = language or dialect. (cf. 2:8; 2:11).
(3) We have no reason to believe “tongues” of 1 Cor. would differ. They were a human language or dialect. Acts 2 explains tongues in the Bible.
II. THE PURPOSE OF TONGUES HAS PASSED. THERE IS NO NEED.
Miracles were always for the purpose of confirming God’s word (cf. Moses).
1. Tongues were a sign for confirming the word of God (V. 22; cf. Mk. 16:15-12).
2. Miracles were evidence of God’s approval of the messenger (Heb. 2:3,4).
(1) Jesus “confirmed” that He was the Son of God with miracles (Jn. 2).
(2) The apostles needed some way to confirm their message.
A. Jesus promised the Holy Spirit to “bring to remembrance.”
B. God bore witness to the apostles authority
C. Notice the Hebrew writer says, “was confirmed!” (Not is being…).
3. Illustrate: They didn’t have the Bible and upon speaking a message, they needed some means of convincing people what they said was inspired.
III. THE HOLY SPIRIT SAID THAT TONGUES WOULD CEASE (1 Cor. 13:8,9).
1. Tongues would cease at same time prophecy and knowledge ceased or “done away” with.
(1) Done away = brought to point of inactivity.
(2) Cease = stop by itself.
2. When the perfect came the “in part” would be “done away.”
(1) That which is perfect.
A. Many believe wrongly that this refers to Jesus Christ!
B. Jesus is not a that! Jesus is a person.
C. That refers to a thing! - The Bible.
(2) The part = Refers to things incomplete (i.e. – prophecy & knowledge).
A. Prophecy = “to speak for God” (2 Pet. 1:20,21).
B. Knowledge = miraculous possession of God’s word, to teach.
3. The perfect:
(1) Was something that completed the process.
(2) Some believe it is a reference to the second coming of Christ, but that will not be a process it will be an instantaneous event (1 Thess. 5:1-3).
I. To those who actually had miraculous gifts at their disposal, Paul said, Five understandable words are more desireable than 10,000 in an untranslated tongue! If any are seeking a gift, why not the gift of prophecy?
II. Those claiming to speak in “tongues” emphasize the experience.
III. In the final analysis, what is the standard of our faith and practice?
(1) Man’s experience?
(2) Word of God?
IV. What will be the basis for the day of Judgment?
(1) Jesus said, “do God’s will” (Mt. 7:21-23).
(2) Jesus said, His word will judge (Jn. 12:48).
V. Someone may ask, “What is the big deal? Why impose your beliefs about tongues on others?
(1) A belief in tongues denies the complete revelation of God.
(2) Tongues have ceased because we have that which is perfect!