SPIRITUAL GIFTS CONTINUED

(Final part)

1 Corinthians 12: 4-11, 1 Cor. 14:
Previously we discussed the various gifts found in Corinthians 12, now we are going to end the series by talking about tongues. I know this has been a subject of contention in many circles but also a subject of interest in others.  As we began the series I would like to allow yourself to hear without putting your guards and let what we study from scripture guide your judgment and after this message you decide where you want to be.

1.     TONGUES
A.  These are tongues as a sign that the Holy Spirit has come
This is what happened at Pentecost when the Holy Spirit had come to the young church believers. They spoke in both known language and supernatural ones.
In a number of situations when the Holy Spirit came down to fill God’s people with power, many of these spoke in other tongues.  Tongues was evidence that the Holy Spirit had come but the real proof of the Holy Spirit power was the change in the lives of those who received the Holy Spirit. Boldness, unction etc.  
A KEY LESSON FOR US.  Every believer who knows Jesus has the Holy Spirit  because it is the Spirit who draws you to Jesus and who confirms in your spirit that you are saved. 

Here what we are talking about is the empowering, the infilling of his power to us as believers.
Acts 2: And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Acts 10:44-46
44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word. 45 And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. 46 For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God.
Acts 19:1-6
And it happened, while Apollos was at Corinth, that Paul, having passed through the upper regions, came to Ephesus. And finding some disciples he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?”
So they said to him, “We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.”
And he said to them, “Into what then were you baptized?”
So they said, “Into John’s baptism.”
Then Paul said, “John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.”
When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied. Now the men were about twelve in all.

B.  Tongues as a prayer language.
1 Cor 14 
For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries. But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men. He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church. I wish you all spoke with tongues, but even more that you prophesied; for he who prophesies is greater than he who speaks with tongues, unless indeed he interprets, that the church may receive edification.
13 Therefore let him who speaks in a tongue pray that he may interpret. 14 For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful. 15 What is the conclusion then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding. 16 Otherwise, if you bless with the spirit, how will he who occupies the place of the uninformed say “Amen” at your giving of thanks, since he does not understand what you say? 17 For you indeed give thanks well, but the other is not edified.
18 I thank my God I speak with tongues more than you all; 19 yet in the church I would rather speak five words with my understanding, that I may teach others also, than ten thousand words in a tongue.

§  EDIFY: BUILD ONES SPIRITUAL SELF.

Helps to grow our inner sensitivity to the Spirit. It is your spirit who prays, it is not your intellect.  In the same it helps us to learn to hear the voice of God, because He speaks through our spirit and our brain picks it up.

Jude 20
20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit,

§  HELPS IN INTERCESSORY PRAYER
Romans 8:
26 Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groaning which cannot be uttered. 27 Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

Prayer language is for personal edification and should be limited to private prayer time or in a prayer meeting.

NOTE: THIS GIFT IS SUPERNATURAL NO ONE CAN TEACH YOU, IT IS GOD WHO ACTIVATES YOUR SPIRIT TO BE MOVED BY THE SPIRIT OF GOD.  PEOPLE CAN PRAY FOR YOU BUT YOU NEED TO BE WILLING AND YIELDED TO LET GOD WORK THROUGH BUT THE ULTIMATE TIMING IS GOD

 C.  Tongues where God is speaking to his people just like prophesy.
1 Cor different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.
vs 5 for he who prophesies is greater than he who speaks with tongues, unless indeed he interprets, that the church may receive edification
a.       The gift of tongues is the God-given, enabling to communicate in a language one does not know, and to be interpreted in the assembly that all may understand.

b.      This is a "manifestation of the Spirit" (1 Corinthians 12:7), and not human ability. 

 c.       The gift of tongues is a supernatural manifestation or expression of the Holy Spirit through a person's speech organs.  It is a direct manifestation of the miraculous.

 This is used in public gathering but always must be followed by interpretation. It is usually a message of prophesy, praise or prayer that when other hear it, they are edified.

 2.     INTERPRETATION OF TONGUES 
13 Therefore let him who speaks in a tongue pray that he may interpret                                                   
This is a spiritual gift that operates where a message in tongues is interpreted in a language we can understand for our benefit. 
This interpretation can be done by the very person who has the message or by another person.
3.     PRACTICAL INSTRUCTIONS IN THE OPERATION OF THE GIFTS

God operates through a person as a co-operative act; man does not become a puppet, act unconsciously, or go into a trance, but co-operates with the Lord to express what God wants to say in the way God wants it expressed.
1.     The Gifts of the Spirit are to be Subject to the written word of God
Rev. 22:18-19; Prov. 30:5-6 
No matter how sure one is that he has a spiritual revelation or a word from the Lord, if it contradicts the clear teaching of the Scripture, it must not be accepted.    God's Word is final.

2.  The Gifts of the Spirit are to be Subject to the Oversight Ministries of the Church:
Leaders are accountable for the spiritual health and well being of the flock and have the authority and the responsibility to correct, rebuke and admonish the believers and establish them in truth. (1 Cor. 14:29).  (See teaching in the notes)

3. The Principle of "Yielding" your Members: (ROMANS 6:13)
We must obey the prompting of the Holy Spirit by faith and the act of our will, putting ourselves into a position in which the Holy Spirit can use us and manifest Himself through us.  We do not use the Spirit, He uses us. 

4. Gifts are to be Governed by Love: 1 Cor. 13.
This is the whole message of the "love chapter" it is actually part of the teaching on the gifts.  A person's motive must be based on love for God's people.  It is not the right motive to just want to see that one's ministry functions.

5. The Principle of "Edification. 1 Cor. 14:12; 1 Cor.14:26 - "Let all things be done unto edifying."

Every action and operation should be weighed by this:  "Does it edify?"  "How will it effect the Church?"  Moreover "How can this gift operate for the greatest benefit of the body

6. The Manner in Which it is Done
Gifts must be operated Scripturally, not in an abusive manner or emotionally or as an exhibitionist. (1 Cor. 14:32).

7. Timing:  Paul tells the Corinthians not only to do things properly, but at the proper time.  
1 Cor. 14:26, 27, 29-33

8. The Principle of Unity.
The Holy Spirit usually builds a theme or a message in a meeting, and everyone who is walking in the Spirit will speak the same.  (1Cor 12:4-6.  We should harmonize with the theme of the Spirit, especially regarding the vocal gifts during a meeting.  "Crosscurrents" should be avoided.  A person may have a heavy burden or strong inner message, but if it does not fit in with what God is saying, then it is probably not to be spoken (at least at that particular time). 

9. In Conclusion
Any person will make mistakes; that is part of development.  God has provided for this and knows they will occur.  However, one only grows as they begin to move in their gift.  A person must therefore begin to function according to his faith, and according to the level he is on As long as we remain open and teachable and submit to oversight, we will not go too far astray.


 

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