Today's Foundations Devotional: The gift of ‘kinds of tongues’
But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each
one individually just as He wills.
(1 Corinthians 12:11)
Last week we discussed what it means to receive the Holy Spirit.
We have seen that there is much confusion because there are two different experiences in the Bible that are both referred to as "receiving the Holy Spirit."
The first has to do with our (New Testament) salvation. The second has to do with the power we receive to witness.
The apostles received the first of these experiences, life, on the Sunday of the Resurrection. The second, power, they received seven weeks later on the Sunday of Pentecost.
On the Sunday of the Resurrection, the Spirit was breathed in, resulting in life.
On the Sunday of Pentecost the Spirit was poured out, resulting in power.
We shall now go on to consider some other objections or misunderstandings associated with the experience of speaking in tongues.
One common objection or misunderstanding is based on a question Paul asked: “Do all speak with tongues?” (1 Cor. 12:30). A careful examination of the context shows that Paul clearly implies that the answer to his question is: “No – all do not speak with tongues.”
Does this mean, then, that there were Christians in the New Testament Church who had received the baptism in the Holy Spirit without speaking with tongues?
No, this is not what Paul is saying. Paul is not here speaking about the baptism in the Holy Spirit but about various supernatural manifestations of the Spirit, which can be exercised by the believer in the church subsequent to, and as a result of, the initial experience of being baptised in the Holy Spirit.
This agrees with what Paul says two verses earlier.
Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually. And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues (1 Cor. 12:27-28).
Paul is speaking of various ministries which may be exercised by different members within the church. Among these he enumerates “varieties of tongues” or, more literally, “kinds of tongues.”
Tomorrow, we will dig a little deeper to find out what he meant with this.
Lord Jesus, thank You for the variety of the many different graces
You have given to your Church to build it up and equip it for service.
Help me, Lord, to function in the gifts that You have given me. Amen.