1 Corinthians 14:19
Nevertheless, in church I would rather speak five words with my mind in order to instruct others, than ten thousand words in a tongue.
Paul gives direction as to the exercising of gifts in the local church. He clarifies that of all the gifts, prophesy is the greatest because this word from God is given in a language understood by all.
Not much has changed. The gift of tongues continues to be either abused or ignored with few exercising the gift correctly. Almost 2000 years ago this debate over this gift was clarified by Paul. A handful of things…
1. Speaking in foreign tongues is one of the manifestations of the spirit, BUT not the only one and is not required for salvation and is not given to all believers.
2. Abusing tongues confuses people and creates an unhealthy church environment. When the church gathers the desire is for the body to be edified and built up. If this gift is abused or used in disorder, people walk away confused and discouraged.
3. Prophesy is the greatest gift because it is God’s word spoken clearly to His people with no need for interpretation.
4. If someone has the gift of tongues but no one is present to interpret, one should keep it to themselves. Therefore God will reveal to them if there is someone present to interpret before they begin speaking.
5. God’s Word has been given to us through the scriptures. This does not make tongues unnecessary, but it does certainly limit its usefulness since almost every service will be filled with believers who understand the language the scripture has been interpreted into. The teaching of Gods Word is the clearest and most effective form of edification in our local church today.
6. I should not deny the existence of gifts I don’t have or have not seen exercised. Yet I should live I faith believing God can do anything He wants and pray that He uses me however and whenever he wants to build up the church.
Father help me navigate our local church through understanding the power and presence of your Holy Spirit. May I continue to press into my relationship with you and may your Spirit work in an through me however you desire. May I not quench your movement because of my disbelief or lack of faith.