Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
Select a thought to read by choosing a collection, the month, and then the day:
“Through the Spirit is given to one a word of wisdom; and to another, by the same Spirit, a word of knowledge; and to someone else, faith by the same Spirit; and to another, gifts of healing by the same Spirit; and to another, the operation of miracles; and to another, prophesying, and to another, discernment of spirits; and to someone else, various kinds of tongues; and to another, interpretation of tongues.”
Paul, in 1Corinthians 12:8–10
Pointing to the above verses from 1Corinthians 12, many argue that “speaking in tongues is a gift”. Not only is that not what Paul said, but it is also contrary to logic, as you will see. If you think that “speaking in tongues is a gift”, let me show you what you are saying. Let me know if anything in the lines below misrepresents what you think about “the gift of speaking in tongues”. I will only quote what has, in substance, been said to me:
Speaking in tongues is a gift.
Speaking in tongues is only a gift.
Only those in the body of Christ with that gift speak in tongues.
No one else in the body of Christ speaks in tongues.
Now, if those four lines hold true with the “gift of speaking in tongues”, then it should also hold true with the other gifts of the Spirit. So, let’s fill in the blanks with the “gift of faith”, and see how it sounds.
Faith is a gift.
Faith is only a gift.
Only those in the body of Christ with that gift have faith.
No one else in the body of Christ has faith.
Or how about wisdom?
Wisdom is a gift.
Wisdom is only a gift.
Only those in the body of Christ with that gift have wisdom.
No one else in the body of Christ has wisdom.
Everyone in God’s family has faith, even if it is just a little. And everyone in God’s family has been given at least enough wisdom to come to Christ and be washed from sin. But God anoints some in His family with a gift of faith, or a gift of wisdom, etc., that transcends the normal realm of faith and wisdom. That special anointing brings with it the “gifts” described by Paul in 1Corinthians 12. So it is with speaking in tongues.
There is no such thing as the “gift of speaking in tongues”. The gift, to use Paul’s words, is “various kinds of tongues”, and that gift is for those who already speak in tongues. It is an added measure, a higher dimension, of a grace already received, just as the “gift of faith” is for those who already have faith, and the gift of “the word of wisdom” is for those who already have wisdom.
The body of Christ in our time is so divided and confused, and so lacking in power and knowledge, that theories about the gifts of the Spirit are more numerous than the actual operation of those gifts. Ignorance is the standard condition of believers in our time, and the knowledge of God often frightens God’s confused little children. Pray that our heavenly Father will have mercy on us again, and restore to us the blessing of unity in His holiness, and fill His children again with the power and gifts that believers used to possess.