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The Blue Letter Bible

Don Stewart :: Should a Person Seek to Speak in Tongues?

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Don Stewart

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Should everyone seek the gift of tongues? There are those who encourage every believer to speak in tongues. The Scriptures speak of tongues as a gift from God. But most of the things said about the gift warn against its abuse and emphasize its proper place among spiritual gifts. The Bible does not encourage or command the believer to seek to speak in tongues:

Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? But earnestly desire the best gifts (1 Corinthians 12:30,31).

Many people in the Corinthian church practiced the gift of tongues but nevertheless were described by Paul as "carnal" believers. Thus the gift of tongues, like other gifts, is not equated with spirituality.

No Rallying Force

Tongues are never to serve as a rallying force, as some people contend. Jesus Christ is the one who unites us, not the gifts of the Spirit. Because of its unusual nature the gift of tongues has attracted more interest than it deserves, but as the Bible says the gift should be kept in proper perspective.

Therefore, we conclude about seeking to speak in tongues:

1. Nowhere is the believer encouraged to seek to speak in tongues.

2. Tongue-speaking is not related to spiritual maturity.

3. Speaking in tongues is not to be a rallying force for believers.

4. Tongue-speaking is not a method of spiritual growth.

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