Sermon: The Gifts of the Spirit (tongues)

The Gifts of the Spirit, Pt. 3
1 Corinthians 14:1-28
April 27, 2014

Over the past two months, we’ve taken a brief excursus from our study of 1 John to study the work of the Holy Spirit. We did this because in 3:24 it says, “We know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.” And then in 4:1 John gives several indicators of how we know the work of the Holy Spirit. As we approached that section, it seemed to me to be a good time to do something I’ve wanted to do for many years — preach and teach the doctrine of the Holy Spirit. There is much confusion about His work and ministry, and I thought this would be a good opportunity for us to gain a common understanding of His work.

So, over six sermons, we’ve talked about:

  • The identity of the Holy Spirit — His deity and personality
  • The work of the Holy Spirit — to baptize, indwell, and seal all believers
  • The filling of the Holy Spirit — how we can be controlled by and submissive to Him
  • The fruit of the Holy Spirit — what kind of spiritual change He produces in all believers
  • And the last two sermons we talked about the gifts of the Spirit from Romans 12

And today we want to talk about one particular gift of the Spirit about which there is much confusion in the church today: the gift of tongues.

Tongues is one of the gifts known as “foundational gifts” (apostle, prophet, miracles, healing, tongues, and interpretation of tongues). They are gifts that were used in the foundation and establishment of the church and their use has ceased today. We will not take time to look at each of these gifts, but I want to use tongues as representative of each of these, since it is the most pervasive of the sign gifts still being used today. The key passage for understanding tongues is 1 Corinthians 14 and so that’s where we will go, after first doing a brief historical tour of the gift of tongues.

Spiritual gifts are God’s enablement for every believer for spiritual service in the church.
The gift of tongues was a foundational, secondary gift that no longer exists.

Context: The Historical Background of the Gift of Tongues

  • Biblical history (Acts 2:4-13; Eph. 2:20; Heb. 2:3-4)
  • Church history
  1. The Plea for Using Tongues to Edify (vv. 1-12)
  2. The Plea for Using Tongues Intelligibly (vv. 13-19)
  3. The Plea for Using Tongues According to their Purpose (vv. 20-25)
  4. The Plea for Using Tongues Orderly (vv. 26-28)

Download the rest of this sermon on 1 Corinthians 14:1-28.

The audio is posted on the GBC website.

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