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What Does the Bible Say?

Is this a gift I should be seeking'

The Holy Spirit is the one who bestows spiritual gifts on believers (1 Corinthians 12:11). Not every Christian has every gift. So I think Christians should be happy with whatever gift the Holy Spirit has sovereignly decided to give them.

There are a number of facts about speaking in tongues that we can derive from Scripture:

1. Speaking in tongues is not the definitive evidence of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Not all the Corinthians spoke in tongues (1 Corinthians 14:5), but they had all been baptized (12:13).

2. The fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22,23) does not include speaking in tongues. Therefore, Christlikeness does not require speaking in tongues.

3. Most of the New Testament writers are silent on tongues. Only three books (Acts, 1 Corinthians, and Mark) mention it. (Note: Mark 16:17 is not in the two best Greek manuscripts.) Significantly, many of the other New Testament books speak a great deal about the Holy Spirit, but fail to even mention speaking in tongues.

4. There are more important gifts than tongues, and these are to be sought (1 Corinthians 12:28, 31).

5. Personally, I think much too big a deal is often made about speaking in tongues.

Ron Rhodes, The Complete Book of Bible Answers, (Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, OR; 1997), p. 91

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