Equipping the saints for the work of the ministry - Ephesians 4:12

Speaking in Tongues: Desire Spiritual Gifts

The relevancy of the gift of tongues for our day remains as current as when it was originally experienced. May the ministry and use of the gift of tongues manifest itself, bless, strengthen and encourage us as they did in the early church.

“Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy” (1 Corinthians 14:1).

The Apostle Paul begins a thrilling subject in chapter twelve: “Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant” (1 Corinthians 12:1). Throughout the entirety of chapters twelve, thirteen and fourteen of his letter to the Corinthians, Paul is speaking from the theme of SPIRITUAL GIFTS!

In chapter twelve Paul informs us concerning the special spiritual “gifts.” He also instructs us as to our relationship to Christ. Jesus is the head of the body, and we, Christian believers, are all members of His body (1 Corinthians 12:12-31). The “gifts” are placed in the “body” and, “the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will” (1 Corinthians 12:7-11).

1 Corinthians 12 gives us the list of these “spirituals,” commonly know as the “gifts of the Spirit.” Please note that divers kinds of tongues is one of the “gifts” mentioned. Also, notice that “the interpretation of tongues” is also another manifestation of the Spirit.

In 1 Corinthians 13, we have the control for the “gifts” and the spirit by which the “gifts” are to be manifest. All of the “gifts,” all of man’s ability, all of our talent is valueless without love. When everything else has passed away, faith, hope, and charity abideth. Paul added: “but the greatest of these is charity” (1 Corinthians 13:13).

In 1 Corinthians 14, we find an entire portion of God’s Word devoted to the explanation of the ministry of the “gifts of the Spirit,” and particularly does Paul speak relative to “tongues” and “the interpretation of tongues.” As we study these chapters carefully, we are made to realize that God has placed the gifts in the church for His glory and for our up-building and blessing.

In 1 Corinthians 12:1, Paul introduces the subject of spiritual gifts and not until he closes chapter 14 does Paul conclude the theme. He did not want us to be ignorant about them so he closes by saying, “If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord. But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant. Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues. Let all things be done decently and in order” (1 Corinthians 14:37-40).

All three of these chapters deal with the subject of spiritual GIFTS. Since the Apostle Paul urges God’s Spirit-filled people to desire, covet, and seek after spiritual gifts, let’s desire and covet the gifts of the Spirit and seek God for an enduement of power from on high as those first disciples were exhorted to do. Let’s seek God for power from on high that the gifts might be manifest in His church.

Dr. Paul E. Paino, who passed away in the fall of 2005, was the founder and overseer of Calvary Ministries International, a non-denominational ministerial fellowship. Dr. Paino was a pioneer and spiritual father to hundreds of pastors and church leaders around the world and his teachings still inspire today.