Speaking in Tongues: Thou Givest Thanks Well
When we speak in tongues we are giving thanks to God. Certainly He is worthy of our thanksgiving. When we are not able to find the words to adequately give Him thanks tongues becomes extremely beneficial.
“For thou verily givest thanks well” ( 1 Corinthians 14:17).
There is no condemnation in Paul’s writing when he discusses speaking with tongues. Listen to these statements: “I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all” (1 Corinthians 14:18); “And forbid not to speak with tongues” (1 Corinthians 14 39); “I would that ye all spake with tongues” (1 Corinthians 14:5); “He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself” (1 Corinthians 14:4); “For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth” (1 Corinthians 14:14); “For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh….unto God” (1 Corinthians 14:2); “Wherefore tongues are for a sign” (1 Corinthians 14:22).
Throughout the fourteenth chapter of 1 Corinthians, Paul makes positive statements for the purpose of tongues for the individual believer and tongues and interpretation for the Church. No place does Paul say that tongues are of the devil. He never hints that tongues are not for the Church today. When Paul mentions the gift of tongues, it’s always with the thought of encouraging it’s proper usage.
However, Paul does explain to the Church the purpose of the gift of tongues. Tongues, without interpretation in the Church, when such a message disturbs the progress of the service, is certainly out of order. Paul uses such statements as:
“Except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped” (1 Corinthians 14:7)?
“Therefore if I know not the meaning of the voice, I shall be unto him that speaketh a barbarian, and he that speaketh shall be a barbarian unto me” (1 Corinthians 14:11).
In the Church, we are to “seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church” (1 Corinthians 14:12). If there is a message in tongues and no interpretation, the believer is to keep silent, he is out of order. But, Paul also explains that tongues helps the believer. He stated to the Church that when one speaks with tongues he is giving thanks to God, “Verily givest thanks well” ( 1 Corinthians 14:17). He said this to encourage it’s usage – not to destroy it.