Faithlife Sermons

Guarding the Tongue

Messy  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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One of the desires that Paul had for the Corinthian church is that they not be ignorant about Spiritual gifts. I would imagine that Paul would have that same desire for the church today. There is a great deal instruction given to the church on the matter of tongues. Therefore it would be good for the church to take heed to the scriptures even when it goes against the traditions of religion you have experienced in the past.

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Introduction
Today we are going to try and understand one of the most misunderstood spiritual gifts found both in the scriptures and in today’s world. The gift of tongues.
This
The only reason I am devoting a sermon to it is because God saw fit for Paul to write three chapter on it in the book of 1 Corinthians which we are currently studying.
I have seen pastors going through the book of 1 Corinthians completely skip over this chapter and not cover it at all, in the attempt not to stir up controversy.
No doubt tongues is controversial in todays world. But before we dive into this chapter, let’s review some key points Paul has taught us so far.
Spiritual Gifts are given to build up the Church (12:7)
Scripture Teaching
Spiritual Gifts are given by the Spirit as needed by the Body (12:11)
The Measure, Meaning, and Maturity in the Spirit is Love (13)
The revelation gifts of Prophecy, Tongues and Knowledge ceased at the completion of the Bible in 96 A.D. (13:8)
Now we have Faith, Hope, and Love (13:13)
Paul has just made a big statement to the Church that tongues will cease and so he takes the next chapter to explain why this is.
So before we dive into the chapter, let’s understand the terms.

The Definition of the word “tongue”

Challenge and Conclusion
1100 γλῶσσα [glossa /gloce·sah/] n f. Of uncertain affinity; TDNT 1:719; TDNTA 123; GK 1185; 50 occurrences; AV translates as “tongue” 50 times. 1 the tongue, a member of the body, an organ of speech. 2 a tongue. 1a the language or dialect used by a particular people distinct from that of other nations.
This is the same word used in
James 3:5 ESV
5 So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire!
and again in
Revelation 7:9 ESV
9 After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands,

The definition of an “unknown tongue.”

A language or dialect that is foreign to you. One that you don’t know or understand.
1 Corinthians 14:6 ESV
6 Now, brothers, if I come to you speaking in tongues, how will I benefit you unless I bring you some revelation or knowledge or prophecy or teaching?
1 Cor 14:6
1 Cor 14:
1 Corinthians 14:7–8 ESV
7 If even lifeless instruments, such as the flute or the harp, do not give distinct notes, how will anyone know what is played? 8 And if the bugle gives an indistinct sound, who will get ready for battle?
1 Corinthians 14:10–11 ESV
10 There are doubtless many different languages in the world, and none is without meaning, 11 but if I do not know the meaning of the language, I will be a foreigner to the speaker and the speaker a foreigner to me.
1 Cor 14:10
There is no place in scripture that a heavenly language is described. This idea of a heavenly language stems from years of religious activity that has lead to traditions in some denominations.

The prophecy of Tongues

God promised to speak to his people, Israel, through people of other languages.
1 Corinthians 14:20 ESV
20 Brothers, do not be children in your thinking. Be infants in evil, but in your thinking be mature.
1 Cor 14:
1 Corinthians 14:21 ESV
21 In the Law it is written, “By people of strange tongues and by the lips of foreigners will I speak to this people, and even then they will not listen to me, says the Lord.”
1 Cor 14:21

The Sign of Tongues

1 Corinthians 14:22 ESV
22 Thus tongues are a sign not for believers but for unbelievers, while prophecy is a sign not for unbelievers but for believers.
1 Cor 14:
Tongues are not for believers but for unbelievers and specifically the unbelieving Jews.

The unbelieving Jews always needed a sign.

Matthew 12:38–39 ESV
38 Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered him, saying, “Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you.” 39 But he answered them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.
Matt
1 Corinthians 14:20 ESV
20 Brothers, do not be children in your thinking. Be infants in evil, but in your thinking be mature.
1 Cor 14:20
1 Corinthians 14:22 ESV
22 Thus tongues are a sign not for believers but for unbelievers, while prophecy is a sign not for unbelievers but for believers.
1 Cor 14:

The gift of tongues is a conformation sign for the new message of salvation.

Mark 16:15–16 ESV
15 And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.
Mark 16:15–18 ESV
15 And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
Mark 16:17–18 ESV
17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
Mark
The new message of salvation has now been confirmed with the completion of the Holy Scriptures.
Hebrews 2:3–4 ESV
3 how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was declared at first by the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard, 4 while God also bore witness by signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.
Hebrew

The sign of tongues was never babel but a language unknown by the hearers.

Here are two examples for us to examine.

The day of Pentecost
Acts
Acts 2:4 ESV
4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Acts 2:5–6 ESV
5 Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. 6 And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language.
Acts 2:5
Acts 2:7–8 ESV
7 And they were amazed and astonished, saying, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language?
Acts 2:7-
These were all unbelieving Jews that missed the sign of the Crucifixion and resurrection of Christ.
But received Christ through the sign of tongues
The house of Cornelius
Peter was the unbelieving Jew that needed a sign that Gentiles could be saved just like Jews.
Acts 10:44–45 ESV
44 While Peter was still saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell on all who heard the word. 45 And the believers from among the circumcised who had come with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out even on the Gentiles.
Acts 10:44 ESV
44 While Peter was still saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell on all who heard the word.
Acts 10:46 ESV
46 For they were hearing them speaking in tongues and extolling God. Then Peter declared,
Acts 10
There is no mention of an interpreter yet the Jews understood them.
It’s very likely they were speaking Hebrew.

The sign of tongues is for evangelism not edification.

Speaking in other languages was necessary for sharing and confirming the gospel.
1 Corinthians 14:18–19 ESV
18 I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you. 19 Nevertheless, in church I would rather speak five words with my mind in order to instruct others, than ten thousand words in a tongue.
1 Cor 14:18
When the gift of tongues is used out of place, it makes no sense.
1 Corinthians 14:23 ESV
23 If, therefore, the whole church comes together and all speak in tongues, and outsiders or unbelievers enter, will they not say that you are out of your minds?
:

When the church comes together, it must be for edification.

1 Corinthians 14:26 ESV
26 What then, brothers? When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up.
1 Cor 14:26
1 Corinthians 14:27–28 ESV
27 If any speak in a tongue, let there be only two or at most three, and each in turn, and let someone interpret. 28 But if there is no one to interpret, let each of them keep silent in church and speak to himself and to God.
1 Cor 14:

When the church comes together it must be in order.

1 Corinthians 14:39–40 ESV
39 So, my brothers, earnestly desire to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues. 40 But all things should be done decently and in order.
1 Cor 14:39-
Concluding Thoughts
So what can we draw from all of this?
God has gone to great lengths of signs and miracles to get the world to believe the message of salvation.
If you are looking for a sign today, it has already come. It is the completed testimony of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ found int the pages of God’s Word.
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