The gift of tongues is still very much in evidence today. It is not meant to replace normal Christian responsibilities or minimize the importance of the Bible, but it will enhance all the good things of God already in your life. Here are six great reasons for seeking and using this gift:
- Personal evidence.The Holy Spirit uses tongues as a miraculous, abiding sign. Miracle languages confirm the inner presence of the Spirit by using the body member most dependent on volitional, human intelligence--the tongue (see Acts 2:4; 10:44-47; 19:6; James 3:8).
- Praise declaration. Tongues initiates a prophetic gush of inspired worship and causes the heart to soar in adoration and worship unattainable by human means, creating "the fruit of the lips" (see Is. 57:19; Heb. 13:15; John 4:23-24; Phil. 3:3).
- Impetus for the Great Commission. Tongues reaffirms our call to the nations and the urgency of the Great Commission. The baptism with the Holy Spirit ignites, through various languages, a burning passion to proclaim Christ to every ethnic group (see Matt. 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-17; Luke 24:47-49).
- Uniform experience. The expression of tongues at the time of Spirit baptism authenticates the experience as genuine and gives evidence that it is the same as that of believers everywhere. It reverses Babel's curse of separation and instead initiates unity (see Gen. 11:7-9; Acts 10:46; 11:15-16; 15:8).
- Spirit-inspired prayer. The miraculous gift of tongues, which is activated by the Holy Spirit, brings glorious new dimension of prayer into our lives. Though of course we should pray in our native languages as well, praying in tongues allows us to relate to God through our spirits rather than our minds (see Rom. 8:15; 1 Cor. 14:2; Eph. 6:18; Jude 20).
- Same-Spirit continuity. Speaking in tongues authenticates the continuing, abiding presence of the Holy Spirit in both the individual and the body of Christ. Miraculous tongues continue as a convincing witness and evidence of the Spirit of Pentecost wherever the Gospel is preached: "And these signs will follow those who believe. ... They will speak with new tongues" (Mark 16:17).
Ernest B. Gentile has been in active ministry for more than 50 years. He is the author of several books, including The Glorious Disturbance (Chosen), and travels extensively, speaking at churches and conferences in the United States and 22 foreign countries.