Should I Speak in Tongues?

Tongue talking was a tool given by God for understanding doctrine. Without understanding speaking in other tongues (languages) becomes a performance that serves to puff up the speaker (1 Cor 14:4).

Paul explained that tongue talking was insignificant in the church if it lacked understanding:

“Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue.” – 1 Cor 14:19

I have never heard someone who claims to supernaturally speak in tongues speak doctrine with an understanding of Jesus Christ according to the mystery.

Tongue talking was most useful among those who could hear the tongue.

“Else when thou shalt bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest?” – 1 Cor 14:16

Among anyone else it causes confusion which is contrary to the purpose of tongues (1 Cor 14:33).

When the supernatural gift of tongues was given it was intended primarily as a sign to the unbelievers that the speaker had power from God. Therefore, it had little use among the believers, especially if it was spoken without understanding.

“Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe.” – 1 Cor 14:22

Even so, the supernatural ability to speak in unknown tongues was a gift of God that ceased when a perfection of understanding was made known (1 Cor 13:10-11). There is no need for this foundational gift any longer.

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Published: Monday, April 5th, 2010
Last Modified: November 5, 2016