Do I Have to Speak in Tongues? // Veracity Fount

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Editors’ note: 

TGC Africa creates faithful Christian content to strengthen African believers. Through this process ministry friendships develop with like-minded churches and parachurch organisations across Africa. We long to amplify the presence of gospel centered ministries in their home countries, pointing local Christians to trustworthy, edifying resources available on their doorstep.


This series of Word Bite videos were created by Veracity Fount, a parachurch organisation operating in the city of Kampala, Uganda. In short video clips Joseph Byamukama answers a few common questions Christians ask from a biblical standpoint, that is also concerned with historic theology. To find out more about Veracity Fount please visit their website or visit their offices at Plot 2, Musuubire Henry Close, Bukoto Kampala, Uganda.

Throughout 1 Corinthians, Paul deals with the desire for personal reputation, fame, and glory. The church was full of people with tremendous spiritual gifts. Only, how they used those gifts resembled the world’s values and ambitions more than Christ’s. Speaking in tongues had become an expression of spiritual superiority rather than the means of serving God’s people. It set some apart, instead of recognising that God diversely gifts his people so that they might depend on each other.

Tongues had become about the especially gifted rather than the gift.

In short, tongues platformed the speaker instead of Christ. It had become about the especially gifted rather than the gift. Things are no different in many churches today.

What if I Don’t Have the Gift of Tongues?

Many Christians have asked this question, forced to do so because of an overemphasis on tongues, as well as a misunderstanding. But as Joseph says in this short video: “Spiritual gifts do not make us superior to others.” Speaking in tongues doesn’t somehow make you better than ordinary believers. “If you don’t speak in tongues, you’re not inferior.” Those truths are precisely what Paul teaches. It is Christ’s grip on you that matters, not your demonstration of his gifts.

Spiritual gifts do not make us superior to others.

Ironically, claiming that spiritual maturity hangs on impressive gifts is actually a mark of immaturity. And insisting that someone has to speak in tongues as evidence that they’ve experienced God is not only unkind; it’s unbiblical. “What if you don’t speak in tongues?,” Joseph concludes, “That’s okay. All you need is Christ, and Christ alone.”

This gift doesn’t set mature believers apart from immature ones. Nor does it distinguish between spiritual and regular Christians. We all need the gospel. But God doesn’t give all of us the same gifts.

Other Content On This Topic

Speaking in Tongues: Am I Spiritually Deficient Without it?
Pauline Guidelines For The Gift Of Tongues
2 Lessons From Pentecost For Practising Tongues