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Speaking in Tongues: Am I Spiritually Deficient Without It?

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Is My Spiritual Life Deficient Without Speaking in Tongues?

“Well it’s not meant to be. And we should speak a little bit about speaking in tongues. Though the Bible actually validates the gift of speaking in tongues, it does so among other gifts that we find in 1 Corinthians 12, Romans 12 and Ephesians 4. But let’s talk about what tongues isn’t before we talk about what it is.

Speaking In Tongues: What It Isn’t

It is not the defining mark of whether or not a Christian is baptised in the Holy Spirit. John 7:38-39 and 1 Corinthians 12:12-13 teach us that a Christian is a Christian because they are baptised in the Spirit and they are saved through Jesus Christ.

Speaking in tongues is not the defining mark of whether or not a Christian is baptised in the Holy Spirit.

And so, the gift of speaking in tongues – also called praying with the Spirit or praying, or singing with the Spirit, or praising with the Spirit in 1 Corinthians 14 – the gift of tongues is a gift that is among other gifts. Listed for instance in 1 Corinthians 12:4-10.

How The Holy Spirit Distributes Gifts

These gifts are given to the Church for the common good of the Church. And the Holy Spirit distributes them as He wills. You see this in 1 Corinthians 12:7 and 1 Corinthians 12:11. Now, where the gift of tongues is applicable in the Church is where there is also the gift of interpretation. Or else, it just edifies the believer privately.

I wouldn’t say my spiritual life is deficient if I don’t have the gift of teaching. Why say this regarding speaking in tongues?

However, I wouldn’t say that my spiritual life is deficient if I don’t have the gift of teaching. So why would I say that my spiritual life is deficient when I don’t have the gift of speaking in tongues? No.

So, What Makes Our Spiritual Lives Deficient?

Our spiritual lives are deficient when we don’t make use regularly of the ordinary means of grace that God has given to all of us. Ordinary means of grace like these: Studying the Bible, praying, gathered worship, being in community and partaking of communion. When we don’t partake of those things regularly, our spiritual lives will be deficient.