I recently took a spiritual gifts survey in my Church Ministries class to find out where my strengths are in ministry. Spiritual gifts are gifts that God has given me as a Christian to use for His work. I found out that my spiritual gifts lie in Pastoral work, Exhortation and Administration. But what exactly are spiritual gifts? Where do they come from? How do the spiritual gifts differ from the fruits of the Spirit? Also, we will answer questions about speaking in tongues as being one of those spiritual gifts.
Spiritual gifts are gifts that God gives to certain individuals through the Holy Spirit. If you read through 1 Corinthians 12:1-11 in the Bible you will find that each gift is given through the Holy Spirit. There are many different types of gifts, but they are all given through Christ. These gifts are “Word of wisdom, Word of knowledge, Faith, Gifts of healing, Miracles, Prophecy, Distinguishing between spirits, Tongues, Interpretation of tongues.” (1 Corinthians 12:8-10 KJV) You could right entire thesis's on each gift because there is so much to know about each one. The intent of this paper is to describe where they come from and what is their purpose? I refer to The Great Commission when asked how do we use them. Matthew 28:19-20 states that we are supposed to go out to the ends of the Earth to preach the gospel and spread the news about Christ. God or the Holy Spirit gives us certain gifts to go out and be able to perform this daunting task. These are the Spiritual gifts. But how do Fruits of the Spirit differ from our Spiritual gifts?
The fruits of the spirit, which are found in Galatians 5:22-23 are “...love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” The Bible states that anyone who becomes a Christian receives the Holy Spirit. (Ephesians 1:13-14) As soon as you accept Christ into your heart, these are things that happen and you build on in time. As far as Spiritual gifts go, these are what you need to work on and build. If God has given me the gift of Word of Knowledge, and I never read His Word, I am wasting a gift. It is something that I need to build strong. When I build upon my Spiritual gifts it shows spiritual maturity. One of these spiritual gifts is one I believe that you don't just pick up, and that is speaking in tongues.
Speaking in tongues is a controversial issue today in the Christian church. Is it right or wrong? Is it done correctly? What are the rules in speaking in tongues? According to Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry “Speaking in Tongues” by Matt Slick; “Speaking in tongues is the New Testament phenomena where a person speaks in a language that is unknown to him. This language is either the language of angels or other earthly languages.” Mr. Slick goes on to quote 1 Corinthians 13:1 where it says that it takes love to speak in tongues. The purpose of speaking in tongues is to speak to God out of love. To praise Him, to pray to Him, but you must have love for God, or it is worthless. I do believe to speak in tongues you have to be baptized in the Holy Spirit. What I mean by this is that you have to be a Christian. As a Christian, you become baptized in the Holy Spirit. According to 1 Corinthians 12:13; “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body...” or Mark 1:8 where John the Baptist says “I baptized you with water, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” I don't believe that speaking in tongues is the deciding factor if you have been baptized in the Holy Spirit. Speaking in tongues is one of the Spiritual gifts and I don't believe that everybody has that gift. I will use me as an example, I have never spoke in tongues, but I do believe that I have been baptized in the Holy Spirit. It is just not the spiritual gift that God has endowed me with.
I do believe that speaking in tongues is still valid today. I do believe that there are many times when it is done incorrectly though. It says in 1 Corinthians 13:8-10 that “they shall fail” but I believe this is in reference to false prophets and those who speak in tongues and do it wrong. There are requirements to speaking in tongues. These requirements are found in 1 Corinthians 14:26-40. Why would God give us these rules without Him wanting us to know how to do things correctly?