Speaking in tongues, or glossolalia, is biblical but is often misunderstood. Many Christian believers think that speaking in tongues is not for today. They say that this gift was only available to the early church and that this gift is not accessible to believers in modern times. However, the Bible clearly points out that it is a gift from God intended for all believers.
Who Can Speak in Tongues?
Mark 16:17 (ESV)
And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues;
In this verse, Jesus says signs would follow “them who believe.” He doesn’t say the signs will only follow pastors, apostles, Pentecostals, or Charismatics. It says “them who believe.” So if you believe that Jesus is Messiah, then speaking in tongues is for you!
The Gift of Tongues is for Today
Under the old covenant, humankind interacted with God through a mediator. Receiving forgiveness required sacrificial systems, which involved the shedding of the blood of animals. A high priest would go into the Holy of Holies, where the presence of God dwelled, on the people’s behalf. God takes covenants very seriously. An existing covenant can only be ended by the establishment of a new one. When Jesus died and was resurrected on the third day, He began a new covenant. He promised that he would baptize the discplies with the Holy Spirit.
On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
In Acts 2, the disciples were all in one place and in one accord, and Jesus inaugurated the new covenant by giving the disciples the gift of tongues.
Acts 2:2-4 (ESV)
When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.
What was established by the sacrifice of Jesus is forever – it is not going to change. Anything that the finished work of the cross brought in place is still in place today. There will not be a third covenant. Some say that the gift of tongues ceased with the early church. Yet, in order for that to be true, there would have to be another covenant enacted. Because again, the only way to end a covenant is to establish a new covenant. That is not going to happen, because Jesus isn’t going to die again. His death and resurrection are a finished work. The gift of tongues is alive and well and never ended.
The Gift of Tongues is Free
The gift of speaking in tongues is called a gift because it’s free. It carried a high price that you and I could never pay for with our own good works. Jesus Himself paid for it with His life, and all we have to do is ask for it.
It’s a gift. It’s for you. It’s for now. It’s that simple.
My Breakthrough Community is full of people just like you who are hungry for the gifts of the Spirit. If you are interested in learning more, consider joining the Breakthrough Community!
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