The Study of the Holy Spirit
"For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit." 1 Corinthians 12:13
Part G: Is Speaking
in Tongues a Necessary Sign of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit?
Part G: Is Speaking in Tongues a Necessary Sign of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit?
G. Is speaking in tongues a necessary sign of the Baptism of the Spirit?
1. We have already discovered that, in the instances of the Baptism of the Spirit as recorded in the book of Acts, speaking in tongues was not a necessary sign of salvation. A score or more of conversions to Christ were listed without any explicit reference to speaking in tongues.
2. We can demonstrate summarily from 1 Corinthians 12 that speaking in tongues is not a necessary sign of the Baptism of the Spirit.
3. We have learned that all believers have been baptized by the Spirit into the Body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:13). We have also seen that, by virtue of their having been Baptized by the Spirit, each believer has also imbibed the Holy Spirit as an indwelling presence (1 Cor. 12:13).
4. If we jump to the end of 1 Corinthians 12, we discover that Paul enumerated different spiritually gifted individuals and different spiritual gifts. He stated, “And God has appointed in the church, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers …” (1 Cor. 12:28). These first three are gifted individuals, evidently recorded in order of importance. Paul next proceeded to list spiritual gifts of lesser importance: “then miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, various kinds of tongues” (1 Cor. 12:28). Then, beginning in 1 Cor. 12:29, Paul asked a series of rhetorical questions, the expected answer to each of which would be, “No.” He asked, “All are not apostles are they?” [The anticipated answer is, “No.”] “All are not prophets, are they?” [The anticipated answer is, “No.”] “All are not teachers, are they? [The anticipated answer is, “No.”] “All are not workers of miracles, are they? [The anticipated answer is, “No.”] Paul continued in 1 Cor. 12:30, “All do not have gifts of healings, do they?” [The anticipated answer is, “No.”] “All do not speak with tongues, do they?” [The anticipated answer is, “No.”] “All do not interpret, do they?” [The anticipated answer is, “No.”]
5. So here we have proof positive from the Apostle Paul that all Christians have been baptized by the Spirit into the Body of Christ, but that not all Christians speak in tongues. Therefore it can be deduced logically that speaking in tongues is NOT an obligatory sign of the baptism of the Spirit throughout the Church Age, though it was a sign on three occasions early in the history of the Church in the first century A.D. (See the chart on the three instances of speaking in tongues in the book of Acts.)
Prepared by James T. Bartsch
April, 2009; Updated July 21, 2019
Published Online by WordExplain
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(Scripture quotations taken from the NASB. Used by Permission.)
Updated July 21, 2019