Todd continued in Acts 2 discussing the gift of the Holy Spirit but went to 1 Corinthians 12-14 in order to help us to better understand and articulate what God is saying about the baptism of the Spirit and the gifting of tongues as they relate to edifying the body of Christ.
Todd gave us five biblical truths about the biblical gift of tongues.
- Tongues have never been normative. (1 Cor. 12:30)
- Tongues are not necessary for spiritual maturity.
- Tongues are not never ending—the gift of tongues will cease (1 Cor. 13:8).
- The gift of tongues is not nurturing to others (1 Cor. 14:2) which is the purpose of Spiritual gifts (1 Cor 12:30).
- Tongues were never intended to be a new form of prayer language.
Todd also gave us five reasons why he as a pastor does not believe it is wise to use a “private prayer” even if you keep it private.
- What’s the point? (1 Cor. 14:15-16) It doesn’t edify others or involve your mind.
- What’s the possibility? (2 Cor. 11:14, 1 John 4:1) It could be of another spirit.
- What’s the primary justification? Experience should not inform Scripture but Scripture should inform experience.
- What it prevents. It can prevent true intimacy with the Father.
- What it promotes. Pride/division/disappointments/elitism.
Discuss these statements about the biblical purpose of Spiritual gifts and their relevance to the claim by some that the “tongues” Paul was talking about to the Corinthians were a “spiritual prayer language”.
- Gifts are given because someone loves you and desires to bless you. They are not earned or deserved or granted because you earnestly seek them. They are given because someone loves you.
- If you don’t use gifts properly and for their intended purpose they are not going to bring you joy but grief.
- The purpose of spiritual gifts is that we might serve one another, build up one another and be agents of God’s grace to a hurting world.
- Do you know what your Spiritual Gift is? (Look at 1 Cor 12, Romans 12, Ephesians 4, 1 Peter 4 for a list of some of them.) How are you using yours? How can you discover, develop and deploy your gift(s) more effectively?
- Talk about these observations Todd made about the reasons he believes Truth is better than experience and why we should be careful to make sure the Scriptures inform our experience and not the opposite.
- Experience is inconsistent from person to person. Truth is consistent.
- Experience can tell what happened but does not always explain why it happened. Truth explains what, how and why.
- Experience can be “misremembered." Truth is always there and can be tested.
- Experience can produce arrogance that isolates and separates us from others who have not endured or enjoyed similar events. Truth unites, is available to everyone and does not discriminate.
- Experience is varied in its affects and can leave people with scars and burdens. Truth always produces blessing and sets people free.