Benefits of Speaking in Other Tongues

Before I was spirit filled, I had no conception of tongues or speaking in other tongues, and therefore everything I read concerning tongues was confusing to me. For this reason, all non spirit filled Christians will misinterpret all of the verses concerning tongues. I state this to warn you. If you have not received the baptism in the Holy Spirit, then most of what you read here will probably confuse you just as the preaching of the cross is foolishness to the unsaved (1 Corinthians 1:18).

Some of this confusion over tongues can be attributed to this: two different gifts of tongues exist. Most know about the gift of diverse tongues:

  • To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: (1 Corinthians 12:10)

This is part of the gifts of the Holy Spirit that are mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12: 7-11. This gift is used to give a message in tongues to the whole church and is useless unless there is an interpretation usually by someone that has the gift of interpretation. It is only given to a few and is also given as a sign to unbelievers:

  • In the law it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord. Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe. (1 Corinthians 14:21-22)

The Apostle further tells us that if no interpretation exists, then it is best to keep silent and utilize your prayer language:

  • If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret. But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God. (1 Corinthians 14:27-28)

Every believer when they are baptized in the Holy Spirit receives the second type of tongues. This gift serves four purposes:

  1. Evidence of the infilling – When a believer is baptized in the Holy Spirit, they speak in tongues as evidence they have been filled. This happened three times in Acts:
    • And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. (Acts 2:4)
    • While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, (Acts 10:44-46)
    • And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied. (Acts 19:6)
    • Note: if necessary read my article on Will I Speak in Tongues When I Receive the Baptism in the Holy Spirit? 
  2. Personal edification – The spirit filled believer speaks in tongues to get a quick dose of the anointing:
    • He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church. (1 Corinthians 14:4)
  3. Prayer – One of the greatest hindrances to our prayers in our own free will and understanding. Praying in tongues allows us to pray according to his will and understanding:
    • For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful. (1 Corinthians 14:14)

Only God understands our words, and for that reason, the Holy Spirit is free to utter things at his will:

  • For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries. (1 Corinthians 14:2)
  • Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. (Romans 8:26)

Praying in tongues also builds our faith along with hearing the word:

  • So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Romans 10:17)
  • But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, (Jude 1:20)

Many churches have tried to silence tongues in hopes of silencing the controversy surrounding this gift, but this is also wrong:

  • Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues. Let all things be done decently and in order. (1 Corinthians 14:39-40)

The Bible tells us not to forbid tongues but do all things decently and in order. This is understandable, for they are an asset to any Christian organization.