In my last post, I began to talk about two specific gifts of the Spirit – prophecy, and prayer in the spirit (tongues). I showed that Paul’s emphasis was for the church of Corinth, and us as well, to make sure that loving others was the key ministry.
Now, I want to get into what Paul says in more detail. It’s important that we understand how these gifts operate. I believe that God wants His church to flow in this anointing. That’s how the world will be evangelized in our generation.
For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God. Indeed, no one understands him; he utters mysteries with his spirit.
1 Corinthians 14:2
Further on in this epistle, Paul writes that he spoke in tongues more than all who were in the church of Corinth (1 Corinthians 14:18). This tells me that he had an intimate knowledge of the use and the function of the gift. Paul wrote about his experiences in the Greek language, which is a very descriptive language.
In order for us to understand what Paul wrote we rely upon translators to help us. I’ve had the privilege of meeting some of these translators. I’m in awe of the amount of work they have before them and realize that I could never accomplish half of what they do. I’m very grateful for their work.
That being said, I also have a problem with a particular portion of their work. As I’ve said, Paul wrote to us about his experiences in the deep usage of prayer in the spirit. Unfortunately, the translators who worked on that passage may not have even experienced the Baptism of the Spirit, let alone the deeper works.
In reading the words that Paul wrote, these translators didn’t understand why Paul was using the words that he used. So they tried to explain Paul’s words instead of telling us exactly what he said.
Because of this, many of the deeper truths of the Gift of Tongues were lost. It’s my prayer that the Lord will once again restore our knowledge of these concepts through godly teachings such as this.
The verse I just quoted is one such verse. The English words used in the translation are not the Greek words used in the original text. After Paul tells us that the person is speaking to God, not to man, the next sentence actually reads (in Greek), “Indeed, no man hears him; his spirit speaks mysteries.”
This gives us fresh insight into the gift. When I pray in tongues, I’m not speaking to man, but to God. What’s coming out of my mouth is immaterial to the spiritual communication that’s going on.
According to Paul, no man even hears what I’m saying to God. It’s not your flesh that’s communicating with Him. There’s no correlation between what’s coming out of your mouth, and what is being exchanged with God in the spirit.
This is an important truth in understanding the gift of the spirit. Every spiritual gift has its own unique purpose. The reason I pray in the spirit is to speak directly to God from my spirit.
This is one of the most powerful parts of our spiritual walk. It gives us access to the mind of God. Paul talked about it in detail at the beginning of this letter. To read my posts about it, click here for the starting post.
As we continue in this chapter, we’ll receive insight into the uses of both tongues and prophecy. They’re both vitally needed in our Christian experience.
Question: How important is the Baptism of the Spirit to your walk with God?
©2019 Nick Zaccardi