Once again, I had no questions submitted this week, so I’m going back in time 6 years ago today when I posted this:
It seems my recent post about a ‘prayer language’ brought on more questions: What is the difference between being baptized in the Spirit and receiving your prayer language; the gift of interpreting tongues for public assembly; and Tongues – I. in the spiritual gifts definitions answer key for the test you take in the membership class?
1. Being baptized in the Spirit is normally (in my old days, I would have said ‘always’, and I still don’t have any Biblical proof otherwise, but to eliminate arguments, I just say ‘normally’) accompanied by the gift of speaking in tongues (see Acts 2:1-4; Acts 10:44-48; Acts 19:1-6), which we refer to as “your prayer language”, since the primary purpose of that gift is to assist us in prayer (see 1 Cor. 14). So, some would use the terms interchangeably, ‘baptized in the Spirit’ or ‘having a prayer language’ being pretty much two ways of saying the same thing.
2. The gift of interpreting tongues is a separate and distinct gift altogether, and is a supernatural operation of the Holy Spirit that enables a person to interpret what someone has said in tongues, even though they don’t understand the language. This gift is used in a public assembly. For example, perhaps the Holy Spirit would inspire me to ‘speak out’ publicly in a foreign language that I don’t know (I would be speaking in tongues) and then He would enable you to interpret, or tell everyone in the meeting what I had just said by the Spirit. So the gift of interpreting tongues would always work in conjunction with the public gift of speaking in tongues, which is not the same purpose as the private devotional gift of praying in tongues. (When I say different, I don’t mean that they would ‘sound’ different, but that they serve different purposes – one being to give a message to a public assembly, and the other being to assist you in personal prayer) Almost all of the regulations given in 1Cor. 14 refer to this public use of tongues and interpretation, and that’s why so many non-charismatics who haven’t experienced a prayer language get so confused and think that tongues should not be used today.
3. The questions in our membership manual primarily refer to the devotional use of a prayer language.
I hope that helps clarify – to me, the important thing is that we use our prayer language to enjoy the benefits that God intended when He gave us this wonderful gift!
Hey, don’t forget to turn your clocks forward this Saturday night – I’d love to see you at CLC on-time this Sunday! In fact, we’ll look at “I <3 my Spirit-Filled Church!” this Sunday, and provide an opportunity for you to be baptized in the Holy Spirit!
Now, what would you like to ask the Pastor?