Saturday, 10 June 2017

Speaking in Tongues at Will

Can we speak in tongues at will, or only when the Spirit moves us to?

"I will pray with the spirit, I will pray with the understanding also" Paul said.  

'I will' indicates volition. It meant Paul could decide whether he would pray with the spirit (that is, in an [unknown] tongue), or with his understanding.

If a person decided to give thanks in tongues, "he verily giveth thanks well" Paul said, but the others can't say "Amen at thy giving of thanks" because they didn't understand him.

The fact he "verily giveth thanks well" meant the Spirit had indeed given the person the utterance - but still, it wasn't the ideal time for a person to speak in an [unknown] tongue. And Paul expected the speaker of the tongue to take responsibility for that.

That shows me the speaker of tongues can decided when to speak with tongues and when not to.

Paul advised someone who addressed a congregation in tongues, to let someone interpret. 

Or if there was no interpreter, he could "pray that he might interpret". 

Or if not, he'd be better to refrain from addressing the congregation in the [unknown] tongue and instead "speak to himself and to God", in the tongue. 

Notice Paul didn't say the Corinthians' tongues were invalid - in fact he validated it. Only he said that there was no sense in them addressing a congregation in an unknown tongue except it be interpreted. 

The other option was to speak "to himself and to God" in the tongue.

That shows the speaker himself was in control of what he did, where, and when. 

So Paul expected them to act responsibly, maturely, decently, orderly, motivated by love, and by a desire for others to benefit. 

Paul said "I thank my God I speak with tongues more than ye all" - yet "in the church" he'd rather address a congregation in a language they understand. 

So it means someone who's received the gift of tongues can decide to pray in tongues privately.

But of course it's the Spirit who gives him utterance. In the spirit he's speaking mysteries, to God not to men.

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