Categories
Theology

A Linguistic Approach to Tongues

I found these two articles by Robert Zerhusen very helpful on the study of speaking in tongues.  He gives compelling arguments to believe that tongues are known human languages in both Acts 2 and 1 Corinthians 14, and not ecstatic utterances.  They were published by the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals:

Perhaps a great question to ask before and while you read is, “Who ever said that tongues has to be a miraculous gift?”  The Bible certainly say that, or really even imply it.

At the end of the day, this debate doesn’t make a lot of difference, as it’s not an essential thing.  However, we are called to know the Scriptures and study them.  Wherever you are at on this issue, I hope these articles are beneficial to you.

Categories
Theology

Spiritual Gifts and the Gospel

When we think about how we should exercise our spiritual gifts, we must remember the gospel. Without the gospel, we would have not spiritual gifts. Without the gospel, there would be no reason for spiritual gifts. The gospel changes lives, spiritual gifts do not. The gospel is of utmost importance, spiritual gifts are secondary.

At the same time, the gospel and spiritual gifts are about a person — the person of Jesus Christ who is the image of God. If we wrongly use our spiritual gifts, we are wronging Christ. There are many people who will do miracles and sings and wonders who will not be saved (Matt. 7:21-23). Just because someone heals or has revelations or speaks in a tongue or does miracles or casts out demons does not mean he is saved. That’s frightening. That should cause us to examine ourselves daily and repent of our evil heart and actions (cf. 10:12; 2 Cor. 13:5; Heb. 3:12-13). It should cause us to believe in the gospel and embrace Jesus.

The gospel is very God-centered. Our spiritual gifts should be God-centered. Still, the gospel edifies people because God gives us a knowledge of the Savior. When we are changed and shaped by the gospel, our minds are renewed so that we can know God’s will.  Our goal is to know God through his Son Jesus, not get a lot of nice gifts (spiritual or otherwise).  We are changed by the gospel to glorify and enjoy God and to spread his fame to other people.

It only makes sense then that our spiritual gifts should be used to edify and build up those who have been changed by the gospel.  They are merely tools to point people to the gospel, namely, Jesus Christ, the blazing center of the universe.