The Power of Speaking in Tongues Acts 2:1-13

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Acts 2:1–13 NKJV
1 When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. 5 And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven. 6 And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language. 7 Then they were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another, “Look, are not all these who speak Galileans? 8 And how is it that we hear, each in our own language in which we were born? 9 Parthians and Medes and Elamites, those dwelling in Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya adjoining Cyrene, visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, 11 Cretans and Arabs—we hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God.” 12 So they were all amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “Whatever could this mean?” 13 Others mocking said, “They are full of new wine.”
Not the first time they recieved the Holy Spirit
On the day Jesus was resurrected...
John 20:22 NKJV
22 And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.
But 40 days later, before His ascension, Jesus said to His disciples...
Acts 1:5 NKJV
5 for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
Acts 1:8 NKJV
8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
This was a baptism in the Spirit for the purpose of empowering them to be witness of Jesus’ resurrecton
A sign that accompanied this reception of the Holy Spirit what that they spoke in tongues.
Tongues just means lanaguages. They superntaturally spoke in languages they had never learned.
Today, I want to speak with you about the power and purpose of speaking in tongues.
In the Bible, the gift tongues has three main purposes:
1. The initial consequence of being filled with the Holy Spirit (e.g. the Day of Pentecost)
2. A ministy gift - a message given in the church that can be interpreted for the churches benefit
Not everyone has this gift. When discussing various roles in the church’s ministry, Paul asked:
1 Corinthians 12:30 NKJV
30 Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret?
Paul is here asking about the type of tongues that can be interpreted for the church’s edification. Not everyone has that role in the body of Christ
3. A personal prayer language, that the believer can use in time of prayer and worship.
This is available to everyone. In fact, Paul said about this use of tongues...
“I want you all to speak with tongues...”
(1 Corinthians 14:5 ESV)
It is important not to confuse these three different uses of tonges. In Corinth, they were mistakenly using their personal prayer language as a ministry gift:
1 Corinthians 14:23 NKJV
23 Therefore if the whole church comes together in one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those who are uninformed or unbelievers, will they not say that you are out of your mind?
Notice, “ALL speak with tongues”. As we have seen, not everyone has the ministry gift of tongues. So how could all the Corinthians speak in tongues? Because they all had tongues as a personal prayer language.
However, it seems that they confused their personal prayer language with the ministry gift of tongues. They didn’t understand that without interpretation, their prayer langauge was best used during times of personal prayer. Instead, they were using the prayer language loudly at church, and the result was chaos.
However, when used properly and in the context of your own prayer life, tongues is very powerful

5 Benefits of Tongues

1. You pray with wisdom beyond your understanding

1 Corinthians 14:2 NKJV
2 For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries.
1 Corinthians 2:7 NKJV
7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory,

2. You strengthen yourself spiritually

1 Corinthians 14:4 NKJV
4 He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church.
If your phone is running out of battery, what do you do? You charge it! Praying in tongues is one of the ways we stay full of the Holy Spirit!

3. You pray with your spirit

1 Corinthians 14:14 NKJV
14 For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful.
We are spirit, soul (i.e. mind, will, and emotions) and body. Your spirit is the part of you that has been born again:
John 3:6 NKJV
6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
Your spirit has become one the Jesus Christ:
1 Corinthians 6:17 NKJV
17 But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.
When you pray with your spirit by praying in tongues, Jesus is praying through you!

4. You worship beyond the limitations of your understanding

1 Corinthians 14:15–17 NKJV
15 What is the conclusion then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding. 16 Otherwise, if you bless with the spirit, how will he who occupies the place of the uninformed say “Amen” at your giving of thanks, since he does not understand what you say? 17 For you indeed give thanks well, but the other is not edified.
Notice, you can “sing” in tongues as a way of worship.
Notice, that when you do so, you “give thanks well”! The Greek word for “well” means “beautifully”, “finely”, and “excellently”. When you give God thanks in tongues, your thanksgiving is beautiful, fine and excellent!

5. You teach yourself

1 Corinthians 14:18–19 NKJV
18 I thank my God I speak with tongues more than you all; 19 yet in the church I would rather speak five words with my understanding, that I may teach others also, than ten thousand words in a tongue.
Notice: Paul valued the gift of tongues - he prayed in tongues more than them all.
But he did that privately. When he addressed the church, he did so in a language they could understand so that he could “teach others also”.
Note the word “also”. It means “in addition to”. In other words, he was saying, when I pray tongues, I am teaching myself, so that when I come to church, I can teach others “also”!
Praying in tongues enables you to receive revelation from God.
If you have already received the gift of tongues - are you making full use of it?
I like to start my prayer time with tongues. I will keep on speaking in tongues until praise start bubbling up within me. Then I’ll keep on praising and speaking in tongues until I feel it appropriate to start making requests.
If you haven’t yet recevied the gift of tongues - ask God for it, and keep asking until you get it!
Matthew 7:7–8 AMP
7 Keep on asking and it will be given you; keep on seeking and you will find; keep on knocking [reverently] and [the door] will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who keeps on asking receives; and he who keeps on seeking finds; and to him who keeps on knocking, [the door] will be opened.
Mark 11:24 NKJV
24 Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.


Whilst not everyone has the ministry gift of tongues, tongues as a personal prayer language is available to everyone.
We should pursue and make full use of this wonderful gift!
Benefits of praying in tongues include:
You pray with wisdom beyond your understanding
You strengthen yourself spiritually
Jesus prays through you
You worship beyond the limitations of your understanding
You teach yourself
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