I’m going to go out a limb here a bit. I received an email with a question from this past Sunday’s service. I will post the original email and then my response unedited except for greetings and names. Feel free to weigh in with comments
I just wanted to send you a note to let you know how encouraged I am that you are sharing on the topic of the Holy Spirit.
In my personal search for “that single point of truth” there is one scripture concerning the forementioned topic that I would like your input on
1 Corinthians 12:27-30 Says:
27Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. 28And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues. 29Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues[a]? Do all interpret?
My questions is: Is the gift of tongues the only evidence that one has recieved the baptism of the Holy Spirit? Can someone have the baptism without speaking in tongues?
I look at the impact that many ministries (across denominations) have had on reaching the lost and can’t help but to believe that although not all of the practice the gift of tongues, many have experienced fruitful ministries like that mentioned in the book of Acts (i.e. Billy Graham Ministries)
Many of the old Penticostals refuse to believe that you can have the baptism of the Holy Spirit without the evidence of speaking in tongues.
Can you share your viewpoint on this?
Great question and one that has been asked many times.
I may or may not get to it directly in the next two weeks, so I ‘ll answer it some right now.
The passage in 1 Cor. 12 is speaking to special gifts of the Spirit. Most scholars and theologians agree this is not a statement regarding all tongues, just the gift of tongues used in public settings or where one speaks fluently a human language they have not learned for the benefit of another. The gift of tongues and the personal edification tongues spoken of in 1 Cor. 14:4 and much of Acts.
In the AG our doctrines state that speaking in tongues is the initial physical evidence and much of the accounts of Acts seems to support this. However, tongues is not the baptism and should not be the focus. I do believe the AG (in practice more than doctrine) is a bit (or a lot) out of balance in this area as too much emphasis is on tongues. I think it can in some circumstances border on the case of Simon the Magician liking the show of it and seeking the power to make it happen. Too me the real evidence is in the things you mentioned of people reaching the lost, loving, caring, leading, etc according to the fruits of the Spirit in Galatians 5 as well as the gifts in 1 Cor. If there is no t love and a desire or striving for unity, then I have a hard time believing the Spirit is actively working in someone’s life no matter how much they speak in tongues, dance, shout, or what have you. 1 Cor. 13:1
I was a little on the fence about my Wednesday night topic coming up this summer, but the response to this past Sunday may have just solidified it as a teaching on the spiritual gifts.