Does Someone Have to Pray in Tongues to be Filled with the Holy Spirit?
- 2020 7 Feb
“Whenever I get questions about the baptism with the Holy Spirit, I'll usually start just by showing someone that in the New Testament there are seven passages or texts that deal with that explicitly, one in each of the four gospels. Two in the Book of Acts, one in chapter one, where Jesus is speaking to all of them about what will happen, in chapter two, and then there's another part in the Book of Acts where in chapter 11 Peter is recounting what Jesus said. Then finally the last one is in First Corinthians chapter 12, verses 12 and 13. So really there are only those seven passages. We'll take some time, we'll look at each one of those.
You'll find that especially in Acts, chapter one, and when we see the day of Pentecost in chapter two, I think it's very clear that Jesus says in a few days you'll be baptized with the Holy Spirit, he says that in chapter one, and then in chapter two, we see the Holy Spirit coming. Of course the tongues like tongues of fire coming out and resting upon them. It would be right to understand what happened on the day of Pentecost there as the baptism with the Holy Spirit.
There's another sense in which the baptism of the Holy Spirit is spoken, and that's in First Corinthians chapter 12 verse 13, where Paul is actually saying there... If you look at chapter 12 in First Corinthians, he says to them, I don't want you to be ignorant of spiritual gifts, how these things work, there are lots of different gifts, lots of different workings, but it's all by the same Spirit. He goes through these different things, and he says one has faith by the same Spirit, another, tongues, by the same Spirit, another, healing, by the same Spirit, and his point is not to pick the gifts apart and say, which one do you have? His point is to say, all of these, as he says in First Corinthians, 12:11, ‘Are the work of one in the same Spirit.’
He goes through all of that to say what he says is verses 12 and 13. Then he goes down and he says, ‘Now you are the body of Christ, just as it is that way, so it is with the body of Christ.’ He's making this analogy and saying, in verses one through 11, he's saying that you have a lot of differences, the Holy Spirit has made you different in very important ways, one has this gift, another has that gift, but then he turns and he says, you actually have some things about you that are the same.
In First Corinthians 12:12 he says, ‘For just as the body is one, and has many members, and all the members of the body though many are one body, so it is with Christ.’ He looks at the human body and says you've got many members, lots of different parts, but there's a unity despite those differences. He says the body of Christ is just like that. He says in verse 13, if you want to know how we can be sure that the body of Christ is like this, that there is a unity despite all these differences we might observe in spiritual gifts, he says in verse 13, ‘For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body. Jews or Greeks, slave or free, and all were made to drink of the one Spirit.’
In one sense you'll find this in many places, sometimes the idea of the baptism with the Holy Spirit is taught in such a way that it distinguishes one group of Christians from the next. Here are those who have it, here are those who do not. In First Corinthians chapter 12 verse 13 we're told that in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body. It speaks of the baptism with the Holy Spirit in this part of the Bible as something that all Christians have experienced as something initial, which has placed us into the one body of Christ.
It's confirmed at the end of the chapter as well. He gets into some rhetorical questions and he says, ‘Do all speak with tongues? Do all work miracles? Do all do this?’ No, which helps us again, because sometimes you'll hear, ‘Well if have been baptized with the Holy Spirit, then you will definitely speak with other tongues.’ Yet, in First Corinthians 12:13, we see that this kind of being baptized with the Spirit is a common and initial experience of all Christians who are entering the body of Christ, and then we're told at the end of that chapter in chapter 12 toward the end there, that not all who have had this experience speak with other tongues. I think that... it really, just reading through the Bible in context that way helps us a lot.”