Romans 12:6-8: The Gift of Tongues: Part One


  • The historical roots of modern day tongues
  • The theological justification for modern day tongues
  • The differing nature of modern day tongues


We come now to the gift of tongues. This is not featured in the list to the Romans or the Ephesians but only in the letter to the Corinthians. We find it in the list of supernatural gifts in 1 Cor. 12:8-10 and then again in v28-30. Although this gift is mentioned last in terms of importance in 1 Cor. 12:28, we are going to take it together with prophecy because it is so closely associated with it in discussions today. It is impossible to talk about the gift of tongues in the bible without talking about the modern day phenomenon of tongues in the church. Today there are millions of people who claim to have the gift of tongues and claim that it is the gift of a private prayer language for every believer. It is claimed that we need a second experience after salvation, a baptism of the Spirit which evidences itself in tongues which takes one deeper in the spiritual life. It is claimed that tongues is the thing needed for a holier life, a deeper worship experience, that it is the doorway to all the other power gifts, and a perfect prayer language that the devil doesn’t understand. In this message we are going to outline the historical roots of the modern day tongues phenomenon; then we will look at some of the theological beliefs the phenomenon rests on and then finally compare the modern day phenomenon with the biblical phenomenon as we have it recorded.

Perhaps I should say at the outset that we are moving into controversial territory. As we have looked at the offices of apostle and prophet we have been on solid ground as these things are mentioned as foundational. Now that we begin looking at the other gifts there is more diversity in opinion. Differences in opinion on these issues are less dangerous though I still think they are having a huge negative impact in the church today.