The Meaning of Speaking in Tongues: A Practical Strategy for the 21st Century Church
The meaning of speaking in tongues portrays a language that challenges the church in its interpretation in matters of spiritual gifts from God. This article focuses on the Old and New Testament perspectives on tongues; tongues reveal God’s judgment, promises, fulfilment and its negative usages such as selfishness, jealousy, and discouragement. This is mostly for those who do not speak the language. On its positive side it looks at it as an initial sign of baptism in the spirit in which the Pentecostals and charismatic movements put their emphasis on the faith and practice. As it follows its usage in prayer, thanksgiving, truth, praise to God, the edification of the individual and prophecy to the entire church. Church history provides the understanding of the use of tongues particularly in reference to early church fathers, such as Eusebius, Irenaeus, Dean Ferrar, Chrysostom Bishop of Constantinople, and Augustine of Hippo and briefly on the reformation period. It concludes by proposing the practical strategies for discovering the gift of tongues, through workshops on spiritual gifts, small group discussions, gift discovery group and its application in the church and individual.
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