“But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit… to another different kinds of tongues…”—1 Corinthians 12:7-10 (emphasis added)
Did you know that as a Believer, you have access to the 9 manifestation gifts of the Holy Spirit mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12? One of these gifts is the gift of different kinds of tongues.
The Bible also tells us that when you are born again, you have a new identity in Christ and are given the seal of the Holy Spirit as part of your adoption and inheritance.
- “In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.”—Ephesians 1:13-14
Access to your spiritual gifts comes through the inherited power of the Holy Spirit. Let’s uncover what the gift of different kinds of tongues is used for in the Church and how it manifests in a Believer’s life.
What is the Gift of Different Kinds of Tongues?
The gift of different kinds of tongues is when a person supernaturally receives the ability to speak to God or others in a language unknown to them and/or the natural world. This gift is led and distributed by the Holy Spirit.
An Example of Different Kinds of Tongues in the Bible
A biblical example of the manifestation of different kinds of tongues is shown in Acts. The 12 disciples received the gift of the Holy Spirit and immediately began speaking in tongues to the crowds.
- “And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven. And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language. Then they were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another, ‘Look, are not all these who speak Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each in our own language in which we were born? Parthians and Medes and Elamites, those dwelling in Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya adjoining Cyrene, visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs—we hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God.’ So they were all amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, ‘Whatever could this mean?’”—Acts 2:4-12
The apostles were able to operate in the gift of different kinds of tongues, speaking in a language that all of the people standing around were able to understand.
What is the Purpose of Different Kinds of Tongues?
All spiritual gifts are given for the purpose of edification and building up of the Church.
- “Even so you, since you are zealous for spiritual gifts, let it be for the edification of the church that you seek to excel.”—1 Corinthians 14:12
With that in mind, the Church benefits from different kinds of tongues in two ways:
- As a manifestation of a personal prayer language for its recipient. This serves the purpose of a more intimate relationship with the Lord.
- As a sign of God’s power. In other words, the language is spoken to others—both Believers and unbelievers—as a sign to God’s power and authority at work in the lives of His followers.
If we take another look at the story of the disciples speaking in different kinds of tongues, we see that the manifestation of this gift did serve as a powerful sign to the multitudes of men gathered around.
- “Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.”—Acts 2:41
Does the Gift of Different Kinds of Tongues Operate with Other Gifts of the Spirit?
Yes, quite often, the gift of different kinds of tongues will operate in agreement with other gifts of the Spirit. Most specifically, the interpretation of tongues. However, not all kinds of tongues need interpreting.
For instance, the tongue spoken as a personal prayer language does not typically require interpreting. The tongue spoken as a sign may require interpretation from another Believer or the Believer that is operating in the gift of different kinds of tongues.
How to Activate the Gift of Different Kinds of Tongues
Many Believers are already operating within the spiritual gift of speaking in different kinds of tongues. That being said, if you have found yourself desiring the gift of tongues but have not had it manifest in your life, it could be because of doubt influencing your mind, will, and emotions.
In our current culture, it is not uncommon for Believers to be misinformed about the relevancy of spiritual gifts. This misinformation then leads to a lack of enthusiasm for the spiritual assignments of the Believers.
Do you have a hesitation to receive the gift of different kinds of tongues?
This question is a personal, spiritual assessment that can expose any obstacles that may be standing in the way of the manifestation of speaking in different kinds of tongues. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the root of the hesitation or obstacles. Then you can move forward and “ACT.”
- A- Apply: Apply the truths that are being revealed to you. Faithfully seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit and discern His wisdom through time spent in His presence. Finally, repent for anything that feels unresolved.
- C- Change: Make the necessary changes in your life that will allow your spiritual gift muscle to be exercised. Ask God to reveal any generational thoughts or patterns that stand in the way of your ability to operate in the gift of speaking in different kinds of tongues.
- T- Transform: Petition the Holy Spirit to grow your faith. Ask Him to use you as a vessel of His truth. Be mindful of opportunities to strengthen your gifts as you dwell in Him.
The gift of speaking in different kinds of tongues manifests as a supernatural ability to speak in a language unknown to the person speaking and/or the natural world. It is used primarily for the purpose of personal prayer or as a sign gift to others.
All Believers have access to the gift of different kinds of tongues. This gift allows Believers a more intimate way of communicating with God and serves as personal edification for each person operating in the gift.
“In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise,”—Ephesians 1:13
As one who is sealed, you also have access to your inheritance NOW. This inheritance is grounded in your relationship with the Lord. You have an identity and a purpose given to you by the God of the universe!
Let that truth soak in…
Your purpose is unique. However, as the Body of Christ, we have a purpose that unifies us—to expand God’s Kingdom AND build each other up. We can only accomplish this calling by activating our inheritance!
Activation means that we start by growing our personal relationship with Christ. Then we can be a sign to others.