KEY TEXT: Acts 10:46-48 For they were hearing them speaking in tongues and extolling God. Then Peter declared, "Can anyone withhold water for baptizing these people, who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?"
KEY THOT: When the Spirit was poured out on Cornelius' household, they were “speaking in tongues and extolling God". Speaking in tongues is closely associated with extolling God, which is an act of worship.
While Peter was preaching to those gathered at Cornelius’ household, they were filled with the Spirit, manifesting in the speaking in tongues while extolling God: “for they were hearing them speaking in tongues and extolling God” (v.46). Their experience was similar to the experience of the 120 disciples on the Day of Pentecost: when they were filled with the Spirit, they were also heard to extol God (Acts 2:11, “we hear them telling in our own tongue the mighty works of God”.
Speaking in tongues is closely associated with extolling God, which is an act of worship.
If speaking in tongue is closely associated with the act of worship, why are churches so afraid of this gift? If the purpose of church gathering is worship, why are some congregations stumbled by the gift of tongue and forbade its use? Sometime, in order not to upset these congregations, I chose to avoid teaching about tongues. I believe in so doing, I may be quenching the Spirit in order not to offend men.
I am often cautioned by conservative church pastors/leaders not to “over-emphasize” speaking in tongue as a spiritual gift. I usually comply. But today’s scripture tells me that speaking in tongue is closely associated with extolling and magnifying God, which is worship. So if speaking in tongues is extolling God, why am I cautioned against “over-emphasizing” worship? I should teach God’s truth as revealed in Scriptures, and not based my teaching on human traditions, fears and prejudices.
Father, grant me courage to teach Your truth according to Your Word, not according to human prejudices and fears. Amen.