Does Everyone Have to Speak in Tongues?
By Dr. J. Rodman Williams
The following questions were asked by visitors to CBN.com. The
answer is provided by Dr. J. Rodman Williams, theology professor
at Regent University's
School of Divinity.
Does everyone have to speak in tongues?
On the three occasions when in the book of Acts people were said
to speak in tongues-Acts 2:4; 10:46; and 19:6-all of them did
so. They so spoke as a result of the Holy Spirit's action upon
them, but there is no suggestion of necessity. Rather, tongues
are the free expression of praise to God. Such a deed is not required
but highly blessed. Accordingly, Paul says, "I wish that you all
spoke in tongues" (1 Corinthians 14:5). It is not a matter of
must but may.
In a recent response to an email you said that the Holy Spirit
indwells each believer and that this is different from the baptism
in the Holy Spirit. How is it that baptism (immersion) in the
spirit means the same thing as filling with the Holy Spirit? If
they are the same, why are there such disagreeing English words?
Baptism in the Holy Spirit and filling with the Holy Spirit
are expressions that refer to the same event. Jesus told His disciples,
"You shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from
now" (Acts 1:5). Then several days later "they were all filled
with the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:4). These are not "disagreeing words"
but refer to two aspects of the same experience. From one perspective,
it is a total immersion as in water; from another perspective
it is an infilling or total permeation with the Holy Spirit. Other
terms used in Acts are "the Spirit's coming upon," "falling upon,"
and "outpouring on." (For a discussion of all these terms see
Renewal Theology 2, pages 190-203.)
Order Dr. Williams book, Renewal
Theology on CBN.com.
More Theology Q & A from Dr. J. Rodman
Send Dr. Williams your
CBN IS HERE FOR YOU!
Are you seeking answers in life? Are you hurting?
Are you facing a difficult situation?
A caring friend will be there to pray with you in your time of need.