On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
According to Christ, the Gift of the Holy Spirit is the Baptism in the Spirit. This gift brings up so many questions surrounding it. Is it important? Is this gift even for today or not? Was it just a one time thing to get the early church going?
I believe the Scriptures answer all these questions.
For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God. Indeed, no one understands him; he utters mysteries with his spirit.
1 Corinthians 14:2
At one point, Paul wrote that he spoke in tongues more than all who were in the church of Corinth (I Cor. 14:18). This tells me that he had an intimate knowledge of the use and the function of the gift. Paul wrote about his experiences in the Greek language, which is a very descriptive language.
In order for us to understand what Paul wrote we rely upon translators to help us. I’ve had the privilege of meeting some of these translators. I’m in awe of the amount of work they have before them and realize that I could never accomplish half of what they do. I’m very grateful for their work.
That being said, I also have a problem with a particular portion of their work. As I’ve said, Paul wrote to us about his experiences in the deep usage of the gift of the Spirit. Unfortunately, the translators who worked on that passage may not have even experienced the Baptism of the Spirit, let alone the deeper works.
In reading the words that Paul wrote, these translators didn’t understand why Paul was using the words that he used. So they tried to explain Paul’s words instead of telling us exactly what he said.
Because of this, many of the deeper truths of the Gift of Tongues were lost. It’s my prayer that the Lord will once again restore our knowledge of these concepts through godly teachings such as this.
The verse I just quoted is one such verse. The English words used in the translation are not the Greek words used in the original text. After Paul tells us that the person is speaking to God, not to man, the next sentence actually reads (in Greek), Indeed, no man hears him; his spirit speaks mysteries.
This gives us fresh insight into the gift. When I pray in tongues, I’m not speaking to man, but to God. What is coming out of my mouth is immaterial to the spiritual communication.
According to Paul, no man even hears what I’m saying to God. It’s not your flesh that’s communicating with Him. There’s no correlation between what’s coming out of your mouth, and what is being exchanged with God in the spirit.
This is an important truth in understanding the gift of the spirit.
Question: How important is the Baptism of the Spirit to your walk with God?
©Nick Zaccardi 2014