When Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and theyActs 19:1-7
spoke in tongues and prophesied—” vs. 6
When Paul encountered disciples of John the Baptist in Ephesus he convinced them that their baptism was lacking. When he then baptized them in the name of the Lord Jesus, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke in tongues. Luke’s
description of this event has provided the impetus for what has been called the
Pentecostal movement. Preachers have convinced believers that they have not
received the “full gospel” and that there is something lacking in their faith. As a
result millions have been rebaptized and have begun to practice speaking in
tongues as proof that the Holy Spirit has entered their lives. They like having a kind of external evidence that the Holy Spirit is present. The problem is that, as Paul experienced in Corinth, speaking in tongues is not the best indicator of the Spirit’s presence, and its public practice can often lead to division in congregations. Rather than worry about whether they need a new spiritual practice, believers would be well advised to concentrate on public demonstrations of love, joy, peace, and patience. When these are present people are unified and we can be confident that the Holy Spirit is present. Speaking in tongues can be a fine private meditation practice, but it quickly divides when it goes public–and that’s not how the Holy Spirit works.
Thought for the Day: What’s lacking in my faith?