1 Corinthians 12:10, “…to another speaking in different kinds of tongues.”

The next spiritual gift Paul lists is the “gift of speaking in different kinds of tongues.”  The gift of speaking in different kinds of tongues is, “a supernatural message given in an unknown tongue that brings edification, exhortation, and comfort.”  The gift or message in tongues must always be interpreted because it is spoken directly to people as a message, not just as a private prayer.

The two major differences between “praying in tongues” and the “message in tongues” are direction and purpose.  (1) Direction: The message in tongues is directed towards man (1 Cor. 14:13) and praying in tongues is directed towards God (1 Cor. 14:2). (2) Purpose: The message of tongues to men is generally used as a prophecy (1 Cor. 14:5) and praying in tongues to God can result in intercession, inner edification, and worship (1 Cor. 14:14).

Sometimes well-intentioned Christians confuse the gift of tongues with the message of tongues and say, “We shouldn’t speak in tongues in the church unless it is interpreted.”  However, that is not what Paul taught.  He said the only time the tongue needed to be interpreted was when it was directed to the people as a message, 1 Cor. 14:19.

At the same time, he was very clear that the church should not forbid speaking in tongues (1 Cor. 14:39), that he spoke in tongues often (1 Cor. 14:18), and that when Christians pray and sing in church to God they should be given freedom to do it both in spiritual tongues and known languages, (1 Cor. 14:14-15).

Therefore, don’t be uniformed about spiritual gifts- pray to speak in tongues and have it be interpreted for the sake of the Body of Christ!


Do you desire for God to give you a message in tongues for the church?


  1. Have you ever been given a message in tongues that was interpreted? If yes, what was the result?
  2. Ask God to give you the gift of tongues.
  3. Whenever you are in church be available for God to use you in this gift.

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