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Speaking in tongues is evidence confirming the authenticity of God’s true children.

Christians have long considered speaking in tongues a vital sign of being filled with the Holy Spirit. This practice validates one’s identity as a genuine child of God and is more than just a showy demonstration of charisma.

This article examines the biblical basis of speaking in tongues, its significance as evidence of being God’s children, and the necessity for churches to teach and embrace this doctrine. John 4:24 states, “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” Consequently, the capacity to speak in tongues serves as a divine affirmation of one’s spiritual rebirth and ongoing relationship with God.

Biblical Foundation

The New Testament provides a robust foundation for speaking in tongues, highlighting its importance as a sign of the Holy Spirit’s presence and the believer’s identity as a child of God.

  1. John 4:24: “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
  2. This verse establishes that true worshippers must engage with God spiritually, including speaking in tongues as a form of spiritual communication.
  3. Mark 16:17: “And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name, they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues.”
  4. Jesus Himself identified speaking in tongues as one of the signs that would follow those who believed in Him. This sign is a confirmation of their faith and spiritual rebirth.
  5. Romans 8:16: “The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.”
  6. The Holy Spirit’s testimony within us confirms our identity as God’s children. Speaking in tongues is a manifestation of this testimony, an outward sign of an inward reality.
  7. 1 Corinthians 14:2: “For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit, he speaks mysteries.”
  8. Speaking in tongues is a direct communication with God, speaking divine mysteries beyond human comprehension, further indicating a special relationship with the Divine.
  9. 1 Corinthians 14:18–19: “I thank my God I speak with tongues more than you all; yet in the church, I would rather speak five words with my understanding, that I may teach others also, than ten thousand words in a tongue.”
  10. Apostle Paul acknowledges his frequent use of tongues, emphasizing their importance in personal spiritual practice while valuing intelligible speech for edification within the church.

The Significance of Speaking in Tongues

  1. Affirmation of Spiritual Identity: Speaking in tongues confirms one’s spiritual identity as a child of God. It is evidence that the Holy Spirit resides within the believer, affirming their status as part of God’s family.
  2. Spiritual Communication: This practice allows believers to communicate directly with God on a spiritual level. As 1 Corinthians 14:2 highlights, speaking in tongues involves speaking mysteries to God, which fosters a deeper, more intimate relationship with Him.
  3. Empowerment for Ministry: Mark 16:17 associates speaking in tongues with other signs of spiritual power, such as casting out demons. This empowerment is crucial for effective ministry and spiritual warfare, equipping believers to carry out their God-given mission.
  4. Personal Edification: 1 Corinthians 14:4 states, “He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself.” Speaking in tongues builds up the individual believer, strengthening their Spirit and enhancing their spiritual sensitivity and resilience.
  5. Collective Edification: While personal edification is vital, speaking in tongues also has a place in corporate worship. Including interpretation can edify the entire congregation and bring them closer to unity in the Spirit.

Biblical Examples of Speaking in Tongues

  1. The Day of Pentecost: Acts 2:1–4 describes the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the apostles, enabling them to speak in various tongues. This event marked the church’s birth and was a sign of the Holy Spirit’s presence and power.
  2. Cornelius’ Household: In Acts 10:44–46, the Holy Spirit fell upon all who heard Peter’s message, and they began speaking in tongues and magnifying God. This event was pivotal in including Gentiles in the early Christian community.
  3. The Ephesian Disciples: Acts 19:6 recounts how Paul laid hands on the believers in Ephesus, resulting in them speaking in tongues and prophesying. This event confirmed their reception of the Holy Spirit and inclusion in Christ’s body.

The Imperative for Churches

  1. Teaching Sound Doctrine: Churches must repent and embrace the whole counsel of God, including the doctrine of speaking in tongues. Teaching believers this practice is crucial because it symbolizes their rebirth in Christ and is essential to their spiritual life.
  2. Encouraging Spiritual Gifts: Churches should promote the exercise of all spiritual gifts, including speaking in tongues. This encouragement fosters a more dynamic and influential community of believers equipped for ministry and spiritual warfare.
  3. Facilitating Worship in Spirit and Truth: As John 4:24 emphasizes, true worship involves engaging with God in Spirit and truth. Facilitating opportunities for believers to pray and worship in tongues helps create an environment where true spiritual worship can flourish.
  4. Providing Instruction and Order: Following Paul’s guidelines in 1 Corinthians 14:18–40, churches should provide instruction on the proper use of tongues in corporate worship. The assembly ensures the cultivation of knowledge while maintaining the hierarchical structure.


Speaking in tongues is robust evidence of being a true child of God. It affirms the believer’s spiritual identity, facilitates direct communication with God, empowers them for ministry, and provides personal and collective edification. The biblical foundation for this practice is strong, with numerous examples and teachings underscoring its significance.

Churches must repent and return to sound doctrine, teaching and encouraging speaking in tongues as a vital aspect of the believer’s spiritual life. Doing so enables believers to worship God in Spirit and truth, experience the fullness of the Holy Spirit’s power, and live out their identity as true children of God.

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International Christian News publishes reports on the mission field, specifically focusing on the persecuted church and providing daily gospel news. The organization aims to fulfill the Great Commission, edify the global Christian community, and bring honor and glory to the Lord Jesus Christ.