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Holy Spirit

Should every Christian speak in tongues? (Part 1)

pentecostMany Pentecostal traditions teach that speaking in tongues is the definitive sign of being baptized with the Holy Spirit.   This baptism or filling of the Spirit happens sometime after your conversion and is known as the “Second Blessing”.   Every Spirit-filled believer, they would argue, should therefore speak in tongues. 

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Holy Spirit

De-spiritualising spiritual gifts

One man in the choir could not sing to save his life. The choir director suggested that he should leave the choir and several choir members hinted that he would make an excellent sidesman. The choir director and some members of the choir then decided to go to the pastor and complain. “You’ve got to get that man out of the choir people will start resigning and our Xmas cantata will be ruined. Please do something!” So the pastor went to the man and said to him, “Perhaps you should leave the choir.”

“Why should I leave the choir?” the man asked. “Well,” said the pastor, “I hate to say this because I don’t have an ear for music, but four or five people have told me you can’t sing.” “So!” the man snorted, “That’s nothing, 25 people have told me you can’t preach.”

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Holy Spirit

Have you experienced the second blessing?


Pentecostals often refer to and preach from Acts 19:1-6 to promote second blessing theology (SBT). SBT teaches that the normative Christian practice is first to accept Jesus as Lord and then, secondly, to have another separate, distinct experience of the baptism of the Spirit. During this second experience the Christian is said to be filled with the Spirit, normally this “blessing” is accompanied with speaking in “tongues”.

In Ephesus Paul found twelve “disciples” (v1). Normally in Acts “disciples” refers to Christians, but it turns out from Paul’s questioning that these people are not Christians, but repentant Jews. Paul probably thought they were Christians at first.

To gauge their spiritual state, Pauls asks (v2), “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” Paul did not ask did you receive the Spirit when you attended the course or when you prayed a special prayer or when you truly entered a new level of obedience in your Christian life! Paul associates receiving the Holy Spirit with believing (i.e. believing in Jesus).