MLJ Trust Logo Image
Sermon #1096

The Gift of Tongues

A Sermon on John 1:26-33


John 1:26-33 ESV KJV
John answered them, “I baptize with water, but among you stands one you do not know, even he who comes after me, the strap of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie.” These things took place in Bethany across the Jordan, where John was baptizing. The next day he …

Read more

Sermon Description

In this sermon from John 1:26–33 titled “The Gift of Tongues,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones brings light, clarity, and wisdom to an often misunderstood topic. In compelling exposition, he explains the dangers, nature, and origin of speaking in tongues. The listener should come away from this sermon with a greater depth of understanding on this often overlooked or over-emphasized gift of the Spirit. Given the rise of Pentecostalism and the ever-present danger of abusing the miraculous spiritual gifts, it is important to give attention to what God has spoken in His Word in regards to the gift of speaking in tongues. Dr. Lloyd-Jones reminds the listener that speaking in tongues cannot be initiated by humans — as with the gift of healing, it is up to the Lord to determine when and where this takes place.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. Speaking in tongues is not the invariable accompaniment of the baptism of the Spirit. Not all who receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit speak in tongues.
  2. Speaking in tongues refers to the tongue speaking as moved by the Holy Spirit, not known languages. It requires interpretation.
  3. Speaking in tongues cannot be initiated by us or done whenever we like. It is a gift given by the Holy Spirit, not under our control.
  4. When speaking in tongues, a person is in a state of religious ecstasy but remains rational and in control. They can stop speaking in tongues.
  5. Speaking in tongues should be limited to 2-3 people at a time in church, with interpretation, so as not to cause confusion. Prophecy is preferred.
  6. Speaking in tongues in private prayer is acceptable and can edify the person.
  7. The gifts of the Spirit, including tongues, are given by God's will, not under our control. We cannot experiment with them or work them whenever we like.
  8. The apostles never made experiments, trials or failures with miracles or announced in advance what miracles they would perform. They acted when given a commission by the Spirit.
  9. The spirits of prophets are subject to the prophets. Though prophets speak by the Spirit, they remain in control of themselves.
  10. All things must be done decently and in order. There must be no confusion in the church.

The Book of John

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.