For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God.
Thoughts for Today:As we study Scripture, we find that prophecy is spoken to individuals, groups or the church. While the gift of tongues is given to offer praise of God. This is an important distinction. Why? Because Paul clearly states in our passage today: "...anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God." The interpretation of tongues always demonstrates a praise and adoration of the Father -- not a message or teaching to people in general.
In the New Testament there are several references to the gift of tongues. For example, tongues were given: to accompany the Gospel message (Mark 16:17); on the Day of Pentecost when the Gospel was revealed to the nation of Israel (Acts 2:3-11); at the home of Cornelius when the Gospel was opened to the Gentiles (Acts 10:46); and in Ephesus as the Gospel moved out to the rest of the world (Acts 19:6). In each of these cases, tongues was given at the institution of the dispensation of grace.
But there is something more -- the tongue spoken was an actual language. It might have been unknown to the speaker, but it was known to the hearer. This is the point Paul will be making with growing emphasis throughout Chapter 14. Speaking in tongues is pointless without interpretation.
Questions to Ponder:The gift of tongues is a Spirit-given ability to speak in a language, unknown to the speaker, of God's glory. Therefore, to be of value, someone must be present to interpret. What is your understanding of speaking in tongues? Does Scripture provide the example?