Post Author: Tim Chilvers

Tim Chilvers is the Senior Pastor at Riverside Church.
March 25, 2022
And, Breathe | S9: Built Up – Gift Of Tongues

Teaching Series Introduction:

“If God was small enough to be comprehended, he would not be big enough to be worshipped.” (Imad Shehadeh)

This is a series all about the Holy Spirit. Who, or what, is the Holy Spirit?

The bible is mainly written in Hebrew (Old Testament) and in Greek (New Testament). Each of these languages has one word (Hebrew – ruach; Greek – pneuma) that is used for three different English words – Spirit, breath and wind. And so, the way the bible describes the Holy Spirit can be both confusing and illuminated by these ideas…the wind that powers the sails, and the breath that gives life. So, what role does the Holy Spirit play in the life of Christians? This series takes a deep dive in who the Holy Spirit is and the difference he makes in our lives. It’s time to breathe again.

“The Lord of hosts is with us. He’s not watching us move through this stream of history, he’s actually navigating it with us through his Holy Spirit.” (Karen A Ellis)

Session 9:
Built Up – Gift Of Tongues

TITLE: Session 9: Built Up – Gift Of Tongues
BY: Tim Chilvres
DATE: 27 March 2022
PASSAGE: 1 Corinthians (Chaper 12, verses 7 to 11 and Chapter 14, verses 1-25) Read online

Listen Online: Podcast
Watch Online: Church At Home

Listen Online

Watch Online

Children’s & Youth Resources:

These resources will be used within the various groups in-person on a Sunday morning. This means that if you are unable to attend one of our Sunday Gatherings, you can still study and follow along with the same material at a time that is best for you. However you study, we encourage you to engage with your group as much as possible. If you would like to know about how you can get connected with our children’s or youth groups please contact us, we would love to hear from you.

Youth Resources

This Weeks Youth Video:

Children’s Resources

This weeks Children’s Video:

Bible Study Questions:

There are three different sets of questions for you to use, whether you are exploring God’s word within your Life Group, in other group settings, or simply using them on your own.


These are simple questions to provoke discussion together out of the talk (ideal if you are watching our Sunday Service online with others in your group):


1) Was there anything that particularly struck you during the talk?


2) Was there anything that you didn’t necessarily agree with, or found difficult to understand in the talk?


3) How do you think you might live differently as a result of the talk?


These are questions that are based on the talk and the surrounding themes:


1) One day, a friend who has just become a Christian asks you, “I’ve just read in my bible about people speaking in Tongues. What is that?” How would you answer them?

2) Read 1 Corinthians 12:7-11. What is the purpose of the different gifts that the Spirit gives? Are any of the gifts more, or less, important than any others? Does any person have them all? How does that change how we might see the various gifts that God may have given to us?

3) Read also 1 Corinthians 14:6-12. What seems to be the author Paul’s emphasis in these verses?

4) Because of this emphasis, Paul  goes on in v13-19 to describe the importance of interpretation when the gift of Tongues is used in public. What, according to these verses, is Paul’s preference when gathered with other believers? Why?

5) It seems to be the case, therefore, that for Paul the context is important. When gathered with other believers, intelligibility is important. Perhaps the primary ‘arena’ for the gift of Tongues is therefore privately, rather than public declaration.  If you like, the gift of Tongues is primarily a private ‘prayer language’ oriented towards God, whereas prophecy is specifically for others. However, Tongues may be used in public but, if so, they must always be interpreted. Notice verse 39-40. What do you think should be the appropriate emphasis in the gathered church, therefore?

6) What do you think Paul is saying is in verses 22-25? How does this impact your understanding of what is happening in our Sunday gatherings?

7) Take some time to pray. Ask God that would give you the right understanding of the gift of Tongues. If you feel you want to ask him for the gift of Tongues, feel free to do so, trusting that he knows best!


These are questions to help you go a little deeper, by exploring the wider biblical context.



1)  One day, a friend who has just become a Christian asks you, “I’ve just read in my bible about people speaking in Tongues. What is that?” How would you answer them?

2) Read Acts 2:4; Acts 10:44-46; Acts 19:6. What strikes you about the use of ‘tongues’ in these verses?

3) Read 1 Corinthians 12:7-11. Paul highlights something in v7 about the various gifts of the Spirit – what is it? What emphasis is Paul suggesting, therefore, in 1 Corinthians 14:4-5? Why do you think we need to be reminded about the importance of this ‘other person’ emphasis?

4)  Read 1 Corinthians 14:6-12 and Ephesians 5:15-20. Notice again the purpose of these gifts. Which kinds of gifts do you tend to most ‘eagerly desire’ and why?

5)  In 1 Corinthians 14:13-19, Paul talks about the importance of interpretation of Tongues when with other people. What do you think ‘interpretation’ is and why? See also v26-28.

6)  Read also 1 Corinthians 14:20-25. What is Paul insisting on here? How should that affect our Sunday gatherings as a church?

7) Take some time to pray. Ask God that would give you the right understanding of the gift of Tongues. If you feel you want to ask him for the gift of Tongues, feel free to do so, trusting that he knows best! 


    Coming Soon





    Riverside is a church made up of people from a diversity of backgrounds and experiences all with one thing in common, our discovery of God and his amazing love. 

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