- An outward/visible sign of something
- Something that furnishes proof
Words that share the same meaning (synonyms) to evidence are attestation, confirmation, corroboration, documentation, proof, substantiation, testament, testimonial, testimony, validation, voucher, witness.
For some time now I've wanted to share my thoughts on what it means to have the evidence of The Holy Spirit.
I've never spoken in tongues and sincerely don't believe that one need to speak in tongues in order to be saved or that speaking in tongues is the ultimate evidence of the Holy Spirit living in you.
The bible states the characteristics of individuals that will not be saved in
Galations 5:19 -21:
Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
The bible also states characteristics of individuals that demonstrate the evidence of the Holy Spirit
But the fruit [Evidence] of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
The dictonary defines Language as
- audible, articulate, meaningful sound as produced by the action of the vocal organs
- A systematic means of communicating ideas or feelings by the use of conventionalized signs, sounds, gestures, or marks having understood meanings.
The bible states the account of Pentecost in Acts 2.
4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
5 And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.
6 Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.
7 And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?
8 And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?
9 Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia,
10 Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes,
11 Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues [language] the wonderful works of God.
During Pentecost, The Holy Spirit gave the disciples the ability to preach the gospel of Jesus in different tongues/languages so that individuals present from other nations who spoke a different language(tongue) could hear the good news of Jesus and His gift of salvation. That is clearly what happened here.
Not surprisingly the early Christian church was so intrigued by this experience that they witnessed or heard about that they too wanted to speak in another language (tongues). Speaking in tongues was thereafter pursued artificially so much so that Paul advised the church brethren in 1Corinthians 12:1-11
Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant:
2 You know that you were Gentiles, carried away to these dumb idols, however you were led.
3 Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit.
4 There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.
5 There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord.
6 And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all.
7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all:
8 for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit,
9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same[b] Spirit,
10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.
Let me pause here quickly; Have you ever watched in person who Interpreted of sign language or Spanish, French, Chinese, Igbo etc? It is a gift to be able to translate communication for understanding. While one person may speak or understand a different language, the same person may not be able to interpret it to another non-speaking party. Okay, back to the scripture text....
11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.
The word of God speaks for itself. I just want to encourage someone today, who may be struggling with this issue or feeling that they are not a sincere Christian and unable to live for God fully because of being expected to speak in tongues.
God loves you and his only expectation of you is to love Him with all your heart and love each person he puts in your path as well. I'll leave you with this passage from 1Corinthians 13:
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.
2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.
4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;
5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil;
6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.
9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.
11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.
13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.