Question:

Kenneth Copeland uses Romans 8:26 as proof that people speak in tongues. I understand that tongue speaking has ceased (I Corinthians 13:8-10).I don't know what Romans 8:26 is saying so I can't denounce it to a friend who believes she can speak in tongues. Separate from my question I want to say thankyou for your site. It is an excellent study aid for me. I am a member of Christ's church. We don't have many brethren here. There is one small faithful congregation in a county of over 200,000, so it is nice to have a site like this that I can turn to.

God Bless.


Answer:

"Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God" (Romans 8:26-27).

Let's first take note of what is not said. Paul talks of prayers, but he doesn't say anything about praying in another language (speaking in tongues). Paul talks about the Spirit making intercessions for us, but he says nothing about the Spirit speaking through us. More to the point, the intercessions the Spirit makes on our behalf to God, the Father, cannot be uttered.

The word sunantilambanomai (helps) is a compound word of sun (together), anti (against), and lambanomai (support). It refers to someone who is there at your side through good and bad times to give aid and comfort. It is someone who is sharing life's burdens with you.

The word huperentugchano (intercession) refers to someone acting as an advocate, such as a lawyer in a courtroom or today's patient advocates in hospitals. Paul is not saying that the Holy Spirit physically moans, but rather that the Spirit helps us communicate our emotions to God when words cannot adequately express what we desire. Such a view of the Holy Spirit is found in the Old Testament as well, "And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn" (Zechariah 12:10). What is being expressed here is that when we pray, we may not adequately state what we wish to ask of God, but we should not be concerned about that because the Holy Spirit of God Himself will express for us what we cannot fittingly express for ourselves.