What is the Truth?

F-HamonThen you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32 – So when is my then? Looking deeper requires reading all of chapter 8 in the book of John. Keeping the truth in proper context while Jesus was speaking, He tells us the WHEN of THEN as it applicable to the TRUTH. Jesus continued in John 8:23 —  “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world.  I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am he, you will indeed die in your sins.”  “Who are you?” they asked. “Just what I have been telling you from the beginning,” Jesus replied. “I have much to say in judgment of you. But he who sent me is trustworthy, and what I have heard from him I tell the world.” They did not understand that he was telling them about his Father.28 So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me. The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases him.”  Even as he spoke, many believed in him.  To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”  They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?”  Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.  Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever.  So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.  I know that you are Abraham’s descendants. Yet you are looking for a way to kill me, because you have no room for my word.” ….. “We are not illegitimate children,” they protested. “The only Father we have is God himself.” 42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I have come here from God. I have not come on my own; God sent me.43 Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say.” ….. 45 Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me! 46 Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me? 47 Whoever belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.”  John 8:47 — 

Here is a response to the question “Is speaking in tongues a necessary sign of salvation?” as written by the ordained minister Matt Slick. “No, speaking in tongues is not a necessary sign of salvation. The Oneness Pentecostal people teach that speaking in tongues is a necessary manifestation of the Holy Spirit and without it, a person is not truly saved.1 It is so important to them that one ex-Oneness person told me that her church had altar calls for people to come up and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit so they could speak in tongues.  She said she never saw an altar call for people to come up and receive Jesus as savior.  But, this is only one example and may not be typical.

We see in Acts that many people who became Christians immediately spoke in tongues (Acts 2:410:4619:6).  But is it a necessary sign of salvation?  No.  It isn’t.  Consider the following verses in 1 Cor. 12.

  • 1 Cor. 12:7-11, “But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. 8For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; 9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same 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.  11But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.”
  • 1 Cor. 12:29-30, “Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? 30Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?”

We can see that the Holy Spirit gives gifts as He desires.  He distributes them upon His people in the church as He wills (1 Cor. 12:11).  It states in 1 Cor. 12:7-11 that different people have different gifts, and we see in verses 29-31 that not all speak in tongues.  Now, the Oneness person will state that all are supposed to speak in tongues, but that not all do.  They maintain that speaking in tongues is a necessary sign/gift of true salvation, and that a true believer will speak in tongues.  But, that is not what the text says.

Paul asks the questions:  Are all apostles?  No.  Are all prophets?  No.  Are all teachers?  No.   In other words, within the body of Christ, different people are called by God to have different gifts.  If someone states that all are supposed to speak in tongues but that not all do, then are all supposed to be apostles as well but not all are?  Are all called to be prophets?  Are all called to be teachers?  No.  Likewise, not all are called by God to speak in tongues. It is simple.  Not all speak in tongues because God doesn’t give the gift to everyone.  Speaking in tongues is not the sign of salvation but a sign.  If anything, the fruit of the indwelling Spirit of God as listed in Gal. 5:22-23 is the sign of salvation.  I would ask the Oneness person if the following fruit are what the true signs of salvation are in his or her life rather than speaking in tongues:

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” (Gal. 5:22-23).

So, again I ask.  What is the biblical sign of salvation – tongues or the fruit of the Spirit? Here is a link to the author’s testimony Matt Slick https://carm.org/matt-slicks-testimony

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