“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32 – So when is my then? Navigation through life even as a Christian can get confusing if we are not listening to what the Spirit is saying. What is the biblical sign of salvation? Where in Scripture does it demand that a person speak in tongues to be saved? It was man’s doctrine, not God who requires the Holy Spirit to give this gift to all that they might be saved. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. ” Gal 5:22 Kindly I set these things before the Lord that I might be enlightened to “His Way”. If the Bible includes something against our current theology or dogma, (which is then I shall welcome correction by other members of God’s very large family of saints. “Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and He distributes them to each one, just as He determines.” 1 Corin 12:7 Did the same Spirit gift me with faith alone, but not speaking in tongues? Is my salvation secure if I do not speak in tongues? “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.” What is the doctrine of Holy Scripture? Where in scripture is the word doctrine? “In vain do they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.” Matt 15:9 ~ Compare what God says in scripture to other scripture and you will discover that God does NOT contradict Himself. As you open the Bible, pray to God for understanding, invite the Holy Spirit to reveal the Truth. “Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything” (2 Timothy 2:7).
Your gift may very well be praying in tongues, and I thank God for you and God for His way of gifting you for His purposes, to heal others, to bless others. If we are to follow His lead, and become more like Jesus, then shouldn’t we get to a private place, a garden, a closet to pray in tongues? Jesus did not pray to draw attention to Himself, but to speak to His Father on our behalf. “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves” (Matthew 7:15).
“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires” (2 Timothy 4:3).
“These things I have written to you concerning those who are trying to deceive you” (1 John 2:26). Keeping the truth in proper context, in John 8:23 – 47 “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; ( you will miss the mark, you will require many mulligans, or ‘do overs’) 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 ( the good and the worthless efforts) 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. 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 — That is certainly an “arrest me in my thinking, my ways” declaration from the mouth of Jesus Christ, my Lord! – “The Word” (Greek word, “logos”) means reason or word and is a designation for Jesus Christ Himself. The Word was God – Identical in essence with God the Father. Through the Word, God brought into being the entire created universe, both the visible and the invisible. The Word is the source of the physical, intellectual, moral, and spiritual life of man. God the Word became flesh, or incarnate as a human being. This is why John wrote this Gospel – to build faith & confidence in Jesus Christ so that we may believe that He truly was & is the Son of God. (John 20:30-31) Comparing scripture to scripture Colossians 2:9 “For in Christ all the fullness of the deity lives in the bodily form.” and Colossians 1:17 “He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. ” The truth of the incarnation of God on earth as Jesus is so intimately meshed with every other doctrine of the Gospel, that without the promised Holy Spirit to reveal the Truth of who Jesus is, man on his own will teach according to his own understanding. (1 st John 4:2-3)
“Is speaking in tongues a necessary sign of salvation?” Let us listen to what an ordained minister, Matt Slick says. “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. 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 2:4; 10:46; 19:6). 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? Have 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. The gifts from God are given through the Spirit of God.
The Bible reveals that the Holy Spirit is God and that He displays the volitional and emotional qualities of personhood. When referring to the Holy Spirit (John 16:13-14), Jesus used the demonstrative masculine pronoun “He” (ἐκεῖνος), and this indicates personhood. Scripture also reveals the Holy Spirit can be lied to. In the book of Acts, the apostle Peter accused Ananias of lying “to the Holy Spirit” (Acts 5:3). In the very next verse Peter said, “You have not lied to men but to God” (Acts 5:4). You cannot lie to a force (such as electricity), but only to a person. In addition, the Holy Spirit can be grieved (Eph. 4:30), quenched (1 Thess. 5:19), resisted (Acts 7:51), and blasphemed (Matt. 12:31). These are all activities that can only be done to a Person. Here are some further Scriptural truths about the Holy Spirit:
- He was involved in the creation ( 1:2).
- He brought about the birth of Jesus (Luke 1:35).
- He guided the writers of Scripture (2 Sam. 23:2; 2 Pet. 1:21).
- He convicts unbelievers of the sin of unbelief (John 16:8-11).
- He regenerates unbelievers (John 3:6; 6:63).
- He baptizes us into union with Christ (1 Cor. 12:13).
- He indwells us (John 14:16-17; 1 Cor. 3:16; 6:19).
- He seals us (Eph. 1:13; 4:30).
- He gives us spiritual gifts (1 Cor. 12:7-11).
- He glorifies Jesus in our life (John 16:13-15).
- He fills us (i.e. empowers) (Eph. 5:18).
- He sustains our spiritual walk (Gal. 5:16-18, 25).
- He loves us (Rom. 15:30).
- He prays for us (Rom. 8:26-27).
- He comforts us (John 14:26).
- He teaches and guides us (John 14:26; 16:13-15).
- He makes Scripture understandable (1 Cor. 2:11-13).
When the above Scriptures are read in their biblical context, paying attention to the linguistic, grammatical and historical context of each verse, it reveals that the Holy Spirit is God and that He displays the volitional and emotional qualities of a Person. I pray the Lord gives you understanding.
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