Understanding The Gospel

Understanding The Gospel

UNDERSTANDING THE GOSPEL

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CONTENTS


I.                            Definition of the Gospel


II.Cause and Effect of Not Obeying the Gospel


III.             Obeying the Death, Repentance


IV. Obeying the Burial, Jesus Name Baptism


V. Obeying the Resurrection, The Holy Spirit


VI.          Three Steps to Obeying the Gospel


          _______________________________


I.

Definition of the Gospel, 1st Cor 15:1-4:

 

1)

DEATH, BURIAL, RESURRECTION

 

A)

-1st Cor 15:1

“Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel”

 

 

B)

-1st Cor 15:3,4

“how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;

And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures”


II.

CAUSE and EFFECT of NOT obeying the Gospel:

 

1)

CAUSE of NOT obeying, 2nd Cor 4:3-4:

 

A)

"But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:

In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them"

 

2)

Question the EFFECTS, 1st Peter 4:17:

 

A)

"For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?"

 

3)

The EFFECTS of disobeying, 2nd Thes 1:7-9:

 

A)

"And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,

In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: 

Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;"

 


III.

Obeying the DEATH, Repentance:

 

1)

Death to self will, 1st Cor 15:31, Rom 12:1:

 

A) 

" I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily."

-1st Cor 15:31

 

B)

-Romans 12:1

"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service."

 

2)

Crucify your flesh, Rom 6:6-7, Luke 14:27:

 

A) 

-Romans 6:6-7

"Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

For he that is dead is freed from sin."

 

B)

-Luke 14:27

"And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple."

 


IV.

Obeying the BURIAL, Jesus Name Baptism:

 

1) 

Buried by Baptism, Rom 6:4,:

 

A)

-Romans 6:4

"we are buried with him by baptism into death:"

 

2) 

Calling Jesus Name:

 

A) 

-Acts 2:21

"And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved."

 

B)

-Acts 4:12

"Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved"

 

C)

-Acts 8:12

"But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women."

 

D)

-Acts 10:43

"To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins."

 

E)

-John 1:12

"But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:"

 

F)

-1st John 2:12

"I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name's sake."

 

G)

-John 3:18

"but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God"

 

H)

-Acts 22:16

" And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord."

 


Is Baptism Necessary For Salvation?

  

Biblically

 

"He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned."

-Mark 16:16

 

"The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:"

-1 Pet 3:21

 

"Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God."

-John 3:5

 


Is Baptism Necessary For Salvation?


Historically

 

"Happy is our sacrament of water, in that, by washing away the sins of our early blindness, we are set free and admitted into eternal life! A treatise on this matter will not be superfluous; instructing not only such as are just becoming formed (in the faith), but them who, content with having simply believed, without full examination of the grounds of the traditions, carry (in mind), through ignorance, an untried though probable faith. The consequence is, that a viper of the Cainite heresy, lately conversant in this quarter, has carried away a great number with her most venomous doctrine, making it her first aim to destroy baptism. Which is quite in accordance with nature; for vipers and asps and basilisks themselves generally do affect arid and waterless places. But we, little fishes, after the example of our ΙΧΘΥΣ Jesus Christ, are born in water, nor have we safety in any other way than by permanently abiding in water; so that most monstrous creature, who had no right to teach even sound doctrine, knew full well how to kill the little fishes, by taking them away from the water!"

-Turtullian, origin of the treatise, chapter 1, 2nd Century

 

"Then we bring them to a place where there is water, and they are regenerated in the same manner in which we ourselves were regenerated. They then receive the washing with water in the name of God"

-Justin Martyr, 2nd century (First Apology, Chapter 61).

 

"And when we come to refute them, we shall show in its fitting-place, that this class of men have been instigated by Satan to a denial of that baptism which is regeneration to God, and thus to a  renunciation of the whole [Christian] faith."

-Irenaeus, Against Heresies, Book One, Ch. 21, 2nd century

 

 "was born and baptized, that by His passion He might purify the water." 

-Ignatius, 1st century

"water is sure; ye shall see the King in His glory and your soul shall meditate on the feat of the Lord."

"that baptism which leads to the remission of sins."

-Barnabas, The Epistle of Barnabas:XI, 2nd century

 

“'And dipped himself,' says [the Scripture], 'seven times in Jordan.' It was not for nothing that Naaman of old, when suffering from leprosy, was purified upon his being baptized, but it served as an indication to us. For as we are lepers in sin, we are made clean, by means of the sacred water and the invocation of the Lord, from our old transgressions; being spiritually regenerated as new-born babes, even as the Lord has declared: 'Except a man be born again through water and the Spirit, he shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.'" 

-Irenaeus, (Fragment, 34, A.D. 190).

 

"The Church received from the Apostles the tradition of giving Baptism.... For the Apostles, to whom were committed the secrets of divine mysteries, knew that there is in everyone the innate stains of sins, which must be washed away through water and the Spirit." 

-Origen, 3rd Century, Commentary on Romans, 5:9

 

“When, however, the prescript is laid down that 'without baptism, salvation is attainable by none" (chiefly on the ground of that declaration of the Lord, who says, "Unless one be born of water, he hath not life.'" 

-Turtullian, On Baptism, 12:1, A.D. 203

 

“The Church was redeemed at the price of Christ's blood. Jew or Greek, it makes no difference; but if he has believed, he must circumcise himself from his sins [in baptism (Col. 2:11-12)] so that he can be saved . . . for no one ascends into the kingdom of heaven except through the sacrament of baptism . . . "Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God" 

-Ambrose, 4th Century, on Abraham 2:11:79-84

 

"Jews and Gentiles, fully believing as they ought, are in like manner baptised", by, "invoking the Name of The Lord Jesus."

-Anonymous Apologist, writing against Cyprian, 3rd Century

 

" It (water baptism) works forgiveness of sins, delivers from death and the devil, and gives everlasting salvation to all who believe, as the word and promise of God declare..."

-Martin Luther, Small Catechism, 1529

 

" The anti-type whereof - the thing typified by the ark, even baptism, now saveth us - that is, through the water of baptism we are saved from the sin which overwhelms the world as a flood: "

-John Wesley, 18th century, Commentary on 1st Peter 3:21

 

 

JESUS NAME Water Baptism Encyclopedia References

  

BRITANNICA ENCYCLOPEDIA, 11TH edition, Vol 3, Pg 365-366 

“The baptismal formula was changed from the name of JESUS CHRIST to the words Father, Son, & Holy Ghost by the Catholic Church in the second century.”

 

BRITANNICA ENCYCLOPEDIA, Vol 3, Pg 82

“Everywhere in the oldest sources it states that baptism took place in the name of Jesus Christ.”

 

CANNEY ENCYCLOPEDIA OF RELIGION, Pg 53

“The early church always baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus until development of Trinity doctrine in the 2nd century.”

 

THE CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA, Vol 2, Pg 263

"The Baptismal formula was changed from the name of Jesus Christ to the words Father, Son and Holy Spirit by the Catholic Church in the second century."

 

HASTINGS ENCYCLOPEDIA OF RELIGION

Vol 2, Pg 377

“Christian baptism was administered using the words “In the name of Jesus”.”

Vol 2, Pg 378

“The use of a Trinitarian formula of any sort was not suggested in early Church history.”

Vol 2, Pg 389

“Baptism was always in the name of Lord Jesus until the time of Justin Martyr when Triune formula was used.” 

HASTINGS ENCYCLOPEDIA OF RELIGION

Vol 2, Pg 377 on ACTS 2:38

“NAME was an ancient synonym for “person”. Payment was always made in the name of some person referring ownership. Therefore one being baptized in Jesus Name became his personal property. “Ye are Christ’s.”” 

 

ENCYCLOPEDIA OF RELIGION AND ETHICS, (1951), II, 384, 389

“The formula used was ‘in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ’ or some synonymous phrase; there is no evidence for the use of the trine name… The earliest form, represented in the Acts, was simple immersion….in water, the use of the name of the Lord, and the laying on of hands. To these were addedm at various times and places which cannot be safely identified, (a) the trine name (Justin)….”

 

INTERPRETERS DICTIONARY OF THE BIBLE, (1962) I, 351

“The evidence … suggests that baptism in early Christianity was administered, not in the threefold name, but ‘in the name of the Lord Jesus’.”

 

A HISTORY OF CHRISTIAN THOUGHT (Otto Heick), (1965), I, 53

“At first baptism was administered in the name of Jesus, but gradually in the name of the Triune God: Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.”

 

HASTINGS DICTIONARY OF THE BIBLE, (1898), I, 241

“[One explanation is that] the original form of words was ‘into the name of Jesus Christ’. Baptism into the name of the Trinity was a later development.”

 

A HISTORY OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH, Williston Walker, (1947), Pg 58

“The Trinitarian baptismal formula … was displacing the older baptism in the name of Christ.”

 

THE NEW SCHAFF-HERZOG ENCYCLOPEDIA OF RELIGIOUS KNOWLEDGE

(1957), I, 435

“The New Testament knows only baptism in the name of Jesus …, which still occurs even in the second and third centuries.”

  

CANNEY’S ENCYCLOPEDIA OF RELIGIONS, (1970), Pg 53

“Persons were baptized at first ‘in the name of Jesus Christ’ … or ‘in the name of the Lord Jesus.’… Afterwards, with the development of the doctrine of the Trinity, they were baptized ‘in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.”

 

ENCYCLOPEDIA BIBLICA, (1899), I, 473

“It is natural to conclude that baptism was administered in the earliest times ‘in the name of Jesus Christ,’ or in that ‘of the Lord Jesus.’ This view is confirmed by the fact that the earliest forms of the baptismal confession appear to have been single – not triple, as was the later creed.”

 

ENCYCLOPEDIA BRITANNICA, 11TH edition, (1910), Vol 2, Pg 365

“The Trinitarian formula and trine immersion were not uniformly used from the beginning… Bapti[sm] into the name of the Lord [was] the normal formula of the new Testament. In the 3rd century baptism in the name of Christ was still so wide spread that Pope Stephen, in opposition to Cyprian of Carthage, declared it to be valid.”


What About Matthew 28:19 ?


“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, 

baptizing them in the name of 

the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost”


 

On Matthew 28:19

 

"The mistake of so many writers on the New Testament lies in treating this saying as a liturgical formula (which it later became), and not as a description of what baptism accomplished."

-Dr. Boora, Yale Divinity School

Ref: Apostolic (Acts 2:38) and Post- Apostolic (Matthew 28:19) Baptism, Vol. 1

 

"Baptism was in fact performed in New Testament times, as far as our records go, in the name of Jesus, which is surprising if Jesus had laid down an explicit trinitarian formula before his ascension. An explanation for this may be found in the argument that these words, (Matt 28:19), which later came to be used as a liturgical formula, were not originally so intended and used."

-Dr. R.F. France, Oxford University, 

Ref: The Gospel of Matthew

 

"Traces of an older formula, preceding the one under discussion [Matthew 28:19], are found.... This older form of the baptismal formula must have been something like 'baptizing in the name of (the Lord) Jesus."

-Dr. L.J. Lietaert Peerbolte, VU University of Amsterdam, Yale Divinity School

 


Is Matt 28:19 Legit the Way We Have It ?

 

After examination of the facts, I happen to have the opinion that Matt 28:19 is legitimate the way we have it currently.

 

However, here is what the vast majority of Trinitarian Theologians say about 

Matt 28:19,

 

"Jesus, however, cannot have given his disciples this trinitarian order of baptism after His resurrection....the formal authenticity of Matthew 28:19 must be disputed...."

-Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, pg435

 

" Matthew 28:19 in particular only canonizes a later ecclesiastical situation, that it's universalism is contrary to the facts of early Christian history, and it's trinitarian formula is foreign to the mouth of Jesus"

-International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, vol4, pg2637

 

" modern critics claim this formula is falsely ascribed to Jesus and that it represents later (Catholic) Church tradition, for nowhere in the book of Acts is baptism performed in the name of the trinity...."

-New Revised Standard Version

 

" all but the most conservative Scholars agree that at least the later part of this command was inserted later.... thus it is argued that the verse originally read 'baptizing them in My name' and then was expanded to work in the Dogma..."

-Dr. Tom Harper, "For Christ's Sake", pg103

 

" the command to be baptized into the three fold name is a late doctrinal expansion.... Instead of the words baptizing them in the name of the father and of the son and of the Holy Ghost we should probably read simply 'into My name'."

-Dr. Peake, The Bible Commentary, pg 723

 

" it is often affirmed that the words 'in the name of the father and of the son and of the Holy Ghost' are NOT the ipsissima verba [exact words] of Jesus but a later liturgical addition."

-Tyndale New Testament Commentaries, vol1, pg275

 

Father=common noun

Son=common noun

Holy=adjective modifying Ghost

Ghost=common noun

JESUS=PROPER NOUN

 

The proper name JESUS is what is described by The Master in Matthew 28:19.

 

The Singular Name of Yeshua, (Jesus).

 

 

V.

Obeying The Resurrection, The Holy Spirit:

 

1) 

Holy Spirit is Resurrection Power, Rom 8:11

 

A)

-Romans 8:11

"But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you."

 

2) 

Must Recieve Holy Spirit, John 3:5, Rom 8:9,:

 

A)

-John 3:5

"Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God."

 

B)

-Romans 8:9

"But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his."

 

3) 

Confirm Receipt "Because they heard them":

 

A)

-Acts 10:42-48

 

B)

-Acts 10:46

"Because they heard them speak in tongues"

 

C)

-Acts 10:47

"....these....have received the Holy Ghost the same as we did"

 

4) 

Tongues initial evidence of Spirit baptism:

 

A) 

Crowd Question: 

What do the tongues mean?

Peter Answer:

Tongues are The Holy Ghost like Joel said.

 

B)

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.

 12  And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?

 16  But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;

 17  And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh:...

 


Does one have to 'speak in tongues' to take part in Christian salvation?

 

Introduction

 

Tongues is often referred to by the term glossolalia which is derived from a 19th century combination of the Greek words glossa (language) and lalia (speech). Some modern translations render the KJV phrase “speak with other tongues” as “speak in foreign tongues” (Moffat), “speak in foreign languages” (Goodspeed), and “speak in different languages” (Phillips). Tongues “is a phenomenon of intense religious experience expressing itself in ecstatic speech” (Jansen). The phenomenon “is found in several religions” (Jansen), “including some of the ancient Greek religions” (Britannica), but for purposes of this work’s directive we will concentrate on the activity as expressed in Christian Theology, especially since both the authenticity and application of tongues among non-Christian peoples are called into question by Christian principle.   

 

The Student Bible Dictionary partly defines this phenomenon, “Speaking in tongues may refer to a foreign language or a unique utterance understood only by God or with His help”. The Apostle Paul seems to include within these parameters the “tongues of Angels” in 

1 Corinthians 13:1.

 

Some scholars identify a subcategory to the practice, as indicated above, which they call “unknown tongues”, terminology which is sourced from 1 Corinthians chapter 14 but is more likely only a reference to indicate that there is no one immediately available to interpret the incidental occurrence, either through intimate knowledge of the language being spoken or through the spiritual gift of supernatural interpretation defined by Paul in 1 Corinthians chapters 12 and 14.  

 

The directive of this work can be simply expressed at its core by exploring the following question: “Does one have to speak in tongues to take part in Christian salvation?”.

 

Going forward, we shall endeavor to mitigate the implications of this question due to scholars making the certain point that tongues does not in itself save from judgment. However, we shall show that the Bible does more than imply that tongues is a necessary part of a Christian life and does indeed identify tongues as the initial evidence of the baptism of The Holy Spirit.

 

 

Tongues Through History

 

In the 20th century modern occurrences of tongues have been classified as illegitimate by many Christian groups, most notably by the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) which is the largest Baptist group in the United States. During that time the SBC contended that legitimate instances of glossolalia were confined to the time period of the Apostles, a position associated with the doctrine of cessationism which holds, in part, that tongues have ceased.  

 

According to a May 15th, 2015 article published by Charisma News, the SBC, in 2005, instituted guidelines disqualifying candidates from missionary service who spoke in tongues. At a meeting of SBC’s International Mission Board which took place on May 13th, 2015 the policy was reversed and those which spoke in tongues were no longer immediately disqualified from mission work. This change in policy may be due to events observed by Professor of Church History Bill Leonard of Wake Forest Divinity School, “In so many parts of the world, these charismatic experiences are normative….Religious groups that oppose them get left behind evangelistically”, (https://www.charismanews.com/us/49661-southern-baptists-change-policy-on-speaking-in-tongues).

 

Though the SBC had not officially changed their stance on tongues being confined to the Apostolic Age, the 2015 change in policy by their International Mission Board which allowed tongue speakers into their mission fields heavily infers that they may understand their official stance on tongues to be a mistake. The Encyclopedia Britannica enlightens us as to the depth of this mistake by stating, “Post Apostolic instances of glossolalia have been recorded throughout the history of the Christian Church.”. 

 

Dr. David Bernard records in his work The New Birth  that “Celsus, a pagan, wrote near the end of the second century that Christians in his day spoke in tongues”. Reader’s Digest’s Mysteries of the Bible provides that “Early Church authors refer to the continuation of the phenomenon of tongues until the end of the second century. After that time the experience of ecstatic speech was sporadic until the beginning of the 20th century when the Pentecostal and charismatic movement began to grow in America and elsewhere. In the movement’s many forms and denominations, it has grown to become one of the largest religious movements in the world.”. 

 

A book titled Tongues the Answer to the Debate speaks of Church Historians admitting that “credible reports of tongues and other miraculous gifts continued on into the second, third and fourth centuries” and goes on to provide that many modern tongue speakers possess earned doctorates, and hold high positions of leadership in seminaries and churches, to that list I would like to add the holding of high positions in domestic and international governments. This book numbers modern tongue speakers around 100 million, while some estimates extend that figure closer to 200 million and beyond. 

 

In the book Azusa Street by early 20th century Pentecostal Preacher Frank Bartleman, the author says that “The early Church ran well for a season….But by the third or fourth century they had compromised….They lost the Holy Spirit anointing”. Bartleman goes on to describe how modern professing Christianity must “return to the spirit of the early church in the book of Acts”. It is this returning to the book of Acts perspective on tongues that tongue speakers have sought to advocate for throughout the centuries and it is this perspective which critics of tongues have chosen to reject. 

 

The question is not whether tongues have been present in professing Christianity throughout the centuries, we have found herein that scholarship has established tongues having continued on, in some capacity, from the Apostolic Age until now, the question is whether or not a critic of tongues is comfortable in retaining the assertion that tongues ceased with the Apostles even though that position does not stand the test of historical-critical scholarship. Are those advocating for the cessation of tongues willing to forego and ignore the abundance of scholarship to the contrary and remain far outside the academic consensus on tongues being present from the 1st century until now? Or, are critics of tongues ready to capitulate and rectify their mistake by changing their position?

 

 

Holy Spirit Baptism Is Necessary For Salvation

 

In 1982 Assemblies of God Minister Jimmy Swaggart published a book titled, The Error of the Jesus Only Doctrine. In the book, Swaggart, a Trinitarian Pentecostal, declares that the Holy Spirit is not necessary for salvation. Oneness Pentecostal response to Swaggart’s book came in 1986 in the form of a book titled The Truth of the Oneness Doctrine, written by Oneness Theologian D.R. Vestal; PhD. Vestal, a former Assemblies of God Minister, in his response writes, “The reason Swaggart rejects the Holy Ghost as necessary for salvation, is that it goes against his personal theology….The Assembly of God church I was a part of years ago, certainly believed the Holy Ghost was necessary for salvation. They sure have made a drastic change, or Swaggart has changed”.

 

In comparing these two books we can see that during the early 1980’s the largest Pentecostal organization in the world had ministers which were deviating from the earlier organization’s structure on the subject of necessity of Holy Spirit baptism. Certainly if members of this large Pentecostal organization could find cause as to why baptism in the Holy Spirit is not necessary for salvation, we should undertake an acute investigation to determine if the evidence leads in that direction.    

 

The Bible teaches that Holy Ghost baptism is the only way to overcome sin in a believer’s life and a requirement to be considered a worshipper of The One Hebrew God. “I will put a new spirit within you…. That they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God” (Ezekiel 11:19, 20).

 

The Bible teaches that the baptism of the Holy Spirit is a prerequisite for entry into the Kingdom of God. “Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” (John 3:5).

 

The Bible teaches that Holy Spirit baptism is the sign of a true believer, “He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. But this spake he of the Spirit” (John 7:38, 39).

 

The Bible teaches that if a person does not have the Holy Spirit then that person does not have any part among the redeemed, “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” (Romans 8:9)

 

Commenting on Romans 8:9, John Wesley writes, “In the Spirit - Under his government. If any man have not the Spirit of Christ - Dwelling and governing in him. He is none of his - He is not a member of Christ; not a Christian; not in a state of salvation. A plain, express declaration, which admits of no exception. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear!”

 

This 2nd century Monarchian Bishop of Lyons declares the Holy Spirit baptism to be necessary for salvation, “So now let us, receiving the Spirit, walk in newness of life, obeying God. Inasmuch, therefore, as without the Spirit of God we cannot be saved” (Irenaeus).

 

The Bible teaches that believers are sanctified by the Holy Spirit, “But ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God” (I Corinthians 6:11), and that the baptism of the Holy Spirit allows a believer to be brought into the body of Christ, “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body” (I Corinthians 12:13).

 

“Thy Holy Spirit come upon us and cleanse us” says Gregory of Nyssa. Jesus commanded His disciples in John 20:22 to, “Receive ye the Holy Ghost”. It is apparent from studying Biblical and extra-Biblical evidence that receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit is unarguably essential for participating in the new birth experience of salvation provided by Christ to believers. Since we know that tongues have not ceased and are attested to by sources throughout history and that baptism of the Holy Spirit is a necessary part of new testament salvifics, we must now move on to answering our question in order to meet our directive as set forth herein. Does one have to speak in tongues to take part in Christian salvation? I submit that the answer to that question can only be ‘yes’ if we can show that tongues are the initial evidence of Holy Spirit baptism.

 

 

Tongues Are the Initial Evidence of Holy Spirit Baptism

 

Some scholars argue that there are very few passages in the book of Acts that mention tongues in records of Christian conversions and for this reason we may discount tongues as the initial evidence of Spirit baptism. My answer to this assertion provides that it was common knowledge in the Apostolic Age that tongues accompany Holy Spirit baptism and as such there was no need for the writer of Acts to overemphasize the fact, sometimes tongues was recorded as part of the event and sometimes not. An example of this answer can be shown in the book of Acts recording of Peter giving his account of Spirit baptism during conversion of the Gentiles in Acts 11:15 not having mention of tongues accompanying Holy Spirit baptism but only stating, “the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning”, while Luke’s recording of the events in chapter 10 mentions that those with Peter understood that the Gentiles had received the gift of the Holy Spirit, “because they heard them speaking in foreign languages” (Acts 10:46 ISV).


Some scholars argue that tongues is limited to only one application, to that of spiritual gifts as mentioned by Paul in 1 Corinthians 14 and that particular gift of tongues can also be utilized as a personal prayer language. Paul is not speaking of evidential tongues in 1st Corinthians 14, instead in this passage Paul was speaking of the gift of tongues that is to be used in tandem with the gift of interpretation. Hence, the subject in the passage is not evidential tongues but tongues as applied to the gifts of The Spirit. Moreover, the passage is addressed to those that have already received The Holy Spirit and these do not need instruction on evidential tongues, so the case against evidential tongues using this passage plainly does not begin with a solid Hermeneutic.

 

Some scholars contend that because Paul teaches that not all believers will speak in tongues in 1 Corinthians, then we should not expect that all who receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit will speak in tongues either. But we have already seen evidential tongues is not the subject of the passage and I would point out that the Bible says that all who were in the upper room and all who were in the household of Cornelius spoke with tongues when they received the Holy Spirit. If tongues is limited to the application set forth in the spiritual gifts by Paul, and not every believer will be partaker of that particular gift, what are the odds that every believer in the upper room and in Cornelius’ home would speak in tongues when being baptized with the Holy Spirit? Furthermore, Paul clarifies for us that all those in the Corinthian Church had already spoken in tongues in some capacity, “I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all”  (1 Corinthians 14:18).

 

I put forth that these confusions are produced from a misunderstanding of the subject of tongues in general and the many applications undertaken of the phenomenon in the Bible. The Bible teaches three applications of tongues in the Church:

1) Evidential

2) Spiritual gift to be used in tandem with the gift of Interpretation of tongues

3) Personal edification in prayer 

 

Evidential tongues is taught in Acts 2 where the Bible says that “they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance”.  When the people asked "what does this mean" in reference to the tongues they had just witnessed, Peter's direct response to the question was to quote Joel 2 where it says that "in the last days I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh", in fact explicitly linking tongues to Holy Spirit baptism. Hence, tongues is the sign to look for when “all” flesh receives The Holy Ghost. “Peter stepped forward and announced to all of them that this exuberance (tongues) was none other than the fulfillment of a prophecy by Joel that God would send the Holy Spirit upon “all flesh”.” (Mysteries of the Bible). 

 

Additionally, evidential tongues is taught in Acts 10 when those that were with Peter knew that the household of Cornelius had received the Holy Spirit "because they heard them speaking in foreign languages" (Acts 10:46 ISV). And Peter, having spoken in tongues when receiving the Holy Spirit with all those gathered in the upper room in Acts 2, also heard every person in Cornelius's house "speaking in foreign languages" remarked that these “have received The Holy Spirit in the same way that we did" (Acts 10:47 ISV).

“The disciples were baptized with the Holy Spirit….This was obvious to everyone…. because they spoke in other languages” (The Lion Encyclopedia of the Bible)

 

Therefore, according to Hermeneutical Science, the Exegete must conclude that when a convert receives The Holy Spirit, they will speak in tongues. “Luke tells how the experience (tongues) of the Spirit came to be a distinctive mark of Christian identity” (Mysteries of the Bible).


We have found that the Bible explicitly teaches evidentiary tongues accompanying Holy Spirit baptism as a prerequisite for entry into the Christian Church. “According to the Acts of the Apostles, entry into the new religious community was originally marked by a charismatic (tongues) event, the reception of The Holy Spirit” (Vermes). Hereafter, we will attempt to find evidence of doctrinal continuity, concerning evidential tongues, carried over into post-Apostolic eras.   

 

Augustine of Hippo, a 4th century Bishop in the Trinitarian movement, wrote that tongues were on decline during his day but in former days the Trinitarians would see it occur and they saw the event as the initial evidence of Spirit baptism, "...by the laying on of hands,... as He was given in former days,....those on whom hands are laid that they may receive The Holy Spirit should instantly begin to speak with tongues" (Augustine).

 

Chrysostom of Constantinople, another 4th century Trinitarian Bishop, wrote that it was common knowledge among professing Christians that tongues evidenced Holy Spirit baptism, "They...began to speak, one in the tongue of the Persians, another in that of the Romans, another in that of the Indians, or in some other language. And this disclosed to outsiders that it was The Spirit in the speaker." (Chrysostom)

 

The 2nd century Modalistic Monarchian Bishop Irenaeus of Lyons connects tongues with receiving the Holy Spirit, "The perfect man consists in the commingling and the union of the soul receiving the Spirit of The Father....For this reason does the Apostle declare, "We speak wisdom among them that are perfect", terming those persons "perfect" who have received the Spirit of God, and who, through the Spirit of God, do speak in all languages” (Irenaeus).

 

 

Conclusion

 

In this work we have shown that tongues is a real phenomenon available to Christian believers throughout the centuries and is so available for believers today. We have shown that the baptism of the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential for participating in Christian salvation and for living a Christian life. We have shown that tongues was believed by Biblical Christians and those coming after them to be the initial evidence of Holy Spirit baptism. We have addressed many misconceptions about the subject of tongues and have corrected many diversions from a proper understanding of the phenomenon. Though there are many other facets of the conversation which were not covered in this work, I believe we have met the challenge of producing an answer to our question: “Does one have to speak in tongues to take part in Christian salvation?”. Since we know that tongues is available today and that one must receive the Holy Spirit in order to be saved, and since tongues is the initial evidence of receiving the Holy Spirit, we must conclude that one cannot be saved without speaking in tongues as the Spirit gives the utterance. 


VI.

Three Steps to Obeying the Gospel:

 

1) 

Three (3) Things MUST agree in ONE:

 

A) 

-1st John 5:8

"And there are three that bear witness in earth, the spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one."

 

B)

1. Blood, 2. Water, 3. Spirit

1. Death, 2. Burial, 3. Resurrection

1. Repentence, 2. Water Baptism, 3. Holy Spirit

 

2) 

How to, Respond to/Obey the Gospel:

 

A)

-Acts 2:38

"Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost."


To find a Church near you who teaches these truths, please find the following link:

http://www.apostolicchristianfaith.com/copy-of-apostolic-churches


"And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;"

-Heb 5:9


mark august; MDiv

writing for

Academy of Christian

Theological Studies

A.C.T.S. Think-Tank

acts2216.org

"Bridging the Gap Between

Oneness and Trinitarianism"

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