What must I do to be saved? Part 2

Recall from the intro to Part 1, that this writing stemmed from a discussion that took place about proof that one is saved. One of the people believed that you had to speak in tongues if you were saved.

Where does this argument even come from? It has been brought to my attention (because I have never been in a church that espoused this belief) that the basis for tongues = salvation comes from Acts Chapter 2, which tells us about the Day of Pentecost.

What happened on the Day of Pentecost? Essentially, the 120 or so believers, that's important, that were in a room were filled with the Holy Spirit and they “began to speak in other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” Among them were the apostles. These men and women made up the church. Where church = group of believers. The church didn't start at the day of Pentecost. Being filled with the Holy Spirit began that day. Those who confessed that Jesus is the Christ constituted the early church. Jesus refers to the church first in Matt 16:18 stating that upon Peter's confession that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, the church will be built. Jesus makes a second reference to the church in Matt 18:17 when he discusses church discipline. If a church didn't exist, why talk about it as if it does.
These people believed in Christ as the son of God and their redeemer. Again with the thief on the cross next to Jesus. He was promised that he would be in paradise that day. He was saved, yet without being filled with the Holy Ghost.

The other people in attendance on the day of Pentecost were the devout Jews who lived in Jerusalem. They had returned from all over the place. 17 countries are mentioned in Acts 2:9-11. And what did they hear? Did they hear unknown tongues? No. They heard the message in their own language, which is what amazed them (Acts 2:12). When the word "tongues" is used in the New Testament, it is always referring to an actual language(s) unless it's referring to the physical member.
Then in Acts 2:14, Peter starts his sermon. In Aramaic. So everyone in attendance could understand including the mockers from Acts 2:13. At the end of the sermon, 3000 people received Christ and were baptized. Nothing about them speaking in tongues.

I believe the sign of tongues in Acts served a practical purpose. It got the attention of the people who were there. They couldn't deny what happened. I don't think it had anything to do with a proof that they were saved or filled with the Holy Spirit. It's not a card you carry and pull out when someone asks you if you are a Christian. The gift of tongues was given to these people to allow them to minister to the people that they were with at the time. 1 Cor 12:11 tells us that the Holy Spirit distributes the gifts as he wills. Earlier in that chapter, Paul clearly states that there are different gifts, different offices and different effects of the gifts in the given situations. Verse 7 tells us that the gifts are given to benefit the whole body, not the individual. The gift of "unknown"tongues is covered more directly in 1 Cor 14. Basically, that gift is for the individual and does nothing for the church. It's private. In order for me to "prove I'm saved because I have tongues", I have to violate its very use. At the middle of that chapter, Paul downplays the gift of tongues saying he'd rather be able to speak five words that produces learning in others than ten thousand that benefit no one but himself.

For me, this says it all:
1Cor 12:1-31

The More Excellent Way in 1 Cor 12:31 is 1 Cor 13:1-13. No one’s gifts mean anything without love.

The worst thing is that Christians allow themselves to be divided over this. 1 Cor 14:1-40 asks the question of whether everyone has the same function in the body. No, we don't. Everyone has a unique purpose designed by God. And He has gifts for you to fulfill that purpose.

I'm going to close this with Eph 2:1-22. We are saved by Grace through Faith. We are all saved from the same separation from God by the same Jesus. Filled with the same Holy Spirit. We are to love one another and encourage one another to run the race that is set before us (Heb 12:1).  To press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus (Phil 3:14).

If you want to know if someone is a Christian, Jesus gave you a way to know. Recorded in John 13:35, Jesus said, "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another."

Thanks for visiting.

Let me know what you think.

Posted in |
blog comments powered by Disqus