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Is speaking in tongues part of salvation?

Submitted: 4/30/2014
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Question: I respectfully disagree that speaking in tongues is a part of salvation. However, I do agree that one must have the Holy Spirit indwelling them in order to have been born again or regenerated. In Acts 8 when Phillip evangelized Samaria after Stephen was martyred, he proclaimed Christ to the Samaritans and they believed and were baptized. These people were saved, and it was God's Spirit that made that possible. Now Phillip sent for the Apostles who came and prayed for them to receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, because none had yet. Of course we can infer that what Simon, the former sorcerer coveted included the ability to lay his hands on people that they might receive the Holy Spirit - and then speak in tongues- because in every case where the Holy Spirit comes upon or baptizes new believers they speak in tongues and or prophecy. It is correct that the only biblical initial evidence for the Baptism in the Holy Spirit is the ability to speak in tongues, this does not mean that speaking in tongues is part of salvation. It is a second act of grace, separate from salvation and water baptism. Unfortunately not sought out by many--though available to anyone who is saved.

Answer: You are certainly free to believe whatever you want. But we stand by our statements previously made: that speaking in tongues as the Spirit gives utterance is the initial sign that a person has received the gift of the Holy Spirit, and that receiving this gift is what it means to be born of the Spirit, and unless a person is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God (John 3:5). Your belief is common among groups such as the Assemblies of God, where only about 5% of their members speak in tongues. At our assembly, everyone has had this experience. Why? Because we preach that it is part of the New Birth. As the saying goes, you get what you preach. When people believe they must receive the gift of the Spirit, they do.