On the topics of tongues, salvation, and grace

Many know that I am a staff writer for the website GotQuestions.org, and last week I received a question that I wanted to share as well as the answer that I provided.  This question really spoke to me as a challenge to ensure that God’s truth is given to others who desperately need it.  There seems to be so much division in the church about “how to worship” that we actually forget to actually spend time in worship and fix our eyes on Jesus!  God bless you as you continue to study His Word!  


? is…. why do the assembly of Gods and other pentecostals believe that baptism in the holy spirit is a seperate event from salvation and it is evident by speaking in tongues?? My mother is a member of the assembly of God and says she has spoken in tounges… She is a fine christian, saved by grace, just like me.. why has she and not me?? which makes me ask, they also believe in lost salvation, I am confused… Paul says he spoke in tounges, why do the Baptist insit that those gifts are no longer available to the modern church??? I have read no scripture that implys that.. can you guys help me with those questions?


Thank you for writing to us.  The doctrine’s that different churches practice are all due to the fact that mankind has interpreted God’s Word to mean different things and thus you end up with 500 churches in one city who all practice different things.

The Apostle Paul wrote letters on this very topic to the churches at Ephesus (Ephesians), Galatia (Galatians), and Corinth (Corinthians) to discuss the focus of belief is to be on Christ; and not on our own desires, thoughts, and/or doctrines.  To be saved by grace means just that … Ephesians 2:8-9 is the foundation you stand on and that it is by Christ you are saved, not because of anything you have done.  This is the commonality that must not only bind us together, but be the driving motivation for our churches in worship.

Next, your salvation cannot be lost, period.  John 10:11-18 tells us that we belong to Jesus if we are saved (see Romans 10:9-10) and thus we cannot be “lost”.  When you combine these verses with Hebrews 6:13-20 and Hebrews 10:1-18 it is clear that Jesus died ONCE for your sin for you to be redeemed.  Ask yourself this:  “If a person can lose their salvation, how do they get it back?”  If Jesus’ death on the cross got you saved in the first place – then if you could lose your salvation – how would you get “re-saved”?  Wouldn’t YOU (personally) have to re-crucify Him to pay for your sins again?  It is impossible!!  Jesus died and entered the Heavenly sanctuary ONCE, and ONCE for all sin (see Hebrews 9:24).

Lastly, some (not all) Baptists believe that speaking in tongues is no longer relevant which again, is the differing of interpretations of the Word of God.  If God’s Word is truly alive, and speaking in tongues is clearly outlined in scripture, why would one church believe in it and another not?  This will most likely be a question that we will have answered when we meet face to face with the Lord but one thing must be common:  We (believers) are to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit because it is a gift from God, promised at Pentecost when Jesus ascended into Heaven.

If the Spirit leads you to speak in tongues, then be all means, do so!  Personally, I am Baptist pastor and I believe that tongues are very relevant to the church today (although some in my denomination would disagree with me), provided they are used in the manner declared clearly in 1 Corinthians 12:8-11 and 1 Corinthians 12:28-30.  (You can read more about this specific view from the Southern Baptist Convention here:  http://www.sbc.net/aboutus/faqs.asp#8)

As I interpret the Scripture on this the facts seem clear:  The gift of speaking in tongues is just that, a gift of AND from God alone.  It is important to remember that we do not all possess all gifts (plural), but we all have the same Spirit (singular).  Therefore, if the gift is bestowed on a certain person do NOT be envious, but rejoice for this is a gift from the Lord.

God bless you.  ~ Rev TJ Conwell




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