Churches Of Christ/Speaking in tongues


Hi, my church believes that the speaking in tongues is the only evidence that we are baptized by the Holy Spirit, is this true? I really need your answer because it bothers me so much because, I want the truth.Thanks!!!

Hi Nan,

I appreciate you asking me your question. The topic of what is normally referred to as being "baptized by the Holy Spirit" is a topic which many great minds have discussed, studied, and debated since the first century. I am not sure what I present will be what you wanted or expected or if you will disagree with what I present completely. But I have also studied this topic very carefully and even discussed and debated it with many throughout the years. One fact is not to be ignored though...the phrase "baptized by the Holy Spirit" is not in the Bible.

The exact phrase is "baptized with the Holy Spirit"...but what we must always consider is who is speaking and who is being spoken to when we read the Bible. We also need to determine if what is spoken of is something that is to occur at a specific time or perpetually until Christ returns. So I ask you to look at the two verses below but please open your own Bible and read what the entire passage has to say as well.

Acts 1:4,5
4 And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, "which," He said, "you have heard from Me; 5 for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now."

Jesus was speaking obviously. Whom was Jesus speaking to here? In verse 2 we find the answer and Jesus is speaking to the apostles He had chosen. Jesus says they shall be baptized WITH the Holy Spirit...and He says this will occur "not many days from now".

So what is known as baptism of the Holy Spirit or being baptized with the Holy Spirit is that this was something Jesus said to His Apostles and a one time event that was to occur "not many days from now". This happened on the day of Pentecost and it was the Apostles who received it. Let's continue to see what Jesus said to His Apostles.

Acts 1:6-8
6 Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, "Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?" 7 And He said to them, "It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. 8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."

The Apostles were hoping Jesus would restore the kingdom and reign as King in Jerusalem. Jesus basically tells them they are not to know about such things. Then he tells them they will receive power when the Holy Spirit "has come upon you"...and continues to tell them they will be witnesses to Jesus beginning in Jerusalem and eventually to all the earth. We know the Apostles had many miraculous powers given to them and it was through this baptism with the Holy Spirit. They had the ability to speak in tongues. Today many completely misunderstand what speaking in tongues was and believe that there are many today who can speak in tongues even today. But this was not some unknown language the Apostles spoke. Carefully read Acts chapter 2 as well. The crowd was made up of Jews from many nations and all spoke different languages. When the Apostles began to speak to the crowd after they were baptized with the Holy Spirit the crowd listening all heard the Apostles speaking their native language. I want you to look at one specific passage in Acts chapter 2.

Acts 2:6-12
6 And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language. 7 Then they were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another, "Look, are not all these who speak Galileans?
8 And how is it that we hear, each in our own language in which we were born? 9 Parthians and Medes and Elamites, those dwelling in Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia,
10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya adjoining Cyrene, visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, 11 Cretans and Arabsówe hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God." 12 So they were all amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, "Whatever could this mean?"

Do you see that speaking in tongues really was now? If you carefully study the entire New Testament you will also see that the Apostles were able to pass on miraculous abilities by laying their hands on someone.#Acts 8:14-17# But there is no evidence anyone who received powers by the laying on of the Apostles hands were able to give powers to anyone else. The miraculous gifts served a purpose in the first century. The New Testament was not yet complete and the church was in it's beginnings so these powers helped the church to grow and be firmly established before the New Testament was completed to guide them. No speaking in tongues is not evidence that we are currently baptized by the Holy Spirit. In fact, no one today is baptized by the Holy Spirit.

I do hope my response is helpful. I am sure this is not at all what you expected but it is the correct biblical answer and you said you want the truth. If you have more questions resulting from this response please ask follow up questions. I will do my best to help you.

In Christian Love, Joe Norman

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Joe Norman


I can answer questions regarding acceptable worship, organization of the church, or any apsect of the Christian life. I am the son of a preacher and have studied the Bible from cover to cover since I was 12 years old. I am strong in my research skills and do not follow teachings of men. Many will label me as conservative and some might label me as liberal, but I just seek to be biblical. I understand proper exegesis and hermeneutics and apply them. My desire is to share my knowledge of God's Word with others. Please always keep in mind that none of us who are listed as experts here are divinely inspired and therefore it is possible to get incorrect answers from any one of us. Study the Scriptures and decide for yourself if what is taught is true.


I am the 4th generation in my family to be a faithful member of the church of Christ. I was raised by a preacher and have studied the Bible everyday since I was twelve. I am 45 yrs old now. I am not a "scholar", but I am very familiar with the scriptures.

member of the church of Christ, served as a Deacon for a few years at LakeShore church of Christ in Waco, Tx. I currently live in the North Dallas area and am still very active within the church of Christ teaching, leading Bible Studies, and songleading as well. I am also actively involved in online ministry. I hope to open my own webpage eventually.

School of hard knocks

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