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I am exploring some of the denominations of Christianity and I have a few questions.

Now, this is my opinion, but I have decided to stick with the King James Version just because it is the closest to the original and because some verses in the other versions are slightly altered. I attended a Apostolic Pentecostal church last Sunday and they believe that salvation is earned through spirit and water (Mark 16:16, John 3:5, Acts 2:38) and also repentance. I was always told that salvation is obtained through believing in Jesus Christ and asking for salvation. After reading those verses, I now believe baptism is in the process. They also believe that proof of the Holy Ghost is speaking in tongues. I have mixed feelings on that because I have been told that speaking in tongues is ONE of the gifts of the Holy Ghost (as is wisdom, mercy, discernment, etc), but they believe that speaking in tongues is evidence and they only evidence of the Holy Ghost.

1. What are your thoughts on tongues?
2. Which denominations use the KJ version and also believe that salvation is earned through water and spirit (other then Pentecostal)? I know Baptists use the KJ, but not sure about their views on salvation. I would like to attend a church who uses the KJ and believes in salvation through spirit and water because of the above verses.
3. Do you believe salvation can be lost? I think that I do and I know Pentecostals do as well.

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One of the ladies in church asked me about speaking in tongues and when I said that I had never done it, she launched into a spiel about not having been baptised by the holy spirit and not being saved. Sufficed to say, she was told where to go. It is one gift among many

Baptists use all forms of the word as well as Pentecostals. I cannot tell you a specific denomination that only uses the KJV except maybe a FreeWill Baptist. They are more tight on things like women wearing dresses & things like this. The advice I would give is you need to pray for the Lord's leading to the church He desires you to go. He is not of any denomination as we are the church. The separation comes in the interpretation of the Scriptures but the foundation is usually Christ or should be. Salvation comes through believing in the Son & repentance. The other things may or may not happen as far as speaking in tongues, etc. Short answer I know. Sorry about that.

Thank you all!

1.  What are your thoughts on tongues?

 

Tongues are one gift of many.  The greatest gift is Love...  all others will be done away with. 1 Corinthians 13.

 

2. Which denominations use the KJ version and also believe that salvation is earned through water and spirit (other then Pentecostal)? I know Baptists use the KJ, but not sure about their views on salvation. I would like to attend a church who uses the KJ and believes in salvation through spirit and water because of the above verses.

I don't know which denominations use the KJV.  It's not my preferred version.  I personally prefer the NASB but use many versions to compare and contrast.  I do this by the recommendation of my Pastor. 

Salvation is received as shown in Romans chapter 10:9,10. 

that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.

 

Baptism does not save us, it is simply an outward expression of an internal change which has occurred.  I believe that a believer should be baptised, but it is not required for salvation. (Luke 23:43---the thief was not able to be baptised)

 

 3. Do you believe salvation can be lost? I think that I do and I know Pentecostals do as well

No... I don't believe that God would give us the gift of salvation and then take it away..  To suggest He does suggests a character flaw in Him, and also that we somehow have to perform to keep on impressing Him so that we are 'good enough' to receive salvation.  This is not so.  We know we will never be good enough..  That is the entire central importance and message of the gospel.  We're sinful and fallen and we need a Saviour.. Jesus is Messiah.. Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.

 

Blessings, Carla

Kayla,

Regarding your exploration of churches, during my own search, I posted a discussion and many of the replies I received in it were helpful. Perhaps they will help you, too. Here's the link:
http://www.allaboutgod.net/forum/topics/should-every-christian-join...

Regarding only using the KJV, I ask why place that limit upon yourself in your search for knowledge and understanding? We have many other good translations and versions available and many wonderful tools to help us on our journey to seek truth.

Also, the best advice I was given as I searched for a home church was not to make an impulsive decision but seek the Spirit's leading and when I found one place wasn't a good fit, not to give up, but keep looking. I joined a new home church back in the summer of this year. It was a place where I was reminded upon the first visit there of this little verse of prose: Out of the dreariness, into the cheeriness, come we in weariness -- home.

The spirit of love and acceptance was all around. Still is, although I am struggling with attending and participating. When I do go, it's always a great blessing.

Regarding only using the KJV, I ask why place that limit upon yourself in your search for knowledge and understanding? We have many other good translations and versions available and many wonderful tools to help us on our journey to seek truth. - Amen

Kayla,

At the heart of the denomination issue is why do so many exist, why do any exist? There are numerous reasons, and I am sure many reasons that I am not aware of. Yet, there are some basics to consider and these will help in making a decision ... I hope.

 

Why does the denomination exist?:

1) Some have broken off from others over doctrine. This seems like a horrible event, and at times it is. The question is what changed that led to this breakoff? We have some denominations who have or are leaning toward ordaining active homosexuals. If one belonged to a denomination and they personally stand against this because they see it as a core biblical issue and if they have failed to stop the change they, because of conviction, may be forced to leave. In such cases it usually is a large group spread throughout many affiliated churches. Thus, rather than simply integrate into other churches they reestablish themselves as a new organization holding to their core values. Now, one of them is wrong regarding the Bible, but will leave that issue to another discussion. The reverse may be true as well. There may be a large group within a denomination who push for change and fail to accomplish that change. Often, they will pull out and start their own group. These breakoffs can be caused by a variety of issues, both biblical and non-biblical. Another couple of reasons for separation are tongues and how one views the Bible itself, Word of God or word about God. Again, there are some good reasons and some bad reasons for these splits.

2) Some groups have been started with a specific mission for God in mind. For example there are denominations who primarily exist to support the taking of the gospel to the whole world through missionaries of various types.

3)  Some denominations have been started over what is perceived preferences. Some of these are style of music, version of the Bible, primary purpose that the church exists and what it is viewed as its calling to accomplish.

 

My encouragement to you is to ask some questions of the pastor at any church you are interested in checking out. Don't accept short pat answers. Insist on a deeper answer and if one cannot be provided then they probably do not have a real answer to the questions.

1) Why does your church exist?

2) What is your mission and goal?

3) What do you believe about the Bible, Word of God or word about God?

4) What do you teach about salvation and on what verses of Scripture do you base your answer?

5) Tell me what you believe about Jesus.

6) Identify some key preferences that are important to you and ask their view on them.

 

I believe this is a good starting point that can, and should, be expanded on.

 

Lord Bless,

LT

Thank you everyone for your responses. It is helpful. I have emailed a few pastors and I'm going to try a baptist church this weekend. As far a salvation is concerned, all the churches who have emailed me back believe that salvation is earned through faith. The only church I have reached out to who doesn't believe that is the Pentecostal church I attended. The three verses I listed in my original post really tripped me up, for lack of a better word. Paul (or Peter?) said that no one can enter the Kingdom except by spirit and water. But then I've read the other verses that say by faith. 


>>Now, this is my opinion, but I have decided to stick with the King James Version just because it is the closest to the original and because some verses in the other versions are slightly altered.

The King James Version is among my favorites, but as Classical Hebrew and the common Greek of the time the New Testament was written in, is understood better, as well as older manuscripts found and studied, new version tend to be more faithful in some cases. The King James, The American Standard, The NIV and my favorite, the English Standard Version, the ESV - are faithful versions. 

Do not make any church that believes salvation is earn in any way your home church. I am happy to hear you are exploring, but stay away from any church that believes we can earn salvation. That is far from bible truth. Salvation is a gift. It is by GRace and Grace alone.

The fact that you read those verses and now believe that salvation envelops water baptism tells me that you are not really ready for much denominational exploring. You are not a mature christian who can discern truth from error and there are experts at distortion out there. Sometimes people distort the truth maliciously, like a Benny Hinn, and others have been deceived themselves and deceive others with the lies they have been taught. I would suggest you get in the word and ask God to help you understand it. Stay away from churches where money is a big topic. Where they spend more time asking for money than praying. Stay away from churches that want to be so hip and appealing to EVERyone, that they have done away with the cross etc...  It is difficult to find healthy churches, but not impossible. There are many faithful Churches. There is a tremendous revival going on in the world with the truth, but there is also a lot of deception going on.

>>... but they believe that speaking in tongues is evidence and they only evidence of the Holy Ghost.

That is a not scriptural. Speaking in tongues is not the only evidence of being indwelt by the Holy Spirit.


1. What are your thoughts on tongues?

tongues is one of many gifts and he easiest to fake, counterfeit so its the most widely counterfeited.


>>I would like to attend a church who uses the KJ and believes in salvation through spirit and water because of the above verses.

Those verses are taken out of context to explain that water baptism is part of salvation. The Holy Spirit has to baptize you into the body of believers and does at the time of regenerating you, but that is not water baptism. Water baptism is a beautiful symbol which we should all be obedient to perform, but not for salvation purposes.

>>I think that I do and I know Pentecostals do as well.

Absolutely not. YOU CAN'T LOSE WHAT YOU DIDN'T GAIN THROUGH YOUR OWN EFFORT. God saves and he doesn't play with his decisions.

Blessings to you.

Hi Kayla,

I wanted to discuss the idea that you have to add to the work of Christ, that is you need a water baptism, to be saved.  The first test against any false doctrine is to ask "is someone telling me I need Christ + something to be saved?"  If the answer is yes, there is a problem.  We must come to terms with the fact that there is no way we  can earn salvation.  It is a free gift of God so that none of us can boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)  Lets take a quick peek at the verses you mentioned:

Mark 16:16 - The concept of belief and baptism are placed together here, however this is the baptism that comes with a saving faith in Christ, that is Baptism of the Holy Spirit.  As John the Baptist stated "I baptize you with water, there is one more powerful than I who will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire" (Mathew 3:11)  Water baptism is an outwards symbol of that which has taken place in the heart.  Water Baptism is definitely something that should be done as an act of obedience out of love & gratitude for our Savior, but it is not a requirement of salvation.

John 3:5 - Here we have Nicodemus coming to Jesus by night.  Jesus, surprised at how little Nicodemus knows about the things of God, tells him that he must be born again.  Nicodemus answers "How can someone be born when they are old?  Surely they cannot enter a second time their mother's womb?"  Jesus responds "No one can enter the Kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit"  He continues "Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit to spirit.  Here being born of water is not water baptism, it is being born in the flesh from our mother's womb.  We are alive physically, but are dead spiritually.  Only the second birth, that is the work done by the Spirit upon believing in the atonement sacrifice of Christ, can give life to the Spirit.  Once again it is the Lord that does the work in making us alive, not us.

Acts2:38 - This appears sticky on the surface, however, upon closer inspection it isn't.  This is Peter's great semon after receiving the Holy Spirit.  The whole chapter, Peter speaks of how the Jews put Christ to death, how they are responsible for that course of action!  He declares to them that They killed their Messaiah, they had him crucified publically.  Now he turns to them and says as you made a public declaration against your Messaiah, Repent of it and make a public declaration of your repentence through water baptism!  I'm not singling out the Jews here, you see before we were saved, we all had a part in Christ's crucifiction, we all were enemies of God.  That's why it is so important for us to confess Christ before mankind, both verbally as well as through our actions (how we live our lives and through water baptism.)  Nevertheless, the gift is the work that happens upon receiving the Holy Spirit that is the quickening of our Spirit!  This takes place upon saving faith not water baptism.  I hope this helps, and God Bless!

Thank you for elaborating. This has helped me tremendously. I definitely don't know a lot about Christianity, but I'm trying to learn. A lot of the verses in the Bible can be interpreted in many different ways and as someone who isn't a "mature" Christian, it can feel like a tug of war game. I sometimes feel like I'm seeing a lot of contradiction in the Bible, whether that's a reflection of my ignorance or something else.

Kayla, 

I think what's happening to you right now, the questioning, perhaps some doubts, the searching for answers etc. is very normal and quite wonderful!  It is definitely not a reflection of Ignorance!  You see, when you make a decision for Christ, it usually doesn't happen because you've "finally figured it out; that is, becoming a Christian usually isn't a Mr. Spock type experience that results from following a train of logic that leads to the conclusion that Christ is the answer!  It is always the result of a prompting by the Lord that tugs at your heart!  Something happens to you, be it an experience, a loss, a dilemma, a right word at the right time from the right person, that cuts deep into your being, making you feel compelled to say "Yes Jesus, I really do need you!"  The Lord has used many of our failed ideas, decisions, and courses of action to point us to Him, as He loves us and keeps nudging us along into the Kingdom.  However, once you've made that decision with your heart, your mind says "Uhh, What just happened?"  and begins trying to reconcile the mind with the heart.  This is a good thing, it takes time, and questioning.  I'm happy to see you are taking steps to learn and grow in the Lord.  Remember, it is at this stage that Satan begins his work of trying to attack and destroy the new Spiritual life in you.  He places people from your past, present, and future in your path to accuse you of your "weakness, and how you've changed (as if that's a bad thing) how you need a crutch, how you're not your own person etc.)  See these things as what they are, desperate attacks that amount to a whole lot of nothing! for the Lord promises the He will finish that which He started in you! I know I'm rambling, but I'm just trying to encourage you to continue steadfast in your journey;  also, I just want to recommend that you try not to worry too too much about whether or not you have the perfect translation of the Bible, I would start with something that is a bit easier to understand like the NKJV or the NAB or NIV just to get the ball rolling with learning and understanding the root concepts of scripture.  As you grow, you will learn the nuances between the various translations but I don't think they're paramount at this juncture.  Anyways, I hope your day goes well.

 

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