The Bible is the inspired Word of God (2 Timothy 3:16-17), giving a true history of the creation of heaven, earth, and humanity and containing a correct prophecy of the ages to come regarding, heaven, earth, and the destiny of humanity. Moreover, there is no salvation outside of what is taught in its pages.
There is only one God (Deuteronomy 6:4; Mark 12:29). He is the Creator of heaven and earth, and of all living beings. He has revealed Himself to humanity as the Father (Creator), in the Son (Savior), and as the Holy Ghost (indwelling Spirit).
God is a Spirit (John 4:24). He is the Eternal One, the Creator of all things, and the Father of all humanity by creation. He is the First and the Last, and beside Him there is no God (Isaiah 44:6). There was no God formed before Him; neither shall there be after Him (Isaiah 43:10).
Jesus is the Son of God according to the flesh (Romans 1:3) and the very God Himself according to the Spirit (John 8:58). Jesus is the Christ (Matthew 16:16); the Creator of all things (Colossians 1:16-17); God with us (Matthew 1:23); God made flesh (John 1:1-14); God manifested in the flesh (1 Timothy 3:16); He which was, which is, and which is to come, the Almighty (Revelation 1:8); the mighty God, everlasting Father, and Prince of peace (Isaiah 9:6); and in Him dwelt the fullness of the Godhead bodily (Colossians 2:9). Jesus Himself testified of His identity as God when He said, “He that hath seen me hath seen the Father” (John 14:7-11) and “I and my Father are one” (John 10:30).
It took shedding of blood for the remission of the sins of the world (Hebrews 9:22), but God the Father was a Spirit and had no blood to shed. Thus, He prepared a body of flesh and blood (Hebrews 10:5) and came to earth as a man in order to save us, for in Isaiah 43:11 He said, “Beside me there is no Saviour.” When He came in flesh the angels sang, “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11).
The Holy Ghost is not a third person in the Godhead, but rather the Spirit of God (the Creator), the Spirit of the resurrected Christ. The Holy Ghost comes to dwell in the hearts and lives of everyone who obeys God’s plan of salvation (Acts 2:38), as the Comforter, Sustainer, and Keeper (John 14:16-26; Romans 8:9-11).
Salvation consists of deliverance from all sin and unrighteousness through the blood of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:18-19). The New Testament plan of salvation consists of repentance from sin, water baptism in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and the baptism of the Holy Ghost, after which the Christian is to live a godly life (Acts 2:36-41). Jesus is the only name given for our salvation. “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
Water baptism is an essential part of the New Testament salvation and not merely a symbolic ritual. It is part of entering into the kingdom of God, and therefore, it is not merely a part of local church membership (John 3:5; Galatians 3:27). Water baptism is to be administered only by immersion; Jesus came up “out of the water” (Mark 1:10), and Philip and the eunuch went down “into the water” and came up “out of the water” (Acts 8:38-39).
Paul said, “We are buried with him [Jesus Christ] by baptism” (Romans 6:4; Colossians 2:12). Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrections are applied to our lives when we experience New Testament salvation: “Repent [death to sin], and be baptized [burial] every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost [resurrection]” (Acts 2:38).
Baptism of the Holy Ghost
The baptism of the Holy Ghost is the birth of the Spirit and is necessary to put someone into the kingdom of God (John 3:5). It was prophesied by Joel (Joel 2:28-29) and Isaiah (Isaiah 28:11), and foretold by John the Baptist (Matthew 3:11). The Holy Ghost was first poured out on the Day of Pentecost upon the Jews (Acts 2:1-4), then upon the Samaritans (Acts 8:17), and later upon the Gentiles (Acts 10:44-46; 19:6).
Speaking in tongues refers to speaking miraculously in a language unknown to the speaker, as the Spirit gives utterance; it is the manifestation that God has given as the definite, indisputable, supernatural witness or sign of the baptism of the Holy Ghost (Acts 2:4; 10:46; 19:6). Tongues can be classified in two ways, according to function: (1) speaking in other tongues as the initial evidence of the baptism of the Holy Ghost and (2) the gift of tongues as mentioned in 1 Corinthians.
In church meetings the gift of tongues is used to give a public message, and it is to be interpreted. Since this gift can be misused in public, it needs proper regulation (1 Corinthians 14:23-28). Not all believers exercise the gift of tongues, which is different in function from tongues given by God as the initial witness of the baptism of the Holy Ghost. Paul said, “Forbid not to speak with tongues” (1 Corinthians 14:39) and “I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all” (1 Corinthians 14:18).