Must one speak with tongues to be saved?
Jesus in John 3 gives an analogy of the new birth through an example of being “born again” stating clearly and without exception that except a person is born again, according to Jesus, “…he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God” (3:5) or even “see” it (3:3). So what does this essential new birth consist of?
Jesus explains with an earthly illustration: In John 3:8a, He says, “The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof …” What does this illustration point out? Wind in Greek is πνεῦμα – pneuma (the word pneuma can be translated “wind” or “Spirit”). There is a clear word for just “wind” in Greek Άνεμος – anemos. That is purposely not used. This analogy as a “double allusion” is intended by Scripture to refer to the Spirit coming in Acts 2.
Then further, Jesus says the Spirit is accompanied by a sound. Sound in Greek is φωνὴν – phone (the word φωνὴν can be translated “sound” or “voice”). This is where we get our English word phone because when you pick it up you hear a “sound” or “voice.” So Jesus says clearly when the Spirit comes you will hear the “sound” or “what” of the Spirit? The Spirit’s voice. Even other non-Apostolic translators understand this double meaning implied in the Greek translating φωνὴν – phone (sound) as “voice.”
“The wind bloweth where it will, and thou hearest the voice thereof…” ASV Jn. 3:8. “The Spirit where he willeth doth blow, and his voice thou dost hear…” YLT Jn. 3:8. “The wind blows where it will, and thou hearest its voice…” DBY Jn. 3:8.
So what is the “voice” of the Spirit? Let us look at when the Spirit was first poured out to understand this. Instead of guessing, or offering opinions, let’s let the Scripture define the answer itself. In Acts 2:2, Scripture says, “And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.” It’s clear this is what was alluded to by Jesus in John 3. The sound of the wind shows us this is the anticipated Spirit coming!
So what is the Spirit’s voice? Acts 2:4 clearly states, “And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” Speaking in tongues is the clear example of the voice of the Spirit from Scripture. So, how many will speak in tongues? We need not wonder. Jesus answers this. John 3:8b, “… so is every one that is born of the Spirit.” According to the words of our Lord, everyone born of the Spirit.
This is affirmed by the Apostle Peter in Acts 2. Acts 2:39, “For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” How many have the promise of the Spirit with the essential sign of speaking in tongues? According to the first Apostolic sermon, the first message of the Church, “All, even as many that are our God shall call.”