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A Local Church Bringing HOPE to Life in Our Community on Cape Cod

:: FAQs Continued

4) What does your church think of prophecy?

We believe that Biblical prophecy is a God-given revelation or promise about the future, given in order to prepare people and encourage them for what lies ahead, and to show that He is the one true God, all-knowing and all-powerful. Prophecy is not to be confused with predictions of the future, and is not the Christian’s version of fortune-telling.

There are many examples of prophetic utterances in both the Old Testament and the New Testament, as well as accounts of New Testament believers exercising the gift of prophecy in the church at the unction of the Holy Spirit. The promised outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the believers (Joel 2, Acts 2) includes the gift of prophecy, and Paul the Apostle encourages believers to ‘be eager to prophesy.’ (1 Co. 14:39)

Prophetic insight also includes another gift of the Holy Spirit, namely the ‘Word of Knowledge.’ This gift differs from prophecy in that it identifies things in the past or present that are hidden or obscure. Again, the purpose is to bring people to repentance, healing, and a deeper faith and trust in the all-knowing God.

5) What does your church think of speaking in tongues?

In order to answer this question, it is important to understand what the Bible says about the experience of being 'baptized in the Holy Spirit.'

The Baptism in the Holy Spirit is a vital experience of the Christian life. It is a special work of the Spirit beyond salvation. On the Day of Pentecost, disciples who had already made a decision to follow Jesus "were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues" (Acts 2:4). Paul asked the Ephesians disciples if they had received the Holy Spirit, after which "the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues" (Acts 19:2). New Testament believers were constantly challenged to be filled with the Spirit (Acts 1:4, 5; Ephesians 5:18). Living Hope Family Church is committed to the baptism in the Holy Spirit because the experience is such an important focus of New Testament Christianity.

Speaking in tongues is the only phenomenon mentioned every time Scripture supplies details concerning the Baptism experience. Of the five instances in Acts which recount the experience of believers being baptized in the Spirit, three supply details. Speaking in tongues is the only one that occurs each time (Acts 2, 10, 19). In the Acts 10 account, tongues is specifically mentioned as proof that "the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles. For they heard them speaking in tongues" (Acts 10:45, 46). The relationship between the phenomenon and the experience cannot be ignored.

In the two cases where details are not supplied, circumstances strongly imply that speaking with other tongues accompanied the experience. In Acts 8 Simon saw something (most likely tongues) that prompted him to offer money for the power to impart such a gift. In Acts 9 Saul (who became Paul) is filled with the Spirit without the mention of any details. However, Paul later testified, "I speak in tongues more than all of you" (1 Corinthians 14:18). It is logical to conclude that he began speaking in tongues when he was baptized in the Holy Spirit.

We believe the baptism in the Holy Spirit with the initial physical evidence of speaking in other tongues is the promise of the Father to every Christian who desires the experience.

We do have a concern that some Christians look on the Baptism and tongues as ends in themselves rather than as means to a much greater end. The Baptism is the entry experience introducing the believer to the beauty and power of the Spirit-filled life.

At Living Hope Family Church we believe the Holy Spirit is at work in all Christians, whether they have been baptized in the Spirit or not. God can also use, and does use, Christians who for one reason or another have not received the Baptism experience. We must never depreciate their ministry. Yet we recognize that baptism in the Holy Spirit will make one's life and ministry even more effective.

So for every believer the command is sounded, "Be filled [Keep on being filled] with the Spirit" (Ephesians 5:18).

All Scripture quotations are from the New International Version (NIV) unless otherwise specified.

6) When and why do you perform water baptism?

Following coming to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, the new convert is commanded by the Word of God to be baptized in water in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit (see Matt. 28:19; Acts 2:38). Symbolizing the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, baptism is strongly encouraged. We periodically prepare believers of all ages for baptism by water immersion through discussion of its scriptural basis and meaning. We generally perform the joyous service of baptism several times annually in locations ranging from fresh water lakes to the salt water of Cape Cod Bay or the ocean.

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Our Desire is to Guide All People into the Knowledge and Love of Jesus Christ