Discussing Spiritual Gifts

spirit and truthjpgThe following is part of a comment I posted on a friend’s blog in answer to questions/ suggestions contributed by another commenter. This exchange relates to cessationist claims about Spiritual gifts

“But if such healings aren’t happening today, they why not?”

Apart from the assumption that they aren’t happening anywhere at any time, a lack of healings could partly be due to the fact that people are being taught (and convinced) that healing gifts are no longer valid. Also in the west we are more likely to trust a doctor more than we trust God when health is concerned.

“Now, there may not be any scripture foretelling that the miraculous gifts would cease, but IMO that is not a strong argument against cessation.”

On the contrary it is a solid argument against cessationism since there is ample biblical teaching about the reality of spiritual gifts and none about the alleged removal of those gifts.
It all depends on whether we truly base our understanding of spiritual matters on scripture or on experience. It seems that many interpret scripture according to their experience (even to the extent of changing the clear meaning of scripture) instead of expecting their experience to be conformed to what scripture reveals.

“All spiritual gifts are given by God to whom He desires for His purposes. It’s not our place to seek or expect gifts beyond what He has granted.”

Even when scripture instructs us to seek those gifts that scripture tells us HAVE been granted such as the following brief examples?
“Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts” and “desire earnestly to prophesy, and do not forbid to speak with tongues.” (both from 1 Cor 14)

These gifts have been granted to the body of believers by the Holy Spirit, to make the body functional as a whole, each part having its role in ministering to the rest of the body. But if the body of believers isn’t operating in a scriptural manner, it shouldn’t be surprising that evidence of the gifts seems absent. Will the Holy Spirit give them within a context foreign to their intended purpose?

1 Corinthians 12-14 is the most detailed section of scripture dealing with Spiritual gifts. That section of scripture also reveals a lot about how believers should conduct themselves when meeting in fellowship (which includes the use of gifts). However that biblical demonstration of fellowship is far different from the practice today which makes little room for:

“Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification. If anyone speaks in a tongue, let there be two or at the most three, each in turn, and let one interpret. But if there is no interpreter, let him keep silent in church, and let him speak to himself and to God. Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others judge. But if anything is revealed to another who sits by, let the first keep silent. For you can all prophesy one by one, that all may learn and all may be encouraged.” (1 Cor 14)

Today instead of reflecting this biblical example, most fellowships consist of a congregation of spectators following an “ordained” professional who takes responsible for most if not all of the “ministry”.

[the context of this exchange can be found at the article here: http://mymorningmeditations.com/2013/12/24/the-challies-chronicles-summing-it-all-up-part-1/ ]

3 thoughts on “Discussing Spiritual Gifts

  1. Are the gifts of tongues, healing and prophecy the only gifts that have continued to today? What about the gift of preaching? Or scriptural discernment in leading a congregation? It seems hard to believe that a human can be relied upon to deliver true biblical Holy Spirit-led healing, Holy Spirit-led prophecy, and Holy Spirit-led tongues, but no human should be relied on to deliver true biblical Holy Spirit-led gospel preaching and scripture study.

  2. endtimedelusion, the spiritual gifts are all still available today, to be used by members of the body to serve other members of the body. They are not the domain of an elite ministry to enable them to lord it over a subservient congregation. And by spiritual gifts I refer to those that are actually SCRIPTURAL and not man-made counterfeits attributed to man-made (and man-trained) “leaders”.

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