The Charismatic gifts of the Spirit today seem to present a much heated topic for debate. While there are differing views, it is an open hand topic, the Apostle Paul exhorts to us in Romans 14 it is nothing to divide over or pass judgment on our fellow brothers and sisters for having a view that may not align itself with our own, and that as individuals: be convinced in their own minds. Rather than adopting someone else’s interpretation, as the Holy Spirit reveals it to that particular person, we are to seek what the Father would have us to learn from the passages that speak on all open handed topics. If we neglect seeking truth for ourselves and simply relying on another to do the studying for us it then can create an ideology. Additionally, one of the key factors in the diversity of understanding is in direct proportion to interpretation and personal experience. For myself I deeply believe in the continuation of the Spiritual gifts, not only from study but also from experience, and to include the continual outpouring of testimonies that come from all over the world that I just cannot seem to disregard. Even though much of what I see or hear might not make sense and is awkward at times I am humbly reminded that God is much bigger than I am and I cannot shove Him into a box of my own construct. Within this specific topic lies several sub-topics; the categorization of gifts, the use of particular wording, and each gift in and of itself being examined. Keeping in mind that this can be a never ending topic to discuss with an end result having no absolute, simplicity will be the avenue of approach looking into the opposing views of cessationism and continuationism.
One of the ways we can measure the importance of a principle or a doctrine is to determine the amount of space devoted to it in the Bible. Subjects or doctrines which are merely implied are surely of less significance than those clearly stated. Matters mentioned infrequently should not be regarded as crucial as those frequently dealt with. Using this standard of measurement, the subject of spiritual gifts is a vital one, for we find gifts addressed specifically in four major portions of Scripture: 1 Corinthians chapters 12-14; Romans chapter 12; Ephesians chapter 4; and 1 Peter chapter 4. In addition to these central passages, spiritual gifts are mentioned elsewhere in the Bible. Spiritual gifts must be important to the Spirit of God who inspired the writing of the Word of God and thus they should be important to us. These gifts are known as the Charismatic gifts and are listed in 1 Corinthians 12:7-10: “To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.” (ESV)
The argument built around the gifts having ceased or not greatly depends on ones interpretation or misinterpretation of 1 Corinthians 13:8-12: “Love never ends. But if there are prophecies, they will be set aside; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be set aside. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part, but when what is perfect comes, the partial will be set aside. When I was a child, I talked like a child; I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. But when I became an adult, I set aside childish ways. For now we see in a mirror indirectly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know fully, just as I have been fully known” (ESV) Martyn Lloyd-Jones preached in 1965: It is perfectly clear that in New Testament times, the gospel was authenticated in this...
Bibliography: 1. Deffinbaugh, Bob “The Measure of the New Testament Church.” Bible.org. http://bible.org/seriespage/spiritual-gifts-1-corinthians-121-11(Accessed (April 18, 2013)
2. Driscoll, Mark “Spiritual Gifts part V” (September 2006) http://marshill.com/media/1st-corinthians/spiritual-gifts-part-v (Accessed April 18, 2013)
3. Gaffin, Jr., Richard B.Perspectives on Pentecost: New Testament Teaching on the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed, 1979.
4. Richard B. Gaffin, Jr. “Where Have All the Spiritual Gifts Gone: A Defense of Cessationism” http://www.modernreformation.org/default.php?page=articledisplay&var2=422 (Accessed April 18, 2013)
5. Lloyd-Jones, Martyn “The Sovereign Spirit” pp. 31-32 Harold Shaw Pub (June 1986)
6. Piper, John “Signs and Wonders: Then and Now” (February 1991) http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/articles/signs-and-wonders-then-and-now (Accessed April 18, 2013)
7. Slick, Matthew J. “Experiential Calvinism and the Charismatic Gift” (2012) http://www.calvinistcorner.com/gifts.htm (Accessed April 18, 2013)
8. Stevens, Dave “Cessationism Defended.” http://www.realgospel.org/articles/Cessationism-Defended (Accessed April 22, 2013)
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