Summary: A discussion concerning Spiritual Gifts and whether they are for today or not.
Are Spiritual Gifts For Today?
The Supernatural Gifts of the Holy Spirit
(1 Corinthians 12:4, 7-11)
Speaking in tongues? Prophecies? Healings? Discerning of spirits? These and other supernatural signs and spiritual gifts were commonplace occurrences in the early Church. On that the Bible record is clear. But should we expect such spiritual gifts in our churches today? A growing number of Christians responded Yes! to this question during the twentieth century and up to the present time.
The first half of the twentieth century saw the emergence of many of today’s large Pentecostal denominations, with the associated manifestation of various gifts of the Holy Spirit. In the second half of the twentieth century, the Assemblies of God Missionaries have led millions more (Over 60,000,000 World Wide) Christians in non-Pentecostal denominations to embrace the present-day validity of these spiritual gifts.
However, man’s experience and beliefs by themselves do not establish doctrine. That is the prerogative of the Bible. In the balance of this study, we will examine a number of Scripture verses which support the ongoing validity of the gifts of the Holy Spirit throughout the Church Age.
1 Corinthians 12:4, 7-11 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit.... (7) Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.
This list comprises what Bible teachers commonly call the nine gifts of the Holy Spirit. In the order listed, as translated in the King James Version, they are:
1. The word of wisdom 2.Faith 3.The word of knowledge 4.Gifts of healing 5.Discerning of Spirits 6.The working of miracles 7.Various kinds of tongues 8. Prophecy 9. The
interpretation of tongues
Among those who deny tongues: Among the major Protestant denomination in America, who say tongues are of the devil and ended with the Apostles, there is a great move among the their Missionaries of being filled with the Spirit. In fact this denomination has adapted this theology, Don’t ask-don’t tell. If their Missionaries do admit to being filled they are asked to leave the denomination.
Within the ranks of the Assemblies of God worldwide There are more than 62,000,000 million believers (The largest Protestant group in the world) who have received the Baptism in the Holy Spirit and have spoken with other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. That makes it pretty difficult to deny.
Biblically knowledgeable Christians readily admit that these supernatural spiritual gifts occurred in the first century Church, as recorded in the New Testament.
The question that is raised by some, and which is at the heart of this study is:
Are these spiritual gifts still occurring today?
I reply with a heartfelt “Yes!” to that question, and I invite you to consider the following Scriptures in support of that belief.
Mark 16:15-18 (NKJV)
15And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.
16He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.
17And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues;
18they£ will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
Matthew 18:18-20 (NKJV)
18And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19Go £therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
These verses are known as the Great Commission. These words of Jesus make it quite evident that the Great Commission is intended for the entire Church Age, stretching from Jesus’ First Coming to His Second Coming. Consider the following:
• Jesus commissioned the Church to “go into all the world” with the Gospel (vs. 15).
We are still in the process of fulfilling that command in this, the 21st century.
• Jesus commissioned the Church to “preach the good news to all creation” (15). That, too, we are still in the process of fulfilling.