Gifts of the Spirit

I heard, while listening to (name removed) on the radio the other day that the gifts of the spirit are no longer given. What do you think?

Talk of the “gifts of the Spirit” is found only in Pauline Theology (1Cor. 2:12, 14; 12:4, 9; Heb. 2:4). A brief list of “gifts” for the building up of the church is found in the letter to the Ephesians (4:11). Extended dialogues on “gifts” for the common good can be found in 1 Corinthians (Chapters 12 – 14) and in Romans (12:6-8) as expressions of faith as members of the Body. The “gift” of prophecy concerning Timothy is spoken of in 1Timothy (4:14). The gift or gifts or the Spirit Himself are spoken of as given by “the laying on of hands” (Acts 8:18; 1Tim. 4:14; 2Tim. 1:6; Heb. 6:2). Mark (16:17) mentions “signs” that accompany believers. And “Tongues” are mentioned in the Book of Acts (2:3) and “speaking in tongues” is twice mentioned (10:46; 19:6).

Scripture, in none of these passages (or anywhere else for that matter), even alludes to a removing of the gifts from the church for any reason or at any time.

Tradition, other than a few early church fathers, has always taught that the “gifts of the Spirit” are to be exercised, especially when we’re talking about the brief list in the letter to the Ephesians. As of recent times there are “pastors and teachers” (ironically, one of the “gifts” listed in Ephesians) who deny the gifts of the Spirit since Scripture is complete and canonized. Again, there is no biblical precedent for this “teaching.”

Experience dictates that the gifts of the Spirit are still active. I, personally, have experienced the gift of tongues (on one occasion I was alone in the house, with no one to impress or otherwise seduce for any reason). If I have experienced this – certainly it wasn’t I alone out of all humanity of the 21st century – then others are experiencing it today, also.

Reason demands that the gifts are still given and active, if for no other reason but simply for the building up of the church and for the common good and as the expression of faith (the 1Cor. And Rom. accounts). As mentioned above, there still are “teachers and pastors,” and if those then other gifts also. The notion that the completion of Scripture brought the ending to the gifts is self-contradicting for the same reason as mentioned above. The argument concerning the end of spiritual gifts is actually less rational than reasonable; namely, because there are abuses of so-called “gifts,” then all “gifts” are counterfeit, so the argument goes. By this logic, because there are fake $100 bills, all $100 are fraudulent. At issue for these arguments is, quite honestly, the gift of “tongues.” Certainly these would not argue that there are not “pastors and teachers,” so to relieve us of any other gift would be self-defeating. It is theological suicide to believe anything to the contrary. [As an aside, there is a difference between “speaking in tongues” and “praying in tongues.” One is a “gift” and one is, technically, not, but that is another conversation].

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