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The gifts of the Holy Spirit

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Are the Gifts of the Holy Spirit mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12-14 for today?

Published in: Spiritual

The gifts of the Holy Spirit

  1. 1. The Gifts of the Holy Spirit 1 Corinthians 12-14
  2. 2. Are the gifts of the Holy Spirit meant To be in operation during this age Or Did they cease during the First Century Of the Church?
  3. 3. The belief that the gifts of the Holy Spirit Stopped during the First Century AD is called Cessationism The first problem with cessationism is the Record of the early Christians after the First Century AD.
  4. 4. These early Christian writers all record that The gifts of the Holy Spirit were still in operation In their day… • Justin Martyr (100 - 165) • Irenaeus (115 - 202) • Tertullian (160 - 220) • Origen (185 - 254) Irenaeus said: ‘In like manner we do also hear many brethren in the church, who possess prophetic gifts, and who through the Spirit speak all kinds of languages, and bring to light for the general benefit the hidden things of men, and declare the mysteries of God, whom also the apostle terms “spiritual,” they being spiritual because they partake of the Spirit…’ (Against Heresies, Book 5, ch.6, 1)
  5. 5. Before discussing 1 Corinthians 12 – 14 we must address the main text used by cessationists to deny that the gifts of the Holy Spirit as still in operation today: 1 Corinthians 13:10 “but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away.” The question is, what is the perfect? According to cessationists, the perfect is the canon of Scripture finished – the Old and New Testament comprising the Bible. So, for cessationists the gifts of the Holy Spirit became redundant with the completed Bible. Is this what 1 Corinthians 13:10 is referring to?
  6. 6. 1 Corinthians 13:10 “but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away.” Verse 12 reads as if it is referring to the age to come, realised in the second coming of Christ : “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.” The perfect referred to is not the return of Christ but what will have happened then, the fulfilment of all that Christians have been waiting for, full and complete redemption. The goal will have been reached. The end of the journey and full maturity. We will see him and truly know his presence.
  7. 7. 1 Corinthians 13:10 “but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away.” How do we know that Paul was referring to perfection in the age to come? Well, he tells us so: “...that in everything you were enriched in Him, in all speech and all knowledge, even as the testimony concerning Christ was confirmed in you, so that you are • not lacking in any gift, awaiting eagerly the • revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will also • confirm you to the end, blameless in • the day of our Lord Jesus Christ…” (1 Corinthians 1:5–9)
  8. 8. 1 Corinthians 13:10 “but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away.” Here are some comments: "The Apostle is saying nothing about the cessation of χαρίσματα in this life: prophesyings and knowledge might always be useful. All that he asserts is, that these things will have no use when completeness is revealed“ (Robertson and Plummer, CEC) "...gifts are part of the ministry of God to strengthen the church until the Second Coming of Christ (1 Cor 1:5–9). This means that the perfection in 13:10 refers to the time and conditions following the End.“ (Richard Oster, CPNIVC) "Paul seems to be contrasting “imperfection” here with the “perfection” that will be established when he meets God face to face [in the new age to come].“ (Ellingworth and Hatton, UBS)
  9. 9. 1 Corinthians 13:10 “but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away.”
  10. 10. 1 Corinthians 13:10 “but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away.” It is clear from context that Paul is referring to the age to come, when Christ returns and not the completion of the canon of Scripture.
  11. 11. The Key to understanding 1 Corinthians 12 – 14 Audience: The church assembled together. “And God has appointed in the church…” (1 Corinthians 12:28) “…edifies the church.” (1 Corinthians 14:4) “…so that the church may receive edifying.” (1 Corinthians 14:5) “…for the edification of the church.” (1 Corinthians 14:12) “…however, in the church...” (1 Corinthians 14:19) “…if the whole church assembles…” (1 Corinthians 14:23) “…he must keep silent in the church...” (1 Corinthians 14:28) “But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.” (1 Corinthians 12:7) “for God is not a God of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.” (1 Corinthians 14:33)
  12. 12. The Key to understanding 1 Corinthians 12 – 14 Context: The use of spiritual gifts when gathered together. “Now concerning spiritual gifts…” (1 Corinthians 12:1) “Now there are varieties of gifts...” (1 Corinthians 12:4) “But earnestly desire the greater gifts...” (1 Corinthians 12:31) “Pursue love, yet desire earnestly spiritual gifts...” (1 Corinthians 14:1) “…since you are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek to abound for the edification of the church.” (1 Corinthians 14:12) “…When you assemble, each one has a…. Tongue… an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification.” (1 Corinthians 14:26) “Therefore… desire earnestly to prophesy, and do not forbid to speak in tongues. But all things must be done properly and in an orderly manner.” (1 Corinthians 14:39–40)
  13. 13. The Key to understanding 1 Corinthians 12 – 14 Paul urges the church to 'earnestly desire the spiritual gifts' and especially prophecy. Why? “For one who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God; for no one understands, but in his spirit he speaks mysteries.” (1 Corinthians 14:2) • Tongues is directed to God. • Tongues cannot be understood by the church. • Why? Because tongues by-passes the mind. • The language is a ‘mystery’ to the hearers.
  14. 14. The Key to understanding 1 Corinthians 12 – 14 There is a different emphasis between ‘tongues and interpretation’ and tongues as used by individuals. “One who speaks in a tongue edifies himself; but one who prophesies edifies the church.” (1 Corinthians 14:4) • Only the individual is edified when speaking in tongues. • The church as a whole is edified when someone prophesies. “Now I wish that you all spoke in tongues, but even more that you would prophesy; and greater is one who prophesies than one who speaks in tongues, unless he interprets, so that the church may receive edifying.” (1 Corinthians 14:5) • Paul wants all believers to benefit from tongues. • But in church, prophesy is better (all can understand). • Tongues can be given but only with the gift of interpretation. • The main point is that the church is edified.
  15. 15. The Key to understanding 1 Corinthians 12 – 14 There is a different emphasis between ‘tongues and interpretation’ and tongues as used by individuals. “Therefore let one who speaks in a tongue pray that he may interpret.” (1 Corinthians 14:13) In the church gathering the speaker in tongues must pray for interpretation. “For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful.” (1 Corinthians 14:14) Tongues without interpretation, is not appropriate in a church situation because the language cannot be understood by all. “…I will pray with the spirit and I will pray with the mind also; I will sing with the spirit and I will sing with the mind also.” (1 Corinthians 14:15) Paul calls for a balance in worship. A time and place for everything.
  16. 16. The Key to understanding 1 Corinthians 12 – 14 There is a different emphasis between ‘tongues and interpretation’ and tongues as used by individuals. Used individually, Paul extols the use of tongues for prayer and worship: “I thank God, I speak in tongues more than you all;” (1 Corinthians 14:18) • In the worship of the gathered church, it is not appropriate (v.19) but absolutely encouraged for an individual’s prayer life (v. 5) “For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful.” (1 Corinthians 14:14) “…I will pray with the spirit and I will pray with the mind also; I will sing with the spirit and I will sing with the mind also.” (1 Corinthians 14:15)
  17. 17. The Key to understanding 1 Corinthians 12 – 14 Conclusion: The key to understanding Paul's argument is his audience: • the church! The context is the misuse of spiritual gifts • especially tongues. Paul urges the church to 'earnestly desire the spiritual gifts' and especially prophecy. • Why? • "...one who speaks in a tongue speaks not to men but to God; for no one understands him, but he utters mysteries in the Spirit.“ • In the church context a word of prophecy is preferred because all can understand and the unbeliever coming in will not think the church is raving mad. All were speaking in tongues at the same time causing confusion. • Paul is telling them that in a gathering they should shut up and be silent... unless a gift of tongues was manifest and accompanied by an interpretation. “One who speaks in a tongue edifies himself; but one who prophesies edifies the church.” (1 Corinthians 14:4) “…do not forbid to speak in tongues…”

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