Nine Spiritual Gifts
Theological Research Paper 1
THEO 350-B03 Fall 2010 Dave Sheeley September 26,2010
Why would a word that simply means gifts of grace scare so many people? Could it be that charismatic is a grossly misunderstood term by a great percentage of the Christian community? Are these signs as they are used today simply for the visual benefit of the instigators or are they truly inspired gifts from God? There are some basic facts about spiritual gifts that seem to be agreed upon by the majority of people who believe that Jesus Christ is their Lord and savior. 1.”…we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let each exercise them accordingly” (Rom. 12:6). “But to each one grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift” (Ephesians 4:7). Gifts are not earned or merited, especially gifts of grace these are gifts given freely and nothing in the power of man can earn them. 2. In 1Peter 4:10 says “As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace 0f God” this passage has been used to justify the use of tongues and other charismatic gifts. This is using a passage to justify an action by a single or minority of believers using a “gift” to show some believers how lacking they are in gifts from the Lord. We just need to look at this passage again to realize it says each one not just some special ones. 3. Inactivity is the believers biggest reason they don’t realize their gift. Most Christians sit around waiting for their gifts to be discovered and becoming frustrated with the lord for not showing them what gifts they were blessed with and then beginning to believe that only a select few have received these gifts. Everyone was given a gift that can be found by being active for the Lord, go to Him stop waiting for Him to wait on you. There are two views when it comes to charismatic gifts. The cessationist view which says that charismatic gifts such as speaking in tongues, prophecy, healing and other gifts ceased to happen after the New Testament. The continuationist view that these gifts have continued and Christians have continued to use these gifts in their lives. Having read the scriptures that each side uses for their arguments it is easy to understand how both sides could think they are right. The nine charismatic gifts are the gifts mentioned in 1Cor 12-14; they are usually grouped into three groups. Different title depending on what denomination is discussing the issues, but generally they fall into the following groups. 1. Gifts of Inspiration; tongues, interpretation of tongues and prophecy 2. Gifts of Revelation; word of knowledge, word of wisdom and discerning the spirits 3. Gifts of Power; gift of faith, gifts of healing and working of miracles These gifts were so prevalent and common in the first century of the church that all churches had manifestations included in their services. This has given those who are believers in cessationism, (an end of charismatic gift after the first century), a strong argument. If during the first century all churches had all nine gifts why would the Holy Spirit put a limit on the number of gifts a church could have. Since most churches practicing tongues today are not utilizing all nine gifts in every service as was done in the first century. There are several arguments that are used by those opposed to Charismatic gifts in today’s church; 1. We do not need spiritual gifts we have the bible, a common scripture used to back up this argument is 1Cor 13:8-13. Interestingly those that believe in the continuation of the charismatic gifts use 1Cor. 1:7 and the same scriptures as their opponents (1Cor. 13:8-13) to point out that the gifts are connected to the return of Christ and not the completion of the Bible....
Bibliography: Speaking in tongues : the initial physical evidence of the baptism in the Holy Spirit By: Hartwick, A. Reuben; Paraclete 29:9-15 Summer 1995.
The Holy Spirit and Spiritual Gifts : Then and Now By: Turner, M. Carlisle, UK : Paternoster, 1996
The Bible Answer Book By: Hank Hanegraaff Volume 1(Nashville) Countryman, 2004
The Journal of Ecclesiastical History; Cambridge (0022-0469)
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