Monday, July 8, 2019

Gifts of Grace: Are the 9 Charismatic/Sign Gifts still active today?

But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: 1 Corinthians 12:7 NKJV

He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Galatians 3:5 KJV

 When you think of Grace, have you ever thought about the Gifts Grace has provided? Throughout the New Covenant Paul speaks of gifts from God. We see Ministry giftings, we see spiritual giftings many scholars call the motivational gifts that all believers have. We also see the Charismatic Gifts mentioned, the nine manifestation gifts. 

 What are these manifestation Gifts you may ask? Allow the Spirit through Paul to answer;
for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills. 1 Corinthians 12:8-11 NKJV

 These are the powerful manifestations of the Spirit in our midst. The question many have is are these Gifts for today? Ministers of religious tradition attempt to convince us unequivocally that they have in fact ceased. That God gave us gifts but then took them back. 

That God is in Heaven and we are on our own down here until we get to Heaven. That God doesn't move in our lives in supernatural ways any longer. That believers in Christ cannot expect God's hand to move in their lives in healing, or prophetic words, or supplying provision. Now, of course, they say you can pray generally for God to bless you, but He is "sovereign" and whatever will be will be. God may be teaching you through hard times. Does this sound like Jesus, the Person of Grace?

 Whenever Jesus encountered lack, He brought provision. When He encountered sickness and disease He brought forth healing. When He encountered infirmity, He brought strength. When He encountered oppression He brought deliverance. When He encountered sin and condemnation, He brought forgiveness and mercy. Whenever He encountered brokenness He brought wholeness. The Good News is Jesus is the same, yesterday, today and forever! Jesus hasn't changed.

 So if Jesus is the same, has the Spirit and His operations in the Church somehow ceased because of the passage of time? Tradition says it was the Apostles who worked miracles and since they've passed on, hence the Gifts ceased. Is this correct?

 If so what do we do with Peter's own words? What am I referring to? You can see Peter's words in Acts completely destroy this narrative. Peter declared it wasn't his power that brought forth that miracle healing. If the miracle was simply because He was an Apostle that God healed the man why didn't he attribute that to the root cause? 

 Peter doesn't take any credit for the healing. He doesn't attribute his apostleship. He doesn't even take into account his personal holiness or goodness. He attributes God's goodness and the God kind of Faith in Jesus name with this miracle.

The problem with religion only attributing signs and wonders with apostleship is they omit the goodness of God. They are omitting the love of God. They are forsaking the mercy and compassion of our Good Father. Instead of God ministering life, healing and wholeness because He loves His creation, He is a cold diety merely endorsing the ministry of 12 men. He isn't concerned with afflictions humanity suffers. Love looking to alieve suffering isn't the heart behind miraculous healing, rather it's just God endorsing titles of a few men until the Bible can be fully written. 

One other point to ponder. Acts records that people other than the Apostles flowed in signs and wonders. Stephan was no Apostle, he was merely a Deacon, yet he was full of faith and flowed in signs and wonders. Look at Philip. He was an Evangelist. He was not an Apostle and he flowed in powerful signs and wonders. We still have Evangelists today, and Deacons, so why couldn't the Gifts still be active?

The Gifts haven't ceased But Faith for the Gifts have ceased

 If we go back to Peter's words, what other principle does he attribute that miraculous healing too? The authority of Jesus name, and Faith in that name. Yes, the Faith that comes through Him. Faith brought forth the sign and wonder. 

 Uncertain, doubtful, unconvinced and unbelieving prayer didn't bring about this miracle. The reason some like this idea of the Gifts ceasing, and that it was only through the original Apostles, that Gifts manifested because it gives them an opportunity to make excuse for their unbelief and lack of Faith. Though it is lack of Faith and the presence of unbelief, there is still hope.

 When we relinquish the traditions of men and listen to truth instead of tradition Faith comes. The cure for unbelief is no longer feeding on doubt and instead focusing on and feeding our spirit God's Word, seeing who Jesus is. It's believing Jesus is who He said is. This means not just seeing Jesus as Savior, but also as Healer, Deliverer, Provider, Baptizer in the Spirit, and Triumphant, Victorious King of Kings, the One who already soundly, perfectly defeated the enemy! 

 In Summation, have the Gifts ceased? Are they no longer active today? Is Jesus still who He said He is? Has the Spirit changed? Not one single passage in Scripture states these Gifts will not continue year after year. Not one passage states when the Bible is complete or the last Apostle dies these signs and wonders will cease to function. 

 These Gifts are also called the Charismatic Gifts. Charismata means Gifts of Grace. His Grace is definitely still active today. God's Love is still active today. God's Goodness is still active today. God's power has not waned or grown inactive. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. These Gifts have not ceased nor will they ever in the life of the Church.
Image by annca from Pixabay

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