Imagine what it would be like to hold an apostle’s handbook providing guidance for healing a dysfunctional church. Actually, we have held such guides many times. One of them is called 1 Corinthians.
Within this letter, Paul sought to alter the worldly-minded perspectives of a church possessing every spiritual gift (1 Corinthians 3:17; 3:1-3). One of his goals focused on promoting a healthy understanding regarding their participation in the diversity of the Spirit’s work within their church.
Yet it must have been very disappointing to them, to learn that part of Paul’s prescription involved popping their bubble about miraculous endowments. What Paul wrote within 1 Corinthians 12 through 14 provides yet another reason why some believe miraculous gifts have ended. Continue reading “Miraculous gifts today? Another temporary purpose (5)”
Some people regard the previously cited evidence as sufficient reason for concluding God no longer endows his people with miraculous gifts today. Scriptural statements regarding the purpose of these gifts further buttress this viewpoint. Continue reading “Miraculous gifts today? A temporary purpose (4)”
Opinions contrast. Some claim God works miracles through his people today. Others say that God no longer gifts his people with miraculous abilities. What should not be overlooked is how definitions of the miraculous differ. Thus to accurately understand what is being denied or affirmed requires first understanding how someone defines the miraculous.
Once such an understanding exists, the question still remains: why do some reject miraculous gifts today? The first reason revolves around observing how the Spirit chose to distribute these gifts. The baptism with the Spirit appears to have served a special purpose, while a second manner of distribution is no longer possible. Let’s take a look. Continue reading “Miraculous gifts today? Laying on of hands (3)”
“When John, who was in prison, heard about the deeds of the Messiah, he sent his disciples to ask him, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?’ Jesus replied, ‘Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me’” (Matthew 11:2-6 NIV).
Can you imagine what John must have been going through? When Jesus came to him at the Jordan to be immersed he had seen the Spirit descend on Jesus like a dove, identifying him as the promised Messiah. Yet if Jesus was the Messiah, why was John in prison? And why was Jesus doing nothing about it? So he sent his followers to ask Jesus if he really was the Messiah. Continue reading “Accepting who Jesus is”