Did Christ Leave His Bride Handicapped?

The term “spiritual gifts” originates from the Greek words pneumatika (spiritual or of the Spirit) and charisma (gift). Spiritual gifts are special abilities or functions given by the Holy Spirit that are meant to be used by God’s people to complete God’s work.”  [1]

AM I STRANGE?

I find it strange that there are Christians that believe that the spiritual gifts in the Bible also known as the Gifts of the Spirit have ceased in the Church. I also realize that people find me “strange” for believing that these gifts are still actively being used by the Church today. These gifts that I am speaking of are wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, prophecy, discerning of spirits, speaking in tongues, and interpretation of tongues.

EARNESTLY DESIRE THE GREATER GIFT
It’s true, I am a Pentecostal, so it’s assumed that I believe in the Gifts of the Spirit, but there was a time when I did not. I was raised in a denomination that did not believe in music, women in ministry, and especially any sort of spiritual “voodoo” mess. My intention is not to attack this denomination or any denomination that believes similar, but instead challenge them to do as the Apostle Paul said and “earnestly desire the greater gift”  1 Corinthians 12:31 ESV.
What changed my thinking towards this matter was my personal experience. I have personally seen and have been used in the Gifts of the Spirit. Though I had been taught as a child that these gifts did not exist any longer, I was still experiencing them first hand.
GIFTS USED BY THE APOSTLES
My experiences have played a big role in my belief, but I must also go to the Word of God. I have read in the Acts of the Apostles where they worked mightily in the Gifts of the Spirit and through the laying on of the hands the sick would recover, the lame walk, and the blind see. I read of how people were healed as Peter’s shadow passed by them. Handkerchiefs wet with the sweat of Paul healed people. Spiritual beings known as demons had no advantage over these Holy Ghost filled servants of Christ because even they fled at the mention of the name of Jesus from their months.
GIFTS USED BY NON-APOSTLES
I have heard it said that the gifts died with the Apostles, however I read in the scripture that not only were the original twelve used in these gifts, but non-apostles and new apostles as well. I read where the likes of Stephen (Acts 6:8) and Philip (Acts 8:6) were used in the gifts. These two men were handpicked to wait and bust tables! (Acts 6:2-6) Even Barnabas (Acts 14:3) and Paul (Acts 19:11), though called Apostles, were not apart of the original twelve were used in the gifts.
ARGUMENT 1
  • Now that we have the Bible we do not need the Gifts of the Spirit. 

I have heard this from a few people. They have even given me scripture to back their stance. Sadly though they have twisted and misused the scripture to say something that the Bible simply does not say. My question to them is simple. Why would you not want to be used in a gift that God has for you? These are gifts that can be used to minister to those in need.

ARGUMENT 2
  • People misuse the gifts in church so it’s better not to use them at all.

In other words this person admits the gifts exist, however because they have been misused (for personal gain or made up/faked) the practice of the Gifts of the Spirit should cease. My thought on that is this. We have many pastors and ministers that misuse their position for personal gain, should we omit the position of pastor from God’s five fold ministry? No, because this is something that God created. Just like he created these spiritual gifts for servants to minister and proclaim the gospel.

FINAL THOUGHT
My last statement is more of a series of questions that goes along with the title of this post. Why would God leave his bride handicapped? Why would he equip a few of his followers with gifts that minister to people’s needs, but then take them back? This would make God a respecter of persons. And my last question is why do many Christians claim that they have personally witnessed or have been used in these gifts, yet many claim they do not exist and have will not seek them? If it’s a gift from God I want it!
My last thought is this. For years the Church has allowed Satan to creep into its pulpits. Preachers are now allowing things to go on in the church that God has said is wrong. In my mind the church is being water downed and not every church is created equal. We need the Gifts of the Spirit working in all of our churches!
I could go on with this subject. I could make it more scholarly and use more quotes. But honestly I am speaking from my heart. God has opened my eyes to the truth, not man’s water downed theology. Does your church believe in and practice the Gifts of the Spirit? The gifts are for ministry, let’s be used for God’s glory!
“Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethern, I do not want you to be ignorant:” 1 Corinthians 12:1-31
[1] Randy Frazee. Believe: Living The Story Of The Bible To Become Like Jesus. (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan 2014)