Ah, the gifts of the Spirit of God. So controversial in the church today - yet so simple and such a blessing. The Holy Spirit, speaking through the apostle Paul, told the Corinthians (and us as well) to not be ignorant concerning them (1Cor 12:1). Often times the church in Corinth is cited as a prime example of why we should not flow in the gifts of the Spirit. They say love is the more excellent way, and we don’t need them. However, this was not Paul’s opinion. True, the Corinthians were not using the gifts in a proper way; but Paul did not remedy this by forbidding them. No, he remedied it by teaching the proper way to exercise them, which is in the love of God. Love does not replace the gifts; the gifts operate by love. In fact, Paul specifically command the church to not forbid speaking in tongues (1Cor 14:39). We are to covet the spiritual gifts; not argue about whether or not they exist.
I have read commentaries that say the gifts have passed away with the Apostles. I must respectfully disagree. The Holy Spirit hasn’t passed away, so why would His gifts? I have yet to find a Scripture that says the gifts ceased in the first century. In fact, I find quite the opposite. In 1Cor 1:5-7, the apostle Paul tells the Corinthians that he thanks God that they are enriched in everything, and that they would lack in no gift, waiting for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. Has Jesus Christ returned? No. So we should lack in no spiritual gift. The gifts of the Spirit are for today - and every day - until Christ returns.
Some have said that which is perfect has come (The Bible), so the gifts have been done away with (1Cor 13:10). That in the first century they only knew in part, but now since we have the Bible, we know even as we are known. That now we Jesus face to face, but in the first century they only saw in a shadow. That the gifts were “childish things”. This is silly. Obviously Jesus is the perfect One being spoke of, not the Bible. Yes, The Bible is perfect, but this is not the subject of these passages. All the gifts are for our time on earth. It’s when Jesus comes back, and we’re in Heaven, that they will no longer be necessary. Who needs to get healed in Heaven? Who needs faith in heaven? Who needs a prophecy in Heaven? We then see Jesus face to face. We then know, even as we are known (1Jn 3:2).
I believe this idea that the gifts are not for us today is satanic deception. After all, if Christians believe this, then why would you covet them earnestly? Why would you want to operate in them and bless the church? Why would you receive them as God’s gifts? Listen, if God is giving out gifts, I want to be first in line! Can you imagine giving your little girl a dolly on Christmas, or your little boy a toy truck for his birthday, and them looking up at you and saying, “Sorry Dad, but dollies and trucks have passed away. I don’t need that.” Yeah, right! When you give your child a gift, they will tear into it and be excited; not argue about whether it exist. Oh, that we may be like children in receiving from God!
Besides encouraging you to read God’s Word and simply believing it, I also encourage you to read a book called “2000 of Charismatic Christianity”. It documents that the gifts of the Spirit have been operating in the Church for the last 2000 years. You might think that because you have not personally witnessed them or operated in them, that they don’t exist. Don’t be fooled; supernatural miracles, deliverances, healings, and the like are happening around the world. People are being raised from the dead. You may not believe it, but it’s no less true. God always has a remnant. There is always a small group that will walk by faith and not play brain games. However, God is so gracious to us, that if someone wants to be ignorant, then He’ll let them be ignorant (1Cor 14:38). I don’t want to be ignorant.
I’m not speaking as one who operates in the gifts perfectly, or has perfect understanding. What I do have is a desire to see the power of God demonstrated in my life. I will pray in tongues; I will lay hands on the sick; I will give words of wisdom and words of knowledge; I will speak forth prophecy; I will see miracles. Not as a preacher, but just simply as a person of faith in Christ and His Book. I don’t see 100% success, but it’s not about me anyway. Besides, I’ll have 0% success if I do nothing. Life is not a dress rehearsal; this is it. Make it count. Until next time, rejoice in The Lord!