Spiritual Gifts

Do they exist today,

or were they only for a certain time and then ceased?

Discuss.

(This conversation was started on another place on this blog.  To get caught up, you can visit that place here.)

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78 thoughts on “Spiritual Gifts

  1. Like I stated already, when Paul was writing to Timothy he advised him on his health. “No longer drink water exclusively, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments” (1 Tim. 5:23). Why didn’t Paul just heal Timothy? Timothy had enough problems without having stomach problems. Why didn’t Paul just use his gift of healing instead of giving him some advice on how to help the problem?

    In 2 Timothy 4:20, Paul had to leave Trophimus behind at Miletus because Trophimus was so sick. Why didn’t Paul, who had raised Eutychus from the dead (Acts 20:10), just heal Trophimus?

    Philippians 2:27 gives another example where Paul does not (cannot) heal a fellow Christian, “For indeed he (Epaphroditus) was sick to the point of death, but God had mercy on him, and not on him only but also on me, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow.” That is strange as you think of Paul’s power as a miracle worker in the earlier part of his ministry.

    I’m not saying God CANT heal, nor am I say he doesnt heal. But, it’s clear that Paul didnt have the same power he once had from God, and the question is why not…

  2. is there any sick among you? let him call for the
    elders of the church.
    will everyone be healed? no.
    do i know why ? no.
    but one thing is clear,god dosent need me to make excuses or caveats for him. why does it seem so hard for
    us to let god be just who he says he is?
    “this gift has expired……. god does not listen to that gibberish anymore”……
    have some people run roughshod over others in their interpretations? yes. but i still believe in everything he made sure is in the book.
    if no one else here agrees with my view thats ok.
    i aint mad at ya.
    lee

  3. I want to be clear and say that I do believe God heals today, but does God grant healing through prayer, or does He have more “apostles” whom He has given the power to heal people? Any honest person can see that the “Gift of Healing” is not being used today as it was in the bible….

    I believe we are to pray for healing, and if God wants to heal, He will, but He may not. This is a far cry from the “Gift of Healing” that was around at the beginning of the church age, and obviously faded out at some point then too, seeing Paul didn’t or couldnt heal the friends he made mention of…

  4. I think the critical issue revolves around the question of the perfect coming being the Bible.

    Personally while I believe it is inspired by God it is not perfect because its ability for us to understand is not perfect. I need a Greek concorence and other resources to get at the real meanings of some passages!

    1 Cor 13:12Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

    Unfortunately the above passage takes the Bible out of the running for the Perfect. Paul is talking about knowing as God knows him, this face to face relationship is when the Perfect has come!

    Secondly it says in the last days I will poor out my spirit, not in some of the last days, or are we living no longer in the last days and has the moon already become blood red and I missed it?

    Also Norm gave a challenge to anyone who can perform a miracle to come do so, however is this a challenge that can be answered based on Jesus own life? He could do few of them in his own lands because of their unbelief and I would have to reason that if God himself could not do them then a man would have a hard time doing one even if he had the gift with unbelief in the room. I do question those who perform on TV for that reason that Jesus removed people because of their unbelief as he did with the child that was raised with only the parents being present.

    There are times when God does not heal, he says no in effect and it is not our job to judge those times and defend God by telling the person he did not have enough faith for the healing to happen. That is wrong because it judges the heart of the person!

  5. The Apostle Paul and Peter had the gift of healing, because both healed people and even raised people from the dead! But later on, we see that they evidently did not have the gift anymore because they did not heal people close to them who were ill. The gift evidently was no longer available at that time.

    Before someone asks, “Is healing guaranteed in the atonement according to Isaiah 53?” Yes, but the ‘healing’ referred to in this passage if you read it in its context is ‘spiritual’ healing from our SINS! Notice Isaiah 53:4,5 says, “He was wounded for our TRANSGRESSIONS, He was bruised for our INIQUITIES…” Clearly this is talking about ‘spiritual’ healing from our SINS.

    If some ‘Faith-Healer’ has the apostolic GIFT OF HEALING today, why don’t they go into St. Jude’s Hospital for crippled children and empty that place? Why don’t they raise people from the dead? Can anyone answer that question? These little children have faith don’t they? Now don’t misunderstand me, I do believe that God CAN heal through prayer when it is His will to do so, but sometimes it is just not God’s will to heal someone.

  6. Acts 5:12-16 (NKJV) And through the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were done among the people. And they were all with one accord in Solomon’s Porch. 13 Yet none of the rest dared join them, but the people esteemed them highly. 14 And believers were increasingly added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women, 15 so that they brought the sick out into the streets and laid them on beds and couches, that at least the shadow of Peter passing by might fall on some of them. 16 Also a multitude gathered from the surrounding cities to Jerusalem, bringing sick people and those who were tormented by unclean spirits, and they were all healed.

    – thru who’s hands ??

  7. There is a difference between healing and the GIFT of healing as the apostles had. Peter said such power as HE HAD rise up and walk.. They had the supernatural gift of healing, but later its clear that the gift passed, seeing Paul wasn’t able to heal his friends. Note, that I am not saying God doesn’t heal, but I don’t see any apostles going around today with the gift of healing that they had in the early stages of the church. What were the purpose of signs and wonders?? Did they have the complete bible then?

  8. 20:30 Now Jesus performed many other miraculous signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 20:31 But these are recorded so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

    I wish the people who claim to have the gift of healing would spend a little time in funeral parlors. They could sure make some exciting things happen. Wouldn’t it be super that the next time you went to a funeral someone with the gift of healing came in and said, “I feel badly about this situation. Would you please get up?”

    “And many other signs truly did Jesus…but these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through His name.” This gift was an authenticating gift to confirm the statement of Jesus that He is God. You say, “But what about when the Apostles healed?” It was to confirm their proclamation.
    I’m not saying that God doesn’t do miracles. I’m not saying that God doesn’t heal. He does heal, and He can do anything He wants to do. Miracles are neither impossible nor necessary — that is up to God. But there is no evidence biblically or practically that anyone today is operating the gift of healing. If God wants to heal, that is His business and privilege. He may heal through the prayers of an individual. He promises that “the prayer of faith shall save the sick” (Js. 5:15a). But let’s not confuse God’s healing in response to prayer with the ability to heal everyone at will, as in the case of Jesus and the Apostles.

  9. WDTBS said:
    “If some ‘Faith-Healer’ has the apostolic GIFT OF HEALING today, why don’t they go into St. Jude’s Hospital for crippled children and empty that place?”

    Why didn’t Jesus go do the same thing? Visit the leper colonies etc?

    Matthew 17:14When they came to the crowd, a man approached Jesus and knelt before him. 15″Lord, have mercy on my son,” he said. “He has seizures and is suffering greatly. He often falls into the fire or into the water. 16I brought him to your disciples, but they could not heal him.”

    17″O unbelieving and perverse generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me.” 18Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed from that moment.

    19Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?”

    20He replied, “Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

    Interesting to read why they could not heal since clearly they had the power to do so even then but did not have the faith to go with the power!

    Jesus left John the Baptist to be killed, surely he had the power to free him since there are accounts of the Apostles being freed from Prison, based on your logic WDTBS then Jesus power was gone when John the Baptist was locked up!?!?!?!

    I think we want to make things simple and they are not simple and God will not fit or stay in a box for us!

  10. wdtbs I agree if those who seek Glory on TV can really heal then let them go without a camera and do so. I do believe that healing does take place in places where there are no alternatives through medicine. And i do believe that those who seek to gain wealth are doing so through the false use of healing gifts.

    But none the less I do believe that we are still in the end days. That God sometimes says no to even Paul!

  11. Jesus wasn’t like Benny Hinn, Oral Roberts, Kenneth Copeland, or any of today’s so-called faith healers. He didn’t have all the people with organic diseases leave the same way they came. Luke 4:40 says, “Now when the sun was setting, all they that had any who were sick with various diseases, brought them unto Him; and He laid His hands on every one of them, and healed them.” He healed with a word and a touch, instantaneously, totally, and everybody. That is why He didn’t have to heal in His own environment; He could go where they were. Today, we have people traveling to so-called faith healers to be healed, and if you’ve ever been to see Benny Hinn, or any of these name it and claim it guys, you will also see multitudes of people leaving in the same wheelchairs they came in…and don’t forget to bring your money, in case they pass the big bucket around. God does heal, but the work he had through his apostles has passed away. If not, find me the men like Paul and Peter and lets go clean some of these hospitals out and lets go raise the dead. My friend overdosed this past week on drugs and was cremated yesterday, go get your so-called faith healers to raise her from the dead. Peter had this power….and before anyone says ….”but, you must have faith before God will heal”…………….ask yourself how much faith a dead man can have…..because they raised the dead with their power.

  12. 1 cor 1:4-6
    gifts,gifts,gifts, waiting for the coming of our lord jesus christ.
    stir up those gifts folks.
    at least until he gets here……………
    lee

  13. Jesus is never called a “that” which is perfect. The word “perfect” means complete…so what was in part then? Knowledge ! As Paul stated, he KNEW in part…so the word “that” refers to something that was in part, but will be complete……

  14. The word “perfect” is the Greek word teleion. The literature of the NT usually equates the Greek word teleion with maturity. In its eight occurrences in Paul’s epistles, six are translated “mature.” The phrase “that which is perfect” is often used in the Greek language to speak of purpose or a goal.

    Listen carefully to the definition of spiritual gifts: A spiritual gift was a God-given capacity through which the Holy Spirit SUPERNATURALLY ministered to the church. If the gift of teaching was functioning today, wouldn’t all teachers be saying the same thing? If it is a supernatural function of the Holy Spirit, would the Holy Spirit be teaching different things?

  15. walkinginlove, I guess my beef is with these so-called faith healers who are taking peoples money and if you have ever been to these “events” the same folks coming in blind, leave blind.

    I do believe God still heals, but I do NOT believe people today have the GIFT of healing. Where are they??? It’s easy to say it, but go find one of them, and then have them at least raise one person from the dead. Peter said he had this power and he proved it…find someone today riasing the dead…

  16. wdtbs we have the same beef!

    My point is this:

    1 Cor 13:12Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

    God knows us to a level that we even do not know, numbering every hair etc. Paul is talking about seeing complete as God does, the Bible does not give us that level of knowledge, it does give us some knowledge but if it was Perfect or complete it would give perfect and complete knowledge and in our fallen state we can’t work at that level!

    Face to face is not reading the bible, knowing fully as God knows is not reading the Bible. Bible is talking about when we are complete in Jesus and no longer limited by our fallen state.

    Do you know as God knows? The answer is no!

  17. that is the beauty of the bible,
    it doesent need me to validate it.
    thanks for encouragement.
    lee

  18. Walkinginlove, there are at least 5 views of that particular verse or verses, and I will acknowledge that I am open to what you are saying…and I will also say, I am not yet convinced on which view I take. However, I do not see the gifts being exercised as they were in the earl church. I do have mixed feelings about these issues and I am not so dogmatic to be puffed up with pride and pretend I know it all, because I do not. Like I said, find one person right now with the power that Paul, Jesus and Peter had, and lets raise someone from the dead….I haven’t seen this kind of power today, but have seen a lot of “actors” on TV, taking peoples money all in the name of faith….

  19. wdtb,
    are you a coc preacher? if you have already said i
    must have missed it. i just want see where you are coming from. thankyou.
    lee

  20. No, Lee. I am not a cofC preacher. I may hold to what they teach on many levels, but far from being a preacher. I am open on many points on this subject so Im just along for the ride to see where its going. I just dont see “gifts of healing” being used today…

  21. I received a VHS from Mr. Hairston, former preacher from the Martinsville CofC on these same issues that we are discussing. The VHS was a debate between a CofC preacher and a Pentecostal. It was a good debate, probably one of the best I have seen. They both made good points and both were knowledgeable with the bible, and honestly, I don’t know who won that debate.

  22. well if i have to point it out. i would say
    that my point is that jesus hasnt come back
    yet.{unless i missed something} so, that being said
    we should come behind in no gift.
    and btw as johnny likes to say when i point out a scripture to him “your reading other peoples mail”
    well god bundled it all together and made sure i got a copy. as far as im concerned its wrote to me.
    lee

  23. Lee, how does that play in the verse above where you said what about 1 cor 1:4-6??1
    Corinthians 1:4-6
    I always thank God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. 5For in him you have been enriched in every way—in all your speaking and in all your knowledge— 6because our testimony about Christ was confirmed in you.

  24. I could go back to eternal security with the next two verses Lee

    8Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
    9God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
    Tell ya what, you believe verse 7 speaks of “gifts” as supernatural gifts for everyone, and I believe verses 8 and 9 are pretty good one for our last topic – eternal security…wonder what the context here is ??? 🙂

  25. “On July 15, 2008 at 1:09 pm whatdoesthebiblesay Said:

    Walkinginlove, there are at least 5 views of that particular verse or verses, and I will acknowledge that I am open to what you are saying…and I will also say, I am not yet convinced on which view I take. However, I do not see the gifts being exercised as they were in the earl church. I do have mixed feelings about these issues and I am not so dogmatic to be puffed up with pride and pretend I know it all, because I do not.”

    Actually the interesting thing about the pride element is that the only way it can be called perfect is to take the my way or the highway stand on it, anything less makes Complete less then so if you gather what I am saying.

    For it to be complete and thus perfect it has only one interpretation, and all else is false prophet teachings etc. Can you see why the CoC have to walk the line they walk? For anything less then their doctrinal issues fall apart start to unravel.

    Paul clearly says that then he will see “something” face to face and that “something” he will know as God knows him. God knows all our faults even those we don’t even know about yet. Nobody can claim that level on knowledge of the Bible no matter how hard they try to convince us because they are limited by their human understanding. Secondly even if “they” can see perfectly, all others must be able to see the same thing before it becomes perfect and complete.

    One interesting thing is that when Jesus was done with his mission he said it was finished ie. complete. So one could argue that the complete is Jesus or the Perfect.

    And frankly the fact that we have perfect meaning complete cries out that the Bible is not the perfect, otherwise it would say complete and not perfect. Thus the passage itself breaks the argument down because of the word differences!

    So for the Bible to be complete and perfect as Paul as saying so much so that we would know it as well as God knows us, then all other views must be discounted as false teachings and attacked. And because of that we must force all others to believe as we believe and follow exactly as we follow or it doesn’t work.

    Thus by declaring the perfect to be the Bible we all have to operate as the radical CoC do!

  26. btw, the link above is from a CofC preacher, but he doesnt act like the locals TV CofC guys. He understand that we all are on diff. levels of understanding, and we all do not understand the bible the same…too bad the local CofC guys dont hae this same spirit.

  27. From Church History in plain language page 64-66 here we see a detail of what happened during the transition from the Spirit to the Bible as we know it today:

    “In the second half of the second century a change was coming over the church. The days of enthusiasm were passing and the days of ecclesiasticism were arriving. The church was no longer a place where the Spirit of prophecy could be heard. More and more people were joining the churches, but the distinction between church and world were fading. The church was becoming secularized; it was coming to terms with heathen thought and culture and philosophy. The way of the cross was no longer rough and steep.

    Into this situation, sometime between 156AD and 172AD Montanus appeared, a voice in the wilderness of Asia Minor. He came with a demand for a higher standard and a greater discipline and sharper separation of the church from the world. Had he halted there, he could have done little but good, but he went much further. He and his two prophetesses, Prisca and Maximilla, went about prophesying in the name of the Spirit, and foretelling the the speedy second coming of Christ. That in itself was not extraordinary. But these new prophets, in contrast to prophets in biblical times, spoke in a state of ecstasy, as though their personalities were suspended while the Paraclete spoke through them. Montanus was convinced that he and his prophetesses were the God-given instruments of revelation, the lyres across which the Spirit swept to play a ne wsong. With that Montanus’ super-spirituality went to far.

    Clearly the church had to act. The greater problem was disorder. Montanus as a herald of a new spiritual vitality and a new challenge to holiness was one thing; but when Montanists insisted that opposition to the new prophesy was blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, many churches split over the question.

    Montanus’ doctrine of the new age of the Spirit suggested that the Old Testament period was past, and that the Christian period centering in Jesus had ended. The prophet claimed the right to push Christ and the apostolic message to the background. The fresh music of the Spirit could override important notes of the Christian gospel; Christ was no longer central. In the name of the Spirit, Montanus denied that God’s decisive and normative revelation had occurred in Jesus Christ.

    In the face of this challenge how could the church keep the gospel central? In had to make all later Christian worship, teaching, and life center in Christ and the apostolic witness. Free utterances of the Spirit would not guarantee that; Montanism was making this clear. The best way to make the original apostolic gospel basic was to set apart the apostolic writings as uniquely authoritative. This would require all later faith and action to be judged in the light of that central message.

    It was not that the church had ceased to believe in the power of the Holy Spirit. The difference was that in the first days the Holy Spirit had enabled men to write the sacred books of the Christian faith; in the later days the Holy Spirit enabled men to understand, to interpret, and to apply what was been written.”

    There is more about what books were originally talked about as being allowed and that transitioned over time to the existing book.

    Now what I find interesting is that we see what appears to be a clear anti-christ move on the part of the phophet to make Christ secondary and this triggered the move to the Bible.

    Thus one could argue that what we bound on earth has been bound in heaven! In other words the prophetic gift got to be to messy and was doing damage because Satan was using that gift to fake the Spirit’s move.

    Some churches splits over this issue, so they had to act to limit the damage that Satan could do to the church by false prophetic messages.

    A very interesting insight, granted my study of church history is only starting so I do not know the authors bias if any in this matter of Spiritual Gifts.

    Anyway please read and comment!

  28. “On July 15, 2008 at 6:08 pm whatdoesthebiblesay Said:

    walkinlove,I can’t recall where I got the 5 views from, I will go back and look at my notes/sub folders. I do have a link you may find interesting.

    http://www.zianet.com/maxey/reflx327.htm

    An excellent study, and he correctly focus’ on Love as the greatest gift and that we are to strive towards that Love.

    However:

    1 Cor 13:10But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

    1 Cor 13:12For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

    I don’t believe you can address 13:10 without filtering through 13:12 and the key part of the verse that screams to be heard is “but then shall I know even as also I am known”

    The question is what does that mean. Sitting here just now the thought passed that maybe one explanation is that Paul is talking about when he dies and is with Christ that then he will know as he is known!

    Otherwise it would have to mean second coming of Christ.

  29. 2 Timothy 3:4treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.

    What is the power this speaks of? I have wondered if it was the power of the Holy Spirit thus I ask.

  30. du/namiv is the word used for power.

    1. strength power, ability
    1. inherent power, power residing in a thing by virtue of its nature, or which a person or thing exerts and puts forth
    2. power for performing miracles
    3. moral power and excellence of soul
    4. the power and influence which belong to riches and wealth
    5. power and resources arising from numbers
    6. power consisting in or resting upon armies, forces, hosts

  31. 2 Timothy 3:4treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them

    – I don’t see any connection with the word power in this verse and supernatural power that was exercised by the apostles. Should it read “Having a form of Godliness, but denying the supernatural power that is for us all” it doesn’t say that…one has to read that into the text.

  32. 2 Tim 3:1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
    2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
    3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
    4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
    5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
    6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,
    7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
    A few examples where confessing Christians display a form of Godliness but deny His power are given below

    • Those that are faithless to believe that God raised His Son Jesus physically from the dead
    • Those who are faithless to believe that the Son of God became a man within Mary without the help of any man
    • Those who do not believe that the Son of God was the atonement and propitiation for all of mankind’s sins
    • Those who reject or add to the good news of salvation through God’s grace by faith in God’s only begotten Son
    • Those who do not believe that God’s Son is fully God they make him a lessor god
    • Those who claim salvation comes through the good works of man
    • Those who think man will bring a paradise on the earth through his own efforts
    • Those who believe that the world was created by time and chance
    • Those who do not believe the supernatural events of the Old Testament
    • Those who do not believe the supernatural works of the New Testament
    • Those who do not believe God’s prophets
    • Those who say that God created the universe but believe that God does not intervene in it
    • Those who deny that there will be a final judgment of evil by God
    • Those who do not believe in the power of prayer to God to change things
    • Those who are do not believe that the Bible is the word of God sufficiently preserved by God for our faith and practice
    • Those organizations that use deviant, predatory and misleading fund raising techniques displaying the faithlessness of their leadership
    • Those organizations that display more reliance on psychology and philosophies of men than faith in God and the power of prayer

  33. Faithful, you’re so wrong ! You wish to stay clear of being a denomination, or admit to being a group of people who hold a particular belief system. Which cofC do you belong to? Before you answer and say the one in the bible, or the one Christ died for, let me make my question a bit more clear. There are many cofC assemblies that teach contrary teachings, but all say the same thing ( they all claim to be “The church” ). Btw, the word Gospel means good news, which I rarely hear being preached from you guys. Matter of fact, you rarely even discuss Jesus on your broadcast. You seem to desire a message of hate and fighting with others, and not a gospel( good news ) message. I know where you will go next with this – you will refer the entre bible as the gospel, thus making Johnny and his boys “gospel preachers”. What you really should admit is that they preach the bible as they understand it, just like everyone else.

  34. wdtbs, you hit the nail on the head and faithful why don’t you guys try learing what the bible tells us instead of trying to twist into something you guys want it to say.

  35. The bible was given to us so that everyone can hear the good news that God sent Jesus to us so that He can save us. If this is not being taught then Gods word is not being taught. The bible was given to us to help us live not to hurt each other with it.

  36. truth, when was the last time that you heard Johnny or any of his boys preaching the good news about Christ and His work?? Seems they are just wanting ti fight with people all of the time.

  37. Why don’t we start another thread “Is the Church of Christ what they claim to be” That is the Church of Christ and the only Church that is teaching the truth of God’s word.

    Start the thread, lets see if their claim really stands up under the light of the word!

    Before we drift off topic here, ok?

    WDTBS what do you see as his power? The definition I list are the greek meaning for the word used. One of those meanings is

    2. power for performing miracles

    That’s why I listed it here. However I can see that by description of those in the passage it may be talking about his will, since to act as they are acting you would have to be acting against his will.

  38. They teach what fits their agenda. They teach that we can save ourselves, when Jesus is the only one who can save us. When people think they are so powerful they can save themselves they take away the power of Gods grace. To meet their agenda they put aside that God tells us we should show love and compassion to one another. God knows how sinful people can be and that’s why He sent Jesus to us. And God tells us He will save us as long as we accept Jesus as our Saviour and believe that it is by His grace we are saved. When we do good works that is God working in us. Our works do not save us Jesus saved us.

  39. I’m not sure walkinginlove, I just think the context isn’t addressing the supernatural far as “gifts of healing” and things go. I am open minded to look into this further, so maybe we can move on to the other topic – Is the Church of Christ THE CHURCH? In once sense, you must say yes, seeing Christ died for the church; but what we really mean, is the Church of Christ denomination the only true followers of Christ, are they THE CHURCH

  40. I believe miracles do happen. Sometimes a person may need a miracle to come to God and sometimes a person may need a miracle to not to fall away from God. And sometimes people want to blame the bad things on God and not see the power of God in the good things, and there are times God lets us go through things to have stronger faith in Him.

  41. I will tell you now where this will lead if faithful and others wish to join this table talk – it will end up back at baptism, because they view this as entrance into the graces of God. Baptism is like the doorway to get to Christ per their theology. In other words, without the water one cant contact the blood, which makes one part of the Church. Once we get past this issue, they will say you have to “pattern” yourself after the early church. And, of coarse that means you must follow their interpretation of the bible or risk being excommunicated-dis-fellowshipped.

  42. This is from someone who left the Church of Christ:
    Members of the Church of Christ insist that their church is not a denomination. They readily admit that the Lord’s people were described by various terms, such as, Christians, saints, firstborn ones, etc., but they cling to one designation – Church of Christ. They maintain that it would be scriptural to use all of the above designations, but in practice they utilize only one. Look for the sign over the door or in front of the building and you will find their name; advertisements in the paper or in the phone book carry their name; many congregations send out advertising brochures which carry their name; and many use letterheads and envelopes that bear their name – Church of Christ. This is to distinguish them from the Church of God, the Baptist Church the Presbyterian Church, the Methodist Church, the Catholic Church, etc. It began to bother me that it was inconsistent and hypocritical to contend that the Church of Christ was not a denomination, when in fact it was – like all the rest.
    The first requirement of a denomination is to have a specified name. “It is (1) the act of naming; (2) a name; (3) the name of a class of things; (4) a class or kind … having a specific name…; (5) a religious sect: as a Protestant denomination.” These definitions are from Webster’s New World Dictionary. Certainly, on this point, the Church of Christ qualifies as a denomination. Just declaring yourselves “not one” is not sufficient to escape the logical conclusion.
    Furthermore, everything that characterizes the denominations of the world (those claiming to follow Christ), are found in the Church of Christ: Corporate body, organization, membership, Church buildings, clergy, worship-services, etc. In fact, I challenge you to name one thing that qualifies a group to be a denomination that is not found in the Church of Christ. You can’t name one! The Church of Christ is a denomination.
    In fact, the Church of Christ is a sect as well. Members of a sect, by definition, are narrow-minded and bigoted (Webster’s New World Dictionary). Many of the members of the Church of Christ are narrow-minded and bigoted, thinking that only those of their particular brand of Church of Christ-ism will be saved. There are over twenty different sects among those wearing the Church of Christ name and claiming to be the “one true Church.” They usually do not fellowship each other. Often, they will not call on a person from another Church of Christ to lead in prayer, lead the congregational singing, or take part in the “services” in some other way. Some preachers will go so far as to insist that a person desiring membership be re-baptized if they come from another type of Church of Christ. I suppose if a group starts their own church, they can establish their own rules and regulations to govern it.

  43. I have grown up in the churches of Christ my whole life, and readily admit that we are a denomination. It is kind of absurd to claim otherwise, and very dishonest. I was never even exposed (thank goodness) to people who believed we were the “one true church” and other absurdities-and to go as far as alienating ones own family members for the sake of it-till late in college. It makes me both sad and angry that people think this way, and as you can see-treat people in such an unloving, un-Christlike manner…and then tag the name “Christ” onto their actions when they do not resemble Him whatsoever.

    Not EVERYone in churches of Christ believe this way-in fact and in truth (and thankfully) it is a small minority. Most people realize (or are starting to realize) we are part of the larger body of Christ and how important it is to see that. There are only a few of those “sects” that believe they are the one true church. Yes, we are divided, and yes I hate it-but many of us fellowship with each other-it is only the extremely legalistic, sectarian side that will not and only continue to divide us more. They alienate themselves more into a sect when they act as they do.

    There are things I do not agree within my heritage, but they are still my family and I love them-I do not like when blanket statements are made, because there are many of us that do believe in the grace of God and live in it and are still part of the churches of Christ-without condemning everyone else who does not believe the same. Many of my beliefs are actually different than many I fellowship with, but they are still my brothers and sisters and I love them. I will not put stumbling blocks in their way, but hope we can all walk this journey together-setting aside our labels, agendas, and pre-conceived notions and simply follow Jesus-seeking Him in the world and showing people His love and grace.

  44. 1 Cor 13:10But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

    1 Cor 13:12For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

    I don’t believe you can address 13:10 without filtering through 13:12 and the key part of the verse that screams to be heard is “but then shall I know even as also I am known”

    I still do not have an answer for verse 12, to me its a restatement of 10 but differently with more details and again the sticking point is that Paul will know as he is known and that is not possible through Bible study to know all that God knows! Even Jesus does not know all the father knows!

    Thus the problem I see with the gifts being gone is verse 12!

    And from a personal experience, while small healing, my son once prayed for my headache and it was gone the instant he prayed for me. My son was two years old at the time and frankly I was shocked when it happened that it was gone completely.

    Yeah I know, according to James thats not the gifts but some mojo internal God thingy that was triggered like with the Hindu psychic healers do. But to me it was God answering the prayer of a small child.

    So to me the gifts are still available but it is our unbelief and fear that limit their power.

    To me the gifts leave when Christ returns simply because they are no longer needed because we will know as we are known as Paul states in the above passage!

  45. That’s how I see it walkinlove, I believe spiritual gifts still exist. As I said before, for one I do not deny or limit the power of God, and also I believe the bible says that spiritual gifts will cease when knowledge ceases in which knowledge will cease when Christ returns.

  46. And from a personal experience, while small healing, my son once prayed for my headache and it was gone the instant he prayed for me. My son was two years old at the time and frankly I was shocked when it happened that it was gone completely.

    – sorry, but this is a far cry from the gift of healing. God does answer pray, but this is not even close to the gift of healing. Raise the dead, thats what they done

  47. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 Confess your trespasses[a] to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.

    Lee and other quoted this verse and I let it slide to see if anyone else would catch what this verse says. Notice the pray of faith will save the sick. This is not the faith of the one sick, but the faith of the one praying. It’s their faith that is addressed here. “the fervent prayer of a rightous man avils much”. So, when you call the elders to pray for someone sick and they are healed, it’s their lack of faith, not the one sick. That’s at least what is addressed here. I still see that we are not understanding the gift of healing just wasn’t something where one could pray for someones headache, but it was God giving man supernatural power that could raise the dead, make the blind see, make the lame walk.

  48. “On July 18, 2008 at 5:50 am whatdoesthebiblesay Said:

    And from a personal experience, while small healing, my son once prayed for my headache and it was gone the instant he prayed for me. My son was two years old at the time and frankly I was shocked when it happened that it was gone completely.

    – sorry, but this is a far cry from the gift of healing. God does answer pray, but this is not even close to the gift of healing. Raise the dead, thats what they done”

    Interesting, because it felt like healing and seemed like a gift from God! 😉

  49. “On July 17, 2008 at 10:44 pm Truth Said:

    That’s how I see it walkinlove, I believe spiritual gifts still exist. As I said before, for one I do not deny or limit the power of God, and also I believe the bible says that spiritual gifts will cease when knowledge ceases in which knowledge will cease when Christ returns.”

    Agreed, I do think that the examples of Christ removing unbelievers and being limited in his home province because of their offense and unbelief.

    That is one reason have have issues with the stadium size services and tv programming that involve supposed healing. I have to think that at least a few people at those services and also those watching TV might not believe that they can do what they claim to do and thus be a block to the release of God’s power.

    And I can back up this idea through scripture if I need to but people know the examples if they know scripture at all.

    “Mark 5:39He went in and said to them, “Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep.” 40But they laughed at him.
    After he put them all out, he took the child’s father and mother and the disciples who were with him, and went in where the child was. 41He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum!” (which means, “Little girl, I say to you, get up!” ).”

    Notice he put them all out that had laughed at him, thus showing their unbelief.

    “Matthew 13:58And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith.”

    And here Jesus is limited by their lack of faith. Now according to James a faith healer should be able to walk into his TV show and do a miracle! Now you tell me how ignorant can he be to not know that Jesus was limited to the belief of others around him? He is either ignorant of scripture or he is setting a trap to prove himself correct by hoping that someone who believes they have the gift of healing would take the bait and then be unable to do so. James is playing with a stacked deck so to speak when he stands and says to prove him wrong and shut him up. The Bible clearly shows that he will never have to shut up because he does not believe and thus will keep any healing gift from operating!

  50. You’re confusing healing with supernatural healing that God granted to the apostles to such a degree that Peter could raise the dead. God gave them a gift that they could exercise , they didn’t need to even pray, they just said “get and walk” and could make the blind see….raise the dead….its not just praying for someone, they had this power without having to pray to God. Like they had the gift of preaching, they were in complete guidance of the Holy Spirit – like Jesus told them, the Holy Spirit would bring all things He said to their remembrance. Praying for someone is far different than telling someone “rise, get up and walk”. Peter even said “such Power as I have”. Peter didn’t need to pray, he had the power to heal via the gift of God.

    PS. See how many times you can find the word feel in the bible. Its not about “feeling” or experiences. Also, just because your headache was gone doesn’t mean your son had the gift of healing. Could that prayer been answered of God from your son, sure. But, this is not what the apostles done, they had the power without prayer to heal…as I said, Peter said he had the power and said get up and walk….his shadow passing someone could heal them….this was the gift of healing

  51. how much faith did the dead have when they were raised ?? I see both sides of this, I knew you would come back with them verses, I have used them myself. I see both sides…we agree more then you think.

  52. I disagree, Jesus pointed to prayer, if the apostles had not prayed they would not have been in God’s will or walked with the complete power of the gifts given! Prayer was critical to the gifts working.

    When they could not cast out a demon Jesus said the following:

    Mark 9:29He replied, “This kind can come out only by prayer.

    They had the power because their faith was finally strong enough to release the full power. Before they had only partially been able to walk in that power.

    Faith allows the gifts to operate, lack of faith and offense shuts it down completely even for God.

  53. I disagree with this phrase: “And here Jesus is limited by their lack of faith” in refrence to Matthew 13:58 And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith.”

    I don’t believe that there is anything that we can do to limit Jesus’s power or prevent Jesus from bringing about anything that He so desires. Although I don’t think you meant that…the phrase gives an air of superiorty to we humans over God in that by lack of faith we claim that if our faith is small then we can prevent God from carrying out His purposes and thereby we have power over Him. I guess I am one of those who believes that God’s power and ability to perform whatever He wishes is not determined by what we do or don’t do, believe or don’t believe.

  54. When I said I believe spiritual gifts exist such as miracles and speaking in tongues, I believe they exist because I don’t deny or limit the power of God along with what the bible says. In saying I don’t deny or limit such a power I mean that just because I don’t have these gifts or really know anybody who has these gifts that does not mean it doesn’t happen. Now I have experienced people who claimed that they could do such things as speak in tongues but to me what they were doing did not look like anything from God and they showed they didn’t follow Gods word, for one there was no interpreter present and nobody could understand what they were saying and the bible Gods word says if these things are not done in this order when speaking in tongues to keep silent, and also these people told me that I need to be able to speak in tongues in order to be saved and nowhere does the bible say that. I believe people can and do lie about having these gifts and make a mockery of them. But just because of this experience I am not going to throw the baby out with the bath water.

  55. I believe God gives us the Holy Spirit not just to give people Spiritual gifts but mostly God gives us the Holy Spirit to help us in ways such as helping us have better understanding of Gods word and help guide us in our walk with God. Just because somebody doesn’t have a Spiritual gift doesn’t mean that they don’t have the Holy Spirit, I believe God gives us many gifts that we can use to serve and glorify Him with. We can glorify and seve God in so many things that we can do. I believe a simple gift in being able to listen to someone when they need someone to talk to is serving and glorifying God just as much as having the gift of singing and playing music is used to serve and glorify Him with. But probably the most important gift we should pray for the Holy Spirit to give us is the gift of understanding and love.

  56. “On July 18, 2008 at 9:26 am whatdoesthebiblesay Said:

    Walkinglove, you seem very schooled in biblical matters, just curious what background of Christianity you came from…church of Christ ??”

    No I did have an exchange with a few of them once, it was an eye opening experience and while it caused me to reexamine what I believed and why, thus I threw everything out and have started from scratch and frankly I am shocked that they place Acts 2:38 as an key verse of their denominational beliefs. But thanks for the kind words I only wish I were as knowledgeable as you think LOL! A PC based bible makes it easy to do subject studies along with access to the Greek online.

    But to answer I started out Baptist and currently attend a Church that is open to the Gifts. But I call myself a follower of Christ!

  57. “On July 18, 2008 at 3:04 pm Rick Said:

    I disagree with this phrase: “And here Jesus is limited by their lack of faith” in refrence to Matthew 13:58 And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith.”

    I don’t believe that there is anything that we can do to limit Jesus’s power or prevent Jesus from bringing about anything that He so desires. Although I don’t think you meant that…the phrase gives an air of superiorty to we humans over God in that by lack of faith we claim that if our faith is small then we can prevent God from carrying out His purposes and thereby we have power over Him. I guess I am one of those who believes that God’s power and ability to perform whatever He wishes is not determined by what we do or don’t do, believe or don’t believe.”

    Rick I would ask you to go read again where it says in Mathew 23:37″O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing.”

    They could not be gathered because THEY were not willing! God does place limits on himself. Again read where Jesus removes those who did not believe. As for the dead not believing, frankly they are dead, since their body is empty of spirit they can’t believe anything.

    The only variable is Lazarus as one could argue that some where there that had no faith in him. And frankly it runs counter to what I have said, but it is also counter to the actions that were done in the matter of the child that had died and those in his own country who did not believe.

    But I do still believe that we do play a part in God’s plan.

    In Danial 10:12 Then he continued, “Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them. 13 But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia. 14 Now I have come to explain to you what will happen to your people in the future, for the vision concerns a time yet to come.”

    We see that the enemy delayed the message 21 days! If God does not limit himself why did he not allow the Angel to get through right away?

    So while Jesus was very moved by the death of a friend and because of that he raised him even with unbelievers around, there are examples clearly listed where people influence God. Look at all the prayer that changed God’s mind for example!

    Numbers 16:15 Then Moses became very angry and said to the LORD, “Do not accept their offering. I have not taken so much as a donkey from them, nor have I wronged any of them.”

    16 Moses said to Korah, “You and all your followers are to appear before the LORD tomorrow—you and they and Aaron. 17 Each man is to take his censer and put incense in it—250 censers in all—and present it before the LORD. You and Aaron are to present your censers also.” 18 So each man took his censer, put fire and incense in it, and stood with Moses and Aaron at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting. 19 When Korah had gathered all his followers in opposition to them at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting, the glory of the LORD appeared to the entire assembly. 20 The LORD said to Moses and Aaron, 21 “Separate yourselves from this assembly so I can put an end to them at once.”

    22 But Moses and Aaron fell facedown and cried out, “O God, God of the spirits of all mankind, will you be angry with the entire assembly when only one man sins?”

    23 Then the LORD said to Moses, 24 “Say to the assembly, ‘Move away from the tents of Korah, Dathan and Abiram.’ ”

    Clearly God changes his mind about who is going to die and gives some of them a chance to get away because of Moses and Aaron’s plea to him.

    There are other examples of God changing his mind. We can and do effect God both positive and negative.

    So we see where Jesus declares that he wanted to gather them but could not because they would not allow it, we see him remove people from the room of a dead child, we see him unable to do many miracles in his home lands, we see an Angel delayed by the enemy and we see examples of prayer that changes God’s mind. Also when Peter walks on water it was in Jesus mind to allow him to do so but his lack of faith stopped him from walking on water!

    We can’t control God, yet we do effect God in many ways because he allows it to happen. Because of this we should be even more careful in how we walk and act towards believers and unbelievers. We all have fallen short, we all have failed, we all should see the glass house we live in and how our actions can effect others and God. It is in the Bible after all!

    That is why I believe that gifts still exist but many in the Church have shut them down because they can be messy because Satan loves to mimic as he did in that History example I gave above and because many who are unwilling to really learn the word see any question of something that appears Spirit driven to be an attack on the Holy Spirit. The truth is the Word and the Spirit should walk together and if they do not then the Spirit has to be judged as false.

    And I believe that while James thumps his chest and says shut me up by doing a miracle on TV, he knows it can’t happen because he does not believe so he is safe because unbelief limits what God can and will do in a situation.

    However let me say that someone who prays for healing and does a blanket declaration that you did not have enough faith to defend the lack of healing is also wrong. It could be anyone watching who limited the healing and it could be that God simply said no. And it could be that he is a fake and stealing from God’s people through tricks.

    God is not mocked and justice will be delivered to those who have done things for their Glory and not his! In his time and not ours.

    So the gifts are messy because they also allow the enemy to play games in the Church, however I do believe that the false Spirit can and will be found out and that the Church has to know the word well enough to know when a gift is from God and not god!

    Sorry I was away for awhile and could not post.

  58. Please note the glass house comment is not in the Bible but a phrase LOL just in case! Also the body being empty of spirit is my assumption and not something I have studied recently so I could be totally wrong and might be even if I studied it because I see only in part! 😉

  59. On July 27, 2008 at 12:38 am walkinlove Said:

    “Rick I would ask you to go read again where it says in Mathew 23:37 ‘O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing.’ They could not be gathered because THEY were not willing! God does place limits on himself. ”

    And that is just my point. Any limits that God may have are placed there by Himself as you state above and not placed by man. I do not believe that man of his own power or will can place any limits on God. To say that we can limit God’s power, in my thinking, is to make us more powerful than Almighty God.

  60. But the choice he makes is to allow us to effect him! Why does Jesus remove those who laughed at him saying the girl was asleep? Why not gather them anyway as in the above passage?

    Because the limits he places on himself involve relationships with man. Man can limit God’s power. otherwise Peter does not sink even though his faith was weak at the end!

    Do you see that? Frankly God changes his mind after interactions with man on several occasions otherwise God is being less then honest about what he was originally going to do and that can’t be!

    The relationship with man is a limit to his power, we have to have the faith to believe in his power or it will not work. Thus if a nonbeliever in the gifts is in a service they should not occur because of the unbelief. The same goes for healing or any other spiritual gift. That is one reason I have my doubts about the mega meetings that claim healing has occurred , same for TV because someone who does not believe can and will be there and that is a limitation that God has placed on his power and why Jesus removed those who laughed at him.

  61. I am a Christian that has been a member of a Church of Christ for 13 years and a Christian since 10yrs. I am a deep bible believing person and I don’t believe in excluding anything from our Word. How do I share the truth with our Church as I am being called out as I strongly believe in all Gifts? I need good material of apologetics to plead God’s truth!

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