It has been quite a journey for me to travel from my first introduction to the topic of spiritual gifts, to where I am now in seeking to live by the whole counsel of God about these things. Yes, I’m sure I was always trying to live by the whole counsel of God, but the very nature of the disagreements on the issue made me uncertain what that actually involved.
From my starting place in complete ignorance of the gifts, through my first introduction to the Cessationist viewpoint in Bible College, through many viewpoints along the journey where the view of Scripture didn’t match what was written in the Cessationist brochure, to personal struggles with the weirdness of the Charismaniac alternative, to the realization that the two extremes of the pendulum had hidden a third option, the plumbline of just living by what is written (the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth), I have discovered that the biggest struggles have not been with what Scripture plainly says, but with fears of having to disagree with big-name preachers and losing friends/brothers because of this.
The result of studying the Scriptures to be clear on what God breathed-out about spiritual gifts, seeking to live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God, and to admit to the whole counsel of God on the matter, while avoiding every temptation to go beyond what is written, and accepting where big-name preachers have used eisegetical reasoning (reading their own thoughts into Scripture) rather than exegetical revelation (reading out of Scripture only what God has revealed in his own words), is the conclusion that God is far clearer on his will than the pendulum-swingers claim.
We have taken our time going through these things, not because God’s word is unclear, but because the false-teachings about spiritual gifts have both muddied the waters of truth, and created fear-based responses in people who need the spiritual gifts in operation in order to experience healing and freedom in Christ. Jesus has much he wants to do through his body, but must convince his body to humble ourselves and receive the work of the Spirit for the common good.
Note: While I want to make every effort to avoid following human teachers in the way Paul rebuked in I Corinthians, there are some well-known teachers of God’s word who expound on living by the words of God on spiritual gifts instead of denying what God has written to the church, or exaggerating what God has written into a circus side-show. I say this only to clarify that I am not presenting this as some new revelation of some maverick home church pastor who thinks he has found something no one else has ever noticed.
Rather, there are others who also agree that the most biblical way of looking at spiritual gifts is to take all the Scriptures about gifts as God breathed-them out, neither denying nor exaggerating anything God says, and treat them with the same obedient faith as all the rest of the New Testament teachings to the church.
When Jesus returns, the living Word will replace the written word, and no spiritual gifts will be required to enjoy the paradise and pleasures of God’s eternal presence. Until then, join us in seeking to live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.
© 2016 Monte Vigh ~ Box 517, Merritt, BC, V1K 1B8 ~ email@example.com
Unless otherwise noted, Scriptures are from the English Standard Version (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.)