Are you a FULL BELIEVER or a limited "Cessationist"?A lot of Christians demand "signs" and "wonders" before they would/could believe in the Power of Christ or EVEN GOD HIMSELF. Here is what Jesus says about such people in Matthew 12:39 (ESV) "But he answered them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah".
The Bible does say in Romans 1:16 that the GOSPEL - literally the Good News of Christ found in the Bible - is the "Power of God" unto Salvation. The Bible also says in 1 Corinthians 1:18 "For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God." So Scripture explains scripture!
So we don't need any signs and wonders to be saved - all we need is the word (the Gospel) which talks about the Word Who became Flesh - the Lord Jesus Christ! Anybody who preaches otherwise is wrong. This Truth cannot be denied.
That being said, this Same Jesus about Whom the Bible speaks, never limited Himself to the thoughts and theologies of mortal man!
There is a view out there, called the Cessationist View, which is completely self-righteous - and false! I can name its proponents, who are both well known and whose preaching comes across as extremely harsh. I will NOT name them, so as to keep the Focus on Jesus only. Personally, I know of the acts, deeds and ministries of some of these men. Some actually do good work in the community among the lost, while others are separatist and do not help the poor in the community. Most of these are people who believe in the same Protestant Reformation as I do - the Five Solas and the depravity of Man - but left out the part where the Bible says "Faith without Works is dead"!
Several times in the Bible, the LORD says this about Himself "Behold, the LORD'S hand is not so short That it cannot save; Nor is His ear so dull That it cannot hear"...Isaiah 59:1 (NASB) Isaiah 50:2; Numbers 11:23... The God Who says, explicitly, that He is not a weak and limited God, is all Powerful, Almighty and Sovereign.
He, Who, laid into Job in Chapters 38-42, will do the same to us, if we continue believing like these Cessationists that ALL Miracles, Signs and Wonders ceased not just when Jesus died but with the Twelve Original Apostles. They deny the Gifts of the Spirit still exist because "all of this stopped once God closed the New Testament".
There is no empirical or otherwise written evidence that is Biblical at all. While some in the charismatic movements have taken the Gifts of the Spirit to extremes and have corrupted it for personal gain and glory (the Toronto Blessing, Todd Bentley, Patricia King and others in that strain), this does not take away from the validity and existence - for almost 2000 years now - of the Gifts of the Spirit!
GIFTS OF THE SPIRIT:
These gifts are best described here:
The gift of wisdom.
The gift of knowledge.
The gift of faith.
The gift of healing.
The gift of miracles.
The gift of prophecy.
The gift of discerning spirits.
The gift of tongues.
The gift of interpreting tongues.
The gift of administration.
The gift of helps.
No Christian has ALL of these gifts. Some have varying degrees. Some may not speak or interpret the language of Tongues. Some may have the gift of administration while others are just suited for hospitality and ministering in grief counseling, visitation or providing food to a mom of a new baby,
We all have the gift of Knowledge, wisdom and Faith....and most have the gift of Healing - if only we will just activate it and let the Holy Spirit do its work. Healing is a completely different topic, which has to be examined by itself, as it is too powerful to give just a brief mention!
In the final analysis, think about the reasons we pray.
Do we pray to a God Who stopped speaking after the Book of Revelation? If He did, why pray since He will not listen. The Bible is closed, for sure, but it was written to show us how to have an ongoing relationship with Jesus...and that means until we go to be with the Lord (those who are saved only)! Why even pray for mom or pop or little Johnny to get healed from this or that disease?!!!!!!!!!!!
All Christians praise and glorify God. This is not the issue. The question is, do we believe the Great Physician (Jehovah Rapha - God Who heals) or not....among one of the many gifts of the Spirit.
Do not use the extreme position of some, to deny the Gifts of Holy Spirit, because this is not just putting God into your own little man-made compartment, but denying the POWER behind His Spirit.
Cessationists are saved, for the most part, but they will never experience the Fullness of Christ, like the Apostle Paul did! He lived and operated and longed to die and go be with Jesus. Paul was the best example of the spiritfilled Christian, who Jesus wants us to be like!
I think it's easy to put God in a box and forget that He is all powerful. We live in a world all self-sufficient and until we get to a place where we let go, you're right, we will never witness great acts of God, miracles or healing, and rejoice in that moment.
Amen! And because we put Him in a box, we can then ignore Him and go about our own business!! Am never doing that again!! I've seen too much of His Presence and know how Magnificent and Awesome He is, Nik!! Praise His Great Name!
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