May 21, 2017
Before I leave the topic of spiritual gifts I would like to address an important question - "Do all of the spiritual gifts that we see in the early church continue to operate in the church today?" This question, of course, particularly relates to the sign gifts (faith, miracles, healing, speaking in tongues and interpretation of tongues), revelation gifts (prophecy), and some of the servant gifts (Apostles and prophets). It should be obvious that how one answers this question will make a great deal of difference in what the church looks like and how it operates.
The belief that all of the spiritual gifts continue to operate in the church today is called continuationism. Those who hold this position are called continuationists. The belief that some of the spiritual gifts have ceased to operate in the church today is called cessationism. Those who hold this position are called cessationists. As you have probably guessed, we are cessationists and in the next cultivator I would like to set forth the reasons why we hold this view.
However, before I do this it is important to clarify what cessationism does not mean. Believing that the supernatural gifts have ceased to operate in the local church is not the same thing as believing that God no longer works supernaturally! To say that the gift of miracles or healings has ceased is not to say that God never does a miracle or heals people. As cessationists we simply believe that God has chosen to no longer give such supernatural gifts to members of the local church. Next time we will begin exploring why this is the case.