Glad you are one. All rights reserved. I love how your words and your reading force me to think. So in that sense maybe I wouldn’t call myself a cessationist, because I do believe God can and does work through those kinds of gifts on occasion, but I just think there is much less occasion for it now that we have the written Word of God, which can reach many people more effectively than a miracle here and there. the expectation that God should heal everyone who was prayed for and if he didn’t the problem must be a lack of faith. Your thoughts? I see him at work in my own life and in the lives of those around me. I recommend this book be read with an open mind. Please … That’s the here humanity has reached…. I’m pretty fond of God in a nice neat box, but I’ve learned that there is peril in this, and am getting more and more comfortable with saying things like, “I don’t know for sure, but I’m hesitant to limit God by saying what He will or won’t do to manifest His glory.”. Etymology. The Spirit has many functions, roles, and activities. “I believe that one of the reasons why spiritual gifts are less frequent in certain seasons of church history than in others is due to the fact that people didn’t seek, pursue, or passionately and incessantly pray for these gifts. My views have changed over the years. However, because we have the completed Words of God, the Spirit does not normally work through physical miracles today. The writer of Hebrews tells us that the purpose of miracles (or at least one of the purposes) is to testify to and confirm the message (Hebrews 2:4). Or instead do you believe he stopped moving supernaturally near the end of the first century? I’m so terrible at finishing books…I have a lot of them started, though. I believe that each “side” of these belief systems can benefit from listening and joining in with the other. As mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles, outpourings of the Holy Spirit can include healing, prophecy, exorcism, and speaking in tongues. I am very much confused as some say that for example speaking in tongues is a gift of the Holy Spirit while the other says it is 100 percent demonic. ***Simple corrections of incomplete sentences*** The tone of the book is positive, not prideful for those who do believe or condemning for those who don’t. May you have a wonderful Easter! But please do not think that the main work of the Holy Spirit is in the form of the miraculous. That’s one reason I hold my current beliefs with an open hand because I trust God is always transforming us to more full truths. The Gabriel inscription predicts a Messiah who would resurrect on the third day. Did the believers receive the Holy Spirit when they were baptized in Samaria in Acts 8? The Holy S pirit is the third person of the Blessed Trinity, just as active in the world today as ever. Well done, Lisa! Re his question, “If signs, wonders, and miracles were essential in the physical presence of the Son of God, how much more essential are they now in his absence?” I don’t know, but on the road to Emmaus, when Jesus met up with two disciples after He had been resurrected, it’s significant to me that He ministered to them from His Word rather than with His physical presence. A friend says before the universe existed, there was a quantum vacuum that created it. While that doesn’t negate the healings that do occur, it does remind me that (1) miraculous healing is not something we can conjure up on our own, and that (2) healing doesn’t always look like we think anyway. I begged God in my bedroom to let that happen to me if it was something I needed. I have seen excesses, but I have also been in quiet settings where I have seen power that was undeniable. I have been hearing a lot about obedience recently and I like that God is not looking at out success but out obedience. those whose greatest fear in worship is emotionalism and those whose greatest fear is intellectualism. Your email address will not be published. Their faith is forever changed and solidified because of it. May you have a Blessed Holy Week! Thanks for stopping in, Margaret. . The question is whether the Holy Spirit still dispenses the miraculous gifts today. The aforementioned paragraph is key. If that is what you are saying, then you are correct. It’s a gift I’ve not been given. I totally agree with you that the Spirit communicates with us when we’re receptive to listen! 5:16). The Holy Spirit is God Himself tangibly working in our hearts, minds and sometimes in our bodies to experience God's … – Sam Storms. So chapter by chapter, gift by gift, Storms writes why he does believe that the Spirit still works through humans with special gifts. He didn’t say, “Hey, guys, it’s me!” At least until much later. . How is the Holy Spirit active in our lives today? Mary Baker Eddy, founder of “Christian Science,” characterized the third person of the Trinity as “Divine Science” (n.d., 55). As an aside, I am currently about 1/3 of the way through the book you recently mentioned to me, Grit, and like it a great deal. I so appreciate you taking the time to write down these thoughts, Barbara. Holy Spirit sanctifies us (2 Thess. I really enjoyed reading what you have shared here, Pam! Holy Spirit is the agent by which we are baptized into the body of Christ (1 Cor. 1:13; 4:30). Copyright ® 2020 Evidence for Christianity. Jesus’ life was the ultimate lesson in righteousness, and He has sent us a Helper to teach us to learn righteousness of Him. He includes scriptures and personal experiences to back up his claims. However, because we have the completed Words of God, the Spirit does … The Bible notes several roles the Holy Spirit plays in the lives of people today. You likely have one, too. What a blessing to have witnessed a number of miracles, Carol. The Word of God does not change, nothing will be taken away or put to it. I wish I could understand his ways better. The role of the Holy Spirit: to give us strength and help in our fight against sin. to Josephus John the Baptist died 5 years after Jesus and that the gospel writers rewrote history to fit the Jesus narrative? In other words, they had not because they asked not, and they asked not because they believed not!”. God is God. Yikes – I didn’t realize how lengthy my response was until it published. How were the gifts of the Holy Spirit given? I have to be careful to not get caught up in MY view, but to trust in God’s plan! The Holy Spirit confirms things as true. First, "receiving the Holy Spirit" is the same as "the baptism in the Holy Spirit." There is only one God and He is the third divine person of the Trinity. Your concluding paragraph is so true: the working of the Spirit is often through people that are quiet and “invisible” as they allow him to move through them. Your email address will not be published. ” 2 Peter 1: 20 – “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.” v21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”. I love seeing gritty people. The latter appendix includes this list: “Twelve Bad Reasons for Being a Cessationist” (one who believes certain gifts have ceased, stopped). He grieves, He knows, He is eternal, He encourages, He gives understanding, He gives peace, He comforts, He directs, and He can be prayed to. There are many, many testimonies of people who weren't even Christians, but have felt the incredible power of the Spirit – often it's been instrumental in their decision to follow Jesus; the Alpha course is built … Some go beyond the gifts explained in the Scripture claiming the church now has more power than the apostles had and abilities from new gifts that not … I can tell that this is a subject you’ve spent time studying, Linda. Holy Spirit, in Christian belief, the third person of the Trinity. Storms follows that list with another list: “Twelve Good Reasons for Being a Continuationist” (one who believes that all the gifts of the Spirit continue to be given by God today). My thanks to BookLook Bloggers For example, I don’t think we necessarily need to speak in tongues during a meeting with fellow Christians. Thanks, Lisa, for using your mind and your heart to advance the kingdom of God and to encourage us to be thinking people. Paul wrote, “You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit…. I’m always amazed at stories of missionaries in foreign countries. But neither should we take steps to artificially induce them.”. And the risk is worth it.”, “When God wants to bless us with a miraculous answer to our prayer, he will take the initiative to cultivate and build into our hearts the fulfillment of the condition he requires.”. I missed out a lot on the traditional spiritual disciplines as well, and have enjoyed learning, as an adult, about how to do contemplative prayer, lectio divina, etc., from a nearby Catholic community. The Holy Spirit was pretty active during the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. I call this expression of worship a spiritual gift. Holy Spirit seals us unto the day of redemption (Eph. As a consequence, too much concentration focuses on the subjective experience of the Spirit rather than … However, I missed out on a lot of the spiritual disciplines that were deemed a little too “traditional” or “ritual.” So in the last few years, as my pace has greatly slowed down, God has led me to research and look into some of those older practices. . Letting go of “success” is a difficult thing, especially in our American culture where we often equate obedience WITH success. Even where they are not, in some (including where we are now) I often sense a powerful evidence of the Holy Spirit. Miracles are not used by God to convince people to become a Christian, but to validate that the message is from God. 1:2; Rom. I was in Africa on my second mission trip, and we prayed for a woman’s leg to be healed. . First, the Holy Spirit provides conviction of sin to all people. Pretty much the only time when significant miracles are recorded is in times when God was giving new revelation. I agree with you–because I’ve seen the Spirit actively at work in my own life and in the lives of others, I believe that he is definitely still active today. Speaking in tongues is only spoken to God. If it once was, it still is, however, there are certain qualification that must be present in our life. He is not some impersonal power, like energy. I also appreciate you sharing your personal experiences. I’m so glad you are enjoying Grit. And the primary reason God continues to heal after Pentecost is because he is a merciful, compassionate God. The drive to figure out and explore what is and what is not about God only makes us push towards blurred lines. 1 Cor 12:3 says we cannot say Jesus is Lord unless we have the Spirit, but the Bible teaches we must say Jesus is Lord to receive the Holy Spirit. That’s the where humanity has gotten.. Dear Lisa, The Gift of Tongues is from the Holy Spirit and Spoken Only to God. Jesus Himself compared the will of the wind to the work of God’s Spirit (John 3:8). Paul writes, Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. But I can control whether or not I am willing to step out and take a risk. The question is, does He still give miraculous gifts to the church today, or was the giving of spiritual gifts a "one-time deal" that applied only to the early church? I do very much agree that we shouldn’t “take steps to artificially induce” those manifestations. Even when we can’t see him, we can know he is with us. Am I wrong in thinking this? I don’t ever want to limit what God can do through the Spirit. But yes, they can be two different things. I’m grateful for examples of humility when I’m fortunate enough to see them. The book ends with two appendices, An Alternative Interpretation of 1 Corinthians 14:33-35, and Are Miraculous Gifts for Today, derived from Storms’ previous writings. ha. We are always driven to fast because we hunger for something more than food.”, “The primary reason God healed through Jesus prior to Pentecost was because he is a merciful, compassionate God. I pray you and your family have a blessed Easter. I’m still trying to find the right belief for myself. I grew up in churches where we believed strongly in the gifts of the Holy Spirit being in operation for today, so yes I still believe that. I’ve seen, too, how the extremes on either end can be unhealthy. Maybe we don’t realize how subtle the devil’s power is in our culture, so we don’t pray hard against it. You may or may not change your mind on anything you believe, but in the challenge, you’ll still learn and grow. Here we have so much and have a harder time understanding that we still need to depend on God. Mysticism? The Bible says that the Holy Spirit created the world (Genesis 1:2), led Jesus into the desert (Matthew 4:1), comes to us at Confirmation (), and intercedes for us in sighs that we cannot understand (Romans 8:26).Always remember that The Church teaches that The Holy Spirit … 8:15-16; Gal. It’s hard to argue with that. One of the reasons is: “If signs, wonders, and miracles were essential in the physical presence of the Son of God, how much more essential are they now in his absence? The Holy Spirit has been extremely busy the past two thousand years–convicting people of sin, guiding them into the truth (John 16:7-10, John 14:15-18), interceding for us when we pray (Romans 8:26-27) and many other things. A New Testament scholar is tackling a subject that has confounded sincere Christians across the ages: the identity and function of the third Person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit. What Anita said. Thanks for bringing that up, Anita. It is not a person but is a powerful force that God causes to emanate from himself to accomplish his holy will (Reasoning from the Scriptures 1985, 81). Yes, holy spirit is active by moving people to examine the basis of their faith in the light of the Holy Bible, to see what the Bible really teaches, namely … Do you believe the Spirit is still active today, or that he now speaks only in the words of the Bible? And I’m glad. First, He does a work in the hearts of all people everywhere. God’s work has been the same; it’s just my vision is often distorted. … If they do, we should not prevent them from occurring. But instead, “beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.” If the Word of God is God-breathed, it seems natural that it would be the primary way He speaks to people these days. Thanks for sharing this here. Like other gifts, speaking in tongues is a gift from the Holy Spirit. If you look at the Old and the New Testament you will discover that throughout most of the history of God’s people, there were few miracles. The times I have heard of when these types of gift seem most genuine and most in line with Scriptural examples and teaching have been in situations where people didn’t have the Bible or had been restricted from it. The word spirit is rendered as רוּחַ … 32 thoughts on “ Holy Spirit – Still Active Today or Not? CBN.com – The Baptist world was rocked in 1993 when Jack Deere, a former professor at Dallas Theological Seminary, published the groundbreaking book, Surprised by the Power of the Spirit – describing the … Thanks, Sarah, for sharing. Not only does the Holy Spirit help us when we are weak, but He prays for us as well. Which is correct? Honestly, then I was like, this is kind of crazy. Not everyone is bestowed of this gift. The Holy Spirit has a mind. God is God… Saying the Holy Spirit is not active is saying God is not! those who only sing about God and those who sing to God. He certainly won’t stay in the box I made for him! We are not questioning the Spirit's ability to give gifts to His people; we recognize that the Holy Spirit can dispense gifts if He is willing (1 Corinthians 12:7-11). I can’t promise that my word to you will be spot-on accurate. I have a preference. . But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. This sounds like a helpful book and I think it’s important for people to look into this topic. Site design and hosting by Whistlepig Softworks, LLC. If the OT prophecies of the Messiah came true, why did Jews not believe in Jesus? Why do we need the Holy Spirit? But it’s one that moves me when others share it. I know plenty of people who use 1 Corinthians to say that gifts don’t happen today, but I think that verse doesn’t say that at all. If so, then is the Old Testament not reliable. Then at a later time I was reading books like The Cross and the Switchblade, famous at the time, where this kind of thing was just taken as perfectly natural. That is why we need to Holy Spirit. Can you explain Acts 10:44 and why the Holy Spirit fell on the Gentiles? However, I think if you were with someone who doesn’t understand your native language, God may choose to work through you and allow you to speak a different language. The Holy Spirit is quite active in our lives, and I think it’s important to see how the Holy Spirit takes action today. The Holy Spirit is a real person, like the heavenly Father and Jesus … W. L. Craig says that the Jews believed in a kingly Messiah would free them from Rome. 8:2). While it is a fact that Cornelius did receive a baptism of the Holy Spirit (Acts 10:45; 11:15-16), the key to understanding why Holy Spirit baptism is not being replicated today is to be found in discovering the purpose behind the events of Acts 10.. Let me begin by saying there is no reason to deny that Cornelius and his kinsmen actually were given a baptism of the Holy Spirit… “If little else of practical benefit comes to you who read this chapter, I pray that you will move forward in your Christian life and in whatever ministry God has given you with a newly found and biblically grounded confidence in the authority and power given to every believer in the name of Jesus. I now this is an area where good people who love God can differ (John MacArthur and John Piper are on different sides of this issue), and I don’t make it a test of fellowship. I love learning from others who have had different experiences and studies. Holy Spirit sets us free from the law of sin and death (Rom. Sam Storms (also the author of One Thing: Developing a Passion for the Beauty of God), in his newest book, Practicing the Power: Welcoming the Gifts of the Holy Spirit in Your Life, says this: “I believe that one of the reasons why spiritual gifts are less frequent in certain seasons of church history than in others is due to the fact that people didn’t seek, pursue, or passionately and incessantly pray for these gifts. Fruit of the Spirit is the product of faith. The Holy Spirit speaks, He has emotions, He makes choices, He interacts with people, He gives love, wisdom and power, He guides us and teaches us, and so on. But whether you agree or not, you won’t feel pushed in this book. You speak wisdom here, Ifeoma: “For the most part, whether we think or believe what we want, it doesn’t change who God is.” God is who God is, regardless of what we believe about him. The question is whether the miraculous gifts of the Spirit, described primarily in 1 Corinthians 12–14, are still active in the church today. Otherwise, the miraculous was rare in the Old Testament. Trying to physically prove existence of God. I’ve worshiped in both types of churches. It is about giving up food for Christ’s sake. There is so much blessing to be had when we glean and learn from each other! In Romans 8, Paul describes how the Holy Spirit intercedes (or prays) for believers.He says, “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. I’m so grateful for that! Maybe it’s because those praying actually believe in the power of God to overcome evil. What is the difference between postmillenialism, premillenialism and amillenialism, and which is the more biblical view? When Jesus told His disciples that He would send another comforter, I do not believe that He was saying for them only. I suspect that there are many, many miracles, say, of healing, performed by people who don’t advertise them on websites, and whose grateful recipients realize that there is something holy about the right hand not telling the left what it’s doing. I’ve found now that the more open I am to believing, the more able I am to see. With Christ as my witness, I speak with utter truthfulness. And Our intellectual knowledge is limited. Because I have been blessed to have witnessed a number of miracles I can honestly say I’ve seen the Holy Spirit at work. I agree with him on many points, and disagree on others. The miraculous is recorded principally during the ministry of Moses and Joshua, as well as during the ministry of Elijah and Elishah. I like the quote about success and obedience. Alejandro Espino, Thanks for following up on the article, “12 Reasons Why the Holy Spirit is Not a Person” (Part-1) The verses you brought up are BIG topics which require a full Bible Study on each of them because we need to include the CONTEXT of each verse when trying to understand what it means. You are in Christ who is over all. It didn’t, and even in my untaught state I thought that was a little suspicious. Were the Jews in the first century aware that the Christians claimed they were responsible for the death of Jesus? (as I would define them anyway). It’s always uplifting to hear others’ experiences of how they have seen God at work, in all kinds of places. And, he maintains, many Christians in the West remain closed to the Spirit and are hampered by fear when it comes to relating to Him and … It never did, and I grieved for a while, thinking there was something wrong with me. Your final statement sums it up well for me, too: “I do believe the Holy Spirit works today but I think it’s not always in a way we can predict or control.”. I’m sure my opinions on many aspects of spirituality are still majorly flawed, but his underlying truth and grace still cover my errors since I belong to him. Hopefully it will spare me some of the mistakes I made in the years prior to that, thinking I understood so much about God. . My views are still in flux. Praying you have a meaningful Easter! But since you asked us to share our thoughts…I did. Sorry about that. They are not necessarily meant for believers, but for unbelievers to see and know Christ. I agree that sometimes we don’t see as many miracles because we aren’t looking for them. Because He is the Holy Spirit. Isn’t it interesting how we go back to fill in those gaps once we get to be an adult? The Holy Spirit is very active today. The drive to figure out and explore what is and what is not about only asked us push towards blurred lines. Your thoughts on this? Question: "What is the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives today?" He is here and working! And often the reason they didn’t pray for them or ask for them is because they had a prior conviction or belief that they did not exist or were not available to them. Does God know all future events, including possible events? And I caught a couple of typos, too…. In other words, they had not because they asked not, and they asked not because they believed not!”. I hear you, Lesley. Thanks for your personal testimony, Mary. those who mostly cultivate fear and reverence and those who aim for joy and love. We can see him differently based on our right or wrong beliefs, but who he is remains constant. I imagine Sam’s book could be controversial in the minds of some people but your call to read with an open mind gives fair warning. What are your thoughts on this? This is also not a question of can the Holy Spirit give someone a miraculous gift. . However, sometimes when I don’t get my way, or receive the answers I want, I view that as the Holy Spirit not answering. Our minds just can’t seem to handle everything at once; he’s way too big! Perhaps that is how God is moving there or perhaps they are more likely to come to Him in childlike faith without so much thinking included. Is it Gnosticism? I would like to know whether the gifts of the Holy Spirit is still active in these days? “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” Galatians 5:22-23a. God definitely shows up where he is wanted and in ways he can be seen! Receiving the Holy Spirit is not only possible, it is essential for Christ-centered living. You make such a valid point that there is a middle ground between total cessationism and total continuationism (is that a word?) God is no less merciful, no less compassionate, no less caring when it comes to the physical condition of his people after Pentecost than he was before Pentecost.”, “Don’t ever think of yourself as at one end of a rope and Satan at the other, both of you struggling to overpower the other. Sometimes it’s a good thing when you know NOT to finish a book. Looks like an interesting book. I think the point is not God’s continued mercy, but our ability to receive it. Just as in Jesus' day and in the days of the early Church, the scribes and the Pharisees rejected the miraculous power of the Holy Spirit; it is not surprising that today there are those who reject speaking in other tongues, together with the other miraculous manifestations of the Spirit of God. It is not a giving up of food (or some activity) for its own sake. I believe whole-heartedly the Holy Spirit works today in miraculous ways. This is for my RS survey just write any idea's, opinions, thoughts, experience, evidence...whatever! click here if you can’t see the 1:27 video. Once as a teenager (not having grown up in church or been taught about any of this at that point), I called the advertised phone number of one of the better known Christian TV programs, and I don’t remember if the guy said anything to me about grace or forgiveness or Jesus. Those who have seen His work know His reality. I find them very helpful. So much to learn from each other indeed! Stand firm.” At the end of the first century, there would have still been living wittnesses to jesus’ earthly ministry which -I postulate – would have given a more pure faith and motivation. When were they saved? He does say worship can be awakened, sustained, and energized by the Spirit. I think the reason we see so few miracles today – or seem to see few – is that most of the people practicing the Gifts do so for their own glorification, or at best to lay at the altar f an imaginary God, one whom they think they can either bribe or placate with their works. And often the reason they didn’t pray for them or ask for them is because they had a prior conviction or belief that they did not exist or were not available to them. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. I appreciate you sharing that. Thanks for sharing this. 4:5). “I don’t know for sure” has become a phrase I’ve had to use a lot more in the past several years as well, Michele. I definitely believe we should ask for what God wants to give us. ha. I definitely believe the Spirit works today, through the Bible and through us. That all the offices, the manifestations and gifts of the Holy Spirit listed in 1 Corinthians 12:7-11 and the ministry gifts of Christ referred to in Ephesians 4:11 are active. I can’t guarantee that my prayers for the sick will result in healing. Please share your thoughts in the comments. The Holy Spirit doesn't wait for people to have their lives in total order before he moves powerfully. Regarding embarrassing examples of faith healers on TV (or in person), Storms says, “I resolved in my heart that I would never justify my disobedience to God’s Word because of the abusive or embarrassing practices of others.”, “God is far more pleased with our obedience than he is with our success. The Holy Spirit reminds us of God’s Word. Step into Uncertainty—My One Word for 2021, Happy New Year and the Grace & Truth Linkup, Practicing the Power: Welcoming the Gifts of the Holy Spirit in Your Life, Please share your thoughts in the comments, 40 Days with the Holy Spirit – Book review, When You Want to Pray WITH Others, Not Just FOR Others. This happened yesterday at our church as part of Palm Sunday. Will there be counterfeits posing and acting, yes. That’s why He asks us to believe! I do believe the Holy Spirit works today but I think it’s not always in a way we can predict or control. Now, I wouldn’t think that it’s crazy, but maybe her healing wouldn’t happen on the spot, but maybe years later. I don't know sir. I have spoken with missionaries who work in areas where devil worship is alive and well (and much more out in the open than it is here in the US). Hello bro. Required fields are marked *. 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