“God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.”
– 1 Peter 4:10 NLT
Some people believe that miracles and certain spiritual gifts are no longer in operation; that some gifts of the Spirit passed away along with the Apostles of the early church. On the other hand, others say that the gifts and miracles are still present in our day. So, what is true? To answer this question, let us examine some verses of Scripture.
In John 14:12, Jesus said, “…anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater.” This means that the various works of Jesus, which include all that we would call spiritual gifts today, are available to every believer.
In Acts 2:17-28, Apostle Peter quoted an Old Testament prophecy that said God would pour out His Spirit on all flesh, which was then fulfilled, beginning at the Pentecost. From then onwards, the Bible records that miracles and spiritual gifts were commonplace in the early church. There is no mention of these gifts ever ceasing at any time thereafter.
If, according to 1 Corinthians 12, spiritual gifts were given for the benefit of the Body of Christ and for the building up of its members, it then makes sense that the gifts continue to exist as long as the church of God exists on earth. Furthermore, in 1 Corinthians 13:8-10, Apostle Paul lets us know that these gifts will “pass away” only when “the time of perfection” comes—when Christ, the perfect revelation of God, returns.
Referring again to spiritual gifts in 1 Corinthians 14:1, Apostle Paul enjoins us to desire them! That is, to strongly yearn to exercise them. This tells us that these gifts are not only available to every believer, but they are also to be desired! Granted, some believers may not know that they have a spiritual gift, but this does not mean that they don’t have one. The gifts of God are lifelong and abiding, although many believers never fully exercise them due to ignorance, apathy, or unwillingness.
The first apostles were indeed tremendously instrumental to laying the foundations of the early church; however, there is no portion of New Testament text that suggests that any or all of the spiritual gifts were exclusively linked to the first apostles, or that the gifts ceased with their passing. Spiritual gifts are essential to the effective operations of the church and are without a doubt still at work today in the life of every believer.
Bible Reading Plan: Leviticus 1-2