Gifts of the Spirit

I think that Enns section on the “Gifts of the Holy Spirit” has some value but is ultimately lacking because of his conclusion that any spiritual gifts ceased after the time of the Apostles and are no longer in use today. This conclusion tends to stifle the working of the Holy Spirit, and actually tends to be the presupposition for how he defines the gifts.

I would entirely agree when Enns says “a concise definition of spiritual gifts is simply a ‘grace gift.’ A more complete definition is a diving endowment of a special ability for service upon a member of the body of Christ”& nbsp;(Enns 2008, 280-281). However, when it comes to gifts such as prophet where he says that “Because the foundation of the church has been laid and the canon of Scripture is complete there is no need for the gift of prophecy” (Enns 2008, 282). He uses this same logic to rule out the gifts of apostle, healing, tongues, interpretation of tongues, wisdom, knowledge.

I will go to one of the verses that Enns uses in his argument for why the gifts cease. He looks at 1 Corinthians 13:8 and says that because of the form the gift will cease on its own. I would argue that in saying there is a cause for the end of the gifts. Paul tells us that when the perfect comes the imperfect disappears. The perfect has not come yet, nor will it till Christ comes again (or to a different degree we die).

Another part of why I would disagree with Enns’ assumptions is that there is no place in scripture where it says that the gifts will cease before Christ returns. Essentially it is making an argument from silence because a person does not see the gifts actively working in the same manner. However the gifts do exist in a similar ways, just not the grandiose methods where new revelation is being handed down. There are people with gifts of prophecy where they know when something is going to happen before it happens. I would say that he is right in that the gift of tongues is a translation of known languages into other languages and I’ve known people who have had this happen while minister

I would even take it to another extreme saying that when you deny the gifts of the Holy Spirit you end up going against 1 Thessalonians 5:19 where it warns us against “quenching the Holy Spirit.”


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