What do Christians believe about supernatural gifts?

2 Corinthians 12:12 – The signs of a true apostle were performed among you with all perseverance, by signs and wonders and miracles. 

We see miracles all throughout the Bible, including in the life of Elijah, and as we study his life, it’s important to take a step back and look at four ways people may potentially interpret what are called “sign gifts” (tongues, miracles, prophecy) and whether they’re practiced by the Church today.

In the theological textbook I co-authored, Doctrine, we explain: 

“There has been no shortage of controversy regarding the so-called ‘sign gifts’ – tongues, miracles, and prophecy – and whether they are to be practiced by the Church today. The following chart outlines the basic positions without getting into great detail…”

  1. Cessationist – Supernatural gifts, especially the speaking gifts (tongues, miracles, and prophecy) functioned only in the early church and are not to be practiced today. God speaks today but only in Scripture. Contemporary “revelations” do not come from God.
  2. Functional Cessationist – Supernatural gifts are given to every generation and God may continue to speak but the abuses are so rampant that it is better to avoid them. It is safer to rely solely on the Bible and Spirit-empowered wisdom.
  3. Continuationist – Supernatural gifts are given to every generation. Contemporary revelations are valued but always secondary to Scripture. Supernatural manifestations are sought but must show the fruit of the Spirit.
  4. Word-Faith – Supernatural gifts are given to every generation. God’s Kingdom is a present reality with immediate healing and prosperity for anyone who exercises a faith confession. Contemporary revelations are highly valued.

In tomorrow’s devo, we will dig more into the potential implications of these views and the one I believe, based on almost 30 years of preaching the Bible, to be true.

Which of these four views do you believe to be Biblical and why?

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