Spiritual Gifts in the Bible
Are the spiritual gifts in the Bible operative today? We must offer caution as we answer this question. First, we must define what we mean by operative. If by operative we mean can believers today perform miracles the we may get one answer. If we mean are the miracles in the Bible operative today, we may get another answer.
So, let us be more specific.
Are Spiritual Gifts Performed by Believers Today?
Depending on who you ask that question, obviously, you’ll get different answers. So, we want to ask, whether the Bible addresses the question of whether believers can perform miracles today.
According to 1 Cor. 13:8-12, miraculous gifts were of limited duration. They would only continue until the church arrived at a state called “perfection’ or “telios.” As an illustration, it is called the state of a “full grown” man versus a child. Paul uses the child/adult analogy in both 1 Cor. 13:10-12 and Eph. 4:11-15.
It is undeniable that God said the gifts of prophecy, tongues and inspired knowledge would cease. That is not doubted. The question is when? Some say when we get to heaven. Others say at Christ’s coming. Those of are the major views.
Do Spiritual Gifts Continue Until Christ’s Parousia?
Spiritual Gifts in the Bible Correspond to the Childhood State
Spiritual gifts continued up to the parousia, 1 Cor. 1:7-8. The text refers not to the future, but to the fall of Jerusalem in 70AD. It is the fulfillment which occurred at the end of the Jewish age, Matt. 28:20.
How then can we claim miracles and their power if the operation of the gifts have ceased? It is through the power of written miracles. John affirms that written miracles produce faith which lead to conversion or life in Christ, Jn. 20:30-31. Therefore, spiritual gifts are effective in the church today through the of the written word. For more information on check out this more complete study on spiritual gifts.