Gifts and callings

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Gifts and callings

Postby Hanani45 on Sun Dec 31, 2006 4:31 am

Eph 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

1 Cor 12:4-10 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another [divers] kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:

1 Cor 12:28-30 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. [Are] all apostles? [are] all prophets? [are] all teachers? [are] all workers of miracles? Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?

Hi Holly, 1) are the above scriptures to be understood as exhaustive lists of vocations and gifts of the Spirit? 2) Or are any natural gifts that God created us to have that can be used for the ministry 'spiritual gifts'. 3) Are there supernatural gifts used by God that are not mentioned in the above passages? 4) And what about vocations and callings? Are we all a(n) apostle/prophet/evangelist/pastor or teacher? 5) Given your work regarding the Apostolic movement, does that leave only evangelists/pastors and teachers and do all Christians fit into one of the vocational categories? 6) If there are other kinds of callings could we discuss your opinions of these and why things might have changed in the Church? 7) What about the issue of speaking in tongues, with regard to the pentecostal vs. charismatic stances on this gift? Do you consider tongues to be evidence of baptism in the Holy Spirit and does it 'go away' for some people afterwards if Paul says "do all speak in tongues"?

Sorry about all the questions, i had to go back and number them to make it easier for you to respond :shock:

Thank you for your time, I'm always appreciative!
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Postby Holly on Tue Jan 02, 2007 3:22 pm

Hi Hanani45,

Here are my responses by question:

1) I don't think these lists are necessarily intended to be exhaustive since the lists differ.

2) I'm not sure if natural gifts (i.e., talents) can be directly equated with spiritual gifts. However, the Bible teaches us that whatever we do should be for God's glory. So, if we have natural talents then we should seek to use them in service to God.

3) Spiritual gifts are supernatural empowerment for ministry so I believe God will provide whatever gifting is needed at the time to get His work done. That may include gifts that aren't listed.

4) No, I don't believe everyone has all of the callings listed in Ephesians 4:11. The verse states: He gave some — not all — to be each of those callings.

5) Apostles and prophets had a foundational role in the church in receiving revelation from God that was recorded in the Bible. I believe apostles and prophets who filled this foundational role are referred to in Ephesians 4:11 since these same two groups are referred to as the foundation of the church in Ephesians 2:20. In Ephesians 3:5, we see that the "mystery of Christ" was revealed to these apostles and prophets (the revelation of God's plan of the church — which unified Jews and Gentiles in Christ). Of course, we no longer receive new revelation that is equal to Scripture, as these apostles and prophets did. So, there are no longer apostles and prophets in the sense of those who receive direct revelation from God that is authoritative for the entire church.

I think the Bible may also refer to apostles and prophets in lesser senses as church planters and Christians with the gift of prophecy. But I don't believe these were the types of apostles and prophets referenced in Ephesians 4:11.

Sidenote: We must remember that some of the foundational apostles and prophets were still alive at the time Ephesians 4:11 was written, but they no longer are.

I don't think all Christians necessarily fit into one of these categories — apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers — because I don't think this was necessarily intended as an exhaustive list of callings.

6) Nothing has changed as far as biblical callings. The foundational apostles and prophets still provide their ministry to us through their revelation that has been recorded in the Bible. (Of course, there aren't new foundational apostles and prophets because the revelatory foundation has already been laid, past tense. It isn't still being laid, as proponents of the apostolic-prophetic movement claim. By doing this, they are adding to Scripture, whether they admit it or not.)

7) I believe tongues is a spiritual gift that some, but not all, Christians have. Paul says this clearly in 1 Corinthians 12:30. Baptism in the Holy Spirit occurs at the time of salvation. It occurs when we receive the Holy Spirit — the Holy Spirit who was promised in the Old Testament. When we receive the Holy Spirit (become Christians) we receive spiritual gifts. One of these gifts some Christians receive is tongues. But tongues is not a necessary evidence of this baptism. This baptism occurs for all believers when they are saved, whether they ever speak in tongues or not.

The reason Paul says that not all speak in tongues is because not all Christians have this gift. That is the clearest reading of the passage. To say that they once spoke in tongues and then the gift went away is to bring something into the passage that isn't taught there.

I hope this helps!
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