Ask Your Preacher

Ask Your Preacher

“Gifts That Stop Giving”

Can a person just ask for the gifts of the spirit or claim them?  How do you know if they are real?

Trying To Be Gifted

Dear Trying To Be Gifted,

Real gifts of the Holy Spirit allowed people to perform real miracles.  In this context, a ‘miracle’ is defined as an act that is obviously supernatural in origin.  Examples of miracles are: raising people from the dead (Acts 9:40-41), healing leprosy (Lk 5:13), speaking in foreign languages without being taught (Acts 2:4-11), etc.  The gifts of the Holy Spirit were given to the apostles (Acts 2:1-4), and the apostles were able to pass on these gifts to others by laying their hands on them (Acts 8:18).  The apostles were the only ones with the ability to pass on the gifts.  Therefore, when the last person that the last living apostle laid hands on died… the gifts ceased to exist.  God intended for this to happen.

The miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit were needed to spread the Gospel in the beginning.  Miracles were used as a proof that what the disciples said was truly God’s Word (Acts 8:6).  Jesus’ miracles proved that His preaching was true (Acts 2:22).  However, now we have a written account of both the miracles and the teachings, and we believe through the Bible, which records those miracles (Jhn 20:30-31).  The apostle Paul warned that eventually the miracles would cease because we would have the perfect Word of God (1 Cor 13:8-10).  You cannot receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit any longer.  Now, the only gift that the Holy Spirit offers us is salvation – and that is more than sufficient.