In today’s world of Christianity it seems that there may be as many versions of Christianity as there are types of cars or hairstyles. While I don’t think this is God’s plan, I certainly thank God for every person that gets born again, regardless of which type of church, ministry or setting it is in. But, one large area that brings division in today’s church is our differences of understanding concerning the Holy Spirit. It is quite common these days, depending on who you’re hearing, to hear statements similar to this:
-The power of the Holy Spirit, outside of getting people saved, passed away with the early church.
-Today, things such as healing, casting out demons and speaking in tongues is “of the devil”.
And there are plenty of statements similar to these. But, the question is, are these types of statements true? Has the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit really passed away? Is it really demonic to do things that the Lord Jesus Christ, Paul and the early church (many Christians, not just the apostles) did? Are we really supposed to ignore the vast amount of New Testament scriptures concerning the supernatural power of God or tear those pages out of our Bible altogether? As I’m sure you can tell, I do not believe that the power of the Holy Spirit has passed away or ceased. The Bible never teaches any such thing. The New Testament scriptures on the power of the Holy Spirit have not passed away any more than the New Testament verses on salvation have passed away. Both are operative for today’s church world. There are far too many scriptures to do an in-depth teaching on this in just one blog post, but let me share two related verses with you:
1 Cor. 12:1 – Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant.
1 Cor. 12:7 – But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.
Paul wrote the Corinthian church telling them (as these verses state) that he did not want them to be ignorant concerning the Gifts of the Holy Spirit and that he wanted them to know that these gifts were for “every man”. Notice, Paul did not say that the Gifts of the Holy Spirit we’re only for the original Apostles or the original, early church. Actually, Paul tells them that it’s quite the opposite. Paul clearly wanted this church to understand and benefit from the manifestation of the Gifts of the Spirit. Paul even instructs them later on in chp. 14 on how to properly operate in the Gifts during their own church services. Paul never told them that only Apostles could operate in these things, or anything even closely resembling that. Paul exhorted and helped this church in their understanding and operation of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. Never does Paul or any other New Testament author state that these things we’re only for a few people or for a limited, short period of time and that they would then cease. That is simply the tradition of man, not the teaching of Scripture. I encourage you, wherever you are in your walk with God and in your understanding of these things concerning the Holy Spirit’s present-day operation, seek Him in this area and allow Him to manifest His amazing power in your life! It would be a terrible shame to live your entire life having had the power of the Creator of the universe on the inside of you and readily available to you, but to never take advantage of it. The Lord’s power is inside of you as a child of God, and He greatly desires to manifest that power in your life, for your own benefit and the benefit of people whom you encounter!