College Pastor Josh Gilchrist joins Dan to discuss the Spirits role in the New Covenant of giving Spiritual gifts. They talk through the gifts listed in 1 Corinthians 13 such as tongues, interpretation, healing, and prophecy, their scriptural purposes, and how we ought to think about these miraculous sign gifts in the modern Church.
Dan Jarms 0:00
Today on faith matters, we are talking about the doctrine of the Holy Spirit in our faith basic series, I have Josh Gilchrist in the studio with me.
Dan Jarms 0:14
I'm Dan Jarms. And you're listening to faith matters a podcast to help update you on matters of faith Bible Church, as well as equip you in matters of the Christian faith.
Dan Jarms 0:34
Josh is our new college pastor replacing Jared Milliken? Hey, Josh, Hey, Dan, we're going to be talking about spiritual gifts. We've been talking about the Holy Spirit and the the gift of the Holy Spirit. We've talked about regeneration, new birth, a variety of really important topics. And what we're going to get into today is probably the most controversial of the topics about the Holy Spirit, which is about spiritual gifts controversial in that there are many views and major distinctions between churches in their practice because of it. And so we're going to talk about those today. So in in First Corinthians 13, this is where the heart of the controversy comes. There's the first list of spiritual gifts in First Corinthians 12, rather, and a spoken of again, in verse 13, have what we would call revelatory gifts, word of wisdom, word of knowledge, prophecy, tongues in the interpretation of tongues. The most controversial one of these, and the most debate among people who profess Christ is what tongues are, when I was first saved, saved into a Pentecostal church. And after I started following the Lord, I was quickly encouraged to get the second blessing. That's, that's what Pentecostalism is, you're saved, and then you get a second blessing. And they take that from x to where the disciples were saved. And then they got a second blessing. And the sign of that second blessing is being able to speak in tongues. So that's, that's the heart of it. First, Josh, why don't you help us answer a couple of questions about tongues. What is the gift of tongues?
Josh Gilchrist 2:18
You see it first in Acts chapter two, and Pentecost, when right after Jesus ascended, Jesus had promised them that they would receive the Holy Spirit's power and be His witnesses. And in Pentecost, you have all these different Jews who had been scattered abroad in the empire, coming to celebrate Pentecost in Jerusalem, and the Holy Spirit comes upon the disciples and apostles, and they are able to start speaking supernaturally in those languages. And the different Jews and attendants are like, Hey, what's going on? I'm hearing these people speak in my own language, and declaring the mighty works of God. And so that's, that's what tongues is in the New Testament is the ability supernaturally to speak in a foreign language, a verifiable, understandable language. And, in the case of Pentecost, you have people there who are able to interpret it and hear that that's a legitimate language. And that's why Paul after saying various kinds of tongues, the interpretation of tongues is part of it as well. Yeah.
Dan Jarms 3:30
So as we get the picture, as we look at First Corinthians 13, and 14, tongues is a sign to Jews, that they're being judged, and that the gospel is moving on. Without them, they can come on, get on board or not. And so as a sign of judgment, it's the Gospels going on to Gentiles. And so these other languages, so it's a sign to unbelievers. And that's what they were, there were Jewish unbelievers who heard these languages near the mighty works of God. They asked what this is all about. Peter preached the gospel to them. They believed that process was repeated. The tongues process was repeated two more times. And it's repeated when the disciples and apostles go to Samaria. And it's repeated again, when Cornelius and the Gentiles, so this is what Peter comes back to in chapter 11 says, hey, they, the same signs happened. So the gospel is spreading to the Samaritans, which were half Jews, so to speak, and then to Gentile, so this is gone on. It's in one sense, it's a sign of judgment. On another sense, when you get the full picture, the Bible, Acts chapter two is the reverse of Babel where we're gotten confused the languages of the nations back in Genesis 11 because of their pride trying to stand apart from God on their own as their own God's God can choose their languages. But now God's having mercy. And he is allowing these languages to be spoken so that unbelievers, somewhere could do it, I get the picture in Corinth that somebody would be visiting, and they would have been raised with a different language. And an unbeliever would have come into the church service, somebody spoke in their language. And then not everybody in the church service knew the language. So it required an interpretation. Somebody was also gifted with the interpretation. So that was that interpretation seemed to be a supernatural interpretation of a known language. Josh, my charismatic brothers, Pentecostal brothers would say that it doesn't always have to be a known language, it could just be a private language. What do we think about that?
Josh Gilchrist 5:50
If you read the context of chapter 14, Paul is, he's not saying that tongues is a bad thing. But he's definitely correcting the Corinthians, improper use of it, and just not doing the things that they're called to do. Paul makes it really clear in chapter 14, that it needs to be something that is in a known language that can be interpreted. He talked about the purpose of it being for unbelievers who come in Prophet prophecy being a thing that would be be better for that. But as far as it being an unknown language, I think that Paul, in chapter 14 is making it really clear. If you're going to speak in tongues, it needs there needs to be someone to interpret it every time if you do that, it's it doesn't build the people up hearing it, they don't know what's going on. Even if you were to Paul says, if you're to pray, in a tongue, your your mind is unfruitful. You don't know what it is that you're saying. And so I feel like Paul, in that chapter is making it really clear that it's something that needs to be interpreted for it to. And the ultimate purpose is for the building up of the body and the church service. It's not for an individual to just enjoy some kind of ecstatic speech or special prayer language.
Dan Jarms 7:24
Yeah, the that part I remember, again, as a as a new charismatic, and, or a new Pentecostal, I was encouraged to speak in tongues, and 14, four was put in, the one who speaks in the tongue builds up himself, and the one who prophesy is built up the church. Now I want you all to speak in tongues, but even more to prophesy. And they were taking that as Yeah, that's what I really want. It's, it's good for you all to speak in tongues. And if the best we can do is build up yourself, well, that's better than nothing. But Paul's not saying it as well, that's a good thing for you to speak in tongues in this ecstatic language that you don't understand. He's actually contrasting it, the prophecy builds up everybody. Tongues by itself just built up yourself. And there's a whole chapter about selfishness. Chapter 13. And so it's really a rebuke, but I remember what what we were told is, you want all the blessings that God has for you, don't you? Of course I do. You want to build yourself up, don't you? Of course you do. And then you'd start trying it out. And they would, they would tell you, you know, just keep letting it go. It's like a it's like a hose garden hose on a hot summer day, that water is warm at first, but you just let it keep going. Eventually, the cool refreshing waters will come out. And through the ecstatic experience, you're supposed to receive some experiential benefit. And I think it's popular, like the ecstatic speech thing is popular because it feels awesome. Like, there's like, ooh, something's happening. And it's an experience. It's like it's powerful. So being in a room with people or speaking in tongues or being in a or you yourself feel like I've got the Spirit of God, I've got this, the divine energy source flowing through me and doesn't that give me some kind of spiritual boost. And Paul's not looking for any of that in First Corinthians 1213, and 14, just just the opposite. Because the focus really isn't on self, the focus is on loving others. So that really clarifies for us the legitimacy of tongues. Josh, let's move from tongues to prophecy because prophecy is a second, a second issue. So the modern charismatic and Pentecostal movement would say that the gifts of prophecy still exist, what is prophecy? And then one of the problem areas is is could there be fallible prophecy.
Josh Gilchrist 10:01
Yeah, so So prophecy is, was something that continued into the New Testament, I think it's easy to associate prophets with Isaiah and Jeremiah and Jonah and all those different people, but God actually moved through the prophets Ephesians 220 says that the household of God, the church is built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, and speaking of New Testament prophets, and really what a New Testament person would do, a New Testament prophet would do similar to what an Old Testament prophet would do very commonly they would begin and what they had to say, Thus says the Lord, God would give them direct revelation that they were to take to a group of people. And it was yeah, it was God giving direct revelation that he wanted communicated to people. Prophecy could entail predicting the future, God could give a prophet the ability to do that. That is, more commonly when you think of prophecy today. I think that's what a lot of people associated so the ability to predict the future, but that was definitely not all there was to it. A lot of times those things were included is something that would attest to the validity of what the prophets authority and what they were saying. And as far as just How reliable do the prophecies have to be? Can we have a prophet who's 65% reliable, that would be good. If you're a quarterback and could complete 65% of your passes, or three point shooter, that would be amazing. But according to Deuteronomy 18, if a prophet would predict that something would happen, and that did not come to pass, then that would mean that that prophet was a false prophet, and to be disregarded, even a prophet who were to speak something true in Deuteronomy 13. If he was speaking and predicting things that would come true, and those signs and predictions came true if they were trying to lead people away from God's revealed truth, that prophet was to be disregarded, as well. So
Dan Jarms 12:05
yeah, I think that is really helpful. Deuteronomy 13 and Deuteronomy 18, our go to passages that set the stage for what we do with divine revelation. So is the prophet affirmed by God, and that's the signs and miracles are part of the affirmation process. Yeah, this really, this really is from God. And it makes a lot of sense in a polytheistic world, if you have an idolatrous world, and every god has a temple, and every temple has an Oracle, and everybody's getting Some so called Revelation. How do you know which ones right? Well, the one that's attested with signs and wonders is one oh, we should pay attention to that. But that's not it. Because there could be demonically inspired signs and wonders. So the second one is orthodoxy. does it fall in line with the Scriptures that have already been revealed? Or does it Yeah, it turns to another God. So that's a really critical one. So one of the common views is that it's okay for prophets to be fallible today. You know, if you're talking to your charismatic friend, and they say, it's there's fallible prophecy. What's your summary of how you help your charismatic friend about that?
Josh Gilchrist 13:23
I mean, I would, I would hope that I would say this graciously. But why would you want to put your confidence in fallible prophecy? Why would you want to put your trust in bank your hope and expectation upon upon that, why would you want to give that the ultimate authority? Peter addresses it really well. And second Peter, one night team we have the prophetic word made more fully confirmed to which you will do well to pay attention is to a lamp shining in a dark place until the day dawns, and the morning star rises in your hearts. Second Peter, chapter one is an amazing place to go to for someone who is looking for guidance, what kind of a life do I need to live, maybe someone who's tempted or wanting to seek prophecy or guidance from someone who would claim to have that ability. Second, Peter, one three also says that God has granted us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to His own glory, and excellence. And the place where we get that knowledge is in Scripture, not from someone else who claims to be speaking for God, especially someone who is not going to be 100% accurate, someone that you can bank on. Yeah,
Dan Jarms 14:39
one of the one of the things that charismatic theologians might point to is that there were prophecies made in the middle and towards the end of acts Agabus, for instance, was came to Paul, and he went through a prophetic sign and gave him a prayer. Prophetic Message, Paul, you are going to be arrested, you're going to be bound like this leather belt, you're going to be hauled off, you're going to be imprisoned. And he's then he says to impulse don't go, well, the prophetic word was this is what's going to happen. But Agabus didn't want him to, like there's a warning for him to go through that. I don't want you to go through that like this. So don't go there. And Paul's like, what are you trying to break my heart? Yeah, I know, that's what's going to happen to me. So was Paul sinful? Or was Agabus? sinful? No, Agabus just, he had a authoritative message. But then he wanted Paul to save himself from the trouble. And Paul did indeed go through go to Jerusalem, he was arrested. When he tells the story, he was bound, just like he said, So Agabus really wasn't wrong. He just wanted to make the wrong application. The prophecy was right, the application wasn't right. And the truthfulness of the Scripture and the Prophet came forward. You can't have fallible prophecy, you'd have to go back to Deuteronomy 13 and 18. So if you could have fallible prophecy, then you no longer have to stone anyone who's wrong. Yeah. Because that was the cost for a prophet who led the people astray. Or a prophet who was not 100% accurate, they needed to be stoned.
Josh Gilchrist 16:19
Yeah, you'd think that if prophets could all of a sudden get away with not being 100% accurate, the Lord would have made that clear through Revelation as well, that doesn't have to be 100% accurate anymore.
Dan Jarms 16:32
Right? Let's, let's tackle just a couple of more things, then let's talk about the gift of healing and miracles. So the modern charismatic contention is that healings are ongoing. And gift of healing is ongoing. Of course, we would say as partial cessationists, that the sign gifts have passed, the gods still can heal. Somebody can walk into a hospital room, lay hands on somebody, pray for them, and God might heal them. That doesn't mean that that person has the gift of healing. Personally, when you add the package together, and you look at the end of chapter 12, in the in the beginning of chapter 12, the apostles clearly had these sign gifts, miraculous healings, miracles. So I think the healings and the miracles are part of the apostolic gift with it. And that's, that's because of the other things Second Corinthians talks about the signs of an apostle, the things that prove that they were really true. Another
Josh Gilchrist 17:36
thing that I thought was interesting, I've been reading through the book of Acts in chapter six, chapter three, where Peter and John go to pray, and they heal the man who's been unable to walk. And really the whole purpose of that the way that God orchestrated that was so that His glorious Gospel could be proclaimed, as people see this amazing sign being accomplished through the disciples through Peter, and John, it causes people to be curious and to be open to hearing the gospel again, and it really just the whole purpose of that, when those things happen is for the glory of God, not so that some person can have that gift and be like, hey, look what I can do, or even the purpose of of being healed. If you desire that, and there's nothing wrong with desiring to be healed, if you have some kind of ailment, it should ultimately be for God's glory and exaltation in that so yeah,
Dan Jarms 18:35
so at least under the heading of the gifts of healings, they are primarily sign gifts. They are when they happen, they're always complete. They're not partial. And the gifted person is not reliant on the faith of the recipient. Exactly. They're just able to able to do it, they're just able to do it. So you'll you'll find, sometimes a person believes in God rewards that, again, it's about the sign. It's not really about the reality that everybody is supposed to be healed in this age. And the last thing to say about that, that I think makes the gift of healing, something really precious to look for in Scripture, all of these supernatural gifts like this preview, resurrection, new bodies, new heavens and new earth, and that that's when there won't be sadness, sorrow, difficulty. And this This is this is a foretaste of what's to come. Here's the one who does this. Here's a foretaste of what to come. Absolutely.
Josh Gilchrist 19:46
Yeah. Can I read? I love this passage, any opportunity. Revelation 21. I think this is what you're alluding to. Yeah. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, Behold the dwelling place of gods with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more. Neither. Neither shall there'll be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore for the former things have passed away.
Dan Jarms 20:26
If you have any questions about the topic, and certainly there will be objections that are charismatic theologian friends will say yeah, but we would love to hear those. We gave you a basic overview here in a conversational way. We would be happy to handle those objections because there's answers to those objections. If you have any other questions, feel free to email us at info at FB church.org. So until the next episode, Thanks, Josh.
Josh Gilchrist 20:53
Thanks, Dan. Thanks for having me.
Dr. Dan Jarms is teaching pastor and team leader at Faith Bible Church in Spokane Washington, as well as associate dean at TMS Spokane. He has been married for over 30 years to Linda, and has three adult children. He earned his B.A. in English at the Master’s College, B.Ed. at Eastern Washington University, M.Div and D.Min in Expository Preaching at The Master’s Seminary. His other interests include NCAA basketball, gardening, brick oven cooking.View Resources by Dan Jarms