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Archive for the ‘Law’ Category

Spiritual gifts

January 8, 2010

Blake Watson

It is not uncommon to hear a preacher or elder say that we should use the gifts God has given us. It is important to understand that when we talk about using the gifts God has given us we are not talking about the exercise of miraculous gifts.

There was a time in the early days of the Church when miraculous gifts were available. The apostles were able to impart these gifts. We know this was not an ability just any Christian had. In Acts 8:14-18 it was necessary for apostles to come from Jerusalem to impart spiritual gifts to the believers in Samaria. In that same chapter we see that a convert named Simon wanted to buy that unique ability and was rebuked by Peter.

There were many spiritual gifts present in those early days of the Church. Paul speaks of this diversity in 1 Corinthians 12:4-11. In the very next chapter he makes it clear that the need for spiritual gifts would run its course. He said in 1 Cor. 13:10 “But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.” Some believe “that which is perfect” refers to Jesus’ second coming, but that interpretation does not fit the context.

Paul asserted in verse nine that they did not have complete knowledge at that time, but would. “That which is perfect” is referring to the completion of God’s revelation to man. When all the information God intended us to have was revealed there would be no more need for methods that could only provide information “in part.”

Miraculous gifts are no longer available because they are no longer needed. Jude 3 tells us that the faith was once for all delivered. They are also no longer available because the apostles, the ones who had the ability to impart the gifts, have all died.

Since we do not have miraculous gifts today what sort of gifts do we have? We have human abilities that God has blessed us with. They are talents we can use to His glory. They were not endowed to us in a miraculous way, but they can be developed and put to good use.

God is pleased when we use the ability that we have. May that be our ambition today and every day.

Posted in Bible, Law, The Church

Are we subject to the Old Testament or the New Testament?

July 21, 2009

John Allan

The Old Testament was God’s law for the Jews and even they are no longer subject to it. Christ did away with the old law when he was crucified.

Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; and that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby. (Ephesians 2:15-16)

In Colossians 2:14 Paul writes, “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross. The book of Hebrews explains this subject very well. Let’s look at what it has to say. Hebrews 8:6-7 says that Christ had “obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant (testament), which was established upon better promises. For if that first covenant (testament) had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second”. Farther down in the same chapter (verses 8-12), the Hebrew writer quotes from Jeremiah 31:31-34. The prophet says that the time will come when God will make a new covenant with his people, this is the New Testament. For further study, read Hebrews chapters 8-10. These chapters show in great detail that we are no longer under the old law, but the new.

So then, why do we have a record of the old law? The Old Testament was given to us to show us many things. It shows us how we got here and what our purpose is while we are here. It shows us that God is a loving and merciful God and that He will keep his promises. It also shows that God can and does punish those who disobey Him, but if they repent and do his will he will forgive them. It tells of the promised messiah (Christ) who would come and set up a kingdom (the Church) that will never be destroyed.

Whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope”. (Romans 15:4)

In addition to giving us hope, it was to prepare us for Christ, as can be seen in Galatians 3:23-25, “But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster”.

We are not subject to the old law today, only the new. We have the Old Testament to build our faith in God and his promises. I’ll leave you with the message that Paul gave Timothy before he died in 2 Timothy 2:15, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth”.

Posted in Law

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