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Pentecostal Apologetics

Spiritual Gifts

Paul Advises The Continuance of The Spiritual Gifts


By  Looking at Paul's 'Prison Epistles'  It is Realized That Paul Not Only Expects The Spiritual Gifts to Continue, But He Actually Encourages Them.



The 'Prison Epistles' (Eph. Phil Col. Phi)  wer;e written in A.D. 60-61; 5 or 6 years after 1 Corinthians, and they mention the prophetic. The church at Ephesus was definitely a Pentecostal church. Paul, who is extremely pentecostal, preached there for 3 years--In fact, he wrote 1 Corinthians from there.
     It can be certain that Ephesus was experienced in the prophetic, as they believed in church-age prophets receiving revelation from God, because in Eph. 3:5, Paul informs them that there were present day apostles and prophets who were hearing from God:

"How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;" Eph. 3: 3-5
 
Paul definately believes in church-age prophets receiving revelation from God. The verses below sounds like Paul is speaking of Old Testament prophets:
 
"Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;" Eph 2: 19-20


New Testament Prophets

There is also a New Test. context of "prophets." Two chapters later as Paul describes people (prophets) of the church-age:

"And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:" Eph. 4: 11-13
 
In Ephesians 5:18 (below), we are told to be filled with the Spirit --even to the point that we may be compared with the drunkards who are filled with wine. This influence that the Spirit has over us when we are abiding in Him can certainly cause tongues and prophecies in the believers life.
 
"And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;" Eph. 5: 18
 
A qiuck look at a commentary or Greek website reveals the present-tense nature of the verb, "be filled" which means, "be continually filled." The "filling" is not a one time experience--it is to be repeated. What is the result of being "filled with the Spirit?" As seen below; it is prophetic (spiritual) praising (thanksgiving).
 
"And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always" Eph. 5: 18-20
 
And in Eph. 6: 18 Paul mentions prayer, and explicably mentions "in the Spirit"

"Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit" Eph. 6: 18

The wording of the above verses make it clear that there is a prophetic element involved in spiritual singing and praying, as opposed to simply singing or praying with the intillect.
 
The concepts of praying and singing in the Spirit (or singing spiritual songs) are explained in 1 Corinthians. In the letter to Corinth Paul contrasts regular singing and praying with the special spiritual praying and singing:
 
"Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret. For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful. What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also. Else when thou shalt bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest?" 1Cor. 14: 13-16

By reading the above verses it is easy to understand that Paul is talking about two different kinds of praying/singing. One kind is with his understanding (mind), if it is out loud people will understand the words. The other kind of praying/singing is with his "spirit." This kind would be in a tongue as no one can understand it. To the Colossians, Paul writes the same thing:
 
"let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord." Col. 3:16

The book of Philemon was not written to discuss spiritual gifts therefore there is no mention of the prophetic in that book. The book of Philippians does not mention the prophetic either—but that does not mean the prophetic was not going on there.
 

Gift of Love

The Phillipians, Colossians, and the Ephesians may each have had the prophetic gifts in operation even more than the Corinthians did; But we do not hear of it because they were not as disorderly as the Corinthians were, so Paul did not have to send each of them an epistle explaining how to use the spiritual gifts in an attitude of love and harmony.

It is interesting that to the Ephesians, Colossians, and Philippians Paul said that he was glad to hear of their love and unity; or he was hoping to hear of their love and unity. But of the Corinthians he heard of their fighting and disunity, so it was the Corinthians who got the long treatise on how to use the spiritual gifts in a spirit of love and order.

Ephesians 1:15 "Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints,"

Philippians 1:27, 2:3 "Only let your converstaion be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together... let each esteem other better than themselves."

Colossians 1:4, 2:5 "Since we heard of your faith in Christ jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints... I am with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ."
 
1 Corinthians 1:11 "For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you."

Copyright 2006 - 2007. Peter Kwiatkowski. All rights reserved. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Public Domain License. http://www.pentecostal-tongues-theology.org Peter Kent Kwiatkowski