Gifts of the Spirit
We believe that the ministry of the Spirit in signs and wonders continues to be as broad, tangible, and powerful among believers today as it was in the early church. We also believe that all the biblical gifts of the Spirit continue to be distributed by the Spirit today; that these gifts are divine provisions central to spiritual growth and effective ministry; and that these gifts are to be eagerly desired, faithfully developed, and lovingly exercised according to biblical guidelines (John 14:12; Acts 2:14–21; 4:29–30; Romans 12:3–8; 1 Corinthians 12:7–11; 12:28–31; 14:1–33; Galatians 3:1–5).
We believe that all Scripture[i] of the Old[ii] and New Testaments[iii], excluding the Apocrypha[iv], in all its words and thoughts[v] are the God-breathed[vi] Word of God[vii], the complete “canon”[viii], and are to be regarded as the only books belonging to the Bible[ix]. Consequently, these writings are without error, free from all falsehood, and/or mistakes[x], therefore infallible[xi]. They are not only pure[xii], but they are also purifying[xiii]. Since Holy men[xiv] communicated their truth as they were “carried along by the Holy Spirit”[xv], they are to be considered the ultimate authority and standard of truth[xvi], faith[xvii] and practice[xviii], an all sufficient source of wisdom[xix] and counsel[xx] for all true believers[xxi]. Hence, an exhortation to reject the “counsel of the ungodly[xxii]” and the “wisdom of men[xxiii]” as practiced in humanistic psychology and psychotherapy. It is not only truthful as to creation, history and science; it is also truthful as to doctrine and salvation[xxiv]. There is no part of Scripture that contradicts any other part of Scripture[xxv]. It is providentially preserved as whole and unblemished throughout the ages[xxvi]. Its content is not to be added to[xxvii], superceded, corrected, contradicted or changed by later tradition[xxviii], churches, councils, creeds or revelations, and that, all doctrinal declarations are subordinate to the authority of Scripture itself. Although heaven and earth will pass away, God’s Word will endure forever[xxix], accomplishing the task that God has ordained for it[xxx]. To disbelieve or disobey any word of Scripture, properly interpreted, is to disbelieve or disobey God Himself, for God and His Word are one[xxxi]. This Scripture is intended for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness[xxxii], and contains the universal will of God for believers everywhere, giving man light for his daily path[xxxiii], enabling man to become wise for salvation through faith that is in Christ Jesus[xxxiv]. Since error results from a poor knowledge of Scripture[xxxv], it is considered noble to examine the Scriptures daily[xxxvi]. In fact, if interpreted correctly, the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ will be seen throughout its writings[xxxvii]. It is most profitable for man to study, ponder, and meditate upon the Bible both day and night[xxxviii], and diligently teaching the same to his children[xxxix]. However, like the two on the Emmaus road, all true spiritual comprehension and application of it depends upon the illumination of the Holy Spirit, for the natural man cannot receive the things of the Spirit, being folly to him[xl]. We are exhorted to pray that God would quicken our minds in our understanding of His Word[xli]. Furthermore, we affirm that although inscripturated revelation no longer takes place[xlii], normative revelation, that is, illuminative[xliii], non-canonical[xliv], and informational revelation[xlv] does indeed continue to this day.
[i] krip´t̬ū́r (ἡ γραφή, hē graphḗ, plural αἱ γραφαί, hai graphaí): In its primary sense, a writing, or anything written.
[ii] The Old Testament: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, 1 Kings, 2 Kings, 1 Chronicles, 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, The Song of Songs, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi.
[iii] The New Testament: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts, Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Hebrews, James, 1 Peter, 2 Peter, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, Jude, Revelation.
[iv] The Greek term “apocrypha” means “things that are hidden”. The Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches include most of these writings, but refer to them as “deuterocanonical (second canon or that which is later added to the canon)” books. These books include: 1 and 2 Esdras, Tobit, Judith, the Rest of Esther, the Wisdom of Solomon, Ecclesiasticus, Baruch (including the Epistle of Jeremiah), the Song of the Three Holy Children, Susanna, Bel and the Dragon, the Prayer of Manasseh, and 1 and 2 Maccabees. The reasons these books should be rejected are (1) they were never included in Hebrew Scriptures; (2) they contain teachings inconsistent with the rest of the Bible; (3) they were never quoted by Jesus or any New Testament author; (4) they were never claimed to be Divinely inspired by any of their authors; (5) they are not found in any catalogue of Canonical Books during the first four centuries of the church; (6) they are historically, geographically and chronologically in error; (7) they do not fit into the numerical structure of the rest of the Bible.
[v] Psalm 33:11
[vi] (Θεόπνευστος – Theopneustos – God Breathed) or Inspiration
[vii] A. Applied to the Old Testament: 2Ti 3:16; 2 Peter 1:2.
B. Applied to the New Testament: 2 Peter 3:16; John 14:26; 16:13; 1 Corinthians 2:13; 1 Cor. 14:37; 1 Thessalonians 4:15; 2 Peter 3:2; Revelation 22:18-19.
[viii] The word “canon” comes from the Greek κανών kanon, meaning, “rule, standard”, and refers to a standard or rule. The canon of Scripture is the list of all the books that have been measured by the following standards and now have become the “rule of faith”: (1) each book must have been written by a prophet or apostle or by one who had a special relationship to one; (2) each book must be in essential agreement with the other books; (3) each book has the testimony of the early church; (4) each book is self-authenticating.
[ix] BI'BLE, n. [Gr. a book.], which includes the entire individual books which make up Scripture of the Old and New Testaments.
[x] Psalm 12:6; 19:7; Proverbs 30:5; John 10:35
[xi] not capable of erring; entirely exempt from liability to mistake
[xii] Psalm 12:6
[xiii] John 17:17
[xiv] God in His work of inspiration utilized the distinctive personalities and literary styles of the writers whom He had chosen and prepared
[xv] Men communicated through the means of the Holy Spirit God’s Word - 2 Peter 1:21a (The Greek phrase here (ὑπὸ Πνεύματος Ἁγίου φερόμενος hupo Pneumatos Hagiou pheromenos) means “borne along, moved, influenced” by the Holy Ghost.
[xvi] John 17:17; 1 Thessalonians 2:13
[xvii] Romans 10:13-17
[xviii] Matthew 4:4; Luke 4:4
[xix] Proverbs 2:6
[xx] Psalm 33:11; 73:24; Proverbs 8:14
[xxi] 1 John 5:3
[xxii] Psalm 1:1; 33:10; 106:13: 107:11; Proverbs 1:25, 30;
[xxiii] 1 Corinthians 1:20; 2:4-6; 13,; 3:19; Colossians 2:2-3
[xxiv] Psalm 33:4
[xxv] Psalm 19:7-9; Hebrews 6:17-18
[xxvi] Deuteronomy 31:11; Psalm 12:5-7; 111:7-8; 119:152; Isa 40:8; 59:21; Matthew 5:17, 18; Act 15:21; Romans 3:1-4; Ephesians 2:20; 1 Peter 1:23
[xxvii] Deuteronomy 4:2; Deuteronomy 12:32; Proverbs 30:6
[xxviii] Colossians 2:8; Matthew 15:6-9; Mark 7:8
[xxix] Matthew 5:18
[xxx] Isaiah 55:11
[xxxi] John 1:1
[xxxii] 2 Timothy 3:16
[xxxiii] Psalm 119:106
[xxxiv] 2 Timothy 3:15
[xxxv] Mat. 22:29; Mk. 12:24
[xxxvi] Acts 17:11
[xxxvii] John 5:39, 46 Ps. 40:7; Hebrews 10:7
[xxxviii] Joshua 1:8; Psalm 1:2; 119:15, 48, 78, 148
[xxxix] Deuteronomy 6:6-7
[xl] 1 Corinthians 2:14
[xli] Ps. 119:18, 27, 34
[xlii] God no longer gives Inscripturated Revelation, that is, revelation that demands a place alongside the already established canon, “the more sure Word of Prophecy” (2 Peter 1:19-21). The canon was completed with the book of Revelation. Revelation 22:18-19
[xliii] Illuminative Revelation: “revelation” (apokalupsis) in Ephesians 1:17 and Philippians 3:15 is being used in the sense of Illumination.
[xliv] Examples of non-canonical revelation would include: Numbers 11:24-30; 1 Samuel 10:10-11; 1 Samuel 19:18-24; 1 Chronicles 25:1-8; Acts 2:18; 15:32; 21:9; Acts 12:6; Romans 12:6; 1 Corinthians 12:10; 13:2, 9; 14:1, 24, 31, 39; 1 Timothy 4:14; (These demonstrate that there is a revelation that does not have the same authority as the canon of Scripture, but is still available to the believer).
[xlv] Informational Revelation: This is specific non-canonical information that comes from God about people’s lives, needs, problems, sins, or events. Acts 11:27-28; 21:10-11; 1 Corinthians 14:25; 1 Timothy 4:14