Sunday, April 24, 2005

Passover Sunday

John Piper has written a good sermon based on the question, "How did believers experience the Holy Spirit before Pentecost, and why should you care?"

Today seemed like a good time to share this with you.


D.Mann said...

So Julianne, Do you believe that the gifts of the Spirit are to be sought after such as Piper, or are you a cessationist?

Anonymous said...

It's been so long since I've talked with her that I don't remember her views on things. However, I have no shortage of opinions.

It's been my experience that those seeking the "gifts of the spirit" usually find them. Amazingly enough, they happy to "receive" the one(s) they find most desireable. We have been warned against becoming addicted to signs and losing sight of God. I've often heard people remark that until the experience God "moving" over the congregation that they haven't felt that they have worshiped. So they will stand there and pray, sing, speak in tongues, or whatever it is that they do until the "experience" it.

Which isn't to say ever instance is not of God. The Bible is pretty clear in instances of prohecy, healing and other things. The Bible gives no indication that they should cease. Think the Bible's intent is for us to be open to the possibilities and to allow God to work through us in whichever mannor that He feels the situation warrents. I don't think it's intent is for us to be actively engaged in seeking out gifts.

Julianne said...

Spurgeon once said,

"It is a rule of the kingdom to keep the best wine to the last; and therefore, I conclude that you and I are not left to partake of the dregs, but that those gifts of the Holy Spirit which are at this time vouchsafed to the church of God are every way as valuable as those earlier miraculous gifts which are departed from us."

We would all agree that God does some wonderful things, the disagreement is over how to interpret them. The cessationist often tries to tell the non-cessationist that his experiences didn't happen. To do this is to either call the non-cessationist a liar or mentally ill.

Even those not of the Spirit have done "miraculous" things.

Jonathan Edwards said,

"The gifts of tongues, of miracles, of prophecy, and etc., although they are not ordinarily bestowed on the Christian Church, but only on extraordinary occasions, yet are not peculiar to the godly, for many ungodly men have had these gifts (Matt. vii. 22, 23) - " Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name? And in Thy name cast out devils ? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity."

I believe we shouldn't doubt. I'm not sure if we should "seek" out "extrodinary" things. What is extrodinary is how God keeps my lungs breathing in and out every couple seconds, my heart beating to circulate oxygen through my body, and my heart turned towards Him. Still pondering this deeper issue though.

BTW, who are you that you should desire to be anonymous?

Anonymous said...

It's Geoff. I just didn't feel like jumping through the hoops to create another account to be named.

Julianne said...

After I saw my guestbook, I figured it out. It's a pain to set up dozens of accounts.

D.Mann said...


Great quotes. I can't recall in any pro-cessationist books or any cessationist person telling a non-cessationist that their experiences didn't happen. Thus a cessationist is not guilty of calling a non-cessationist a liar or that he is mentally ill.The fact that any one (godly or ungodly) can have experiences, and believe that God is in favor with it.Just look at the Mormons. I have not heard of anyone discrediting their experiences. After all can't Satan grant experiences.As you have pointed out.

The debate is are these sigh gifts extrodinary or they are to be the normal christian experience thus to be sought after.

God bless, Daniel

Daniel said...

I grew up in a church that leaned toward the cessationist camp. However, the more I study the Bible the more I realized that this position is hard to sustain from Scripture. Guys like Wayne Grudem, Jack Deere, and Gordon Fee convinced me of this.

Usually the cessationist secretly has an anti-supernatural preposition. And thus, they get the results that they want.

My problem with some charismatic groups is the spiritual "one-up manship" that I often have experienced. Charismatics are often careless with the phrase "baptism of the Spirit."