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What Are Spiritual Gifts? (Basics of the Faith) Paperback – September 20, 2010
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"Dr. Poythress employs his gifts of teaching and discernment to clarify what the Bible says about the gifts of the Spirit and to guard against doctrinal and practical error. He addresses the hard issues head on, using a simple but sophisticated framework to demonstrate the full variety of gifts and the wide breadth of the Spirit's work in the church." --Philip Graham Ryken, Wheaton College
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Poythress rightly notes "The Bible indicates in several places that God equips and empowers people for service within the church, which is the body of Christ. Since God is the source for our abilities, these empowerments may be called "gifts" from God." Since all believers are part of the larger body of Christ and thus are called to serve this body to the glory of God, this means each and every believer has been provided a gift or set of gifts they are to use for the furthering of God's kingdom. This has huge ramifications for those who attempt to make the claim that spiritual gifts are somehow evidence of one's super spirituality or close connection to God. In reality, all believers have been provided by God with the means to do that which they have been called by God to be about doing.
The gifts of the Spirit are just that, gifts provided by the Spirit of God to the believer. Poythress reminds the reader "If you come to Christ, you come to personal fellowship with him, and that fellowship is the basis for all the benefits of salvation, including spiritual gifts.Read more ›
On the other hand I find his argument for a higher level of gifts for the apostles not convincing. Where it really starts to break down is where he decides that it would probably a good idea to lump Mark and Luke in with the disciples as well. After all they have books in the Bible as well. This is circular reasoning.
A better argument was simply that Mark and Luke were determined to ask direct witnesses to Jesus about what happened while he was with them, and what Peter and Paul, in particular, did. The fact that they were able to interview and be with direct witnesses of Jesus was sufficient. In fact anyone who did the same as Mark or Luke did or any other reputable direct witness of Jesus could have done the same thing.
My point is simply that just because one was an Apostle did not automatically make them the only ones who were allowed to write Scripture. Certainly Moses did not write the part about his own passing away! Some one else wrote that who was probably not that high up there in importance. Something that God specializes in, which is why he picked Israel to be his chosen people!
Poythress also throws around the word "inspired" as to mean "without error". I do not see how being inspired necessarily means one is without error. In that case the person would never sin!Read more ›