The Foundational Gifts Of Apostle And Prophet In Ephesians -- By: Gary R. Gromacki

Journal: Journal of Ministry and Theology
Volume: JMAT 017:2 (Fall 2013)
Article: The Foundational Gifts Of Apostle And Prophet In Ephesians
Author: Gary R. Gromacki


The Foundational Gifts Of Apostle And Prophet In Ephesians

Gary Gromacki

Professor of Bible and Homiletics
Baptist Bible Seminary
Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania

Introduction

Cessationism Vs. Continuationism

Nothing has divided the church of Jesus Christ more than different views on spiritual gifts. Christians hold to cessationism or continuationism (sometimes called the Charismatic movement).1 Some cessationists believe that all of the spiritual gifts have ended. Other cessationists believe that there are permanent spiritual gifts and temporary spiritual gifts today. The foundational gifts of apostles and prophets along with their miraculous gifts (tongues, healing, and miracles) were for the apostolic age of the first century AD church. Cessationists believe that there are no apostles or prophets today. John was the last apostle to live, and he wrote the last New Testament book: the book of Revelation. John warned about adding to the book of Revelation. The NT canon is closed. It took the church many years to recognize that there were only 27 inspired books in the NT canon. Cessationists emphasize that the church does not need any further revelation from God. There are no prophets today being given by the risen Christ to his church. The sign gifts of miracles, healing, and tongues have ceased. Cessationists are not against miracles and healing. God still performs miracles today. God still heals people in answer to prayer and in his providence. But God sometimes chooses not to heal his people who call on him for healing (i.e., Joni E. Tada).

Cessationists believe that the miraculous sign gifts of tongues, healing and miracles have ceased.2

Continuationists differ as well on their views of spiritual gifts. Pentecostals believe that speaking in tongues is the sign of the baptism of the Spirit which they think all Christians should pray for and seek after their conversion. Charismatics do not think that every Christian should speak in tongues, but they believe that tongues can be a private prayer language to enhance one’s spiritual life. The Third Wave (Wimber; Deere) taught that signs and wonders authenticate the truthfulness of the gospel and provide opportunities for the lost to see the power of the gospel.

Apostles

An “apostle” (ἀπόστολος) was a messenger, a delegate, envoy.3 The word apostle is used in the NT to refer to the twelve men chosen by Jesus to follow him: Simon Peter, Andrew, James the son of Zebedee, John,...

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