Dr. A. R. Javed

Do the Gifts of the Holy Spirit Work the Same Everywhere?

1. Enns states that the gift of the apostle was only necessary during the foundation of the church [1], I agree because I believe that Acts 1:21-22 clearly highlights the qualifications of an apostle. According to Acts 1:21-22, an apostle needs to be a male, he must have been with Jesus Christ from the beginning, and he must have witness his death and resurrection. Also, I believe that he must have written scriptures like other apostles. Therefore, there are no more apostles or prophets.

2. Regarding the Gift of Tongues, according to 1 Cor.14:27; 1 Cor. 14:5, 13, 27; 1 Cor. 12:7 and 1 Peter 4:10, the Tongues were human languages and their purpose was to edify the body of Christ, and they were not to be used publicly without interpretation. Also, in 1 Cor. 13:8 Paul writes that the Tongues will cease. I do not question the Gift of Tongues, but I believe it must not be used publicly without interpretation.

3. In Acts 19:2 Paul ran to twelve disciples and asked, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” (ESV), and they responded with ‘no.’ Once they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus, Paul laid his hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit, “and they began speaking in tongues and prophesying” (Acts 19:6b, ESV). The genuine conversion of believers was confirmed by divine signs, which is unseen in our times in the West. Paul writes,” For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom” (ESV).

4. The New Testament neither directly states that miraculous gifts, including those that Enns refers to as the selected spiritual gifts, will cease during the church age, nor does it directly or explicitly state that they will continue. It says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Heb. 13:8, ESV). Therefore, He continues to demonstrate the power of the Holy Spirit through spiritual gifts in those places where He knows it is needed. In the East, people demand signs, so they get them. They also seek a spiritual response for everything. In the West, people look for wisdom, therefore they get a rational response. I believe in the gifts of the Holy Spirit, but I agree with Enns that after the time of the Apostles some are no longer in use today.

1 Paul Enns, “The Moody Handbook of Theology”, (Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers, 2014), 284.

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Dr. A. R. Javed

Dr. A. R. Javed is on faculty of New York School of the Bible, offering and heading the department of Missions and Understanding Islam. He is a lecturer at Davis College's NYC site and regularly gives lectures on Islam, Missions, Christian Theology nationally and internationally.

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