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A common refrain in the film concerns the charge by cessationists that to believe in the contemporary validity of revelatory and miraculous gifts of the Spirit would undermine the sufficiency and authority of Scripture. For example, here are just a few statements made in the film:

“To believe in Sola Scriptura is to be a cessationist.”

We should not expect God to speak “because we have the sufficient Word, the Bible.”

“To believe in Sola Scriptura is to be a cessationist.”

“The view of continuing revelation would lower our view of Scripture.”

I will contend that precisely the opposite is the case. To deny continuationism is to undermine the sufficiency of Scripture and lower its authority. Here is why.

The doctrine of the sufficiency of Scripture simply asserts that the Bible contains every theological truth and every ethical norm that is required for living a Christ-exalting and God-glorifying life. What the Bible contains and teaches is “enough” to enable us to lead godly lives in this present age.

Among the many things that the all-sufficient Scriptures say God has done and provided is the blessing of the many spiritual gifts, those in 1 Corinthians 12:7-10 in particular. The “all-sufficient” Word of God explicitly commands us to earnestly desire “the higher gifts” (1 Cor. 12:31a), which Paul goes on to identify primarily as prophecy. He again commands us to “earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy” (1 Cor. 14:1). Again, “Now I want you all to speak in tongues, but even more to prophesy” (1 Cor. 14:5a). And if there is any doubt about Paul’s meaning, he closes this chapter with the exhortation, “So, my brothers, earnestly desire to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues” (1 Cor. 14:39).

To say that the Bible is sufficient means we believe it tells us what to embrace and what to avoid, that it provides us with every command we need to obey and every warning that we need to heed. Do we believe the Bible warns us about those misguided beliefs and practices that may well threaten its own sufficiency? Yes.

What then does the Bible say about both revelatory and miraculous gifts as well as the more mundane gifts of the Spirit? It says we need them because they serve “the common good” (1 Cor. 12:7). It says prophecy is given to God’s people “for their upbuilding and encouragement and consolation” (1 Cor. 14:3). It says that when we come into the corporate gathering of God’s people “each one has a hymn, a lesson [or teaching], a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation,” and that all things should “be done for building up” (1 Cor. 14:26). And yet nowhere does it ever remotely suggest that the on-going validity of the very gifts it endorses are a dangerous threat to the reality of Scripture’s own sufficiency.

It is the all-sufficient Scriptures that teach us to earnestly desire spiritual gifts, especially that we might prophesy (1 Cor. 14:1), that teach us that such gifts are not merely given to authenticate the apostolic message but also to build up God’s people (1 Cor. 12:7; and all of 1 Corinthians 14), that tell us to “earnestly desire to prophesy, and” not to “forbid speaking in tongues” (1 Cor. 14:39). It is the all-sufficient Scriptures that tell us that in the New Covenant age, inaugurated at Pentecost God’s people, young and old, male and female, will experience revelatory dreams and visions and will prophesy (Acts 2), and that nowhere tell us that these gifts will only last for about 50 or 60 years and then disappear.

It would appear that the cessationist appeals to the notion of the Bible’s sufficiency in order to deny the Bible’s functional authority. They say they believe the Bible is inerrant and sufficient to tell us all we need to know to live godly lives, but then they deny the Bible’s teaching concerning the operation of spiritual gifts to build up and edify God’s people. If they truly believe in the Bible’s sufficiency, then explain where in the Bible it teaches that the miraculous gifts of the Spirit were designed only for the few decades of the first century.

If, as cessationists undoubtedly believe, the Bible is sufficient for all instruction and sufficient to provide inerrant guidance for whatever we might need to grow in godliness, why does the all-sufficient Bible not say what they continually assert? Wouldn’t it have been prudent for the apostles to have told us that their teaching on miraculous spiritual gifts was only intended by God to operate for a mere 50 or 60 years of church life? The fact of the matter is that the Bible fails to provide us with a single text in which we are told that the many gifts it encourages us to pursue and practice were temporary or were characterized by some inherent obsolescence.

If the cessationist is correct, why doesn’t the Bible tell us to ignore the exhortations to earnestly desire spiritual gifts, especially prophecy, or tell us that we should forbid speaking in tongues, or tell us that the gifts which were given to edify and encourage the people of God were not meant for any generation of Christians beyond those of the first century? Why does the written word only tell us to make good use of such gifts for the edification of the body and not tell us that such was only meant for the early church?

So, in summary, I contend that if you believe in the sufficiency and the functional authority of Scripture, you must necessarily believe in the on-going validity and edifying power of miraculous gifts of the Spirit. It is the cessationist, therefore, who by denying the continuation of revelatory gifts undermines both the sufficiency and authority of the Bible.


10/27/2023 AD
The spirit that is behind this post confesses "Jesus Christ is come in the flesh".

Please judge this prophecy which the Lord Jesus Christ spoke audibly to me, in answer to the question of free will.

“None of My sheep have free will.”

I am forever praising and believing Jesus is the Christ and this is pleasing to God.
@James, false prophets and false teachers are not a new problem. There were false teachers and false prophets in the New Testament era. There were false teachers and false prophets in the OLD Testament era. Consequently, both the Old and New Testaments *address* this issue by giving instruction for evaluating prophets/prophecies.
The problem today is with the false prophets and teacher in the charismatic church. They over power it with greed and fake stories. It's gotten so bad I trust NO charismatic church, although I believe in the gifts. Everyone is out for a buck it seems. There is also little love in the ranks. There's tons of celebrity Christian worship, though. The American church is a mess. And no one seems to care but the "discernment" crowd. But they are bullies and seem to hate charismatics.

I think the American church is in need of flattening and rebuilding. I wish we had really good charismatic leaders. I really do. I suppose the good ones haven't had an angelic visitation so we don't get to hear from them. Nowadays only leaders that have had angelic visitations or trips to heaven are in the spotlight. Of course, they are lying about this, 99 percent of them, but again, no one cares but the "discernment" crowd. They seem to care.

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