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The Beginner’s Guide to Spiritual Gifts (a review from

As someone who was brought up in Cessationist churches and schools I was always taught that the miraculous gifts in the Book of Acts and 1 Corinthians had ceased and were no longer in use today. In 1999 I went on a missions trip to India and witnessed several healing miracles, heard several prophecies, and personally experienced the power and presence of the Holy Spirit like I never had before. These experiences didn’t jive with what I had been taught about the ceasing of miraculous gifts. Since that time I have participated in several churches that are “open but cautious” and “Charismatic” about miraculous gifts and their usage today.

My experience has taught me that the miraculous gifts do indeed exist today. However, what about abuses, and what about sound exegesis and what are the applications today of the relevant biblical texts on miraculous gifts? Is there a theologically sound basis for the usage of the miraculous gifts today, or have these miraculous gifts ceased?

Enter in Sam Storms. Following on the heels of another Dallas Theological Seminary grad – Jack Deere – Storms was skeptical of miraculous gifts today. However, Storms, like Deere, was unconvinced of the exegesis of Cessationists and that coupled with his experience of the miraculous gifts through him, and around him changed his course of belief and practice of the miraculous gifting of the Holy Spirit.

Dr. Storms defines Spiritual gifts in this manner: “Spiritual gifts are not God bestowing to his people something external to himself. They are not some tangible ‘stuff’ or substance separable from God. Spiritual gits are nothing less than God himself in us, energizing our souls, imparting revelation to our minds, infusing power in our wills, and working his sovereign and gracious purposes through us…[in summary] Spiritual gifts are God present in, with, and through human thoughts, human deeds, human words, human love.” The rest of the book is an expansion and exposition of the miraculous gifts based on this definition of the Spiritual gifts addressed in 1 Corinthians 12-14.

Storms does a remarkable job of providing scholarly exegesis and practical insight of the nine miraculous gifts mentioned by the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 12-14: (1-2) Words of Wisdom and Knowledge; (3-4) Faith and Healing; (5-6) Prophecy and Distinguishing Spirits; (7) Miracles; and (8-9) Tongues and the Interpretation of Tongues.

I highly recommend this book to all evangelicals from the spectrum of Pentecostalism to Presbyterianism. I think Storms gives much needed food for thought to Cessationists, those who hold to an “Open but Cautious” view, Charismatics, “Third Wave,” and Pentecostals – as well as needed correction to those who practice “counterfeit” and spiritual gifts in an unbiblical manner. Though this is a controversial topic, Storms writes with much love and patience with those who disagree with his views. I found the book to be convincing in many respects, packed with wisdom, and especially helpful in understanding spiritual gifts that I have never personally experienced, but have been the beneficiary of from other believers – especially the gifts of prophecy, faith and healing. Storms has written an easy to read, yet theologically articulate guide to help Christians understand the miraculous gifts; their function in private and in corporate worship, and guidance for their development and application in the light of the Scriptures.


There are enough people who have these gifts! Why do you personally not experiencing these gifts? You've already written it yourself .... Fear and unbelief that is Biblical truth. Is itself the Word of God, that if we ask God for gifts or for the Holy Spirit, he will not give us a stone or a scorpion. However, many Christians do not believe in it. They look rather to the abuse of these gifts. Instead of personally experiencing these things, and not to give themselves fully towards God, you'd rather go forth and condemns other Christians the wonderful experiences with God make. You write that it was fake healings, speaking in tongues, etc. ... I ask you .... You know these people to be able to assess all this in person? or that are not likely to prejudice you hold against them, and indeed from your theological perspective. Can it be that you are just jealous? To the Word of God also says that any GOOD DELIVERY (spiritual gifts, natural gifts) of God comes, we want the widersperechen? Who are we to ask us about God's Word? Who are we to judge others? The problem of many Christians is yet and unfortunately this is the truth that they want reluctant to relinquish control, they want to control everything, the man, the Bible, spiritual experience everything. However, the spiritual gifts show that God the Holy Spirit has control over our lives and not the man. And that requires that we who put our pride and false humility of the day, and begin to take the Heavenly Father's arms to jump and trust Him fully. Something is also called the break of pride and be truly humble before God. Spiritual gifts to serve the people, they serve people in the freedom to run, they serve that kingdom to build, they serve to bring people healing and they serve you personally, just speaking in tongues service you personally, since you things God talk / pray that you do not understand, but which the Holy Spirit understands very well that He wears this to the throne of God. And it is your own spiritual edification, so that you will mentally strong. A good friend wrote on Facebook and what I found very good and gestures while on the tongue, that is from Jeff Mills, and I quote him again:

- I read the other day about speaking in tongues and realized that of all the gifts of the Spirit, speaking in tongues is the most controversial. God has a reason for this: speaking in tongues is the only gift deliberately designed to attack the human ego and pride. In public speaking in tongues is not normal. It appears to mental incapacity to act social inferiority and ignorance. The mere mention of this gift awakens the religious intolerance in humans. Curiously, this negative attitude toward the gift fulfills its unusual purpose:

"But the foolish things of the world hath God chosen to confound the wise and the weak things of the world hath God chosen to confound the strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen and what is not , to bring to nothing the things that are, so that no flesh should glory before God.
1 Corinthians 1:27-29.

No other gift reaches the humiliating intention of God as the gift of tongues. Speaking in tongues reveals the vanity in people who hate it at first, but later love and appreciate. Some will of course never arise. Gifts of wisdom, knowledge and belief of not angering the people.
The charism of tongues stops many casual believers and keeps them from entering the realm of the miraculous power.

Perhaps this serves to give you a little help, you take a little fear, which you have absolutely no fear of God and his gifts and his work, and no matter how blatant need the ER only gives you good!

LG Gerhard from Germany / Constance

If these gifts are so necessary to living the abundant life, why do so many of us never experience these gifts. Is it our lack of faith, fear, or spiritlessness? I have viewed many abuses of these so-called gifts but have never seen any genuine healings, prophecies, or God-honoring tongues with interpretations. Alas, poor me!

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