The Charismatic gifts debate: verses from the Gospels

In the last post I shared some OT verses which speak to the charismatic debate. Today, I continue with some passages from the Gospels. Read these, and try to allow the Bible to shape your viewpoint, not your traditions, whichever side of the fence you have come down on so far. Please also share any key verses I may have missed in the comment section.

“Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?” And Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them. (Matthew 11:3-5)

He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matthew 17:20, ESV)

24 He put another parable before them, saying, w“The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field, 25 but while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds3 among the wheat and went away. 26 So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also. 27 And the servants4 of the master of the house came and said to him, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have weeds?’ 28 He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ So the servants said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them?’ 29 But he said, x‘No, lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them. Matthew 13:24–29

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. 18 A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’
Matthew 7:15-23

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! (Matthew 7:7-11, ESV)

Knowing their thoughts, he said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand. And if Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand? And if I cast out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges. But if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. Or how can someone enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? Then indeed he may plunder his house. Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come. (Matthew 12:25-32)

“When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, but finds none. 44 Then it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when it comes, it finds the house empty, swept, and put in order. 45 Then it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there, and the last state of that person is worse than the first. So also will it be with this evil generation.” (Matthew 12:43-45)

And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. (Matthew 24:11-12)

“I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20)

Mark 16:17
And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; (NB: most scholars believe this verse was not in the original)

John 4:24 “God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”

The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” (John 3:8)

23 But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. (John 4:23)

All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. (John 6:37)

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. (John 10:27)

But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all. Nor do you understand that it is better for you that one man should die for the people, not that the whole nation should perish.” He did not say this of his own accord, but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation (John 11:49-51)

even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.

“…even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. … If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him” (John 14:17-18, 23).

“But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me. (John 15:26)

Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. (John 16:17)

And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.(John 17:3)

Over to you: Which verses relevant to this subject from the gospels did I miss?

About Adrian Warnock

Adrian Warnock is a medical doctor, a writer, and a member of Jubilee Church, London since 1995, where he serves as part of the leadership team alongside Tope Koleoso. Together they have written Hope Reborn - How to Become a Christian and Live for Jesus, published by Christian Focus. Adrian is also the author of Raised With Christ - How The Resurrection Changes Everything, published by Crossway. Read more about Adrian Warnock or connect with him on Twitter, Facebook or Google+.

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You are warmly invited to comment on this blog. By doing so you demonstrate that you accept Adrian's comment policy.

  • John Mushenhouse

    Hi Adrian,

    Years ago (and still today) there
    were a lot of discussions/arguments over whether a woman should preach or not.
    My stance was that a woman was the biggest impediment to a woman preaching. Instead
    of preaching the Gospel, they spent their time saying it was biblical for a
    woman to preach. The problem was that they were defending their views and not
    preaching.

    I see this same futility today.
    People operate in the gifs when the Holy Spirit anoints them to flow in them.
    They are for edification and for reaching the lost. They are not for petty bickering
    over who is right or wrong.

    Seek the best gifts as we are
    instructed and ask the Holy Spirit to use you. Never neglect the spoken gospel
    in lieu of gifts though. Flow in the truth of the gifts which the Spirit gives
    us. One can’t mistake God’s Spirit. When you pray or read the word the peace
    and love of God is not something you can miss. It is like nothing one can ever
    get from anything else. It is a living relationship with the living God. The
    only God.

    Remember that the world is under
    the power of the adversary, but greater is He who is in me, then he who is in
    the world. Our relationship with the almighty, our prayers, the word and the
    gifts work together for the good of the Kingdom . People are too valuable to go
    to hell. That is why we should concentrate on doing and not discussing.

    I am so sick of all this. Just
    seek to have the courage to follow the Lord’s will and if the Spirit manifests
    a gift use it. If not, still preach the Word. After all, Jesus is the greatest
    gift of all.

    I wish that the time on fighting
    would be used to witness to the lost. Have we forgotten our calling.

    If there were tears in heaven –
    all heaven would weep

  • http://www.wheretoreach.us/ T Freeman

    Also from John 14: “10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. 12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.”

    And from John 20: “That Sunday evening[b] the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them! “Peace be with you,” he said. 20 As he spoke, he showed them the wounds in his hands and his side. They were filled with joy when they saw the Lord! 21 Again he said, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.” 22 Then he breathed on them and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.’”

    I think it’s important to realize, from the Gospel accounts, that Jesus did not, according to him, do his amazing works from his own power or authority. Though he had full rights as God, he laid that power down. Rather, he did the work he did by the power of the Spirit and at the leading of the Father. (Matt. 12:28; John 5:16-20) Therefore, Jesus truly is–and shows us–the way to live and minister: Led by the Father and empowered by the Spirit. “As the Father sent me, I send you . . .” The disciples were told to wait to begin their post-resurrection ministry until after they had received power from God, just as Jesus waited to begin his public ministry until after he had received power from the Spirit at his baptism.


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