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Quotes About Spiritual Gifts

Quotes about spiritual gifts from throughout Christian History.


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Leningrad CodexLeningrad Codex of the Hebrew Scriptures

Justin Martyr, c. A.D. 150

Daily some [Jews] are becoming disciples in the name of Christ and leaving the path of error. These are also receiving gifts, each as he is worthy, illumined through the name of Christ. For one receives the spirit of understanding, another of counsel, another of strength, another of healing, another of foreknowledge, another of teaching, and another of the fear of God. (Dialogue with Trypho 39)

Irenaeus, c. A.D. 185

The apostle declares, "We speak wisdom among those who are perfect" [1 Cor. 2:6]. He terms those perfect who have received the Spirit of God, and who through the Spirit speak in all languages, as he himself used to speak. Similarly, we also hear many brothers in the Church who possess prophetic gifts and who through the Spirit speak all kinds of languages. They bring to light the hidden things of men for the general benefit and declare the mysteries of God. These the apostle terms spiritual. They are spiritual because they partake of the Spirit, not because their flesh is stripped off and taken away and they have become purely spiritual [as the gnostics teach]. (Against Heresies V:6:1)

Clement of Alexandria, c. AD 190

"But each one has his own gift from God" [1 Cor. 7:7]—one in one way, one in another, but the apostles were perfected in all. You will find in their acts and writings, then, if you choose, knowledge, life, preaching, righteousness, purity, prophecy. (Miscellanies IV:21)

Apostolic Constitutions: Compilation, 3rd & 4th centuries

With good reason he said to all of us together, when we were perfected concerning those gifts which were given from him by the Spirit: "Now these signs shall follow them that have believed in my name: they shall cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall by no means hurt them; they shall lay their hands on the sick, and they shall recover" [Mark 16:17-18]. These gifts were first bestowed on us apostles when we were about to preach the Gospel to every creature, and afterwards they were, of necessity, provided for those who had believed because of us.

   This was not for the advantage of those who perform them, but for the conviction of unbelievers, so that those whom the Word did not persuade, the power of signs might put to shame. Signs are not for us who believe, but for unbelievers, both for Jews and Gentiles. For there is no benefit to us when we cast out demons, but to those who are so cleansed by the power of the Lord. As the Lord himself somewhere instructs us ... "Do not rejoice because the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice because your names are written in heaven" [Luke 10:20].

   Since the former is done by his power, but this by our good disposition and diligence—yet, obviously, with his assistance. It is not necessary therefore that every one of the faithful should cast out demons, raise the dead, or speak with tongues, but only one who has been granted this gift for a cause that may be of advantage to the salvation of unbelievers, who are often put to shame not with the demonstration of the world, but by the power of the signs—that is, those that are worthy of salvation.(Apostolic Constitutions VIII:1)

Ambrose, AD 381

God set apostles and set prophets and teachers, gave the gifts of healing, which you find [written] above [par. 149] to be given by the Holy Spirit, and gave various kinds of tongues [lit. languages]. Yet not all are apostles, not all are prophets, not all are teachers. "Not all," says he, "have the gift of healings, nor do all," says he, "speak with tongues" [1 Cor. 12:30]. All of the divine gifts cannot exist in each individual man. Each, according to his capacity, receives that which he either desires or deserves. (On the Holy Spirit II:13:150)

Martin Luther, 1520 - 1546

Elsewhere Paul draws a sharp distinction between an apostleship and lesser functions, as in I Corinthians 12:28: "And God hath set some in the church; first, apostles; secondarily, prophets; thirdly, teachers." He mentions the apostles first because they were appointed directly by God. (Commentary on Galatians)

Craig D. Allert, 2007

Did the early church view only the documents that went into the New Testament canon as inspired and those alone? The short answer to this question is No. The early church considered not only other documents as inspired, but also many aspects of the church's life including bishops, monks, interpreters of Scripture, martyrs, councils, and a wide array of prophetic gifts. (A High View of Scripture? The Authority of the Bible and the Formation of the New Testament Canon. Baker Academic, 2007, p. 59)

Zac Poonen, modern

A lot of things that are being spoken of today as the ministry of the Holy Spirit, it´s just emotional exuberance. Because people don´t know what is soul and what is spirit.. .Young people are so often taken up with that exuberance and say, "Oh, this is Holy Spirit." It´s not, if it were Holy Spirit it would bring holiness. (unknown)

David Servant, 2010

In many churches only a minority of people know what their gifts are. That is because the majority don't have gifts because they aren't in Christ's body. Goats don't have gifts. Their pastors need to stop giving sermons on "How to Discover Your Gift," and start giving sermons on "How to Repent and be Born Again." (HeavenWord Daily, Day 123, Romans 12; link removed, no longer works)

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