by Glen H. Jones
Are the sign gifts enumerated in the New Testament for Christians today? C. Peter Wagner believes they are. He lists and defines twenty-eight spiritual gifts that he believes are mentioned in the New Testament. He rejects cessationism (the belief that the sign gifts died after the age of the apostles). The author gives a brief historical review of positions church leaders have held concerning spiritual gifts.
Wagner believes that his approach to spiritual gifts will enable different churches and denominations to pick and choose the spiritual gifts their denomination espouses. He also believes his approach will strengthen the world-wide spread of the Christian gospel.
He states, "A spiritual gift is a special attribute given by the Holy Spirit to every member of the Body of Christ, according to God's grace, for use within the context of the Body." We are to yield ourselves completely to the work of the Holy Spirit. We are then in a position to discover the gifts(s) the Holy Spirit has given us. Believers are then to develop and use the gifts that God has given them.
In addition to the gifts that cessationists hold to, the author believes that the gifts of miracles, speaking in tongues, interpreting tongues, and the gift of apostleship are in operation today. He further believes that celibacy, voluntary poverty, and martyrdom are spiritual gifts.
Wagner provides a questionnaire to help Christians discover their spiritual gifts. The Wagner-modified Houts Questionnaire lists 135 questions, with four possible responses (Much, Some, Little, or None at All). A scoring chart at the end allows one to see in which areas his possible spiritual gifts lie.
Type: Spiritual Gifts
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