by Randy White Ministries Sunday, Mar 13, 2022

Faith, Hope, Love…And Silence?

Are these really all we have?

The Commonly Held View of Spiritual Empowerment

  • Charles Stanley expresses the commonly held view:

    *Spiritual power is the divine energy God is willing to express in and through us and the divine authority needed to carry out the work God has called us to do. We cannot "harness" the power of the Holy Spirit. This power is not just for preachers, evangelists, or people who work in special ministry; rather, it is available to every believer who willingly surrenders moment by moment in submission and obedience to the Holy Spirit**.*
  • *The belief that every believer has a spiritual gift as well as spiritual empowerment for victorious Christian living is so pervasive that anyone who dares question the assumptions*“heretic" by “the church."

  • **The commonly held view is always based on passages that are directed to Israel, primarily during the time of the Kingdom offer (Pentecost through 70AD), but also from the time prior to the Kingdom offer, in the Gospels and the Old Testament.

    The Perplexing Passage that Solves A Real Predicament

  • If we are honest, the real predicament is that Christians have not been able to display more power over sorrow, sickness, evil, poverty, and death than the general population.

    • Research shows that religious people live, on average, four years longer than non-religious. But this includes all forms of religion.

    • There is no evidence that the faithful ore better off financially. Physical disasters strike Christians equally with non-Christians.

  • 1 Corinthians 12:4-10 -- the way it was…

    • In Paul's day, there were manifestation[s] of the Spirit that were held by every man. When the Holy Spirit came upon a believer, it was visibly expressed. The manifestations are in addition to the diversities of gifts... administrations... operations of verses 4-6. These manifestations are enumerated in verses 8-10.

    • Note that the fact that the Spirit was manifest in visible ways to the Corinthians does not mean that the same is done today.

  • “love" chapter.

    • “love" chapter is really about a future cessation of spiritual manifestations.

    • Verses 8-10 tell us that the manifestations will cease.

      • The question for the Bible interpreter is not whether these manifestation gifts will stop, but when they have or will stop.

      • One who believes that the manifestation gifts have stopped is called a cessationist, one who believes they continue is a continuationist.

      • A cessationist must build an argument for when the gifts ceased. A continuationist must build an argument for when the gifts will cease.

  • 1 Corinthians 13:12-13 -- What remains.

    • Verse 12 -- we have a partial knowledge, but enough knowledge. Compare 2 Timothy 3:16-17.

    • Verse 13 - In opposition to the manifestation gifts, there are three things which abideth (remain): faith, hope, charity.

      • Of these three, the greatest of these is charity. Why? because faith and hope will both go away in the Eternal Age. In the age of the Kingdom offer, there were manifestations of the Spirit to guide, encourage, prove, and teach. Today we have faith, hope, and charity.

      • We place our faith in the truth of the Scriptures, our hope is in the blood of Jesus Christ and His coming for His church, and charity is the full expression of Christian love until Jesus comes.

        Living In An Age of Silence

  • As Israel rejected her Messiah, God transitioned to a period of silence, having provided all that mankind needed for life and salvation. This is not unprecedented; consider the years between Malachi and Matthew.

  • What an age of silence does not mean.

    • That God has lost any power. Silence can be the ultimate display of power.

    • That God refuses to perform miracles. The greatest of power is the self-control to work through means by which one may not get the credit.

  • What an age of silence does mean.

    • God's displays of power do not manifest themselves as unmistakably His work.

    • The work of God is done through the following:

      • His preserved Word establishes His standards and His plans.

      • His natural law establishes His parameters for existence.

    • Concerning the manner in which God works:

      • He does not reveal new information: 1 Corinthians 13:8 has come to pass. Thus, the only way God speaks today is in His Word, the Scriptures.

      • He has not given prophecies for this age, except the information about its conclusion in rapture. Previous prophecies concerning future ages are not currently being fulfilled (though the stage may be set for their fulfillment).

      • Angelic and demonic activity is restrained.

      • He is not actively prompting the lost to salvation other than His word and those who testify what His Word says. It is incumbent upon those who know to tell those who do not know.

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