A gracEmail subscriber writes concerning a man who claims to be an apostle, and whom a number of believers regard as such. Are there living apostles today? What makes a person an apostle? * * * The word "apostle" literally means "one sent." "Emissary" or "delegate" are more contemporary synonyms. The greatest Apostle is Jesus of Nazareth, whom God sent into the world with authority to make atonement for sin and to give eternal life to those whom God had given him (Heb. 3:1; John 17:1-3). The New Testament assigns the 12 Apostles a unique role in the Church -- with Matthias replacing Judas … [Read more...]
DOES GOD STILL DO THAT?
A gracEmail subscriber who desires to be open to whatever God might wish to do in her life expresses difficulty with the idea that he still bestows gifts of tongues, prophecy and healing. What is the gift of "tongues" supposed to be, anyway? * * * You could not possibly have more difficulty with the spiritual gifts of healing, tongues and prophecy than I did for many years. You and I both grew up under teaching that all such things ceased long ago. Yet eventually I had to yield my firmly-set mind to the strong evidence that God gives all these gifts to whomever he wishes -- even today. What … [Read more...]
A friendly but curious subscriber asks, "In view of your book's title (The Sound of His Voice: Discovering the Secrets of God's Guidance) and some recent gracEmails, I wonder whether you have become one of those charismatics." * * * If one defines a "charismatic" Christian as a person who thinks we hold the controls to manipulate God according to our own will, or that every Christian must possess some particular spiritual gift, or that believers who exercise certain grace-gifts are spiritually superior to believers who receive different gifts, then I wholeheartedly reject the label, and … [Read more...]
SPIRITUAL GIFTS SEMINAR
March 2006 -- Great joy, human brokenness and divine renewal marked our seminar on gifts of the Holy Spirit last weekend in Searcy, Arkansas. Sponsored by Covenant Fellowship Church (CFC) and hosted on Saturday by First United Methodist Church (FUMC), both of Searcy, the seminar included two teaching sessions followed by a question-and-answer session on Saturday morning and a healing prayer service on Saturday evening. Attendees came from CFC and FUMC, Churches of Christ and other area churches plus visitors from other towns including several guests from Tennessee. It was a pleasure to meet … [Read more...]