Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Mosaic Position Papers - On the Gifts of the Holy Spirit

Mosaic Church - On the Gifts of the Holy Spirit



Introduction
Much confusion has been introduced to the Lord's church concerning the gifting of the Holy Spirit to the people of God. This brief statement is not intended to resolve all controversy or exhaustively answer every nuance associated with the gifts, but it is our hope to set the tone for how Mosaic Church intends to approach this subject and how we expect our leaders and members to deal with one another, the broader church and the "outside world" in general.


Purpose of the Gifts - Then and Now
There is some controversy within the evangelical church as to the continuation or cessation of the gifts described in Scripture for the Post-Apostolic1  church. The position of Mosaic Church is that the true gifts of the Holy Spirit never contradict the Scriptures, always and primarily point to Jesus, and make the Gospel more clear, while also serving two ancillary, but vital, purposes:





  1. As "signs and wonders" to authenticate the Apostolic2  office, teachings and writings, valid only during the Apostolic era.
  2. As edification for the Bride of Christ, namely the church universal, visible and invisible, valid throughout time until Christ's return.
      

Our position can be thus be described as moderate continuationist, as it acknowledges that the gifts continue, but not in the manner that some charismatic groups adopt, that is, the continuation of the office of Apostle and the "signs and wonders" that accompany and validate that office3 . Mosaic's position is that this special outpouring, referenced in #1, above, has ceased and only the second remains for the Post-Apostolic church4 .

1 Peter 4:10-11



10 As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: 11whoever
speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who
serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything
God may be glorified through Jesus Christ
. To him belong glory and
dominion forever and ever. Amen.


Baptism of the Holy Spirit
Some churches hold to a "dual-outpouring" of the Holy Spirit. Once at the moment of regeneration or salvation and a "second blessing" that occurs either simultaneously with or post-salvation in which a person receives specific spiritual gifts and validates their salvation.

Mosaic Church holds to the singular spiritual baptism and special gift of the Holy Spirit that accompanies regeneration/salvation and considers this "second blessing" as an error.

Conclusion
Finally, we believe that individual and particular gifts are bestowed by the Holy Spirit for the edification of the Church. The quantity and quality of these gifts vary by individual and may be enduring or temporary in nature, depending on the situational requirements and is entirely dependent on the sovereign will of God and not on the spiritual ability or worthiness of the individual receiving the gift.

In summary, Mosaic Church desires to be a Spirit-filled church, practicing the gifts of the Holy Spirit in a manner honoring to God and obeying the Word of Truth:

1 Thessalonians 5
12
We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, 13and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. 14And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. 15See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone. 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20Do not despise prophecies5 , 21but test everything; hold fast what is good. 22Abstain from every form of evil.

23Now may the God of peace
himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and
body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.

Additional resources here.

notes



1 The Post Apostolic Age immediately followed the Apostolic Age.  It marks the time after the deaths of the original apostles to the time of Christ's return.

2 Apostle: from the Greek word 'apostolos', which means 'one who is sent.' In the
Bible this is the title given particularly to the twelve disciples of
Jesus and to St. Paul who were commissioned by Jesus to spread the
message of Christianity.

3 Wayne Grudem: "The whole issue is - What
replaces the apostles? Everybody agrees that apostles were in charge of
the churches at the time of the New Testament. The Roman Catholics say
that the bishops and Pope have replaced the apostles. But the
Protestant position has generally been that the writings of the
apostles – that is, the New Testament Scriptures that were written or
authorized by apostles – have replaced living apostles in the church.

There
is no record of the apostles appointing successor “apostles” to fill in
for them when they were gone. Peter sends not a replacement apostle,
but an epistle to the churches of Asia Minor, telling them he is doing
this so that “after my departure you may be able at any time to recall
these things” (2 Peter 1:15).
Paul tells the Ephesian elders that “after my departure fierce wolves
will come in among you, not sparing the flock,” but he does not tell
them to be subject to some new apostles whom he will send, but tells
them to look to Scripture: “And
now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to
build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are
sanctified”
(Acts 20:32).

And
I do think that the apostles had absolute authority to speak words of
God and govern the churches as Christ’s direct representatives, a kind
of authority that no human being has today. (I argue this in the
chapter on church government in Systematic Theology)." (http://adrianwarnock.com/2006/12/interview-wayne-grudem-part-nine.htm)



4 John Piper:

"So what I think I can say for our guidance is this.


  1. On the one hand, we ought to honor the uniqueness of Jesus
    and the apostles and of that revelatory moment in history that gave us
    the foundational doctrines of faith and life in the New Testament.
  2. On
    the other hand we ought to be open to the real possibility that this
    too might be a unique moment in history, and in this moment it may well
    be God's purpose to pour out his Spirit in unprecedented
    revival—revival of love to Christ and zeal for worship and compassion
    for lost people and a missionary thrust with signs and wonders."
http://tinyurl.com/piper-signs-wonders

5 For more on prophecies, see this sermon by John Piper: http://www.desiringgod.org/ResourceLibrary/Sermons/ByDate/1990/716_The_Authority_and_Nature_of_the_Gift_of_Prophecy/ - or listen to this audio teaching by Wayne Grudem: http://www.theologynetwork.org/christian-beliefs/the-holy-spirit-and-christian-living/prophecy.htm

No comments:

Post a Comment

Why I believe in baptizing babies (condensed version)

I grew up with the traditional Baptist view, typically referred to as " believers baptism ". It is theologically known as credobap...