Is Pentecostal/Charismatic Christianity Biblical?
To answer the question I first want to define what Pentecostal or Charismatic Christianity is.
A charismatic or pentecostal christian simply stated are those that believe that the gifts of the Spirit are in operation today.
Charisma means gift of grace or free gifts and the word pentecostal comes from the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in Acts 2 that fell on the day of Pentecost.
The truth is you may be surprised at the denominations that believe the gifts of the Spirit found in 1 Corinthians 12 are still in operation today.
To list a few: Christian Missionary Alliance, Catholics, Presbyterians, Methodists, Lutheran there are even some Baptist denominations that have embraced tongues as being for today.
The Southern Baptists had to change their policy regarding the speaking in tongues because many of their missionaries where getting baptized in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues.
The fact of the matter is the largest and fastest growing demographic of Christians world wide is the pentecostal/charismatic denominations.
Let’s get back to our original question, are the gifts of the Spirit for today?
Here’s an excerpt from my new book The Heart of the Prophetic available on my website www.IvanRoman.org
There are two primary views within the teaching of Cessationism. The first view being, because of the canonization of the scriptures, we have the bible. Now because of that fact, we no longer need the gifts of the spirit because the ‘perfect’, representing the word of God, has come. The understanding was that the Holy Spirit was moving, and moving in power, up until the canonization of scripture in AD 397, then ceased. If you study church history, you will see that miracles did not cease. During the dark ages, many of the desert fathers were moving in the miraculous. Saint Patrick, along with so many others, walked in not only the gifts of the Spirit, but had encounters with the living Christ. There are many testimonies of miracles after the bible was canonized. The only explanation Cessationists could give for all the evidence of God’s power after the bible was canonized, was that the source of power was either not God, or in some circumstances, it was only a sovereign act of God that shouldn’t be expected to happen often.
The second view of Cessationism, is the belief that the gifts of the Spirit ceased after the death of the last apostle. The problem with this theology is that biblically there were 22 apostles. This theology is only taking into consideration the original 12. On top of which, there is also no historical evidence of when John the Revelator died. The Bible says in Hebrews 13:8 that, “Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever”. In the Old Testament the name for God is Yaweh, which means, “I am, that I am and always will be the self existing one”. Then there is the compound name of God, Jehovah Jireh, “I am the one that healeth thee”. So this means that if we just look at the Old Testament perspective, that he is a God that heals yesterday, today and forever, then it is biblical to see that gifts and miracles are for today.
The filter of Cessationism would say that God can heal if it is His will, but if we look at the life of Jesus and how he taught, preached and ministered, Jesus ministered in power and healing.
Acts 1:8 says, “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you”. One definition of power is moral excellence. This is the power of God that helps us to overcome sin, and it is also God’s miraculous power for healing.
Romans 1:16 says, “I am not ashamed of the gospel, it is the power of God and salvation”.
The word ‘salvation’ in this text is soterio, which is the means to be saved, and the means to be delivered.
Also in the book of Acts 2:21 it says, “Call upon the name of the Lord then you shall be saved”. The word ‘saved’ in this passage means Sozo, which means healed and delivered. This clearly reveals how weak the filter of Cessationism really is when compared to the full Word of God. However, many Christians believe this way.
I love what my friend Charlie Shamp posted on his Facebook page.
“Emmanuel is God with us, Calvary is God for us, but Pentecost is God in us and for that I am not ashamed of the Pentecostal power in my generation!”
I wholeheartedly agree. If you weren’t raised in a denomination that believed in the gifts of the Spirit where for today and after reading this blog have a desire to both receive and flow in the gifts of the Spirit pray this prayer with me.
Lord Jesus, I thank you that you are the same yesterday, today and forever. I desire all that you purchased on the Cross for me in both character and gifting. This day forward I want your precious Holy Spirit to flow through me anyway He chooses. I receive your Holy Spirit today in Jesus name.
For more information on the gifts of the Holy Spirit purchase a copy of my new book The Heart of the Prophetic at www.IvanRoman.org.