Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Gifts Without Grace

"Spiritual gifts are for the confirmation of the gospel and the spiritual edification of the church. But gifts do not bring salvation and can be given to those who know nothing of grace in their hearts. So it is incumbent on all who have received spiritual gifts not to look to them as evidences of being truly regenerated, but to spiritual graces. Some have been deceived into thinking they have grace when they only have gifts. So the presence of spiritual gifts can mislead us into thinking that all is well when great apostasy is taking place.

Gifts, without grace, have no influence on the soul and they work only at special times and on special occasions. But grace affects the whole person at all times and in all duties. Grace works holy obedience in the soul. Gifts do not. Gifts are not, and can never be, the measure of our growth in grace..." —John Owen (1616-1683)

Quote taken from "Apostasy from the Gospel" by John Owen, The Banner of Truth Trust; 1992 p. 160

3 comments:

Joseph A. said...

1 Corinthians 12:1-11:
Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant: You know that you were Gentiles, carried away to these dumb idols, however you were led. Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit.
There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.

steve martin said...

The important thing about the "gifts" is the use of them.

Without using them to help others in some way...they are...well...useless.

The Bororean said...

I disagree Steve, the important thing about gifts is as Owen put it "for the confirmation of the gospel" if gifts don't confirm the gospel then they are useless for edification of the church and can't help anyone spiritualy.