The Greatest of These is Love: Cessationism (Part 3A)

Last time we talked about how perhaps one of the major reasons many Christian people who hold to Cessationism do not experience the charismatic gifts of the Holy Spirit is because they are neither open nor willing to God working through them supernaturally in this way. Today, we’re briefly going to talk about one scripture in particular which is used in favour of Cessationism.

I realise this is not the only scripture for Cessationists, nor is it the only biblical reason people give. But it is a good example.

1 Corinthians 13:8-12 says,

Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

In 1 Corinthians 12, Paul has given a discourse on the functions and activities of the Christian church, especially on the way in which the one body of the church is built up and strengthened in various ways, each according to the gifts and callings God has given to each individual person in the church. Each part plays an essential role in the building up of the body, and therefore it is not the case that one part is unneeded, nor can it be said that one part is ‘more important’ than another.

Of the gifts and callings, these include the charismatic gifts of the Holy Spirit such as wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, prophecy, discernment, tongues and interpretation of tongues. Each of these is a distinct gift, and each operates in its own proper place for the common good.

The second half of this thought will give a very brief thought on this passage as used in favour of Cessationism.


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