puritan lad wrote:
Help me here. Where is the scriptural support for Israel being the OT church. Israel was under the covenant of the Law. The NT church is under the covenant of grace.
Really? So the OT saints weren't under a Covenant of Grace? How were they saved?
You exegesis of Romans 16 is quite sloppy. The more accurate reading is that "Andronicus and Junias... are of note among the apostles", meaning that the apostles regarded these men highly. But even if we grant that these men were Apostles, that doesn't change the Biblical qualifications. They would have been eyewitnesses to Christ's resurrection, ordained personally by Christ, and validated their position with signs, wonders, and miracles. As for why Christ doesn't personally appoint apostles today, it is because He has revealed Himself in His Word. The church today is built upon the foundation of the prophets and apostles, and that foundation does not need to be relaid. Inspired prophets and apostles are no longer necessary because their work is complete.
Regarding signs and wonders, I'm glad you wrote this. Certainly God performs miracles today. But He does not give the apostolic gifts such as signs, wonders, and gifts of healing. That is where the rubber meets the road when if comes to the continuation of apostolic gifts. Charismatics who claim to recieve direct revelation from God are a dime a dozen (on the basis that they say they do, nothing more). But those who have the gift of healing are non-existent (aside from the snake oil salesmen on TBN). I find it strange that they quote these passages to support their own revelations, but don't possess the other gifts like the ability to drink poison. (Please don't try this to prove your point). I have met literally thousands of charismatics full of so-called divine revelation (all of which was either subjective, or totally false). But oddly, no one had the real ability to heal, which would be quite objective. Even the pharisees could not deny the abilities of the apostles to heal.
Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, 3 being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.
7 But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ's gift. 8 Therefore it says,
"WHEN HE ASCENDED ON HIGH,
HE LED CAPTIVE A HOST OF CAPTIVES,
AND HE GAVE GIFTS TO MEN."
9 (Now this expression, "He ascended," what does it mean except that He also had descended into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He who descended is Himself also He who ascended far above all the heavens, so that He might fill all things.) 11 And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. 14 As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; 15 but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.
God does not change. He gave gifts to men-some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers until certain qualifications are met. IMHO those qualifications have not been met yet (as evidenced by this topic and others on the gifts of the Holy Spirit).
1 Cor 12:27-31
Now you are Christ's body, and individually members of it. 28 And God has appointed in the church, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, various kinds of tongues. 29 All are not apostles, are they? All are not prophets, are they? All are not teachers, are they? All are not workers of miracles, are they? 30 All do not have gifts of healings, do they? All do not speak with tongues, do they? All do not interpret, do they? 31 But earnestly desire the greater gifts.
1 Cor 12:1-11
Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware. 2 You know that when you were pagans, you were led astray to the mute idols, however you were led. 3 Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says, "Jesus is accursed"; and no one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit.
4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. 6 There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons. 7 But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 8 For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit; 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10 and to another the effecting of miracles, and to another prophecy, and to another the distinguishing of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills.
When do we stop desiring the greater gifts? When do we stop seeking the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good? How do we come to the unity of the faith, how do we come to the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ without the gifts of the Holy Spirit?
Therefore I, ..., implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, 3 being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.
May you be blessed as you seek Him.