Monday, December 28, 2009

The Primacy of the Word

Speaking in tongues. Healing the sick. Prophesying. Those who place great emphasis on such gifts seem to have forgotten Romans 10:17: "So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ." People are saved through the preaching of the gospel, not through miraculous signs and wonders.


Andrew Faris said...

What's the point, Lee? Are you really running into a lot of charismatics who are arguing vehemently that the Word of God is less important than spiritual gifts? I know that Reformed people like to think that, but I haven't met many (and I was raised in charismatic churches, and for that matter, still am a charismatic).

For that matter, perhaps more importantly, are you so sure that "Word of Christ" refers to the Bible here? I'd say it's more likely that "word of Christ" is a euphemism for "gospel", in which case it is the gospel that saves- which again, no one here disagrees with. Signs and wonders could even be pointers to the gospel (which brings it back around: no one here is arguing that signs and wonders save anyone).


A. Amos Love said...


Not sure the purpose of your post.

"People are saved through
the preaching of the gospel."

And He confirmed the word with signs following.
Seems they work together. Yes?

Mark 16:17 ESV
And these signs will accompany those who believe:
in my name they will cast out demons;
they will speak in new tongues;
18 they will pick up serpents with their hands;
and if they drink any deadly poison,
it will not hurt them;
they will lay their hands on the sick,
and they will recover.”

Mr 16:20 ESV
And they went forth, and preached every where,
the Lord working with them,
and confirming the word with signs following.

So the signs confirmed the word preached.



Have you spoken in tongues lately?
A sign confirming the word preached?

If not - why not?

Cast out any demons lately?
A sign confirming the word preached?

If not - why not?

Put your hands on the sick and see them recover?
A sign confirming the word preached?

If not - why not?

All signs are available to those who believe.

A. Amos Love said...


Here are a few more for your consideration.

Philip, speaking and performing miracles.

Acts 8:4-6
Therefore they that were scattered abroad
went every where preaching the word.
Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria,
and preached Christ unto them.
And the people with one accord gave heed
unto those things which Philip spake,
*hearing and seeing*
*the miracles which he did.*

Paul, speaking and performing miracles.

Rom 15:18
For I will not dare to speak of any of those things
which Christ hath not wrought by me,
to make the Gentiles obedient, by *word* and *deed,* *Through mighty signs and wonders,*
*by the power of the Spirit of God;*
so that from Jerusalem,
and round about unto Illyricum,
I have *fully preached* the gospel of Christ.

Paul, Not interested in man’s wisdom???
But in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.

1Cor 2:4 KJV
And my speech and my preaching was not
with enticing words of man’s wisdom,
but *in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:*
That your faith should not stand
in the wisdom of men,
but in *the power of God.*

Heb 2:4
God also bearing them witness,
*both with signs and wonders,*
and with *divers miracles,*
and *gifts of the Holy Ghost,*
according to his own will?

Mt 10:8
Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead,
cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.

Lu 9:2
And he sent them to preach
the kingdom of God,
and to heal the sick.

Lu 10:9
And heal the sick that are therein,
and say unto them,
The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.

Seems preaching, healing, signs and wonders,
miracles, go hand in hand. Yes?

Are you seeing the word you preach
confirmed with signs and wonders?


Lee Shelton said...

Comments like those from A. Amos Love are the point of this post. I'm not saying signs and wonders can't happen today, but with the full canon of scripture at our fingertips, do they really hold as much sway as they did in the first century? Despite what Mr. Love is implying, spiritual gifts have never been the litmus test of a true Christian. Just take a look at Matthew 7:22.

Scripture places much more emphasis on the fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). Paul also said, "If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing" (1 Corinthians 13:1-3).

A. Amos Love said...


“Despite what Mr. Love is implying, spiritual gifts have never been the litmus test of a true Christian.”

Sorry if I didn’t make myself understood.

I never thought or said “spiritual gifts” are a
“litmus test” of a true Christian.

“The scripture” says these signs and wonders,
toungues, healing, casting out demons,
will accompany those who believe. Mk 16:17

In my understanding “those who believe” refers
to those who believe they can pray and see God
answer those prayers for healing and deliverance.

Nothing special is required but to “believe.”

I’ve met true Christians, born again,
who believe that these signs, these “gifts from God” have ceased, are not important in ministry today.

When I was first saved I was with a denomination
who believed and taught that.

They and I, saw no signs, wonders, or miracles.
We had what “we believed.” Nothing.

Then as I read the scriptures and noticed
Jesus and “His disciples” preaching the kingdom of God, healing the sick, casting out demons, and God
confirming His word with signs and wonders
I became curious.

I started to pray for people, I started to
lay hands on the sick and see them recover.

Still remember the first time.
A Lutheran Sunday School superintendent.
We got to talking about healing in the Bible and if
it was for today or not. This person, who knew
the scriptures, who had never seen a miracle either,
said let’s try and see what happens.

She was battling a stiff, painful neck for two years.

Well, we got some oil, put some oil on my hand,
layed my hand on her head, and prayed.

That’s right, I saw a miracle first hand.
The pain departed, she could now turn her head.
Thank you Jesus.

It wasn’t long after that, I was battling tremedous
back pain suffered on a construction job.
Someone in a Chritian book store prayed for me.
Yes I was healed. No more pain.

Now, when I share Jesus with someone,
I almost always ask;
By the way, do you need prayer for anything?

Are you on any medication?
Any back pain or neck pain?

Because God said He would “confirm His word.”

And I “believe.” And get to see all kinds of wonders.

I also believe “the word of God” is very important.

In fact there is “healing in His word.”

He sent His Word and healed them. Psalm 107:20

I believe “His word” is so important that I put together a Website with mostly “The Word of God.”

It’s called...

“God’s Words of Comfort & Healing”

Lee - check it out and let me know what you think.

Everything on the site is free.

There are two free e-books

There are 8 x 10 posters in color and black+ white.

There is 3 hours of audio and text of Bible verses
about Prayer, Healing, The Word of God, Faith, and six other topics important in the healing process.
A free download to iTunes.
You can copy them to CD’s and give them away.

Be blessed in your search for truth... Jesus.

Unknown said...

Excellent post. It is truly a grand comfort that I do not rely on such signs, but only in Christ. Whe is revealed in the Word.
Here aere some other related items.

Lee Shelton said...

Physical healing is not the gospel. To think that verses like Isaiah 53:5 guarantee physical healing, one would have to ignore all those passages that talk about suffering for the sake of the gospel.

A. Amos Love said...


Thought this might help.

A Calvinist Looks at the Promise of Healing
and the Faith Movement.
The Idea of a Covenant of Healing

The Meaning of the "Gospel of the Kingdom of God"
The Covenant Names of God
Jesus as Covenant Maker with Humanity

A lot of people have criticized the "Faith Movement" for its emphasis on healing as the will of God in all circumstances, but the more I examine healing from the perspective of a covenantal theologian*, which most Calvinists are, the more I am convinced that every covenantal theologian ought to be in agreement with the faith movement, at least on this issue. In this article, I'm going to tell you why I have come to this conclusion. There are three main evidences for this argument: the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, the Names of God, and the actions of Jesus as God's Covenant Maker with humanity.

Phil said...

You just don't understand, you can't make money off of the gospel, you have to offer people something else. Gospel 2.0 as it were.
You see, Jesus is okay and all, but it's much more powerful, ahem, more impacting, more meaningful and moving, if we can add a little voodoo magic that we can justify (sort of) using a little scripture.

I myself fly around on wings like eagles (see Is 40) healing people from rooftops in accordance with this scripture: the blind see the lame walk. It's all very covenantial. Very Presbyterian.
I also add to the Bible as a part time gig for a little more cash. Pay pal accepted if you are interested.

Solo de gloria would just slow us down, it had to go a long time ago.

Krutches to R12 said...

I love my charismatic siblings in Christ. Don't always see eye to eye with them but I love their intense passion for worship and honoring God. I especially love the Assembly of God church. However I think sometimes our charismatic siblings triumph expericen over the word and thats where the danger so often lies to stray. We evangelicals can stray to in the opposite direction where standards triumph grace.

On another note between [edit] Calvinism and Arminianism I stand in the middle. The calvary denominaiton stances really highlight my beliefs.

Calvinism and Arminianism
Calvary Chapel strives to "strik[e] a balance between extremes" when it comes to controversial theological issues such as Calvinism's and Arminianism's conflicting views on salvation. Calvary Chapels hold the following views on the five points of Calvinism:

On the first point, Calvary Chapel agrees with Calvinism's view of all men as "sinners" but holds that — with God's grace — salvation becomes possible.[5]
On point number two, Calvinists believe that man's election to salvation lies completely in the choice of God, while Arminians believe that man's free will plays a role as well. Calvary Chapel has taken a middle ground approach by saying that "God clearly does choose, but man must also accept God's invitation to salvation."[6]
On point number three, Calvary strongly sides with Arminianism, which contends that Jesus died "for the whole world"; this contrasts with the Calvinist view that Jesus' death was intended and therefore efficient only for those who would believe. The Calvary Chapel view is that the "atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ was clearly sufficient to save the entire human race".[7]
Point four has to do with man's ability to resist God. Calvary sides with Arminianism on this point and believes that "God's grace can either be resisted or received by the exercise of human free will".[8] Calvinists believe in irresistible grace.
On the final point, Calvary Chapels believe in the perseverance of the saints (true believers) but express deep concern about sinful lifestyles and rebellious hearts among those who call themselves Christians.

A. Amos Love said...

Krutches to R12

Thanks for the take on Calvary Chapel
striking a balance between extremes.

Do you think Calvinists and Armenians
really believe what they teach?

Can’t we find scriptures that point to both?

...Choose you this day who you will serve.
Joshua 24:15

No man can come to me,
except the Father which hath sent me draw him:
John 6:44

Doesn’t it seem that those who believe
it’s “either - or,” and only see one option,
have some questions to overcome?

1 - If “Predestination” is the only correct option
and a contender believes in,
defends and teaches “Free Will:”
Then did God “Predestine” them
to believe in “Free Will?”

For how could they believe in “Free Will” unless
God “Predestined” them to believe in “Free Will?”

2 - If “Free Will” is the only correct option
and a contender believes in,
defends and teaches “Predestination:”
Then did God give them a “Free Will”
to choose “Predestination?”

For how could they believe in “Predestination”
unless God gave them a “Free Will”
to choose “Predestination?”

So where is the argument?

When Arminius preached, people realized,
they could choose to follow Christ.

When Calvin preached, people realized,
they were chosen to follow Christ.


The Navy Christian said...

I know this subject has been beaten to death already, but for what it's worth, preaching THE GOSPEL is prime. Some of the things we non-charismatics preach is not necessary the primacy of the Gospel either. Just my thoughts.

Anonymous said...

Think I've just thought that whatever path I take , God will be there to open the door.

Proverbs 16:9 " (New International Version)

9 In his heart a man plans his course,
but the LORD determines his steps.

Sincerely Krutch

On the same the very end of philosophies one has to have faith to fully believe it.

Jackie said...

Lee, I agree with your post. I have family who are part of the prosperity movement. There is a huge empasis on miracles to 'wow' people into believing in Jesus. The problem is, are they believing in the biblical Jesus?
These family members used to belong to a Biblically sound church. They left it. This was the reason one of them gave: 'The whole time we went there, I kept saying to myself, o.k., this is all fine, but WHY? What is the purpose?' This worried me very much. They now belong to a ministry called 'Extreme Prophetic'. It is an awful group. I pray for them often, that they would come back to a love for the true Jesus and His gospel.

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