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Should Christians Expect Miracles Today? Objections and Answers from the Bible, Part 3, by Wayne A. Grudem

38. It is therefore not true (as some assume) that every revelation from God must result in words equal to Scripture in authority as Acts 21:10-11, 32-33 suggests.

39. Now it is trite that Agabus uses a similar phrase (“Thus says the Holy Spirit”) in Acts 21:11, but the same words (Greek tade legei) are used by Christians writers just after the time of the New Testament to introduce very general paraphrases or greatly expanded interpretations of what is being reported. (See Ignatius, Epistle to the Philadelphians 7:1-2 about AD 108] and Epistle of Barnabus 6:8; 9:2,5 [AD 70-100]). The phrase can apparently mean, “This is generally (or approximately) what the Holy Spirit is saying to us.

40. John MacArthur, Jr., Charismatic Chaos, pp. 60-61

41. Ibid., p. 70

42. The canon is the list of books included in the Bible.

43. Michael Harper, Prophecy: A Gift for the Body of Christ (Logos, 1964), p. 26.

44. Dennis and Rita Bennett, The Holy Spirit and You (Eastbourne, England: Kingsway, 1971), p. 107.

45. Donald Gee, Spiritual Gifts in the Work of Ministry Today (Springfield, MO: Gospel Publishing House, 1963), pp. 51-52.

46. Donald Bridge, Signs and Wonders Today (Leicester, England: InterVarsity Press, 1985), p. 183.

47. See the extended argument in Wayne Grudem, The Gift of Prophecy in the New Testament and Today, pp. 49-51. The same grammatical construction (article-noun-kai[“and”]-noun) is used in Ephesians 4:11, not to refer to prophets, but to refer to “pastors and teachers” in a phrase that many people translate not “pastors and teachers” (two groups) but “pastor-teachers” (one group). I think the translation “pastor-teachers” is appropriate in this verse.

48. The phrase tous de prophétas in Ephesians 4:11 repeats the definite article before the noun “prophets,” and so is translated differently, showing that Paul has a different group in mind when he used the word “prophets” in this context—he was referring to Christians in general who had the gift of prophecy, not just to the apostles.

49. D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Prove All Things, edited by Christopher Catherwood (Eastbourne, England; Kingsway, 1985), pp. 32-33.

50. John Calvin, The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians, trans. by J. W. Fraser, ed. by D. W. Torrance and T. F. Torrance (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1960), p. 281.

51. Compare 1 Corinthians 13:8 (“tongues” and “knowledge”) with 12:8, 10 (part of a broader list of spiritual gifts) and see G. Fee, The First Epistle to the Corinthians (NICNT, ed., F. F. Bruce; Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1987), p. 644 and n. 21.

52. I think the office of apostle ended in the first century AD, after all the books of the Bible were written. See Wayne Grudem, “The Office of Apostle,” in The Gift of Prophecy in the New Testament and Today, pp. 269-276. However, I do not think of “apostle” as a gift but rather a church office (somewhat like the offices of elder and deacon, which began in the first century and continue today.) *Editor’s note: It should be noted that a large number of Pentecostals and charismatics disagree with Dr. Grudem on this point.

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible. ©Copyright 1946, 1952, and 1971 by the Division of Christian Education of National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA. Used by permission. Quotations from the KJV—King James Version are public domain.

This four-part series is taken from Gary S. Greig and Kevin N. Springer, eds., The Kingdom and the Power: Are Healing and the Spiritual Gifts Used by Jesus and the Early Church Meant for the Church Today? A Biblical Look at How to Bring the Gospel to the World with Power (Ventura, CA: Regal

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Category: Pneuma Review, Spirit, Summer 2000

About the Author: Wayne A. Grudem is Professor of Theology and Biblical Studies at Phoenix Seminary, Phoenix, Arizona. He has authored over twenty books, including Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine (1994), Politics According to the Bible: A Comprehensive Resource for Understanding Modern Political Issues in Light of Scripture (2010), The Poverty of Nations: A Sustainable Solution (2013), The Gift of Prophecy in the New Testament and Today, Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood: A Response to Evangelical Feminism, and "Free Grace" Theology: 5 Ways It Diminishes the Gospel (2016). He was also the General Editor for the ESV Study Bible (Evangelical Christian Publishers Association Book of the Year, 2009).

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