Home > Charismatic > Why I Am a Cessationist

Why I Am a Cessationist

By Thomas Schreiner

I am not writing on this topic because I have the final answer on spiritual gifts, for the matter is difficult and Christians who love God and the Bible disagree. Readers should know that Sam Storms and I are friends. We love one another, even though we differ on a secondary or tertiary issue, while at the same time upholding the importance of truth. Over the years I’ve become convinced that some of the so-called charismatic gifts are no longer given and that they aren’t a regular feature of life in the church. I am thinking particularly of the the gifts of apostleship, prophecy, tongues, healing, and miracles (and perhaps discernment of spirits).

Why would anyone think that some of the gifts have been withdrawn? I will argue that such a reading fits best with Scripture and experience. Scripture takes priority over experience, for it is the final authority, but Scripture must also correlate with life, and our experiences should provoke us to re-examine afresh whether we’ve read the Bible rightly. None of us reads the Bible in a vacuum, and hence we must return to the Scriptures repeatedly to ensure we’ve read them faithfully.




Read the entire article here.

  1. February 27, 2018 at 9:16 am

    What would this author say to those that have experienced supernatural miracles? If the author hasn’t experienced them, it’s because he lacks the faith with this kind of teaching.

    • March 18, 2018 at 5:48 am

      We are not to base our doctrines on our experiences, but on the Word of God alone. There are people in occults claiming to be experiencing miracles. Nevertheless, no one has seen an actual miracle, on the scale of Christ and the apostles since their time. We are not saying that people are not healed today, but if it occurs, it occurs because of the faithful prayers of the saints. Christ raised the dead, but didn’t heal headaches. He opened blind eyes, but didn’t heal toothaches. You see the difference.

    • March 18, 2018 at 6:33 am

      The author does not lack the faith and that kind of teaching is not Biblical. I would say that those who hold to it are the ones who lack faith. They are like the gnostics of old. Christ and the word of God does not satisfy them. They need something more. The early Church had to deal with gnostics. Gnosticism is a movement that claims that their is some kind of higher mystical knowledge and those who have it are saved. Those who are not in the ‘know’ will be lost. This movement is still alive today in the charismatic/Pentecostal movement.

      Charismatic/Pentecostals claim that everyone ought to speak in tongues, even though Paul stated that believers do not need tongues. Paul is plain that tongues were a sign to Israel and not to believers. Read 1 Cor. 14.

      No, the word of God is complete. We do not need to reject what has been revealed through Christ. If we do, we will be lost.

      Finally, I was not impressed by your article on your blog. First of all,

      You do not back it up with scripture. It is speculation. Christ did not spend three years training his disciples to do miracles. How do you train someone to do something that only God can do? The miracles wrought by the apostles was to confirm that what they were speaking came from God.

      Heb 2:3 How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;
      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?

      God bore witness to the message that was being proclaimed by the apostles, by working miracles through them. It’s right there in scripture. The miracles were given as verification that what was being preached and written, by the apostles, was the word of God. God has given signs and wonders throughout the history of redemption and it has always been to verify that what the author of a book wrote is the word of God. Moses began to write scripture and miracles were wrought through him. Then God calls the writing prophets. So we see the writing prophets working miracles. Finally, as the Bible comes to completion, we see the New Testament authors working miracles. But by the time Paul’s ministry was coming to an end, we see that miracles were coming to an end also.

      2Ti 4:20 Erastus abode at Corinth: but Trophimus have I left at Miletum sick.

      Paul even advises Timothy to take a little wine for his stomachs sake and his often infirmities.

      1Ti 5:23 Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach’s sake and thine often infirmities.

      Secondly, Christ’s miracles were to verify that he was the Messiah. Throughout the Old Testament the Jews were told that the Messiah would open the eyes of the blind and that when he came the lame would walk.

      So miracles are not the thrust of scripture. Christ and his Church is what the whole of scripture builds up to and proclaims.

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