Biblical Argument for Cessationism

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by 12strings, Sep 28, 2012.

  1. 12strings

    12strings
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    What is the Biblical argument for complete cessation of sign gifts?

    "as for tongues, they will cease;."

    Is this pretty much it? Or is there more? Or is it based also on 1900 years of observation more than biblical proof?
     
  2. awaken

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    I see that they will cease! But what scriptures teach me is when they will cease...
    When that which is perfect comes....
    I will know as I am known.....
    I will see face to face...

    This will not happen until we see Jesus face to face then we will know as we are known. (Phil. 3:12; 1 John 3:2)
     
  3. Van

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    I happen to be a "cessationalist" who believes the "sign and wonder" gifts were part of the foundation laid by Christ and the first century disciples.

    So speaking in another language without being taught, the tongues gift, has ended. Certainly today we have people who are "gifted" in language skills and can quickly learn to understand and speak other languages. But that would not be a sign gift of the Holy Spirit.

    The sign and wonder gifts, according to Cessationalists, were for the purpose of authenticating Christ and those presenting the gospel and writing the New Testament. But once that foundation had been laid, and the history of the miracles recorded, then the sign and wonder gifts ceased.

    It is important to draw a distinction between cessation of gifts to authenticate the gospel, i.e. lay the foundation, and God's continuing intervention in the lives of men, responding to prayer and providing evidence of answered prayer.

    To state the obvious, cessation is a corollary to scripture alone, if prophets today, authenticated with signs and wonders, were adding to the text, then we would not trust in scripture alone, but also in these men who speak the word of God.

    Besides the principle of sticking with scripture plus nothing, rather than plus the insights of Popes or other Theologians, we have Ephesians 2:19-22 which teaches (from the Cessationalist viewpoint) that the foundation, authenticated with signs and wonders, has been built. Now we have Pastor/Teachers and Evangelists presenting what has already been authenticated.
     
  4. OldRegular

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    When those who speak in tongues [glossolalia] start raising the dead then perhaps they will have some basis for their beliefs.
     
  5. awaken

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    Can you show me in scripture where it says you can not speak in tongues unless you raise the dead?
     
  6. awaken

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    "Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord."
    (Ephesians 2:19-21)

    So you are saying that God's "building" (the Church) was built on the foundation of the apostles, so therefore the apostles must have been given certain spiritual gifts in order to help found the Church?
    Are you also saying that these gifts of the Spirit were part of the foundation for establishing and building the Church, and therefore they were temporary (which is not a very strong argument when you consider that the foundation which your house sits on was not temporary, it is still there).

    This line of argument misses Paul's point and goes beyond what the above passage actually says. Paul's point was simply that we are members of God's "building," and that the apostles (and the prophets) laid the foundation for this "building." Notice that Paul used the same imagery in 1 Corinthians 3:9-11, where he specifically said that the foundation has nothing to do with his gifts as an apostle, but instead the foundation is Jesus Christ:

    "For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, God's building. By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ." (1 Corinthians 3:9-11)

    Jesus is the true foundation, so if we use your argument then we must conclude that Jesus and His gifts (salvation, eternal life, the Holy Spirit, forgiveness of sins, redemption, etc.) were purely "foundational" and therefore ended when the New Testament was completed. Obviously this is the wrong conclusion to make. The argument that the apostles' spiritual gifts were purely foundational (and therefore temporary) is not Scriptural.
     
  7. Aaron

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    Now abideth faith, hope and love, these three . . .

    It is not stated that the ecstatic gifts and operations will abide. In fact, they are presented as peurile and transient.

    That does not mean that there was a shutoff date in history, but there is a stage in the growth of the Gospel, and the establishment of the Word of God among a people when they are no longer needed. When I became a man, I put away childish things.
     
    #7 Aaron, Sep 28, 2012
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  8. awaken

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    But there are people that still need to be reached/saved. They still need to grow(perfected) in the faith. We have not attained to that yet.

    What is childish about the manifestation of the Spirit in Corinthians is that they were not acting in Love. That was part of the correction...everything done out of love. Without love it is all useless!

    Also in 1 Cor. 1:7-8 Paul says that he wishes that they come behind in NO gift...waiting on the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. So the gifts are to be here until the coming of Jesus Christ, just like 1 Cor. 13 says...when we know as we are known and we see face to face.
     
  9. OldRegular

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    Can you show me in Scripture where glossolalia is practiced or endorsed?
     
  10. OldRegular

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    The Apostles, at least some of them, were able to raise the dead and were able to speak in foreign language, not gibberish or "glossolalia". Are those who speak in gibberish or "glossolalia" today able to raise the dead or perform other miracles?
     
  11. awaken

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    Not all that spoke in tongues raised the dead! To say that they must raise the dead to prove they are ceased is a little watered down don't you think?
     
  12. awaken

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    Tongues is in the Bible and mentioned often. Paul even calls it "praying in the spirit." in 1 Cor. 14.
     
  13. OldRegular

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    Yes and they all mean:

    1100 glwssa glossa gloce-sah'

    KJV - tongue 50; 50

    1) the tongue, a member of the body, an organ of speech
    2) a tongue
    1a) the language or dialect used by a particular people distinct from that of other nations


    No unknown tongues, no undecipherable gibberish.
     
  14. OldRegular

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    I did not say that any or all had to raise the dead. I said:
     
  15. awaken

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    I agree! I have never said otherwise...
     
  16. 12strings

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    1. These are the arguments I expected, very logical, but lacking in scriptural evidence that clearly points forward to a time when these gifts listed in 1 Cor. 12 would cease. Ephesians 2:19-22 simply mentions that our foundation in Christ, which the apostles taught...it does NOT mention anything about signs or wonders.

    2. Regarding the Sola Scriptura argument...Even those who hold scripture as the only infallible ultimate authority put value and weight on things like:
    a. the expounding of God's word by faithful preachers and theologians.
    b. the life of faith demonstrated in the daily walk of believers.
    No one would say these things take way from our confidence in scripture, but they give expression to it, and help us understand it more fully. Could not someone say the same about tongues, or prophesy, IF it were practiced in a way consistent with scripture. (it usually isn't).
     
  17. 12strings

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    I'll turn this argument around...

    When those who believe in a Savior who rose from the dead start raising some dead people themselves, then perhaps they will have some basis for their beliefs.
     
  18. 12strings

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    1. It is also not stated that hymns will abide...yet we keep singing them. Perhaps we should stop. It also says "knowledge will pass away". Has knowledge ceased?

    2. 1 Cor. 13:11 is part of an argument that our knowledge of Christ will be fuller in the future, just like an adults ways are more mature than a child's. It does not seem to be making any direct reference to tongues speaking being a "childish thing" that must be put away by mature believers. Paul was very mature, and he said he was glad that he spoke in tongues.
     
  19. 12strings

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    So are you saying the primary argument for cessationism is experiential rather than biblical...since we simply observe that the sign gifts seem to not be manifest IN THE SAME WAY as they were in the NT era, we conclude that they have ceased? ...not really based on a biblical arguement, but simply that we don't see them from the 1st century till the 20th?

    I'm not saying its a bad argument...if humans went 2,000 years without seeing any dinosaurs, we would conclude they were extinct...even though we see descriptions of dinosaurs in the bible.
     
  20. Aaron

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    Are there no hymns in the Psalms?

    What are you describing when you say "knowledge?" What kind of knowledge are you talking about?

    When Paul says "abide," he doesn't mean abide eternally. When faith becomes sight, it is no longer faith. At the coming of Christ, faith will cease. So when Paul is comparing those things that will cease, and those things that will abide, he is not comparing temporal and eternal things, he is comparing things peurile and fully grown.

    In the contruction of any building, temporary structures and supports are erected to serve while the permanent components are being assembled. Once they are ready, the temporary things are taken away.

    So when Paul speaks of that which is perfect, he is not speaking of the coming of Christ. He is speaking of a level of growth and establishment of the church.

    Again, he is speaking of the church, not of himself or any individual. He didn't need tongues, the church needed it. His office was not an abiding office, but was needed by the infant church. A mother's breast is of full age, but one only needs it at a certain stage of infancy.
     

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