Acts 2:39, “The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off —for all whom the Lord our God will call.”
Peter preached the above words in boldness and in full confidence that God was going to keep baptizing and empowering His disciples with the Holy Spirit until Jesus’ return. We can clearly see this pattern of endowing with power all throughout the book of Acts and in almost every Epistle.
At the same time, even with all this biblical evidence some people still may ask, “What has been the role of spiritual gifts in the church over the last 2,000 years?” I personally love to answer this question because it brings to light the beauty of discipleship and how in every generation since Jesus there has been Christians filled with the Holy Spirit!
Here is just a brief outline of the church’s interaction with the gifts of the Holy Spirit for the last 2,000 years, (1) 33-100 A.D., The Apostolic Church (the church of the first disciples) operated in the gifts of the Spirit as a norm as seen in the book of Acts, (2) 100-325, The Ante-Nicene Church (the church before the Council of Nicaea) reported seeing “women and men who possess the gifts of the Holy Spirit,” by Justin Martyr.
(3) 325-1517, The Roman Catholic Church (the church that unified most churches for 1,000 years) reported amazing miracles by its missionaries, monks, and leaders. (4) 1517-1900’s, The Reformed Church (the protestants that broke away from the Church of Rome) had many groups such as the Huguenots, Quakers, and the Moravians who operated in the gifts of the Spirit.
(5) 1900s-Present, The Spirit Filled Church (the largest group of protestant Christians) today numbers over 500 million and has the largest churches in the world. Plus, we are continually receiving reports of signs and wonders from such places as Africa, India, China, Latin America, and all throughout the US.
Therefore, not only is it clear that in “Bible Times” the gifts were active, but also it is just as obvious in “Present Times” that the Holy Spirit is still giving His gifts to whomever the Lord our God will call!
- Take some time to research all that God is doing on the earth today through His Spirit filled church.
- Ask the Lord to use you just like how He used the first disciples and all the Spirit filled disciples throughout history!
- For further study read, “2000 Years of Charismatic Christianity,” by Dr. Eddie L. Hyatt.