Concordia Theological Monthly

Publication Date


Document Type



spritiual gifts, miraculous, st. paul, charismatic, miracles

Submission Type

Bible Study; Lecture; Sermon Prep


The question is frequently asked, Are there Scripture-passages by means of which we can prove that the extraordinary gifts possessed by Christians in apostolic times, like those of healing, prophesying, etc., were intended for, and given to, the Church of early New Testament times only? The reply has to be, There are no such Scripture-passages. Our Lord at various times conferred upon His disciples the power to do miraculous works. The beat-known occasion is one of the meetings which He held with His disciples prior to His ascension. According to Mark He said at that time: "And these signs shall follow them that believe. In my name shall they cast out devils, they shall speak with new tongues, they shall take up serpents, and if they drink anything deadly, it shall not hurt them, they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover," Mark 16, 17.18. Jesus, it will be observed, is not merely speaking of the Eleven, but of believers in general. He does not say, These signs will follow you, but, These signs will follow "them that believe." It will be noticed, too, that Jesus does not add a limitation. He does not any, For 11 short time these signs will follow, etc. His promise is very broad. The unprejudiced reader will think that the faculty to perform these signs was given to the believers of all times. As long as there will be believers, this promise will stand. Incidentally it might be remarked that the five miracles which Jesus mentions here, namely, the casting out of devils, the speaking with new tongues, the taking up of serpents, the drinking of deadly things without hurt, and the healing of the sick, can well be looked upon as representing miracles in general and that it is not doing violence to the words of Jesus if we understand Him here simply as endowing His followers with miraculous powers.


Practical Theology

Scripture References in this Resource (separated by semi-colons)

1 Corinthians 12:11; 1 Corinthians 13:13; Deuteronomy 13:1-3; Acts 2:16-17; 1 Corinthians 14:22; Mark 16:19; Acts 8:18 ff; Deuteronomy 13:1-3; 2 Thessalonians 2:9ff; Matthew 4:7; Matthew 16:7;

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Laity; Ministers; Scholars