We are Charismatic
In addition to the Holy Spirit’s work of regeneration, sanctification, guiding us in truth, and empowering our witness, the Holy Spirit gives spiritual gifts to the church for the common good. Those gifts include prophecy, distinguishing of spirits, words of knowledge, words of wisdom, working of miracles, healing, various kinds of tongues, interpretation of tongues, and faith. God also gave the apostles, prophets, evangelists and teachers/shepherds to the church. God does not elevate one gift as more significant than another; rather, God creates unity in the midst of diversity as he sovereignly gives differing gifts to differing people in the church, all for the purpose of building up the church. These gifts are commonly referred to as charismata, which is where the word “charismatics” derives from.
1 Corinthians 12-14 depicts a church that was flourishing in spiritual gifts, but who misunderstood and abused the use of those gifts. The Apostle Paul brought teaching and correction to the church that guides us today in the proper use of the spiritual gifts. Because of misunderstandings and sadly, present day misuse of the gifts; many in the Church distance themselves from the spiritual gifts, from charismatics. In extreme cases, it is considered impossible for one to hold reformed convictions and yet be charismatic! So in many instances, the lack of a healthy, significant experience with the gifts of the Holy Spirit has created a distancing from the gifts of the Holy Spirit. We share the concerns over misuse and abuse, but we embrace Paul’s approach in bringing biblical teaching, correction and modeling. We believe that Scripture teaches the gifts of the Holy Spirit will be a vital and necessary part of the church until the Lord returns. We believe the presence and operation of the gifts of the Holy Spirit are crucial to the life of the church. We do not see scriptural support for confining the gifts of the Holy Spirit to the New Testament period.
Many warranted critiques have been made of charismatics and charismatic renewal. These critiques are not unlike the Corinthians to whom Paul wrote. But our solution is not to forget or despise the spiritual gifts. Our solution is to equip the church from the Scriptures on a right understanding and use of the gifts.
Please read Romans 12:6-8, 1 Corinthians 12-14, and Ephesians 4:11 for a New Testament overview of the variety of spiritual gifts.