What about the gifts of the Spirit? Are they still available today? or did they pass away with the Apostles? Are they important? Should we ever discourage anyone from operating in or pursuing any of the gifts?
I believe that we are to always encourage, embrace and allow room for all the gifts of the Spirit to flow in and through the body of Christ, but at the same time we should always seek the more excellent way, which is to walk in Love and endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace .
The gifts of the Spirit did not pass away with the Apostles and we should never discourage Gods people from pursuing any of the gifts.
In fact we should always encourage Gods people to seek earnestly the best gifts.
Neither should we ever mock any of the gifts of the Spirit.
I am constantly surprised by leaders and teachers in grace who deny and even at times seem to mock many of the gifts of the Spirit.
It would be like someone giving you a gift from their heart and then you mocking the gift that was just given to you! To me that would be the ultimate insult.
God will never force any of His gifts on you. If you don't want them, God is not going to force them on you, but we should never discourage or mock what God desires to give to others.
We need to understand that most of the gifts given to us by God are not just for our benefit but are really for the benefit of others.
Most of the gifts of the Spirit are given to bring encouragement and edification to the body and to reach the lost for the Kingdom.
This is one major reason that are to pursue and earnestly desire the best gifts and not to be ignorant of them. It's all about others.
Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant: 1 Cor 12:1
But earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way.
1 Cor 12:31.
Of course the more excellent way is Love, but the more excellent way was never to replace the gifts, but to work in concert with the gifts so that Gods people would never abuse or misuse the gifts in a self centered way.
God does not want us to be ignorant of any of the gifts that He has given to us, which by the way includes prophesy and speaking in unknown tongues.
Therefore, brethren, desire earnestly to prophesy, and do not forbid to speak with tongues. Let all things be done decently and in order.
We are all able to prophesy and should seek earnestly to prophesy and we should never forbid or discourage anyone from speaking in tongues, but all things must be done decently and in order.
For you can all prophesy one by one, that all may learn and all may be encouraged.
And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.
For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints. 1 Cor 14:31-33
The Holy Spirit is a gentleman. He will never just take over someone and force them to prophesy or speak in tongues. if someone says " I couldn't help but prophesy or speak in tongues the Spirit made me do it! this is not how the Holy Spirit operates.
The spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. The Holy Spirit is a gentleman.