...I am new to Primitive Baptists. I know that the Holy Spirit’s greatest work is the regeneration he works upon our hearts. What I was wondering was how the gifts of the Spirit are viewed by Primitive Baptists, especially the Absolute Predestinarian Primitive Baptists like you that I most appreciate.
Thank you very much for your positive comments. I do appreciate them. The first thing I would like to say is that I can by no means speak for anyone else but myself and what the Lord has revealed to me. You actually bring up two things that I hope to touch on. I think I know what you mean by your comment; “I know that the Holy Spirit’s greatest work is the regeneration he works upon our hearts.” If I am not mistaken, it is the same view that I used to take on it and that being equating the term “regeneration” with being born again. But scripturally one cannot support that. The word “regeneration” is only used two times in the whole of Scripture. Below are both times.
Titus 3:5 – “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;”
Matthew 19:28 - “And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”
If we were to take out the word “regeneration” and place in its place the words “born again”, the comments would not make sense. For example: “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of born again, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;” Do you see what I mean? I by no means mean to be nit-picky. It is just that we tend to use these terms in ways that is really not Biblical. There was only ONE regeneration and that was when Christ was raised from the dead and all those who were IN Christ at the time took part in it. We can discuss this further if you wish.
Now on to your question. “How do the Absolute Predestinarian Old School Baptists view the gifts of the Spirit?” Forgive me for being redundant, but I feel I must say again that I by no means can speak for anyone else, and therefore what follows is just what I believe has been revealed to me and to be the truth of the Scriptures.
To me the gist of this question is what you mean by the gifts of the Spirit. In Paul’s first letter to the Corinthian brethren he outlines what he considers to be the gifts of the Spirit.
12:1 – Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant.
12:4-7 – Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.
Here we see why the gifts are given to believers. They are given not for selfish reasons or to be self-glorifying but to profit withal or to profit the body. Paul then goes on to say:
12:8-11 – For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; to another faith by the same spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; to another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.
In the Scriptures, we see several examples of the Apostles healing, giving a prophecy, speaking in tongues (or rather talking about speaking in tongues).
Then in the next chapter, Paul says:
13:8-10 – Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fall; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.
In verse 8 Paul mentions three things; prophecies, tongues and knowledge. In the next verse he only mentions two though. Then in the following verse he makes mention to those two things and when they shall be done away with. What happened to the third which was tongues? If I am not mistaken, the word “cease” in verse 8 has with the meaning that it will stop on its own when it is no longer needed come to its fruition. By my understanding, we have no need for the gift of tongues these days. The gift of tongues was for a sign – see Isaiah 28:11. A good article on this topic of tongues written by an elder from Indiana is at:
Elsewhere Paul mentions the gifts of the Spirit in a little bit different light. In his letter to the Roman brethren he says:
12:3-8 – For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt, to every man the measure of faith. For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.
Here we see a very practical list of the gifts of the Spirit that I believe are still in full use today. So, as you can see, it depends on what you are referring to is how the question can be answered. I hope that I at least fairly answered your question. If not, don’t hesitate to re-clarify and ask again.