Gifts of the Holy Spirit: What Pentecostals believe

Pentecostalism began with a belief that in its origin God was restoring New Testament Christianity by bringing a discovery and recovery of the ‘sign’ gifts to the Church, including tongues, interpretation, miracles, healing and prophecy.

In the nineteenth-century those in the Holiness movement assumed that speaking in tongues had ended with the close of the Early Church period but that the other gifts such as healing and miracles should still be available to Christians. However by the turn of the nineteenth-century a widespread desire for the gift of tongues had also emerged. This was coupled with the already existent desire for a restoration of the ‘full gospel’ [1] involving Spirit-baptism as a post-conversion experience of empowerment that enabled the exercise of these sign gifts.

The Holiness movement revivals that occurred at the beginning of the twentieth-century that gave birth to Pentecostalism involved miracles, healing, tongues-speaking, prophecy and discernment gifts. The expectancy of a restoration of the miraculous gifts to the Church as a mark of the end of the Church age lead early Pentecostals to interpreted these events surrounding their origin as this end-time restoration of the ‘Apostolic faith’ in preparation for Christ's return.

Pentecostal churches today continue to place central importance on miraculous and prophetic gifts in the life of the church. All spiritual gifts of the New Testament period are expected to be in use within healthy churches as God’s provision for his body. Such spiritual gifts are seen as an essential part of God’s working within his Church. They are not only to be desired but actively sought.

More on this topic

Where did Pentecostalism come from? (The Holiness Movement)

Why did Pentecostalism begin?

How did early Pentecostals view themselves?

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[1] The ‘full gospel’ or ‘fourfold gospel’ is summarized as ‘Christ as Savior, Baptizer, Healer, and Coming King.’ (A. B. Simpson).

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