We are in a series on the gifts of the Holy Spirit and this is part 5 of the series. In the first three parts the characteristics of the gifts, the purpose of the gifts, the functioning of the gifts and the different classifications of the gifts were introduced. Last week Colin shared in detail one group of gifts named Administrative gifts. Today we look at another group of gifts called the power gifts.
1 Corinthians 12:7-10 NKJV - 7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: 8 for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.
So, the power gifts are gifts of faith, working of miracles and gifts of healings. These gifts are called power gifts because they visibly demonstrate the power of God. Power gifts do something visibly powerful.
1. Gift of faith.
Hebrews 11:1 NIV - Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
Faith is the assurance of things we hope for even if we cannot see those things with our physical senses (Hebrews 11:1) and Hope means expectation. It is through faith that we were saved and this faith is a gift from God.
Ephesians 2:8 NIV - For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God
Even after we are saved, it is by faith that we should be living this new life in Christ.
2 Corinthians 5:7 NIV - For we live by faith, not by sight.
But the gift of faith is not the faith through which we were saved nor the gift by which we are to live.
The gift of faith is a supernatural God-given ability to believe God for something impossible, invisible, and incredible – a faith to move mountains. This gift is for a season and for a reason. The outcome of the gift of faith could be a breakthrough, a provision, a miracle, or healing.
In Acts 3, God miraculously heals a man lame from birth through Peter.
In Acts 3:6, Peter asks the man to walk in Jesus' name. Immediately after this in Acts 3:7, Peter takes the man by his right hand and lifts him up in faith.
Later on, in Acts 3:16, Peter explains how this miraculous healing happened.
Act 3:16 NIV - By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus name and the faith that comes through him that has completely healed him, as you can all see.
Peter is saying that this healing happened through the faith that Jesus gave him. So, God gave Peter gift of faith to heal this man.
George Muller a Christian Evangelist who lived in England in the 1800s was known for caring for 10,000 orphans during his lifetime. He did not have abundant resources to run the orphanage. But God supernaturally provided for the needs just in time. On one occasion, there was no food in the Orphanage. But the children of the orphanage were made to sit at the dining table and asked to give thanks for the breakfast. As they finished praying, a baker knocked on the door with sufficient fresh bread to feed everyone. At the same time, the cart of a milkman broke down in front of the orphanage. As the milk would get spoiled, the milkman gave the milk to the orphanage. So, God gave a supernatural faith to George to believe for the unseen breakfast and through this gift of faith God provided food for the orphans supernaturally. Here gift of faith resulted in blessing children in the orphanage with food.
Pray that God would provide a gift of faith when we need such miraculous breakthroughs.
2. Gift of miracles.
A miracle is a supernatural intervention of God’s power in the ordinary course of nature. Jesus did many miracles throughout his ministry like turning water into wine, feeding a multitude with few loaves of bread and fish, walking on the water,
Gift of miracles is the supernatural God given ability that makes a person channel for God to perform miracles. God does miracles through people with this gift.
Jesus called driving out demons a miracle. - Mark 9:38-39 NIV - 38“Teacher,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us.” 39 “Do not stop him,” Jesus said. “For no one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me,
God did extraordinary miracles through Paul. - Acts 19:11-12 NIV - 11 God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, 12so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them.
Miracles can bring people to Christ. - In Acts 9:36-41, Peter raised a dead woman. This miracle resulted in the salvation of many people.
Acts 9:42 NIV - This became known all over Joppa, and many people believed in the Lord.
Smith Wigglesworth was a British Evangelist during the early 1900s. Those who have documented his life reports at least 14 people were raised from dead through him including his wife. He also healed people through the distribution of prayer handkerchiefs. The handkerchief was sent to even King George V. These are not normal healings. These are miraculous healing like Paul’s in Acts 19:11-12.
Pray that God will perform many miracles in our midst which would result in salvation of many.
3. Gifts of healings.
Healing is restoring a person with an infirmity to health. All believers are called to pray for the healing of the sick.
Mark 16:17-18 NIV - 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”
John 14:12 NIV - 12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.
The gift of healing is a supernatural God-given ability that enables a person to minister healing to the sick with more success. When a person with gifts of healing prays for the sick, healings happen more often.
1 Corinthians 12:9 NKJV - to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gift of healings by the same Spirit,
Both the words ‘gifts’ and ‘healings’ used in this verse are plural in the original language of Greek. It is difficult to interpret why they are plural. Some commentators say some people are gifted to heal some particular disease and others for some other diseases. But there is no scriptural backing for this interpretation. I believe the reason for this is that there are different ways of healing people.
Some of the ways mentioned in the bible are: -
1. By speaking word - Acts 9:32-35 NIV - Peter spoke to the paralyzed man and he got healed. The result of this healing was all in the region turned to the Lord.
2. By laying of hands - Acts 28:7-9 - Paul placed his hands on a sick person and healed him.
3. By anointing with oil - James 5:14 NIV, the elders of the church were asked to pray over the sick an anoint them with oil
Healings can be instantaneous like the leper in Matthew 8:3 or it can be gradual like the ten lepers in Luke 17:14.
How can we operate in these gifts more effectively? Why don’t we see these gifts much in our midst?
1. Be connected to the source - We should be connected to the power source to operate in the power gifts. We should be continually filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18)
2. Walk in humility - Power gifts do something visibly powerful. So we can get easily puffed up when we start operating in these gifts. Bible says God resists the proud (James 4:6)
Remember, Gifts are manifestations of the Holy Spirit and not manifestations of you and I (1 Corinthians 12:7). Always remember that you are not the healer when healings happen.
3. Operate in love - Matthew 14:14 says Jesus moved with compassion when he saw the multitude and healed their sick. We should love the sick and the troubled and we should have compassion for them when we pray for them. We should not be concerned about ourselves. We should be more concerned about others.
4. Develop your gift - We should fan into flame our gifts (2 Timothy 1:6). We should study about the gifts we have. We should have a deep understanding about the truths related to our gifts.
All successful healing ministries have one thing in common – All believe that healing is always God’s will in the new covenant. If we believe healing is God’s will in some cases and healing is not God’s will in some other cases, then we will always pray in doubt and James 1:7 says that if we doubt, we should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.
Now, one might ask ‘What about Trophimus? - the man Paul left in Miletus as he was sick (2 Timothy 4:20)?’ Why was he not healed? I don’t know. Bible doesn’t say why he was not healed. But saying that it was God’s will to keep him sick is not an accurate interpretation. There could be other reasons why he did not receive healing. Sometimes people get healed. Sometimes people do not get healed. But saying it was God’s will that the person remains sick is an easy excuse.
Even Jesus was not able to do any miracles in Nazareth. He attributed that to their unbelief. (Mark 6:5-6)
Matthew 8:16-17 NIV - Jesus bore our diseases so that we need not bear it.
Peter 2:24 NIV - who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed.
Notice the word ‘were’. Jesus took the stripes for our healing 2000 years back. He does not need to get fresh stripes when we need healing. Remember these truths when we pray for the sick. One might say my experiences are different from what you are sharing. My answer to you is this ‘Never use your experiences to define Bible. Instead, use Bible to refine your experiences.’
5. Step out in faith - We should be sensitive to Holy Spirit and step out in faith when the need comes. Fear of failure should not stop us from helping the affected. Two things can happen when you pray for the sick? - The person will continue to be sick or the person might get healed. If the person is healed, you have rescued a person from suffering. But if you do not step out and pray for the sick, you have denied that person the chance to be healed.
Let’s be people who have a genuine concern for those suffering. Remember - The gifts of the Holy Spirit are for blessing others. I would like to end this message with an amazing quote I read recently. It said, ‘if you can be more concerned about the people you minister than you are about yourselves and about what others think about you, then God can use you powerfully.’
Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again), Spirit-filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English speaking in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that has people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service. Word of Grace is a part of a wider international family of Churches called RegionsBeyond.To know about us please log onto www.wordofgracechurch.org.