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The Gifts of the Godhead Part 3f

The power gifts of the Holy Spirit; Miracles, Faith, and Gifts of healings

The power gifts of the Holy Spirit are the gifts most likely to cause a stir and draw a crowd! This is the case for distinct reasons; firstly, most people have unmet needs in their lives. Many people need a miracle or require a gift of faith to overcome some huge obstacle in their lives or desire a healing touch from the Lord.

Another reason these gifts are so popular is that Christians love to see God move in power!

However, although most, if not all of us would love to see the power gifts in operation, there are certain dangers for the believers who operate in these gifts. Sometimes we love the Lord's deeds more than we love His person! People will often flock to a healing or miracle meeting but would not come to a teaching on the attributes of God.

We must desire the Giver Himself not just His gifts.

We must love God first for who He is and not for what He gives us.

People will travel for miles to see a man or woman with a reputation for doing miracles. Such ministers often get put on a pedestal and folks can forget it is the Holy Spirit who is glorifying Jesus Christ by performing the miracles etc.

Ministers who operate in these power gifts often become unapproachable and sadly in some cases fall into serious sin. Pride comes before a fall! The church must take its share of the blame if we put these ministers under such a pressure of high expectation that they just cannot cope.

We become disappointed when we find out these men have 'feet of clay,’ but we should have known better than to look at the man anyway!

Miracles [1],[2]

These are when God glorifies Himself by intervening in the natural processes in a supernatural way. This usually involves a dramatic shortening of the time scale of the natural process. For example, all healing is performed by God who gives and maintains life. If He did not supply the healing power to all of our bodies, we would die. But when Jesus of Nazareth went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed of the Devil, he either shortened the time scale of healing from gradual to instantaneous (or) or instigated an otherwise impossible feat.

The miracle of turning the water into wine is an example since it is God who produces all wine from water (and other ingredients). At the wedding in Cana Jesus simply speeded up the process!

Similarly in the case of the feeding of the five thousand with the loaves and fishes, it is the Lord who multiplies seed for bread and fishes, Jesus just did it in a quicker and more supernatural way.

God can miraculously stretch things out like the barrel of meal and the cruse of oil!

1 Kings 17:14 For thus saith the LORD God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the LORD sendeth rain upon the earth.

Corrie Ten Boom's little bottle of vitamins lasted for months in the concentration camp!

Some Christians have reported driving hundreds of miles on one gallon of petrol!

God will sometimes do this type of miracle but only when it is really needed. (the clutch had gone in my car but I prayed God would enable me to drive it to the repair shop. The mechanic could not believe I had driven it there with no clutch!

Mark 16:17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues.

18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

20 And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs [3] following. Amen.

Miracles, signs, and wonders [4] follow the believers. Signs draw our attention to God and seek to cause us to believe in him and his power. They also confirm that it is the authentic word of God that has been preached.

Whereas wonders are directed towards our imagination and are given to get us

thinking about the awesomeness of God.

When a deadly snake bit Paul while in Malta, the natives expected him to die but God preserved his life as a miraculous sign to the Maltese.

The word "Sign" (semeion) in the New Testament is used of miracles and are taken as evidence of divine authority. Sometimes it is translated as "miracle.”

The New Testament writers also used dunamis, meaning power or inherent ability, to refer to activity of supernatural origin or character (Mark 6:2; Acts 8:13; 19:11; Rom. 15:19; 1 Cor. 12:10,28,29; Gal. 3:5; 2 Thess. 2:9; Heb. 2:4).

Also the word "Work" (ergon) is also employed in the New Testament in the sense of "miracle." John the Baptist heard of the "works" of Jesus while he was in prison (Matt. 11:2). The apostle John used the term frequently in his Gospel (5:20,36; 7:3; 10:38; 14:11,12; 15:24).


Personal Prayer

Footnotes [1] 1411. dunamis, doo'-nam-is, from G1410; force (lit. or fig.); spec. miraculous power (usually by impl. a miracle itself): --ability, abundance, meaning, might (-ily, -y, -y deed), (worker of) miracle (-s), power, strength, violence, mighty (wonderful) work.

[2] How do miracles relate to the natural order? Christian thinkers have responded in diverse ways throughout the centuries. Some hold that miracles are not contrary to nature (Augustine and C. S. Lewis, for instance). This harmony view contends that human knowledge with limited perspective does not fully understand or comprehend the higher laws that God employs in working the miraculous. Others (like Thomas Aquinas) have maintained miracles stand outside the laws of nature. This approach is called the intervention view, based on their belief that God intervenes in the natural order to do the miraculous. [3] The basic nature of a sign is that it points people to God. "Wonders" describe God's supernatural activity, a special manifestation of His power (Ex. 7:3), Wonders can serve as a sign of a future event. Signs seek to bring belief (Ex. 4:5; compare 10:2), but they do not compel a person to believe (Ex. 4:9). We should join the Psalmist in confessing that the God of Israel "alone works wonders" (Ps. 72:18 NASB). [4] "Wonders" (teras) translates a Greek word from which the word terror comes. It denotes something unusual that causes the beholder to marvel. Although it usually follows "signs," it sometimes precedes it (Acts 2:22,43; 6:8) or occurs alone (as in Acts 2:19).

Whereas a sign appeals to the understanding, a wonder appeals to the imagination. "Wonders" are usually presented as God's activity.

Next time in The gifts of the Godhead Part 3g we will consider the other two power gifts of the Holy Spirit i.e. faith and gifts of healings.

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