The spiritual gift of miracles – What is it?
The spiritual gift of miracles is a gift given by the Holy Spirit. It is mentioned alongside the gifts of apostleship, prophecy, healing, speaking in tongues, interpretation of tongues, wisdom, knowledge, discerning of spirits, helping, teaching, and faith (1 Corinthians 12:7–10, 28). The spiritual gift of miracles is specifically the power to do supernatural works with the goal of furthering the kingdom of God. It is one of the marks of a "true apostle" along with signs and wonders (2 Corinthians 12:12).
There is some question as to whether the spiritual gift of miracles still exists today. Some believe that this gift was given only to the apostles, as a proof of their spiritual validity. Christianity was new, its followers were only a few, and they were fiercely persecuted. Ostensibly the spiritual gift of miracles, plus signs and wonders, were given to the apostles to make people pay attention to them so that the message could be disseminated quickly, and to give them authority as men of God. But the Bible does not explicitly tell us that the gift of miracles has ceased, and people do report the occurrence of miracles today, especially in countries where the Holy Spirit is working to spread the gospel. It is possible that the apostolic gifts are simply reserved for times and places where the spread of the gospel, with power, is the Spirit's primary objective. Those gifts may have existed for a specific time, to aid the apostles to build the church, laying a "foundation" with their gifts (Ephesians 2:20). That would also explain why in heavily churched countries, like the United States, the spiritual gift of miracles does not seem to exist with bodies of believers.
Some examples of the spiritual gift of miracles are the raising of Tabitha from the dead (Acts 9:36–43), casting out demons (Acts 16), or striking Elymas blind (Acts 13). Stephen and Philip also exhibited extraordinary powers (Acts 6:8; 8:6–7, 13). Simon the magician was so impressed by the miraculous powers of the apostles that he tried to pay them to teach him, and was chastised by Peter for trying to "obtain the gift of God with money" (Acts 8:18–20). In fact, even today, many charlatans use tricks to convince people that they have the spiritual gift of miracles. These people, like Simon, can usually be recognized by their greed.
Whether or not the spiritual gift of miracles is still in play in today's church in an apostolic context, miracles do still occur. Believers across the globe will attest to this. God is supreme over creation, and when the safety of His people and the performance of His will are at stake, He is known to bend the laws of physics to accomplish His goal.
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