What is the spiritual gift of miracles?Question: "What is the spiritual gift of miracles?"
Answer: The spiritual gift of miracles is one of the spiritual gifts listed in 1 Corinthians 12:10, where the NIV calls it “miraculous powers” and the ESV and KJV list it as “the working of miracles.” The gift of miracles, or miraculous powers, is different from the gift of healing, which is listed separately in verse 9. Those in the early church who had the gift of miracles had the ability, by the Spirit, to do miraculous things of a different, more powerful kind: the casting out of demons (Acts 16), the striking of Elymas blind (Acts 13), and the raising of Tabitha from the dead (Acts 9) are possible examples. Some in the early church, besides the apostles, who had the gift of miracles were Stephen and Philip (Acts 6:8; 8:6–7, 13). Some scholars understand the specific gift mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12:10 to be unique to the apostles, a power they used to confer the miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit to others through the laying on of hands (see Acts 8:17 and 2 Timothy 1:6). The ability to transfer gifts, peculiar to the apostles, would have been something that set them apart from others and greatly aided in the spread the gospel everywhere. Paul speaks of his showing “the marks of a true apostle, including signs, wonders and miracles” (2 Corinthians 12:12).
Miracles are supernatural events that occur outside the bounds of what is natural. By definition, they are rare and out of the ordinary. The apostles certainly had the gift of miracles as they laid the foundation of the church (Ephesians 2:20) and bore witness to the veracity of their message.
The spiritual gift of miracles is mentioned again in 1 Corinthians 12:28. In this context, Paul emphasizes the fact that all gifts have the same source, the Holy Spirit, and he encourages equality and unity among the believers. Paul compares each believer to a part of a larger whole, like parts of the body (verse 12). Not every part of the body can do everything—not everyone had the gift of miracles (verse 29). We need one another.
The gifts Paul mentions in 1 Corinthians 12 are as follows: apostleship, prophecy, teaching, miraculous powers (miracles), healing, guidance (messages of wisdom and knowledge), faith, prophecy, distinguishing between spirits, speaking in tongues, interpretation of tongues, and helping (1 Corinthians 12:7–10,28). Paul goes on to show in 1 Corinthians 13 how love is “the most excellent way” and the greatest gift (1 Corinthians 12:31; 13:13).
The question arises as to whether or not the spiritual gift of miracles is still active today in the church. We believe that the specific gift of miracles ceased with the office of apostle. There were only twelve apostles (Revelation 21:14), and the apostolic gifts are no longer needed to verify the apostles’ message. This in no way limits God’s power or ability to work miracles as He sees fit. We absolutely believe that God still heals and works miracles today.
Recommended Resource: Are Miraculous Gifts for Today - Four Views edited by Wayne Grudem
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