Today we are going to look at the spiritual gift of working of miracles. The gift of miracles is a unique gift because it really has no boundaries. What I mean by that, is that the very nature of this gift, supersedes natural laws and thinking. It is truly the gift that can be explained in no other way than it was a miracle. Now their are other gifts that are miraculous like extraordinary faith and the gift of healing, but the gift of working of miracles goes beyond these other two gifts and changes impossibilities into possibilities.
This gift is probably the least seen gift in the modern church. I am not sure why this is other than it is probably the least expected of all the gifts. I think that we are so used to working things out, looking to science or reason for our solutions that we forget to look to God for miraculous solutions at time. I also believe that this is why there are more reports of miracles happening in nations and cultures that are not based on western civilization and it’s reliance on reason. So if nothing else, I hope to at least get you to entertain the possibility that God does have available for the church even in the west, the gift of miracles.
The gift of miracles from the Bible.
The gift of miracles shown in the miracles of Jesus.
Since the definition of the gift of miracles is a gift that supersedes the laws of nature or physics or rational thinking, then the first miracle that I think of when looking at the life of Jesus is the water being turned to wine at the wedding at Cana. In John’s gospel chapter 2, we have the story of Jesus attending a wedding where they ran out of wine. Now without getting into a theological debate as to whether or not Jesus made real wine or grape juice, the fact remains that water was turned into something other than water. He didn’t use fruit concentrate, or powdered flavoring, but He turned it into wine and it was better than the wine that was served first! This is a miracle that supersedes the laws of nature and physics. Water cannot be changed into another substance just by filling water jugs and serving it. There was a miracle that happened here.
The next instance I think of, is where Jesus walked on the water. In Matthew’s gospel chapter 14, we have the instance where Jesus told the disciples to cross over the sea of Galilee ahead of Him. Around dawn, he comes strolling out to them, walking on water. This freaked the disciples out and they thought it was some type of ghost. Jesus tells them not to be afraid, and Peter’s response was, “If it is you Lord, bid me to come”. So Jesus said come! Not only did Jesus walk on the water, but Peter did as well. Now we all know the story how Peter got his eyes off of Jesus and on to the wind and the waves, and started to sink. However don’t be too hard on Peter. How many of you have walked on water? I have a theory about walking on water. You have to move your feet really fast!
The gift of miracles in the early church.
I always give you examples of spiritual gifts, not only in Jesus but also in the early church so that you can see that it wasn’t just some divine attribute that Jesus had that allowed Him to do these things, but it is the divine attribute of the Holy Spirit that enabled both Jesus and ordinary people like you and I to operate in these things. There are many examples of miracles in the early church. The first one I want to show you is located in the book of Acts chapter 8. Philip, a guy who had been chosen to wait tables, was out evangelizing. He was having many signs and wonders done at his hands. God tells him through an angelic visitation to go meet a guy from Ethiopia and share with him the gospel. Philip does so and the Ethiopian man accepts Christ. As Philip is baptizing this man, as He comes up out of the water He disappears and then reappears in the town of Azotus. Gene Roddenberry was not the one to first think of transporters. God did! Lord beam me up!
The next instance that comes to mind is when Paul in Acts chapter 20 got a little long winded and preached until midnight and a boy fell asleep in a window and fell out of it 3 stories to the ground. He died instantly. However, Paul threw himself on the boy, wrapped his arms around him, and proclaimed He is alive. The boy came back to life. Once again that supersedes the laws of nature and physics. It was not healing, it was resurrection.
The gift of miracles in the modern church.
There are still miracles happening today. I remember the story told to me by an old Pentecostal pastor named Rev. Archie Hicks, who while traveling from one town to another to become the pastor of a church ran out of gas. He and his wife and kids were poor people living by faith on what God provided for them. They had no money and had over 100 miles to go. All they had was a gallon of water. Rev. Hicks poured that gallon of water into his car, started the engine and drove to the town they were traveling to to be the new pastor. I talked to another old time Pentecostal preacher named Brother Garman. He and some others who had witnessed this miracle recalled that on many occasions a visible force would tug on his suit jacket sleeve leading him to those that needed to be prayed for. I heard this verified by more than one person who was there.
In my own life, I view what transpired with the events that allowed me to return to pastoral ministry to be somewhat of a modern day miracle itself. I waited 8 years for God to open the doors for a divorced and single man to once again be in pastoral ministry. As most of you know, there is not much demand for divorced pastors, let alone one who is single and cannot provide the church with the love and nurture that a pastor’s wife normally does. So when I received the call to come and be the pastor of the Vineyard Christian Fellowship of Pine Haven Wyoming, to me that was a miracle that superseded the odds of human nature and rational thinking.
- What Are Spiritual Gifts?
- Are spiritual gifts for today?
- The motivation behind spiritual gifts.
- What is the baptism of the Holy Spirit?
- What is the word of wisdom?
- What is the word of knowledge?
- What is extraordinary faith?
- What is gifts of healings?
- What is the working of miracles?
- What is the gift of prophecy?
- What is discerning of spirits?
- What is the gift of tongues?
- What is the proper use of tongues in the church today?
- What is the interpretation of tongues?