Led by the Spirit

11. Gifts of power

Summary of the gifts of power

… supernatural trust in God for the miraculous.
b. Gifts of Healing
… supernatural power that heals the sick.
c. The Gift of Miracles
… supernatural intervention.

The gift of faith

Aspects of faith in Scripture

Faith is revealed in many ways in the Scriptures:

Ordinary faith: natural faith in people and events. eg. we have faith that the sun will come up. (Heb.11:6.)

The Faith: the body of Christian truth. (Eph. 4:13.)

Saving Faith: the trust or faith that precedes salvation. (Eph. 2:8.)

Faith, the fruit: Faith that grows after salvation. (Gal. 5:22.)

Faith, the gift of the Holy Spirit: after we experience our personal Pentecost (Acts2:4) the Holy Spirit may, if He so chooses, give this gift into our ministry.

The Gift defined

The gift of faith has sometimes been called the “faith of miracles.” It is the planting of the “faith of God,” irresistible, all-powerful, into the heart of the believer to meet a special need. (Mk.11:22.)

A separate manifestation

Some incorrectly suggest, that the gift of faith is the basis for all other faith. (i.e. saving faith). We should understand that saving faith is like a seed, which may produce, say an apple tree. This tree may have fruit, no fruit or much fruit. The fruit (of faith) comes from the seed. (saving faith). But the “gift” of faith is not produced by this tree. It is (as it were) an apple of faith given by the Holy Spirit from God’s miraculous supply.

Some Scriptural examples

i. For personal protection.

Who through faith … shut the mouths of lions. (Heb 11:33.) Who through faith were safe from fire. (Heb.11:34.)

ii. For receiving the astounding promises of God.

Abraham held on to the promise of God that he would produce a child even at his late age.

iii. To raise the dead.

Lazarus and Dorcas. (John 11:43.; Acts 9:37 )

iv. To perform mighty deeds. (1 Cor. 13:2. Luke 7:6.)

Gifts of healing

The gifts of healing are directly effected by God the Holy Spirit and must not be confused with any human ability or works, or the knowledge of medical science, however praise worthy. While we support the great and noble work of hospitals, doctors and those practicing the healing arts, who give unselfishly their time and efforts to relieve human suffering, it is clear that these ways are not the healing ministry of the supernatural church. God’s way, as revealed in the Word, is healing by supernatural divine power.

In the Scriptures the gifts of healing are seen to operate through persons who were profoundly ignorant of medical matters. When the circumstances are pleasing to God, the Holy Spirit by His gift brings healing.


The term “gifts” indicates more than one gift. Two possible explanations have been offered for this.

i. That when each person is healed in answer to prayer, this is a gift in itself. i.e. A special manifestation of the Holy Spirit. So there are many “gifts”.
ii That there are different forms of the gift of healing: i.e. Various believers being used by God in praying for specific afflictions, e.g. cancer, goitre, etc. This tends to suggest that there is a specific gift for each disease.

The probability is that both of these explanations have an element of truth. We still have much to learn also, in regard to the effect of faith in the healing ministry. One thing is certain, the person through whom the gift operates is merely an agent, the work is done by God alone.

(Psa 103:3 NIV) who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases,

Not necessarily instantaneous

It is important to notice that these gifts are for “healing” and that healing can take time. Also the word in the original has the meaning of wholeness and restoration. Not just to your former state of health, but to a better wholeness and a better health. It may be also that you require more “healing” than appears on the outward and the Holy Spirit will move in ways that may seem strange to us all. Wholeness involves more than the body. The health of the soul may also be involved.

Healing in the Church

As with faith the word healing has differing usages in Scripture.

i. Anointing with oil. Healing is offered as the result of obedience and in answer to believing prayer. This is for sick believers and requires that we be obedient to the scriptural instruction. We are to “call” for the Elders.

(James 5:14 NIV) Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord.

ii. Laying on of hands. This healing ministry is for all, and is an act of faith by any believer. The promise is that the Lord will heal in response to living faith. This is not just limited to those who are blessed with the Gifts of Healing.

(Mark 16:18 NIV) they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”

iii. Anointing with oil is for believers only, but hands may be laid on the saved or unsaved providing that a request for prayer is made, or a willingness is expressed. The question is “Do you want to get well?”

iv. The gifts of healing. Given by the Holy Spirit as He decides.

Healing in the Gospels and Acts

Great healing ministries have been rejected in this age and we need to keep in mind how this ministry was shown in Scripture and why.

i. To establish the claims of Jesus. He had the power to forgive sins.

(Mat 9:6-7 NIV) But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins. . . .” Then he said to the paralytic, “Get up, take your mat and go home.” [7] And the man got up and went home.

ii. To give authority to God’s servants.

(Acts 8:6-7 NIV) When the crowds heard Philip and saw the miraculous signs he did, they all paid close attention to what he said. [7] With shrieks, evil spirits came out of many, and many paralytics and cripples were healed.

iii. To draw people that they might hear.

(John 6:2 NIV) and a great crowd of people followed him because they saw the miraculous signs he had performed on the sick.

iv. To turn people to God.

Peter said to Aeneas, “Jesus Christ heals you” He arose healed (Acts 9:34-35 NIV) “Aeneas,” Peter said to him, “Jesus Christ heals you. Get up and take care of your mat.” Immediately Aeneas got up. [35] All those who lived in Lydda and Sharon saw him and turned to the Lord.

v. To bring glory to God.

“and they glorified God” “all the people rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done”

(Mark 2:12 NRSV) And he stood up, and immediately took the mat and went out before all of them; so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!”

vi. To destroy the work of the devil.

Jesus came to deliver the sick and destroy the work of the devil. In His sacrifice healing is made available to us all.

(1 John 3:8 NIV The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.

The gift of miracles

A miracle-working God

Miracles within the ministry of the church are not simply an external proof of a revelation but are an essential part of the working of God in our midst. Miracles have as their true purpose the nourishing of the faith, in showing the saving intervention of God towards those who believe.

Jesus consistently refused to give a sign from heaven by doing useless and spectacular wonders, just to guarantee His teachings. This kind of miracle was in the field of the “wonderworker” and was not approved.

(Deu 13:1-5 NIV) If a prophet, or one who foretells by dreams, appears among you and announces to you a miraculous sign or wonder, [2] and if the sign or wonder of which he has spoken takes place, and he says, “Let us follow other gods” (gods you have not known) “and let us worship them,” [3] you must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer. The LORD your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul. [4] It is the LORD your God you must follow, and him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him. [5] That prophet or dreamer must be put to death, because he preached rebellion against the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt and redeemed you from the land of slavery; he has tried to turn you from the way the LORD your God commanded you to follow. You must purge the evil from among you.

The power, wonder, and significance of divine activity are present, not only in special acts but also in the whole of creation. There is no radical discontinuity between miracles and the “natural order” since all things are of God, but there can be no doubt that the Scriptures speak of events that are extraordinary in so far as our experience and knowledge of nature is concerned. This does not make miracles impossible, but calls forth a deeper level of faith and a richer understanding of the nature of the Creator. He is in all things a miracle working God.

Miracles can include physical healing

There are some healings that come within the scope of the gift of miracles. This is particularly so in a healing of a creative nature. Examples would be when a missing organ is replaced in the body, such as a new ear drum; sight being restored to one born blind, and similar reconstructions of parts of the body. Ordinarily healing has the idea of a cure or recovery. A miracle would, as it were, by-pass this process.

The gift of miracles is not confined to healing

The working of the gift of miracles covers a much wider field than physical healing. As we have seen it may embrace healing, but it goes far beyond it. For example, Jesus cast out the many devils in the demonic man and so healed him.

But he was restored to his right mind and dressed also. Ten lepers were healed but the one who returned was made whole. Fully restored from all the ravages of the disease.

Other miracles

i. The miraculous catch of fish (Luke 5).
ii. Water turned to wine (John 2).

Jesus performed many miracles in His time upon the earth. The interesting Scripture in this regard is John 14:12 (NIV) I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.