The Gift of Miracles

1 Corinthians 12:1-6 (ESV) ~ “Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be uninformed. You know that when you were pagans you were led astray to mute idols, however you were led. Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says “Jesus is accursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit. Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone.”

 

  • The Old Testament had foretold that God would send His Spirit to earth and gift His people in a special way.
    • Joel 2:28-29 (ESV) ~ “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. Even on the male and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit.”
  • Jesus Christ had promised and discussed the Holy Spirit with His followers in great detail.
    • Mark 16:17-18 (ESV) ~ “And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
    • Acts 1:4-5, 8 (ESV) ~ “And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, “you heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now. … But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
  • The coming of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost was such a phenomenal experience that it actually launched the greatest movement the world has ever known—Christianity itself. All the promises made by God in the Old Testament and by Jesus Christ concerning the Holy Spirit and His special gifts of ministry were witnessed for the very first time on the day of Pentecost.
  • Before Christ, when God called a person for a particular work, God always provided the gifts and abilities needed to do the work. God has always equipped His people to do the work of the ministry. However, since Christ and the day of Pentecost, there is one great and remarkable difference: every believer is called and gifted by God to minister. That is what Pentecost was all about. God expects every believer to be a witness to the salvation of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. To be a witness is one of the primary reasons God gives the Holy Spirit to every believer, and it is certainly the reason He provides spiritual gifts. The gifts and abilities are given to be used—used in sharing Christ and in ministering to the desperate needs of the poor and suffering masses of this lost and dying world.

 

The Corinthian church was about to be torn apart because of the controversy over spiritual gifts, and unfortunately, churches down through the centuries have allowed themselves to become embroiled in the same controversy. It is unfortunate because God’s power or special endowment and gifts must rest upon believers if they are going to reach the suffering masses of the world for Christ. There are four dangers surrounding spiritual gifts or the gifts of the Holy Spirit:

 

  1. There is the danger of being ignorant about the gifts (v.1).
  • Note the words “spiritual gifts.” There are most definitely spiritual gifts, very special gifts and abilities from God that are given to a person when he first becomes a follower of Jesus Christ. Note they are spiritual gifts, not the natural abilities a person has developed from birth. They are special gifts given by the Holy Spirit that enable the believer to serve Jesus Christ in the church and in the world—spiritual gifts that enable the believer to help in ministering to people and in leading them to Christ.
    • Romans 12:6-8 (ESV) “Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.”
  • Note the exact words of Paul: “Concerning spiritual gifts…I would not have you ignorant.” There are three ways that a person can be ignorant about spiritual gifts.
    • A person can be ignorant that there is such a thing as spiritual gifts. He can fail to know that God endows the genuine believer with very special gifts that empower and enable him to serve and live for Christ.
    • A person may know that God gifts His people, but he may not know what special gifts God has given him. The believer may not know what it is God wants him to do for Christ and the church.
    • A person may know what his gifts are, but he may not know how to properly use them. It was at this point that the Corinthian church was having so much trouble. Many of the believers knew their spiritual gifts, but they were misusing them, failing to use them as God willed them to be used.
    • 2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV) ~ “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
    • 2 Timothy 2:15 (ESV) ~ “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.”
  1. There is the danger of being carried away to false worship (v.2).
  • Think how often we see spiritual gifts counterfeited and misused, for example the gift of prophecy. How often do we see a person preaching or prophesying and it is clearly evident that he is only counterfeiting the gift and has not really been called by God? And the gift of tongues and miracles: how often do we see believers counterfeiting or using the ecstatic and miraculous gifts in a manner that does not lead to a true worship of God?
  • John 4:24 (ESV) ~ “God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”
  1. There is the danger of speaking false messages (v.3).
  • The point is forceful: every believer must be careful not to speak or proclaim a false message. What the believer proclaims must be of God; it must be the truth of God. The world has enough false messages. It does not need any more misrepresentation and counterfeit messages, messages that leave men hopeless beyond the grave. The world needs the truth of God, the message of the glorious gospel: that He has sent His Son into the world to eternally save all men everywhere. It is time for false messages and untruths to cease flowing from lips of people who are counterfeiting the gifts of God’s Spirit.
  • John 8:31-32 (ESV) ~ “So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.””
  • 1 John 4:1-3 (ESV) ~ “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already.”
  1. There is the danger of speaking the truth apart from the Spirit (v.3).
  • The point is this: no man can please God by calling Jesus Lord apart from the Holy Spirit. Any person can speak the words that “Jesus is Lord,” but for a person to please God, he must acknowledge within his heart and life that Jesus is Lord. The word acknowledge is the key: it means to surrender one’s heart to Jesus as the Lord of one’s life. And no person is going to do this, not really, unless he is moved upon by the Spirit of God. However, when a person is moved upon by the Spirit to say that Jesus is Lord, the person does surrender all he is and has to serve Jesus. To summarize very simply, saying that Jesus is Lord does not mean to merely mouth the words; it means to be stirred within the heart by the Spirit of God to confess that one’s life belongs to Jesus as Lord. It means to give everything that a person is and has to Christ, acknowledging Him to be the Sovereign Majesty of the universe, the very Son of God Himself.
  • Matthew 7:21 (ESV) ~ “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
 
Pastor Andy Lambert
{pastorandy@cvcog.church}

One Response to “The Gift of Miracles”

  1. Debby Wilks says:

    I’m going to watch this now. I bet I’ll get a lot more out of the sermon than the notes. Good notes, though!!

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