Sermon: Power gifts Theme: Power applied – God’s power through God’s people, today Date: 6 June 2010 – Morning service Preacher: Pastor Francois van Niekerk Text: 1 Corinthians 12:7 (NKJV) ‘But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all …’ Introduction It is time that each and all become profitable in God’s Kingdom! Today we will look at the power gifts – faith, gifts of healings and workings of miracles. If the revelation gifts (that we looked at last Sunday) are like an army’s intelligence division, then the power gifts are like the heavy artillery. Main points 1. The gift of faith Definition ○ The gift of faith is the supernatural ability to believe God without doubt. ○ I believe this is not just faith in general, but a portion of God’s faith. It is a tiny bit of the faith of God or the God-kind of faith that He entrusts to a person. ○ This gift releases a supernatural ability to meet adverse circumstances through trust in God's Word. ○ The gift of faith manifests when God’s indwelling Spirit brings forth a word of faith that is just as effective as if God Himself has spoken it directly (Romans 10:8). Different kinds of faith ○ The Bible speaks of several types of faith: Saving faith – through the preaching of the Gospel this faith gets you into heaven (Ephesians 2:8-9). Faith as a fruit – the quiet trust that forms part of your character and gets heaven into you (Galatians 5:22-23). The gift of faith – the special ability to believe for the miraculous (1 Corinthians 12:9). ○ The core issues of faith are words and trust – our trust that God’s Word is true and powerful to accomplish whatever He sends it to do and our willingness to speak those very words and act on them. ○ In Scripture we often find word and faith mentioned in close proximity. Examples ○ Elijah and the rain (words spoken to man and to God) – 1Kings 17. ○ Jesus speaking to the fig tree – Matthew 21:18-22. ○ Jesus quieting the storm – Mark 4:35-41. ○ Derek Prince’s testimony of raising the dead (refer to audio ***) – Psalm 41. Results ○ Believers speaking words in faith – with the same results as if God spoke directly. ○ Seeing God’s power triumph over creation, death and Satan – demonstrating His authority in all aspects of life. ○ This faith tears down what is evil and builds up what is good. Jesus could not do miracles in His home town because of unbelief, possibly stemming from familiarity (Mark 6:5). Let us not fall into this trap. Welcome Jesus in your home and surroundings by being a person of faith. 2. Gifts of healings Why plural? ○ The Bible speaks of ‘gifts of healings’. The use of the plural could be understood as God’s way to ensure that each part of a person will be touched by deploying different gifts to affect the healings required. ○ I believe God wants to touch the whole person: Body (physical) – diabetes, blindness, cancer, deafness, etc. Soul (mind, will and emotions) – jealousy, worry, discouragement, etc. Spirit – bitterness, greed, guilt, etc. ○ It could also refer to the fact that there is not a standard way to minister healing to people in need. Different gifts of healings are released for different needs. Jesus’ healing ministry confirms this. ○ We remain dependent on the Holy Spirit to administer the gift in different ways as God chooses. ○ In my own experience I have seen God give certain gifts regarding healing in specific areas to specific people. Certain people have particular success for instance with deaf ears being opened or backs being healed. Difference between healings and miracles ○ Healing relieves the body of disease or injury. This is not always perceived by the senses or instantaneous, but sometimes manifests gradually. ○ Miracles can include healing but also affects other realms such as nature and finance and is mostly immediate. Examples ○ When sickness is confronted, we must remain alert so that the gift can be applied in the way the Spirit leads. There is no recipe – Jesus did not heal two people in exactly the same way. In the crowd, He laid hands on individuals – Luke 4:40 He touched the leper – Matthew 8 He put His fingers in the ears of the deaf and dumb man, then spat and touched his tongue – Mark 7 Paul laid hands on the sick man on Malta – Acts 28 Results ○ It’s all about people being restored to wholeness! ○ According to Mark 16:17-20, I encourage every believer to trust God to use you to bring healing to the sick. There can also be special occasions when the Holy Spirit desires to release the gifts of healings through you for a specific need. The following can help you to know that you are in such a particular situation: An inner witness and prompting of the Holy Spirit. A deep sense of compassion for the sick, moving you to action (Matthew 20:34). ○ Look, listen and obey! 3. Workings of miracles Definition ○ Miracles (dunamis in the Greek) are manifestations of God’s power that supersedes the laws of nature and the limitations of man. ○ God demonstrates His power to affect people, nature, situations and material things. Different manifestations ○ Hebrews 2:3-4 (NKJV) gives a comprehensive reference to this: ‘how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him, God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will?’ ○ Note the reference to signs, wonders, miracles and the gifts of the Holy Spirit as confirmation of the message of salvation. ○ It is also interesting to note that almost every reference in the Gospels to the casting out of demons includes the Greek word dunamis for miracles. The conclusion is that deliverance is indeed a miracle of liberation affected by the Holy Spirit. (Acts 8:6; 9:38;19:11) Examples ○ Water turned into wine – John 2 ○ Feeding 5 000 people with five loaves and two fishes – John 6 ○ Healing the man who was born blind (creative miracle) – John 9 ○ Peter and John healing the man who was lame from birth – Acts 3 ○ Paul raising a young man from the dead – Acts 20 Results ○ The workings of miracles are demonstrations of God’s presence and power. It brings a strong conviction that God is real and able! It sets a stage where the preaching of the Gospel is very conducive (Peter and John and the healing of the lame man in Acts 3). Conclusion Note again how close the different gifts work together and flow into each other. For example, the gift of faith often manifests in a miracle or a healing. In Luke 7:7 Jesus spoke the word of faith that healed the Roman Centurion’s servant. How do we start to apply these gifts? By listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit and responding to His promptings. We have an obligation to our generation to demonstrate that God is truly alive by allowing the Holy Spirit to manifest His power through us. Let me remind you that when it comes to the gifts, God is not looking for perfect believers but for obedience. It is up to you to receive from the Spirit and release what He gives by a word spoken or an action taken! Do not philosophize or experiment – take the leap of faith, go all the way!