Gifts of the Spirit

Gifts of the Spirit

discerning of spirits

Gifts of Healing

Audio Version
  • 1 Corinthians 12:9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same spirit.

 What it is not:

  1. As good a medical science is and great is the need for good doctors and hospitals, the gifts of healing that are spoken of in 1 Corinthians are not referring to doctors that are gifted in that type of vocation. This is not to speak against their great service to humanity but itís not the same thing. We have great doctors, nurses, surgeons and they are indeed gifted in that area but this is not the gifts of the spirit or the gifts of healing. Mankind tends to try to turn the supernatural power of God into something they can understand in the natural realm. When we do not see the power of the Holy Spirit being manifest like it was in the days of the apostles we tend to explain it away with our own natural thinking. However, we must remember that the natural man does not understand the spiritual things of God. The gifts only disappear if we let them disappear. If we want to try to spread Godís word without the power, our influence will be limited.
  2. We have in todayís world the use of alternative medicines, herbs, vitamins and other methods of healing. Some of those are beneficial but those things are not what are referred to as the spiritual gifts of healing. We have that stuff at our house and I do believe in natural supplements and anything to keep from going to a doctor unless I absolutely have to. Yet even if that works, it is not the gifts of healing spoken of in 1 Corinthians.
  3. It is not mind control, incantations or the use of emotions and spiritual mysticism. I talked to someone who believes in the fact that hands can heal and she held her hand over my head and I did feel something warm and strange but I want nothing to do with that kind of stuff. If it isnít in the name of Jesus bringing glory to Him, I do not want it. That kind of healing might just be temporary enough to get us into weird stuff that does not bring souls to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. We can get good feelings from many false religions, idolatry and other things. Satan wants us to settle for his counterfeit religion so that we will not be saved and inherit eternal life. He does not want us to bring people to Jesus. That is why he wants us to either ignore the gifts of the spirit or else get his substitutes.
  4. It is not anything we do apart from the power of God and the name of Jesus to heal the sick. The real gifts of healing are supernatural in every way. It is a manifestation of the Spirit of God that brings healing from physical disease, mental disease or physical defects etc. by the miraculous intervention of the power of the Holy Spirit. This kind of healing cannot be produced by man or any modern scientific methods. All of the gifts of healing are gifts from God. They come from the mind of God and at the will of God. Men or women in themselves do not heal anyone. The Holy Spirit will use any willing vessel to heal. It can be a child, an elderly lady, a young man, a janitor, or anyone who is walking in tune with the Holy Spirit and willing to be used by the Holy Spirit.

Signs are to follow us as we teach, preach and present the gospel. They are to bring people to Christ and to edify the body of Christ.

The bible says that if there are any sick among you, let them call for the elders of the church and they are to pray over them anointing them with oil and the prayer of faith shall save the sick, the Lord shall raise him up and if he has committed any sins it shall be forgiven him. So healing does not come to anyone apart from salvation or turning from oneís sin. They are saved at the same time they are healed but they are to go and sin no longer.

We know that every time we anoint with oil and pray for people, not everyone is healed. If the gifts of the spirit are present though when we pray for the sick, they will be healed. Notice the word gifts of healing is plural. This shows me that these gifts are from God and it is according to His will when the gifts are present and operating. We are to be willing vessels of the spirit waiting upon Him.

There are times when God heals according to our faith and when He sees someone that is sincerely pouring out their hearts to Him petitioning Him to heal a loved one. This is another way God heals but it is a gift from God.

We have seen people to claim to have the gift of healing. Iím not going to dispute that but I believe these gifts are given to all believers as a whole and anyone of us can be used at various times in any gift at the will of the spirit. Our part is to be willing vessels. It is not limited to one or two people, but to the whole body of believers who are filled with the Spirit. Sometimes we think it is just for the clergy or to special people but is for the whole body of believers.

Sometimes we may see one who majors in one gift or the other. That could be that they are called in that area but according to what I read in Acts, the apostles, the men appointed to do other things so that the apostles were free to preach, and ordinary men were used of God to heal the sick. I donít believe this is limited in any way. Any vessel that listens to God and is filled with the spirit may be used by the Holy Spirit to heal the sick.

  • Mark 16:17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;

That verse says, them that believe. That believe what? That believe in Jesus.

The purpose is to prove that the word of God we preach and teach is true. It proves the power of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. We must never major on any gift and remove it from the foundation of Jesus Christ because the main reason for all nine gifts is to prove that all need to be born again by the spirit to be saved and that Jesus is the only way of salvation. Signs follow to prove what we say is true.

The Holy Spirit brings people to Jesus and then we are to disciple others to bring more people to Jesus. We must not be moved away from that foundation. Jesus is the foundation.

Gifts of healing along with tongues do cause a lot of controversy because they get attention. As with all gifts of the spirit though we have to be careful not to forget the giver and major on the gift or the person being used of God with the gift. This is the mistake we make. It is a human mistake and understandable but we have to keep our eyes on Jesus or we will fail.

Before Smith Wigglesworth died, he cried out in despair. He knew God was going to take Him home because people were getting their eyes too much on him instead of the Lord. They were looking to him to do something every time someone needed healing.

When we start to see people healed, we must start encouraging all to be filled with the spirit and spread these gifts to the whole body of believers, not just to one or two. Our eyes need to stay focused on the Lord. How do you think the Lord expected us to spread the gospel all over the world if the gifts were only for a select few like the apostles? Thatís only small number of people. This is for all of us to be partakers in. We are all to be filled with the spirit and be used of God, so the glory belongs to God and not to any individual.

The gifts of the spirit are never to be used to get rich or rake in a lot of money. The apostles never got rich and increased with goods. We must never attempt to buy and sell anything that God gives to us freely.  Freely ye have received so freely we must give.

When God begins to use us though we must stay on the foundation of Jesus Christ and not major on the gift itself. The gifts are to show the proof that the gospel we preach is true. I'm repeating this over and over because I want us to get this if we do not get anything else from this study.

Why do you think Paul said to prefer to prophesy over all the other gifts? Because when we speak a word from God we bring conviction of sin, we bring the gospel, we bring exhortation, warning, comfort and we speak that which will edify the body. Faith comes by hearing the word. Faith is needed to save the lost and do all the other things God wants done. So when God begins to use us in these gifts of the spirit, let us remember what their purpose is: To spread the gospel, to teach the word, to bring glory to Jesus Christ, to edify the church body, and convince the lost that Jesus is the only way to have eternal life and be saved. I fear to get into the gifts of the spirit if we leave this foundation of truth behind like so many have done.

There are all kinds of examples of the gifts of healing in both Old and New Testament.

  1. The woman with the issue of blood - Mark 5  
  2. The man at the gate of the temple - Acts 3
  3. The healing of Naaman Ė 2 Kings 5
  4. The healing of Aeneas Ė Acts 9
  5. The healing of Hezekiah Ė Isaiah 38

Most instant, miraculous healings occur when the gift of faith is also present and all is done at the will of the Holy Spirit. It occurs more often among those that are first coming to Christ; I believe to prove the truth of the gospel.

Why would heathen people believe our word above all that they were formerly taught? They need to see the power of God demonstrated to show them that what we preach is true or else how would they know?

Here is a question that troubles most of us: Why doesnít everyone we pray for get healed?

These are gifts from God. They have to come by the power and will of the Holy Spirit, not our will or when we decide something needs to be done. We need to be seeking God to use us instead of us making our own plans and then asking Him to bless our plans.

Yes, unbelief will hinder many of these things. Someone canít be healed when they are surrounded with a mountain of unbelief. Being of the same mind and one accord is the first step in finding the will of God and inviting the Spirit of God to work among us. Yet it has to be His spirit and not our will.

Letís not be quick to blame someoneís unbelief when healing does not occur. That could be the case but that is also a copout for a powerless church. We have to pray for Godís gifts to be working among us and we have to be willing to be vessels the Holy Spirit uses. We also have to remain on the foundation of Jesus Christ and not be moved away from it. We must be Christ centered and not man centered. Our eyes must be on Jesus and not on the man or woman doing the speaking, laying on of hands or praying.

I cringe when I hear words like, ďBrother so and so is coming to hold a revival. We will surely see something happen then." Why do we have to wait for brother so and so? Is the Holy Spirit limited to one special person? Does not the bible teach us not to hold menís persons in admiration? The word of God, the Holy Spirit, the gospel of Jesus, and the gifts of the spirit are for all who will believe.

If a group of people gather together and start to pray fervently wanting to see the lost saved and their church revived, they do not need anyone special. They need to be filled with the Holy Spirit and restored to the joy of their salvation. They can have revival. This does not mean that God can't send us someone that He has called for teach in a certain area to edify believers but it does mean that the work of God is not limited to that one person and he has nothing that God can't do through someone else.

If God sends them someone to help and itís from God thatís different but it may be that He will just start using those that are gathered together to pray. Getting our eyes solely on Jesus and seeking Him together as a body of believers is the first step to seeing the Holy Spirit poured out and His gifts being present among us.

Gift of Miracles

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