Intro: Quick Review Paul is instructing the Corinthians concerning spiritual gifts. 4 quick reminders
A) REMINDER #1 - He tells in them v.7 that all of these gifts are in reality a manifestation of the Spirit
1) MANIFESTATION = Shining Forth
B) Spiritual gifts are in reality a shining forth of the Holy Spirit.
1) They are an expression NOT of man’s ability but an expression of the person and power of the Holy Spirit.
C) Therefore - Spiritual gifts are the means whereby man is enabled by the Holy Spirit to do those things which are not humanly possible.
APPLICATION: The work of the Kingdom of God is a work that is outside of mere human capacity. It is a work that MUST be undertaken by God because it is a work that is eternal in scope and consequence.
FOR THAT REASON all TRUE ministry MUST be accomplished in and through the power of the Holy Spirit.
REMINDER #2 - He tells them V.4 that there is a DIVERSITY of gifts, but there is but ONE Spirit working in all of them
REMINDER #3 - He tells them V.11 that the Spirit is SOVEREIGN in the dispensing of these gifts
& 1 Cor 12:11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.
& REMINDER #4 - He tells them V.7 that the purpose of these gifts is for the edification of the Body of Christ
& 1 Cor 12:7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit OF ALL!!
9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles,
A) Now here Paul mentions 3 gifts that often work in conjunction w/ one another . Begin w/ the gift of Faith .
B) Start by discussing Biblical Faith in a general sense & then – look specifically at the gift of faith.
C) All “Biblical” faith has its foundation in God BECAUSE God is the OBJECT of faith.
1) “Biblical faith” is confidence in God.
D) It is here that the “Word of Faith” teachers twist the Scriptures.
They say that the faith itself is a force.
E) The ability to see the impossible accomplished - is by generating this spiritual force called faith, and it (faith) will work miracles.
They go so far as to say that God exercised faith in creation.
A) In Heb. 11:3 we read that by faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.
B) Note – that again- By faith we understand – our understanding is linked to the faith being mentioned – ( It takes faith to believe in creation)
C ) Here is how they twist this verse –They say that By faith God created the
world – that God was exercising faith in the work of Creation
or something outside of Himself. Thus He is NOT omnipotent.
1) He is dependent upon faith.
B) But they take that position so that they can say - faith is the force by
which you create your own reality.... your own wealth... your own health.
A) Faith has God its object & is based upon His Power / His knowledge & His Sovereignty
B) That is why when we pray we pray in His Name & according to His will!
Now whenever we speak of faith we are drawn to Hebrews, Chapter 1
for there we have faith DEFINED and faith DEMONSTRATED.
Faith Defined V.1
& Heb 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
A) Faith is an inward assurance that God is faithful that He keeps His promises,
1) That inward assurance results in an outward confidence
even when can't see what future holds.
A) Faith sees the invisible, believes the incredible, accepts the impossible
1) Faith is the key that opens the door to the work of God in the World.
Faith Demonstrated....... EXAMPLES of faith- seen in the remainder of the Chapter – different exploits those mentioned there in.
1) God is the OBJECT of our faith.
2) Faith is the key that opens the door to the work of God in the World.
3rd thing to note is that Biblical faith is NOT a means to “write our own ticket with God”
KENNETH COPELAND – HAS A BOOK - having faith in your faith.
118:8 It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man:
NOW LETS CONSIDER THE GIFT OF FAITH
A) The gift of faith is often referred to as special faith
A) This title is given to this gift because this faith differs from “Saving Faith” and “normal Christian faith”, in degree and application.
B) God is still the object – but this gift is a supernatural endowment of faith given by the H.S. to be manifested in times of crisis or opportunity
1) It is in such a time that God will give a DIVINE CERTAINTY to the soul of that person that – He is at work / going to work.
NOTE: This gift of faith or special faith does NOT insure that we will never doubt again. It is special faith to believe God in special circumstances.
Examples Of Special Faith Acts 3:1-16
A) Peter walked by this man 100 times – this day was different
B) Note – Wasn’t Peter’s normal practice
C) Note –v. 16 16 "And His name, through faith in His name, has made this man strong, whom you see and know. Yes, the faith which comes through Him has given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.
C) Peter says that the faith to do this came from the Lord – gift of faith.
PASTOR CHUCK CLASSIC STORY – WHEEL CHAIR – COLD
Next week Tucson – another person wheel chair – prayed –
A) Son Chuck Jr. – why not – say in name of Jesus rise & walk
B) God didn’t give me the faith.
Now although this gift is often used in conjunction w/ the gift of miracles & healings it is not exclusive to that
A) This gift can be manifested in times when – God gives you a great certainty that He is going to work in a particular situation.
B) I have had times in preaching – that before – I even came to Church I knew that People were going to get saved – Preach w/ boldness
1) Tell Eddie or Howard – Follow my lead.
A) Times when – I have been talking to someone – witnessing – Gift of faith to say – You want to get saved don’t you – lets pray.
B) Times – go on a Missions trip – where – it wasn’t – I hope God works / but You knew God was going to work .
1) You step out w/ great confidence
A) But that is definitely not always the case – More often than not that step of faith is more like Jonathan & His armor bearer –
1) Lets see what God might want to do ! We Know what God can do – we just want to see if He is moving & working in a particular area
So the gift of faith is a DIVINE CERTAINTY given supernaturally by the H.S. that enables you to step out into an area of ministry or some opportunity w/ GREAT CONFIDENCE & see results !!!!!–
A) 1st note that both of these gifts are plural – because there is not one type of healing or one type of miracles
B) Now I don’t think we really need to define a healing or gifts of healings we understand that –
1) Someone who is sick is made well / something broken is restored
……. Blind is given sight
A) Healings are seen throughout the Bible – Beg. In O.T. in fact in Ex. 15:26 For I am the LORD who heals you."
B) Our God is a God of healing & Restoration ! / God of the Miraculous
Working of miracles literally means: operations of supernatural powers
A) It is an event for which there is NO natural explanation!!
B) Now In the New testament, events of supernatural origin are referred to as signs, wonders, and miracles.
& Acts 2:22 22 "Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know;
& Acts 2:43 Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles.
& Acts 6:8 And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people.
& Acts 8:13 Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done.
& Heb 2:4 God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will
KEY DEFINITION: The Greek words translated miracles, wonders, and signs literally mean: “Events of divine power”, “Events that cause wonderment”, “Events that signify something (about God or His working)”.
But here is a key thing to understand - The word WONDERS is used
17 times in the New testament.
A) In all but 3 passages the term is never used by itself. It is always (save 3 times) used in conjunction with the term SIGNS
A) WHAT THAT MEANS IS : God does NOT use His power just to cause wonder.
1) He always signifies or teaches something with His miracles.
Ex. ( I am statements preceded by a miracle)
A) EX Jesus would NOT perform a miracle to satisfy the curiosity of Herod
A) Now the deist suggest that God is one who has removed himself from the everyday functions & occurrences of man. & the world
1) Created it & left it to run it’s course
A) But the Bible portrays a whole different picture – God is portrayed in the word as the one who is intimately & intricately acquainted w/ us.
1) He holds the world in the span of His hand / as well as our very breathe
A) He knows everything about us - & is concerned for us / knows when rise / sit / wake / when sleep & everything in between.
And God throughout history has chosen to demonstrate his care through healing & His power through the miraculous
A) Jesus touched the Leper – God was saying I care for those who have been inflicted because of sin/ I care for those who are out cast
B) When Children of Israel were boxed in at the Red Sea – God miraculously parted the Sea - /
1) God was saying don’t ever consider yourself boxed in – don’t ever count me out of your situation.
Now as you go through your Bible you will notice that there was no real pattern or formula to His healings & Miracles
A) Miracle of parting red sea & Jordan rivers –
1) Moses Staff – stretch it out
2) Jordan Priest feet wet
3) Elijah struck the water w/ mantle
1) ONE Jesus touched
2) Bart. Just spoke
3) Another spit
4) Still another – spit mud – wash
A) PROBLEM TODAY - There are those who want to formulize the work of God .
1) here is the Key – Just pray in this way – JESUS NAME – CLAIM IT
1) Key is in believing it is already yours
3 guys in a car one really into this – driving – guy in the backseat asked the guys in passenger seat – how is your sister ? Really sick –
Don’t say that say – She thinks she is sick – ok
How is your grandfather doing ? He thinks he is dead.
ANTOHER THING THAT HAPPENS is there are those who because they followed the formula confess they are healed when not.
A) Guy is in a cast & on Crutches – how that foot – great God healed me as he limps away !!!
B) Well if that is the way God heals – leaves you in a cast I would rather go to a doctor -
C) What is even sadder are those who refuse to go to a doctor & get sicker or even die because they are claiming that healing - / they followed formula
D) LISTEN WHEN GOD HEALS – YOU KNOW IT HE DOES A GREAT JOB.
WHY DOESN’T HE HEAL EVERYONE ? – Don’t know – He is Sovereign.
A) Paul 2 Cor. 12 Prayed 3 times thorn in the flesh – ( not a little splinter but a Stake – brutal )
B) Defined as a constant nagging pain / ( One Scottish commentator – said it was Paul’s wife .- Probably some domestic problems there.
1) Most believe it was a problem w/ his eyes
A) Paul prayed – God said no – Instead Grace sufficient - …..
B) Acts 12 James & Peter are both in Prison – James is beheaded / Peter is miraculously released – why ? James Ugly
B) The Lord was ready for James to come home – but wanted Peter to hang out for a while – More for Pete to do!!!
C) God is Sovereign. & He is fair – if He you experience a miracle in your situation & He causes another in same situation go through ringer
1) We just have to trust that He knows what He is doing !!! He is working individually as He wills
A) That ended w/ the Apostles – for them
B) My Response – Is God DEAD? NO – IF GOD IS ALIVE HE IS STILL WORKING IN THE MIRACLES / HEALINGS
B) See in Stephen & Philip who were not apostles but Deacons that the Lord was working through them
1) Church History – records times when God has still moved in this way
Well some would say – why don’t we see these things happening today like we do in the Bible times – Several things to say about this
A) 1st we can read a book of the Bible like the book of Exodus or Acts in several hrs.
B) In those few hrs – we read of God doing radical things – page after page / what we forget is that what we are reading took place over a period of 30 to 40yrs
C) Then we look at our lives & we think well – god healed me 2 yrs ago but He hasn’t done anything since then.
D) I have been a Christian for 23 yrs & have received God’s healing touch on my life many times / ( Once for something major)
1) I have seen God move in the miraculous several times in my life or in the life of my family – through provision & protection.
A) Take People Jesus healed that was probably the most significant event of their entire life.
But some one might say – We don’t see Blind people getting healed – those lame walk – ( How many blind …. Do you know)
A) Sure we don’t see those things happening every day but neither did they !
B) But has there been a decline in this century of God moving in the miraculous ? Debatable
B) But What has happened is that through the fraudulent – display of these types of things by some –
1) Guy w/ ear phone –
A) Those who use this to make millions & fleece the flock of God
B) Because of those things many are skeptical – many doubt –
QUESTION DOES GOD WORK THRU FAULTY VESSELS ?
A) Answer is Yes – Reason is He loves the people who are coming in sincerity - & faith trusting Him
B) Because we see these abuses careful that we don’t go in the other direction – unbelief
1) So that we DOUBT not that God can / but is He willing
A) Jesus was in His own town Nazareth. - He could do no miracle among them because of their unbelief.
B) Is our unbelief – not that we doubt His ability / but we doubt His willingness .
1) I think there needs to be a certain degree of expectation that God is still interested in Healing in that way.
Another thing that hinders us – is technology our understanding of certain things – diminishes our capacity to expect miraculous
A) 747 takes off – amazed – but we realize it is just the laws of thermodynamics – kicking into gear.
B) Just imagine Paul’s reaction if he were to witness that !!!!!! Miracle
C) Car Battery dies – so that my car won’t start do I pray that God fixes it / not unless I’m stranded
1) Because I realize the nature of internal combustion & the need of the battery to hold an electrical charge in order to begin that process
A) Now someone who knows nothing about cars – might pray for a miracle – in that situation
1) But most of us would be prone to go get a new battery
A) Headache – Aspirin - But if I go to the doctors find out I have Leukemia 1st stop Church Elders Pray / every prayer Chain.
1) Praying for a Headache vs. Cancer
1st Believe that w/ God all things are Possible – Make prayer our first resort
22 But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
23 Then Jesus looked around and said to His disciples, "How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!"
24 And the disciples were astonished at His words. But Jesus answered again and said to them, "Children, how hard it is for those who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God!
25 "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."
26 And they were greatly astonished, saying among themselves, "Who then can be saved?"
27 But Jesus looked at them and said, "With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible."
Can’t forget that – NOTHING IS TOO HARD & NOTHING IS TOO SMALL –
2nd – Believe that He is willing as well as able
I wonder what would happen if we started sharing – not just w/ me or Pastors or Elders – when we have a need
A) I wonder if we might see the Lord working more in these gifts of healings & miracles if we did / then prayed /
B) Not on 1st wed. not just on Sunday nights – but anytime anywhere - / whatever the situation – Lord we have need
C C) I wonder if we might find the Lord gifting those w/ faith / healings &