Shelby G. Floyd
When Jesus Christ sent the apostles out into the entire world to preach the gospel to every creature, he attended their ministry with signs and wonders and miracles(Hebrews 2:3-4). These miracles were designed to confirm that the word was from God (Mark 16:17-20).
Miraculous Gifts Were to Confirm the Word
Not only were the apostles able to perform all of these wonders, but by the laying on of their hands they were also able to impart spiritual gifts to the members of the New Testament church. For example, the two apostles, Peter and John were sent down to Samaria to impart spiritual gifts to those who had been baptized for the forgiveness of their sins. Philip, who preceded the apostles to Samaria, was able to work miracles himself; but not being an apostle he was not able to impart miraculous gifts to others, this being reserved for the apostles (Acts 8:12-19).
Only the Apostles Could Impart Miraculous Gifts
Today, there are a lot of persons claiming that they have the power to speak in tongues, heal the sick and receive direct revelations from God. This claim is false. In the church at Corinth, there were many members that received miraculous gifts. Later, when there was much discussion about the nature and use of these gifts, Paul wrote a letter to that church correcting their mistaken ideas and informing them of the temporary nature of those gifts.
There were several manifestations of the Spirit given to the members of the Corinthian church. Paul enumerates nine of them, they were: “the word of wisdom; the word of knowledge; faith; the gifts of healing; the working of miracles; prophecy; discerning of spirits; divers kinds of tongues and the interpretation of tongues” (1 Corinthians 12:7-10). Whereas, the apostles could work all of these miracles, the members of the church received only the gift that God desired them to have (1 Corinthians 12:11). The apostle Paul emphasized this point when he said, “Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually. And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healing, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? But earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way” (1 Corinthians 12:27-31).
The more excellent way is the way of Christian love!
Copyright © 2012 Shelby G. Floyd, All Rights Reserved