I was once asked by a friend what gift of the Spirit I had. Trying to be amusing I said “the gift of miracles” attempting to think of the most dramatic gift possible. I Corinthians 12 lists “miracles” as one of the gifts of the Spirit. However, there is much disagreement in the Church today of whether this gift is still in force. There is an argument made by many Christians that this was a sign gift for Apostolic times which has now ceased. While I understand and respect the arguments these Christians use who hold this belief I do not see in the scriptures conclusive evidence that any of the gifts have completely ceased. It is important to remember that it is not important whether the gift of miracles is actually bestowed on individual Christians today as it is to acknowledge the fact that miracles continue to occur today.
The gift of miracles is the performance of deeds beyond ordinary human ability by the power of the Holy Spirit. Examples of miracles include numerous reports by missionaries overseas who were miraculously able to witness in a foreign tongue after never being able to speak that language before as well as thieves seeing visions of armed guards (apparently angels as there were no human guards) around a missionary’s campsite which prevented them from attacking it. There are also miraculous healings that all of us have heard about where there is no medical explanation. C. S. Lewis’s wife Joy was riddled with bone cancer and was given only a few days or weeks to live. Lewis contacted a friend in the clergy who came and laid hands on Joy and prayed over her and she soon thereafter proceeded to make a complete recovery. The diseased bones healed themselves which according to the doctors was not naturally possible and by their own admission a miracle.
While there are charlatans out there today who try to impress and deceive with false miracles and we should always test the spirits to see if they be from God (I John 4:1), we should not discount the presence of miracles in the world, even today. The purpose of miracles is not for us to be impressed with a dramatic manifestation of the Spirit but to serve God’s sovereign purpose including spreading the gospel.