Gifts of Faith, Healing, and Miracles (12:9-10a)
Now Paul mentions the gifts of faith, healing, and miracles.
"9 ... To another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers...." (12:9-10a)
The gift of faith is not your garden-variety saving faith that has been apportioned to all (Romans 12:3), but enormous faith beyond anyone's expectation. This kind of faith often results in great works.
One of the best examples of this is the ministry of George Müller (1805-1898), director of the Ashley Down orphanage in Bristol, England, that cared for more than 10,000 orphans during his lifetime. He made it a practice never to tell people of the financial needs, but to bring them to God in prayer. I encourage you to research his life. Some of the great ministries and churches have been built by men and women with this gift of faith.
Gifts of healing are well-documented in Jesus' life. But they also were a mark of the early church's ministry. The early writer of the concluding chapter of Mark's gospel certainly had this expectation:
"And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name ... they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well." (Mark 16:17-18)
There are many examples of miraculous healing in the book of Acts. What isn't as well known is that miraculous healing continued to occur throughout the history of the church up to the present day. It is well-documented. I have a Southern Baptist pastor friend who invites people for healing prayer after his services and carries a bottle of anointing oil with him at all times. His church has seen many healings -- some gradual and a few immediate. This present-day example could be multiplied many thousands of times.
Note that the text reads literally, "gifts of healings." This probably indicates a variety in this gift. It seems that some people with the gift of healing "specialize," that is, they have better results healing certain types of illnesses than others. Some work with individuals, other with crowds of people. It depends upon how one is gifted.
In the twentieth century we saw the rise of healing evangelists who ministered to the masses. T.L. Osborn (1923-2013), Oral Roberts (1918-2009), Kathryn Kuhlman (1907-1976), Ray Jennings, and many others have seen hundreds of thousands of people come to Christ in this way. Have some healing evangelists mis-stepped and manipulated people? Sadly, yes. But has the gift produced genuine and abundant fruit for the Kingdom? Absolutely!
Perhaps you believe you have a healing gift. I encourage you to talk to your pastor about it and seek opportunities to pray for people who are sick.
The gift of "working of miracles" (NRSV, KJV), "miraculous powers" (NIV), is two words: energēma, "activity as expression of capability," which we saw in 12:6, and dynamis (from which we get our words "dynamic" and "dynamite"). It means, "power, might, force," here, "a deed that exhibits ability to function powerfully, deed of power, miracle, wonder." The miracles of Moses -- opening the Red Sea, water from the rock, etc. -- were followed by miracles done by the prophets.
Jesus performed many healing miracles, but miracles without healing included the stilling of the storm, walking on the water, the feeding of the 5,000 and 4,000, and others.
While healing miracles might happen more regularly as gifted people offer Christ's healing in crusades, outdoor meetings, and churches, non-healing miracles are probably less predictable. But many, many missionaries come home with stories of God's miraculous provision. Many of you have seen miracles yourselves.
A person with a gift of miracles probably has the gift of faith working with the gift of working of miracles, and sees miracles much more often than the average Christian, though many believers have seen genuine miracles at least once.