“And God confirmed the message by giving signs and wonders and various miracles and gifts of the Holy Spirit whenever he chose.” Hebrews 2:4 NLT
So far this month, we have emphasized that spiritual gifts are for service to the Body of Christ and its members—not for one to hoard or boast by. Today, we’d be looking at these gifts in the context of evangelism.
When Jesus gave His disciples (and us, by extension) the Great Commission, the Bible tells us that He also supplied power by His Spirit, as a legitimate aid for effective evangelism. (Acts 1:8) All through the scriptures, particularly in the New Testament, we see miraculous signs and wonders often working hand in glove with the preaching of the Word.
In Mark 16:17-18, Jesus promised that certain signs will follow anyone who believes in His name. A few verses later, we see the fulfillment of this promise, as signs and wonders accompanied and confirmed the message that the disciples preached. (Mark 16:20) Also, the book of Acts records over twenty miracles done by God through the apostles, and a majority of those miracles occurred within the context of soul-winning. (Acts 5:12-16, Acts 14:3, Acts 8:6-8, Acts 9:32-35, Acts 40-43)
Wherever the good news of Christ was proclaimed, miracles and wonders were typically not too far off. What this tells us is that our spiritual gifts can and should find expression whenever we go out to preach the gospel! Your gift of healing, discernment or the word of knowledge or wisdom can be used as a vehicle for the gospel’s message. Not only should you believe this, you should also expect it! As you go out to win souls, you must remain conscious of the power of God at work within you to do miracles/perform signs, just as Jesus promised. Don’t think that your gifts are reserved for church services alone. Lean into the Spirit at work in you, even as you share the gospel.
It is important, however, to note that these miracles are not the message itself, but serve to confirm the message as well as the messenger. They are proof of the risen and glorified Christ. (Acts 2:33) Therefore, the manifestation of these gifts in the context of evangelism is to demonstrate the supernatural presence and power of God to save the lost. To put it simply, when you give bread (healings, miracles), it should be a pointer to the Bread of Life—Jesus. Don’t just heal sick bodies and move on; give them something far greater, which is healing for their souls.
Finally, remember the heart of love and service as you express your gifts in evangelism. The goal is not to show off, but to show Christ. It is not to draw attention to or make a name for yourself, but to direct people to God as He makes a name for Himself with your life. Hallelujah!
Bible Reading Plan: Numbers 11-12