Friday: Further Thoughts – The Holy Spirit and the Gifts of the Spirit

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Read Ellen G. White, The Great Controversy, pp. 511-517, 593-602.

Some have asked, “Why don’t we see the same kind of miracles, such as the miraculous healings, today that were seen in Bible times?” First, we do hear stories about miracles. And surely some people have seen them firsthand, too.

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Second, when reading the Bible, we can get the impression that miracles were always happening. But we get that impression only because the Holy Spirit inspired the authors to write about events that were crucial in establishing the early church, and these events often included miracles. We could imagine that in most cases, and most of the time, things back then were the way they are today: people being taught the Word of God and then responding to the Holy Spirit. And, finally, Ellen G. White wrote: “The way in which Christ worked was to preach the Word, and to relieve suffering by miraculous works of healing. But I am instructed that we cannot now work in this way, for Satan will exercise his power by working miracles. God’s servants today could not work by means of miracles, because spurious works of healing, claiming to be divine, will be wrought. For this reason the Lord has marked out a way in which His people are to carry forward a work of physical healing, combined with the teaching of the Word. Sanitariums are to be established, and with these institutions are to be connected workers who will carry forward genuine medical missionary work. Thus a guarding influence is thrown around those who come to the sanitariums for treatment.” – Ellen G. White, Selected Messages, book 2, p. 54.

Discussion Questions:

  1. What is the difference between the fruit of the Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit?
  2. How can the understanding that the gifts are given by a loving and wise God help us to appreciate the various gifts in our church?
  3. Why are miraculous healings and wonders in themselves not a safe guide for determining truth? What do we need along with them?
  4. “For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith” (Rom. 12:3, NKJV). What crucial admonition is given to us here? How “highly” should we think of ourselves?

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Source: Daily Sabbath School Lessons