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Read Introduction to 1 Corinthians


“to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.”


to another the working of miracles,

The word “miracles” is literally powers, energies. A miracle is a supernatural intervention into time and space. We cannot explain a miracle by natural means because it is separate from natural laws. A miracle, for example, is Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. Lazarus was not in a state of unconsciousness. This is an unadulterated miracle. This miracle attested that Jesus was the Son of God (Acts 2:22).

Acts 2:22, “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know—

A person with the gift of miracles displayed God’s power to authenticate the apostolic message. As for function in the church, 1 Corinthians 12:28 classifies this gift as the first of the lesser gifts:

1 Co 12:28, And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues.

The words “after that” indicate that the “first…second…third” is deliberate. Second Corinthians 12:12 groups this gift with other “sign” gifts as “signs of the apostles.” This gift ceased at the end of the apostolic age with the end of the gift of apostleship.

Miracles continued after the apostles, although the gift of “working of miracles” ceased at the apostles’ passing.


Sign gifts established the authenticity of the New Testament.


Paul and Barnabas exercised miracles as “signs and wonders” (Acts 14:3). The sign of an authentic apostle was the ability to perform “signs and wonders and miracles” (2 Co 12:12). A “sign” miracle is a pointing miracle; it points to the validity of the one performing the miracle. An apostle had the authority to found the New Testament church and write the New Testament.

He 2:3-4, 3 …how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him (apostles), 4God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will?

The “working of miracles” is a sign or pointing gift that establishes the writing of the New Testament as from God. No apostle ever exercised a miracle of nature as Jesus did when He turned water into wine. They, however, did perform miracles of power (dunamis). Miracles give credentials to the apostles as authoritative messengers of God.