I was reading 1 Corinthians 12:8-10 ("to another faith by the same spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one spirit... to another miraculous powers"). Many groups (for example those I see on TV) claim to have healing gifts. Why is it that we do not have these kinds of spiritual gifts? -- Sheila R. Johnson (New York)

First, let me affirm that I certainly believe God answers prayer, including prayers for healing (James 5). Second, God can do anything: nothing limits him (Psalm 115:3). I have known a number of people whom God has healed.

On-command healing, however, is quite another thing. In my opinion, what you see on television is trivial (people healed of colds or backaches) or staged (many have studied and exposed fraudulence on the part of "healers"). The people who perform the "healings" are making a lot of money through duping the gullible. How different to the New Testament apostles!

If you would like to learn more about the miraculous and non-miraculous New Testament gifts, please see my book The Spirit, which covers the subject at length.

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