The Conferring Of Miraculous Powers
III. The Conferring (or, bestowing) Of Miraculous Powers
A. Other than the apostles, who received miraculous abilities directly from the Lord; such power was given only to those upon whom the apostles laid their hands,
- II Timothy 1:6
- Acts 8:14, 17
B. Some have argued that Timothy received some miraculous power through the laying of hands by an eldership (cf 1 Tim 1:14).
- However, it is not stated in the scripture that this was a miraculous gift.
- a. Timothy certainly did not require any special endowment by an eldership, when he was such a close associate of the Apostle Paul (who could, and did, bestow miraculous gifts).
- b. The gift referred to was probably the non-miraculous gift of his personal ministry.
- This laying on of elders’ hands was similar to an episode at the start of Paul’s missionary ministry (cf Acts 13:1-3).
- a. Laying hands on Paul and Barnabas was not for he purpose of imparting miraculous power, or miraculous gifts.
- (1) Paul was an apostle–He was not in need of anyone on earth imparting special powers to him.
- (2) Barnabas was a prophet (cf v1).
- (3) Both men, therefore, already possessed miraculous abilities.
- b. The laying on of elders’ hands was simply a gesture of endorsement and commendation to the missionary work which they were about to undertake on behalf of the church of Antioch of Syria.
- Timothy was later similarly endorsed by elders (probably of his hometown, Lystra) through the laying on of his hands.
C. In the case of the Samaritans:
- While Stephen possessed miraculous power himself (cf Acts 8:12-13), he apparently could not pass it on to others.
- This special endowment of the Holy Spirit required that apostles (Peter and John) come from Jerusalem to lay their hands on the new converts (cf v17).
D. While some point to the conversion of Cornelius as evidence that the laying on of apostles’ hands was not required for imparting miraculous gifts, they actually miss the point of that episode (cf Acts 10:44-48).
- This was a pivotal event–Marking God’s acceptance of gentiles as subjects for baptism.
- That this was an exceptional case is evident in Peter’s later discussion of it.
- The apostle has to take his hearers’ minds all the way back to the beginning of the church (on Pentecost) for another example of anyone receiving such miraculous gifts without the laying on of apostles’ hands (cf act 11:15).
- In every case (before and after) the laying on of apostles’ hands was necessary.
The Purpose Of Miracles | The Purpose Was Accomplished | The Conferring Of Miraculous Powers | The Cessation Of Miracles