The ministry that Christ had on earth was a supernatural one, and one where He time and again demonstrated the power of the Holy Spirit. Acts 10v38 says “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.”
Jesus raised the dead, healed the sick, and cast out devils by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus expected His disciples to have this same supernatural ministry. He told them “anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father” (John 14v12). He told them supernatural signs would accompany their ministry (Mark 16v17).
Throughout the New Testament you see the power of God at work through the lives of the disciples. For example in Acts 2v43 it says “Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles”.
These gifts of the Holy Spirit are described by Paul in 1 Corinthians 12v8-10 “To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues.”
No where in the scriptures does it tell us that these gifts were just for the apostles. And no where does it tell us that God took them away from the church when the scriptures were finished being written. Indeed Peter said “The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off— for all whom the Lord our God will call.” (Acts 2v39). Therefore we should expect the gifts of the Spirit to be at work in our lives today.
The gifts of the Spirit are to be used to build up the local church (1 Corin 14v5 and 1 Corin 14v12). However they are also to accompany evangelism and are a sign to unbelievers of the truth of what is being preached (Mark 16v15-20, Heb 2v4)
The gifts are given by the Holy Spirit, they can not be earned and it is He who determines which gift or gifts we have (1 Corin 12v11). However, at the same time God wants us to desire the gifts too, implying that we can receive gifts by our hungering after them: “Follow the way of love and eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy.” (1 Corin 14v1)
The gifts are to be activated by faith. We only use the gifts as we step out in faith and trust that God will use us for His glory. “These signs will accompany those who believe” (Mark 16v17).