More on miracles.

July 10, 2007 at 9:04 am 9 comments

For most of my life I have been part of a theological stream that discounts miracles as something no longer available to the 21st century follower of Jesus.  The simple reason given: signs and wonders were to validate the authority of the apostles and since the apostles authority ended when the Canon of Scripture was complete–no more signs and wonders.

Since I believe, and have for some time, that theological premise is wrong and not defensible, I thought I would try to post reasons why I think the Family of God need signs and wonders more then ever and why the Father is pleased to do them by the Spirit of Jesus. 

  1. Signs and wonders show us, and the world around us, what the Father is like.  Most of us believe the Father to be the God of the impossible but we rarely see His power.  Any personal encounter with God has to include the impossible or we could do it ourselves.  The supernatural is the natural realm of the Father and as His representatives we are enabled by the Spirit to move in the supernatural, not just the natural.  When we show the world what God is like it must include a demonstration of power if it is authentically God.
  2. Signs and wonders declare the glory of the Father.  Jesus’ first miracle was turning water into wine at a wedding.  Jesus’ mother knew who He was and believed in His ability to do the impossible and it was her faith that brought this first miracle about.  Jesus was reticent to do the miracle, because as He understood it, it was not the time.  But as He looked to the Father for direction, He saw the Father turning water into wine, so He followed the Father’s lead and did the miracle.  According to John 2:11 it was this demonstration of power that released the glory of God into that area.  When signs and wonders are not present the glory of God is absent as well.
  3. Miracles cause people to give glory to the Father. Now when the people saw it, they were amazed and gave glory to God. (Matt. 9:8) Very simply, when we do not expect and experience the power of God we rob Him of the glory that is due to Him.  When you see what God can do, you cannot help but give Him the glory He desires from us.
  4. The signs themselves give Him glory. All your works give you praise, Oh God. (Psalm 103:22) Even if we do not give Him glory, the miracles give Him glory on their own. Somehow, an act of God has life of it’s own and somehow has the ability to give God glory without any assistance from us.  Where there are no miracles, God’s glory is muted.
  5. Miracles lead people to Jesus. If I do not do the works of my Father, do not believe me; but if I do, though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and believe that the Father is in me, and I in Him. (John 10:37-38) The struggle to believe is the greatest struggle most people face as they journey toward Jesus.  It is just hard to believe that Jesus was God, that He came as a human, emptied Himself of His divine prerogatives and modeled for us how to tap into the Spirit to do the mighty works of God, including going to cross to give us abundant, eternal life.  That is just really hard to comprehend, let alone to choose to give to Him our entire lives to follow however He directs.  Every miracle testifies to Jesus. Every sign, evey wonder leads doubters to faith.  Without them, many never come to faith at all.

I am convinced the dry, religious spirit of our day, the lack of hopefulness, lifeless churches and boring faith are a result of the powerlessness in most evangelical churches and in the lives of many “believers” (think about that word, what is it we believe as believers? Not just doctrinal premises, I hope). 

Ask yourself: “When was the last time you saw something of the power of God that was unexplainable, totally impossible and yet you cannot deny you saw it?  When was the last time you were so overcome with the glory of God, that is, the manifest presence of God, that you could not stand, speak or think anything but wow!  Miracles have many purposes but they all focus on overwhelming us with who our Father is, how privileged we are to be His kids and drawing those yet to believe into faith.

(For more on this subject see When Heaven Invades Earth-Bill Johnson.)

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Entry filed under: Authority, Belief, Charismatic, Christianity, Church, Faith, Holy Spirit, Institutional church, Jesus, Miracles, Revelation, Supernatural, The Father, Thoughts.

Monday morning meanderings. Vol. 3 Even more on miracles.

9 Comments Add your own

  • 1. David Peyton  |  July 13, 2007 at 1:57 am

    Doug, I’d be interested to hear more of your thoughts on your statement: God is calling us to a different understanding of His power and grace.

  • 2. Doug Wright  |  July 12, 2007 at 6:21 am

    John 9 allows us to see healing, skepticism and investigation then salvation. The blind Pharisees remind me of how hard headed we all can be. God is calling us to a different understanding of His power and grace. Some of us might have missed the boat somewhat to this point, however it isn’t to late for us to step forward in faith. All honor and glory are Gods.

  • 3. David Peyton  |  July 11, 2007 at 10:46 am

    Thanks for the reply, Greg. It was actually Andy’s comment that led me to ask that question.

    I think that is the right perspective to take on that verse!

    Regarding my question about the link between the last two paragraphs: Basically, the impression I got was that you were saying that the dryness of modern evangelicalism is due to the lack of “something of the power of God that was unexplainable” and “manifest presence of God” as displayed in miraculous works?

  • 4. Greg  |  July 11, 2007 at 8:52 am

    I seldom respond to comments even though Linda tells me I should. Not sure why I don’t but… I do want to respond to the comment above from David.

    I do want to be clear that I am not tying salvation to seeing and walking in the supernatural. As my friend Andy says in his comment–Scripture says “signs and wonders will follow those that believe” but i would suggest that means if we believe we are to walk in the supernatural we will, rather than the suggestion some have made that if you don’t see them you are not a “believer” in the sense of salvation. So David, if i have given the impression that salvation is tied to the supernatural, I did not intend to.

  • 5. David Peyton  |  July 11, 2007 at 8:37 am

    Andy, forgive me if I’m missing some connections here… are you saying that only those who do signs and wonders are going to go to heaven?

    Greetings in Christ Jesus,
    David

  • 6. Marty Wilson  |  July 11, 2007 at 8:35 am

    I’ve been truly blessed and I’ve seen quite a few what I would call real miracles in my life and have to disagree that they don’t happen daily for others around the world. I’ve seen miracles happen to others and then they take the credit for it or give it to luck or science or maybe call it a natural phenonmenon. I’ve been in the most life threatning situations on numerous occasions and cried out for God to save me and he was there in a second! I’ve had people try to tell me I was saved by adrealine, other people, survival techniques, fear and so on and so on but I’m telling you my survival was only done by God’s intervention! What I do see is that church has nothing to do with the belief of Miracles or being one to witness them. I do go to church but that’s not what God wants as much as he wants a relationship with our hearts and souls. A real one and not a phony one. We all know when we are being phony and not pouring our true self out to him. We are only fooling ourselves because you can’t fool the Lord. I have seen people who thought they were the best of christians not want to believe in miracles that they have witnessed or even heard stories of. It’s sad actually that God has done such wonderful things for me in my life and saved me so many times and that when I have witnessed for him at times that my friends that call themselves christians have actually been the one’s to wonder and not quite believe or they may be curious but never ask to hear more. Instead of wanting to glorify God and believe they let the evil one make them jealous that it hasn’t seem to of happened to them. I tell them to open their eyes, hearts and souls to the Lord and maybe one day he will allow you to see! Why should he shower one with miracles if they are only to question and deny him of the glory. I don’t know to this day why I have been blessed to see so many real miracles but one thing I know is that they all came from God and I totally give him the glory! Man will always fail us but God never has. Every time in my life I have ever called on God he has always been there no matter what. I’m here to tell you that miracles exist just like they did thousands of years ago and they always have been here. You just have to believe and open your hearts and give your entire soul to God and he will always take care of you no matter what. There has always been evil to distract us and to manipulate the miracles to whatever they want them to comform to but until we give God all the Glory and believe why should he give anyone a miracle. (What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us). Let God be within you and I hope he blesses all of you with miracles. I hope if he does you will open your hearts and give him the glory he so rightly deserves. Hugs, Marty

  • 7. Andy  |  July 11, 2007 at 6:30 am

    His Word says that, “signs and wonders will folow them that believe”. The true test of whether or not we ‘really’ believe is not what we say, but rather what we do. If we really believe then we will desire, and allow the Spirit of God to produce in us the same works that Jesus did….and “even greater works than these will you do, because I go to the Father”. It is either true….or it’s not! I have made my choice…and obviously so have you!

  • 8. Dino Roseland  |  July 10, 2007 at 3:47 pm

    Greg,

    The Holy Spirit prompted me to google you and I found this site. I praise God for His mercy and grace and am blessed to see you and Linda are continuing to fight the good fight of faith. I want to thank you for the part you played in my Christian growth. A favorite verse of mine is Proverbs 24:16, “for though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again”. May God grant you abundant grace as you rise again.

    Love in Christ,

    Dino

  • 9. David Peyton  |  July 10, 2007 at 11:41 am

    Interesting thoughts, Greg. I have also been raised in a home where this has always been “unofficially” the stand that we take. These are certainly things we should take to the Scriptures to see whether they are true.

    A thought that just came to mind as I was reading this was the principle of the absolutely amazing miracle of godliness! Thomas Brooks once said: “To make a man holy –is greater than to create a world; it can be done by none but by the Holy Spirit.” Perhaps I may venture a potentially controversial statement? I reckon that the spiritual miracle of God making a person holy is a greater miracle than miracles in the natural/physical realm. This certainly doesn’t discount natural miracles thought.

    Greg, could you perhaps enlarge on the link between the last two paragraphs in this post?

    Warm greetings in Christ Jesus,

    Dave

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