Big Idea: We can have full assurance that our faith is in the true God because He has validated his message and his messengers through miracles.
Jesus is still working… (Acts 9:34, 40)
Jesus is still working through his messengers… (Acts 9:38)
Jesus is still working through his messengers to bring people to salvation. (Acts 9:35, 42)
- Validating the messenger
- Point to the revelation
- Lead people to Jesus
- Edification of the church
On Miracles and Healing:
- Are miracles really possible? Hasn’t science disproved any need to appeal to miracles?
- Miracle – “Interference of nature by a supernatural power. If left to herself, nature could never produce effect.”
- Despite the advances of modern science things still happen and have happened that continue to defy all scientific explanation. ie. the resurrection of Jesus
- Are miracles possible today?
- John MacArthur believes the miraculous gifts died with the apostolic age of the first century. Miracles were used by God at points in salvation history simply to validate the new revelation and the messenger. There is nothing in Scripture that indicates the miraculous gifts are meant to continue. He cites a number of hoaxes in which people have claimed to witness or perform a miracle but in fact were untrue.
- Certainly miracles were meant to validate the message and the messenger but Scripture’s teaching on miracles is more broad than that. Scripture indicates that miracles were also used to bring people to salvation and to edify the church (1 Corinthians 12). Scripture also gives no indication that the miraculous gifts were meant to stop after the apostolic age. Also, there are simply too many stories of miraculous events for us to write them all off as hoaxes or the work of the devil.
- When Jesus doesn’t heal… what then?
- Although it seems that every case of illness in the Scripture receives healing immediately that is simply not the case. (Galatians 4:13-14; 2 Timothy 4:20; 1 Timothy 5:23; 2 Corinthians 12:7)
- Not every illness is a direct result of the devil which God intends to overcome immediately. We must have a more biblical understanding of suffering.
- There is healing in the atonement, but Jesus never promises healing immediately or even in this life.
- Some theologies of healing take the sovereignty away from God and put the weight of healing on the faith or the rituals of the individual sufferer.
- Don’t overemphasize miracles.
- Although miracles are the sensational acts of an amazing, all powerful God we can very easily become enthralled with the miracle and worship the miracle instead of the miracle worker. We should focus more on the weightier matters emphasized in Scripture: holiness, righteousness, justice, love, truth, mercy.