Does God now work miracles as he did within the Bible?
Does God still work miracles in today's world? Or were miracles something limited to biblical times? This article will attempt to answer the question of today's miracles.
What is a miracle
There are some preliminary questions that need to be answered before dealing with the question of miracles in our time, and the first involves the definition of a miracle. What is a miracle
We hear the term freely used today. "It was a miracle that I found a parking space near the store," the "Miracle on Ice" describes the US ice hockey team's unexpected loss to the Soviets for a gold medal at the Olympic Games or "It was a miracle that he survived. " this car accident. "
But are they really miracles? Or just highly unusual and unexpected events or results? The biblical use of miracles is an act of God that produces a result in addition to natural means. An act that pointed to God as the cause.
Crossing the sea on dry land, healing the sick, driving out evil spirits, feeding a lot with five small breads and a few fish, or walking on the water are just a few examples of biblical miracles. This is clearly caused by God, not just something unusual.
Now it is entirely possible that God made your parking lot open for you, or preferred the US ice hockey team, or one of those other things that are sometimes called miracles. But how do we know?
Two types of miracles
For the purposes of this article, I would like to split miracles into two different categories. The first is for those miracles that are similar to what we call miracles in the Bible. These events caused by God have drawn attention to him and are difficult to deny, and will be the subject of the rest of this article.
But I think there is a second category of miracles. Those who are invisible or not so obvious. This could include God's intervention to prevent an accident. A miracle because it's something that God did, but we probably have no idea that it happened at all.
And I believe that when God answers the prayer, a miracle has happened. God entered our world to act in response to our prayer. Whether this is to heal the sick, protect them from harm, or equip us to serve in his kingdom, all of these are miracles. They are God's intervention in the normal functioning of the natural world, and these miracles are happening in the world today.
What was the purpose of miracles in the Bible?
A second preliminary question about miracles concerns their purpose. Why did God do miracles in the Bible? What purpose did they serve?
It may be tempting to believe that miracles are recorded throughout the Bible. That's not the case. Miracles are usually summarized in three different periods. The first period is during the exodus and in the conquest of Canaan under Moses and Joshua, the second period is during the ministry of Elijah and Elisha, and the last period is during the ministry of Jesus and his apostles. While this covers the entire time of the New Testament, large gaps remain in the history of the Old Testament. Gaps in which few, if any, miracles have been recorded.
In each of these times, God demonstrated his presence powerfully. Especially during the time of Moses and Jesus. God works with Moses to free the Jewish slaves and transform them into one nation. And with Jesus the miracles should prove that Jesus was from God and establish his church.
In both cases, God shows that the work done is not by people but by God. The miracles during the service of Elijah and Elisha are not in the establishment of a people of God. But they are related to a call from God's people to worship the true God.
Does God do miracles today?
I have no biblical reason why God would not or could not work miracles today. He is still sovereign God and our modern world has not somehow minimized his ability to act miraculously.
But God mostly works through his people. He instructed his church to spread the gospel and make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28: 18-20). The Bible tells us about the miracles with which God founded his church, and we can look back on them to confirm the divine origin of the church and the calling of God. We don't need miracles to do that today.
The Gospel of John reports a number of appearances of Jesus after the resurrection. Among these was a visit to Thomas in John 20: 24-29. At the end of this appearance, Thomas believed that Jesus had actually risen from the dead.
This passage then closes with Jesus' answer to today's question of miracles. "Because you saw me, you believed; Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believed. "
Jesus said that we who are believed without physical proof of resurrection are blessed. And in a broader sense, I would think that this is applicable to miracles in general. Those who believe by faith alone are blessed except for the miracles. Of course, all who believe are blessed, but even more so those who believe apart from external experiences.
Judge the source of a miracle
Scripture refers to two sources of miracles. The main source is God, but in 2 Thessalonians 2: 9 and in several places in Revelation you will find another source. Satan and his Antichrist will use signs and wonders to deceive people and lead them away from the truth, and this is a challenge for the believer. If I saw a miraculous sign, how would I know who made it?
When you see a miraculous sign, you must first evaluate who is glorified by it. Does it draw attention to the one who produces it, or to someone or something other than God? If so, it is not from God. A true miracle from God will never exalt anyone other than God Himself.
What does that mean?
We may want to see a great miracle and we might believe that if people saw such an obvious sign of the reality of God it would advance the cause of Christ. But I believe that it is highly unlikely that we will see anyone today who duplicates the miracles of Jesus. God calls us to trust him by faith, not by sight.
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Ed Jarrett is a long-time follower of Jesus and a member of the Sylvan Way Baptist Church. He has been a Bible teacher for over 40 years and blogs regularly at A Clay Jar. You can also follow him on Twitter or Facebook. Ed is married with two children and a grandfather with three children. He is retired and is currently enjoying his gardens and backpacking tours.