There is a continuous misconception of what miracles are, what their purpose is, and whether or not there are miracles even today. In this article, we’ll address all three of these. In an upcoming series, I’m going to address miracles in scriptures that didn’t have faith around it.
What is a Miracle?
The definition from the 1828 Webster’s Dictionary: 1. Literally a wonder, or wonderful thing. 2. In theology, an event or effect contrary to the constitution or establishment of things, or a deviation of the known laws of nature; a supernatural event. Miracles can only be brought by Almighty power, as when Christ healed lepers saying, “I will, be thou clean,” or calmed the tempest, “Peace, be still”
Examples of Miracles
There are numerous miracles found in scripture and I’ll share just a few to give you an idea of those events. Not every miracle involved healing or resurrection. As listed above, Jesus calmed the tempest in Mark 4:39, Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm.
Jesus also fed the five thousand in Matthew 14:15-21, with five loaves of bread and two fish. But technically, it was more than five thousand as listed in verse 21, Now those who had eaten were about five thousand men, besides women and children.
The apostles, men who were with Jesus, had obtained the power of spiritual gifts, from the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:1-4). This power was promised to them, by Jesus, in Mark 9:1. Even Paul and Barnabas spoke about the miracles and wonders they performed in Acts 15:12.
However, not everyone had the power of the Holy Spirit and some who did, had them temporarily. The household of Cornelius is a perfect example of this in Acts 10.
The Purpose of Miracles
All too often, people believe that miracles were the focal point of any service. You can see that today in the so-called Faith Healing services. I’ll address that in just a moment.
Even the disciples were focusing too much on the miracles they were performing during the limited commission. Jesus refocuses their minds (Luke 10:17-20).
Validation. The miracles were done to prove that these men (the apostles) were with Jesus and had seen his resurrection (Acts 1:21-22). Paul was numbered with them as he states in 1 Corinthians 15:8, Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.
Pre-cursor. The miracles were also done as an attention getter as they then preached the gospel to those who were in attendance. The healing of the lame man in Acts 3 by Peter and John does just this. If the miracle was to be the center of attention, they wouldn’t have addressed those in the temple (vs. 12-26). They would have remained at the gate and allowed people to simply marvel at what was done.
As Jesus states in Mark 16:20, And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen. It was never about the miracles but the message.
Temporary. The miracles or spiritual gifts was never a permanent thing and Paul discusses this in 1 Cor. 13:8-13. He says in verse 10, But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.
The majority of the religious worlds believe that “the perfect” Paul is referring to is Jesus, when he returns in the Second Coming. In fact, Paul is talking about when the bible is made complete, then there is no longer a need for the spiritual gifts. James says, But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does (James 1:25). To say that it's Jesus would then suggest that the bible is not perfect.
When the scriptures were completed, then there was no longer a need for gifts of healing, prophecy, tongues, etc. Everything we need in found in the scriptures (2 Tim. 3:16-17).
Are There Miracles Today?
Paul said that the miracles or spiritual gifts would cease and, by the end of the first century, that came to pass. Even Zechariah speaks of this in Zech. 13.
Those who claim to have spiritual gifts today are deceivers and do it either for glory or money. There are some who have openly admitted that they are frauds, but it doesn’t stop them for performing their “healings”. It also doesn’t stop people from flocking to them looking for help.
In April 2020, at the start of the worldwide pandemic, it was announced that all faith healing services were cancelled because of the Corona Virus. How can this be? If they can really heal people, as they claim, wouldn’t they be part of the first responders?
If this isn’t proof enough, that miracles aren’t around today, then I don’t know what is. If you’ve read the bible, and believe it to be God’s word, then you know that the miracles were never intended to continue on. For more information, please read Paul’s discussion on the spiritual gifts in 1 Corinthians 12-14.
We do not say that there is no such thing as miracles. We simply believe, as the bible teaches, that miracles were only temporary and used as a tool to get the attention of those observing so that the gospel can be taught. As Paul writes in Romans 1:16, For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.