Many of the Community Groups are doing something social this week, but if you’re looking to reflect on the talk last Sunday night on Miracles, here’s a starting point.
Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith?
1 Corinthians 12:10, 28
A demonstration of the Spirit is given to each person to produce what is beneficial: … to another, gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another, the performing of miracles…
And God has placed these in the church: …miracles, then gifts of healing…
Why are these verses significant for our understanding of the miraculous happening today?
Regions where Christians experience the miraculous in the New Testament:
Rome (Rom. 12)
Corinth (1 Cor. 12-14)
Samaria (Acts 8)
Caesarea (Acts 10)
Antioch (Acts 13)
Ephesus (Acts 19)
Thessalonica (1 Thess. 5)
Galatia (Gal. 3)
People who performed miraculous works in the New Testament:
1) the 70 who were commissioned in Luke 10:9, 19-20;
2) at least 108 people among the 120 who were gathered in the upper room on the day of Pentecost;
3) Stephen (Acts 6-7);
3) Philip (Acts 8);
4) Ananias (Acts 9);
5) church members in Antioch (Acts 13);
6) anonymous converts in Ephesus (Acts 19:6);
7) women at Caesarea (Acts 21:8-9);
8) the unnamed brethren of Galatians 3:5;
9) believers in Rome (Rom. 12:6-8);
10) believers in Corinth (1 Cor. 12-14);
11) Christians in Thessalonica (1 Thess. 5:19-20).
Purpose of the Miraculous in Scripture:
1) To authenticate the gospel message (John 3:2, Heb 2:4)
2) To advance the gospel (Acts 8:6; Acts 9:35, 42)
3) To act as a sign which points to God’s kingdom and the restoration of creation (Luke 11:14-23)
4) To help those in need (Matt 20:30, 34)
5) To glorify God (Matt 9:8)
A little bit of Don
Don Carson, Showing the Spirit (Pg 155):
“The coming of the Spirit is not associated merely with the dawning of the new age but with its presence, not merely with Pentecost but with the entire period from Pentecost to the return of Jesus the Messiah”.
What do you think about this quote and how does this shape your view of what should or shouldn’t be expected in our churches today?
Questions for application:
1) When you first came to faith in Christ, did the stories of miracles in the Bible have any influence (negative or positive) on your believing the message of the gospel?
2) Do miracles have to be dramatic and extraordinary (such as raising the dead or healing a blind person) in order to accomplish useful purposes in the church today?
3) Have you ever had an answer to prayer that you would characterise as ‘miraculous’?
4) Would you like to see more miraculous power of the Holy Spirit at work in your own life or church?
5) If more miracles did occur, what might be the dangers? What might be the benefits?