Summary: Are healings and miracles just for the times of the Apostles, or can we expect to see them today? This sermon attempts to answer that question.
I have been asked to speak on the subject of miracles. This subject leaves me with a dilemma. It is not what to say that is the problem, but what to leave out. It is a very large topic. I have decided to split the topic into four different areas. Firstly, what are miracles and what is their purpose? Secondly, can we expect to see miracles today? Thirdly, why don’t we see miracles every time we pray time? Finally, how to pray for a miracle with power and authority.
What are Miracles?
The first thing that I am going to do is to actually define what I am talking about. I am also going to be talking about the gift of healing. If you read 1 Corinthians 12, verses 7-11, the gift of healing and the gift of miracles given by the Holy Spirit are identified as two separate gifts. The gift of healing is when God intervenes in a persons health and performs the impossible. It can be physical healing, emotional healing or even deliverance from demonic possession. Miracles are when God intervenes in the laws of physics and performs the impossible. Essentially however they have this in common, God intervening in some part of our lives and performing the impossible.
The Bible tells us that Jesus was accredited as being from God because of the miracles and wonders that he performed. In the Gospel of John, John records seven of the healings and miracles that Jesus performed. The healing of the man born blind, the turning of the water into wine etc. John calls them signs and wonders. These signs demonstrated a little of who Jesus was.
In the first sign, the turning of the water into wine, Jesus revealed how He is able to take useless ritual, and turn it into an everlasting covenant. In the second sign, the healing of the official’s son, Jesus demonstrates how He is the Word of God. In the third sign, the healing of the man at the pool, we discovered that Jesus is the one who is able to forgive sins. In the forth sign, the feeding of the five thousand, Jesus reveals that He is the bread of life. In the fifth sign, the walking upon water Jesus revealed that the old system was ending and a new one was beginning. In the sixth sign, the healing of the man born blind, Jesus reveals how he is the light of the world. In the seventh miracle, the raising of Lazarus, Jesus demonstrates that He is the resurrection and the life.
Miracles serve the same purpose now. They are primary a testament to the truth that has already been spoken. (Acts 14:3 So Paul and Barnabas spent considerable time there, speaking boldly for the Lord, who confirmed the message of his grace by enabling them to do miraculous signs and wonders.) However not all miracles are from God. Any ‘miracle’ that takes glory away from God and in another direction is from Satan. In some of the cults any other religions that we see around the world, there is real power, but it is not Gods power. In 2 Thessalonians 2:9, we read that when the anti Christ comes he will also perform counterfeit miracles. A counterfeit miracle will always glorify either the person who performs them or the false god that they represent. In Acts 8:20, we find that Peter had to rebuke a former sorcerer called Simon who wanted to buy the power of God so that he could use it for his own glory. Miracles that come from God always either bring glory to God or confirm his word.
We must remember that we do not perform miracles. It is the Holy Spirit within us that will perform miracles. The Holy Spirit is the power by which miracles take place. As Christians we are given the authority to use that power as long as we are acting within our responsibilities as Christians. I will come on to that a little later.
Can we expect to see miracles today?
The simple answer to this question is, yes we can expect to see miracles today and we still do see them.
Milan’s 3 year old son Ruben is a miracle. Most of you will know that he recently fell down the stairwell two floors and yet didn’t receive any serious injury. To give an exact figure I would need to measure the distance that he fell, but I worked it out that he would have hit the ground, head first onto solid concrete, at a speed of somewhere between 40 and 50 km/h. The fact that he was running around the church on the following Sunday as if nothing had happened is an absolute miracle.
Just prior to coming to Slovakia I attended Bible college in England. There was a woman there that had a serious allergic reaction every time she ate peppers, or related vegetables. Even if she just ate a small amount then she would have an anaphylactic shock. She had almost died in hospital on a couple of occasions. She asked for prayer and believed that she was healed. The next day she was so certain that she was healed that she purposely ate peppers. She then did that every day that we were there without any reaction at all. This was a miracle. The first thing that she did was phone up her ex husband who was an unbeliever and tell him what had happened. He was the one who had taken her to hospital on the previous occasions and so even he had to admit that it was a miracle.