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SPIRITUAL GIFTS (5)

THE WORKING (OR WORKS) OF MIRACLES

 

INTRODUCTION:

 

The fact that Paul lists "the working of miracles" as something separate from "gifts of healings" suggests that this dimension goes beyond healing (although it may include some forms of healing).

 

It's worth noting that there is an ambivalence among evangelicals today about miracles. On the one hand, we tend to make belief in the biblical miracles a test of a person's orthodoxy (i.e. if they don't believe the miracles recorded in the Bible, we have serious doubts about their theology and even their salvation!) On the other hand, if they believe in and expect miracles today they are equally suspect! How do we understand this gift called "the working of miracles"? What is a "miracle"? What good purpose could they possibly have? (N.I.V. translates this term "miraculous powers")

 

Definition: "Miracle" = "an event of supernatural power demonstrating the reality & supremacy of God's Kingdom rule and authority".  

 

The word "miracle" in our everyday language is usually applied to some unexplained phenomenon that has no particular rhyme or reason. The biblical use of words like "sign" or "wonder" or "miracle" is much more disciplined than our use.

 

"Signs" or "wonders" in Scripture always have a purpose that relates to the Kingdom of God - a demonstration of God's power and authority.   Perhaps the best way to examine a subject like this is to look at a number of Biblical examples and identify the key aspects.

 

a) Describe the nature of the sign or wonder in the passage. i.e. what happened?

b) Discuss what you believe to be the purpose of that miracle in that situation

c) What were the results of that "working of miracles"?  

 

A. Exodus 7/8-13 

NATURE

PURPOSE

RESULTS    

 

B. 1 Kings 18/22-39

NATURE

PURPOSE

RESULTS    

 

C. Mark 4/35-41

NATURE

PURPOSE

RESULTS

 

D. Acts 13/6-12

NATURE

PURPOSE

RESULTS    

 

Please note the following observations and cautions. You may want to discuss them ...and even add some of your own.

 

a) Not all miracles are necessarily divine in origin (2 Thess. 2/9)

 

b) Not all claims to miracles guarantee that a miracle has occurred.

 

c) Miracles do not guarantee an end result of faith (John 12/37)

 

d) Miracles are most likely to occur in power confrontations between the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of darkness.

 

e) Miracles also seem to increase during times of persecution, increase of false religion and apostasy.  

 

CONCLUSION: Given the escalating intensity of spiritual warfare in our country and the fact that God is changing His Church from an audience into an army, we can expect an increase in the number of power confrontations or power encounters in the days ahead. As Satan uses counterfeit miracles to deceive and enslave people, we ought to be open and available for God to energize "the working of miracles" through His body, the Church, so that people are enlightened and liberated into His Kingdom.  

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