The Gift of Miracles
By Dr. Ray Melugin

 

I Corinthians 12:10 "To another the working of miracles..."

 

I. What is a Miracle?

Definition
An event of supernatural power, realized by the senses, allowing the servant of God to authenticate the divine commission.

A. An event of supernatural power
Note: The gift of miracles involves Spirit-given power to perform an act contrary to, or suspending natural law. God is not a prisoner of His own natural laws, but can interfere with them qualifying an act as being miraculous. When it serves His purpose, He has and can intervene to overrule some natural law.

1. Power over disease, (closely related to the gift of healing). Luke 5:12-13, (leper) verse 18-26 (paralytic)

2. Power over demons, Luke 8:26-36

3. Power over nature, Luke 8:22-25

4. Power over matter, John 2:1-11 (water into wine), John 6:5-14 (loaves and fish)

5. Power over death, John 11:43-44 (Lazarus), Luke 7:11-17 (widow of Nains' son) Luke 8:49-56, (Jairus' daughter)

B. Realized by the senses
Note: To qualify as a miracle the event must be seen. The New Birth does not fit this restricted definition because it takes place within, though it's results will work their way out.

1. Jesus healed the palsied man, and people were amazed. (Mark 2:11-12)

2. After walking on the water, the disciples were "sore amazed" Mark 6:51

3. At the huge catch of fish, Peter was astonished at the display of divine power. Luke 5:9

C. Allowed the servant of God to authenticate a divine commission - a sign.
1. At the feeding of the 5,000 the people said, "This is...that prophet" (John 6:14)

2. Jesus urged people to believe "for the very works sake." (John 14:11)

3. When Peter raised Dorcas from the dead, "it was known throughout all Joppa and many believed in the Lord" Acts 9:42

4. After Paul's miracle of blindness upon Elymas, "the deputy...believed being astonished at the doctrine of the Lord. (Acts 13:12)

5. When accused by the Corinthians of not being an apostle, Paul used the argument that the "signs of an apostle were wrought among" them. 2 Corinthians 12:12

 

II. Biblical Miracles Found Only in Critical Periods of History

A. They signaled, authenticated the servant of God.
1. The miracles of the plagues and manna confirmed Moses and Aaron as divinely appointed leaders. (Exodus Chapters 7-12, 16:15)

2. The miracles of the prophets established their divine commission. (Elijah, Mt. Carmel, 1 Kings 18:21-40)

3. The Gospels verify the heavenly mandate of Christ. (Luke 24:49)

Note: Many centuries of time passed during Bible times without the occurrence of a miracle.

B. Miracles (signs) were given for the difficult early years of the church.
1. The message of One rising from the dead would be hard to believe from those viewed as unlearned and ignorant men. (Miracles gave credentials)

2. When the New Testament was completed, need for such credentials diminished.

Note: Should the gift of miracles be assigned by the Spirit today, it would likely occur on mission fields approximate that of the Early Church where similar obstacles would need to be overcome. In countries long exposed to the Word, miracles are not essential.

 

III. "Sign-Seeking" Runs Counter to Faith

A. Jesus claims that faith does not need signs.
1. To the nobleman who wanted his son healed, Jesus said, "Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe." John 4:45-48

2. Zacharias was struck with dumbness until the Word of the Lord was fulfilled, because he wanted a sign of confirmation. Luke 1:18-20

3. Mary, mother of the Messiah, answered the angel Gabriel without asking for any sign. Luke 1:38 "Behold, the handmaid of the Lord."

 

IV. Miracles in a Broader Sense

A. Not suspending laws of nature, miracles could be wonderful occurrences at the moving of God's hand. (Personal illustrations)
1. Answers to pErnester

2. Extra strength

3. Various provisions

4. Timely protection

Note: Marvelous happenings cannot be considered miracles because the laws of nature are not upset. However, in the broader sense we call them miracles because of unusual and timely interference that must be from God.

B. The Lord's dealing in the spiritual realm is more significant than His working in the natural domain.
1. One receiving the Bread of Life is more important than 5,000 eating bread and fish.

2. One receiving spiritual hearing is more important than natural hearing.

3. Better than a lame man start walking the paths of righteousness than dirt.

4. Better that the selfish learn how to make sacrifices to God, Who sacrificed His Only Son.

5. Better that the purposeless become motivated to fruitful Christian living. "Greater works (miracles) than these shall ye do. (John 14:12) "These are the greater miracles.

 

 
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