(Richie Thetford)

God does not do things without a purpose. All of His work is planned, purposed and orderly done. This was true with His work with reference to performing miracles. Let us examine and answer this question; “What was the purpose of miracles during the days of the apostles and Jesus Christ on earth?”

Revealing the Truth

One purpose of miracles was to reveal the truth unto all mankind. If God speaks to man, then He must choose some medium. Rather obviously that medium must be in ways that man will understand. So, God spoke to man in words adapted to man’s understanding. In 1 Corinthians 2:9-13 Paul tells us that the Holy Spirit gave unto the apostles what he wanted the apostles to reveal to man. Here is what Paul wrote: “But as it is written: “EYE HAS NOT SEEN, NOR EAR HEARD, NOR HAVE ENTERED INTO THE HEART OF MAN THE THINGS WHICH GOD HAS PREPARED FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM.” But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.” The Holy Spirit revealed unto the apostles the words that God wanted them to speak. Listen to Him: “These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches.” Miracles had to be performed for man to know the truth.

Confirming the Word

Another purpose of miracles in the first century was to confirm the word. By this we mean that the apostles did miracles in order to prove they were truly speaking from God, that they were not imposters. These men claimed to be spokesmen for God. But how were the people to know for sure? Miracles were done to prove it. These miracles were signs. Other miraculous manifestations were called “wonders” or “miracles.” There were differences in the design or purpose of the kinds of miracles. “Signs” were proof of divinity or proof of authority. “Wonders” had to do with the great power manifested in the miracles. In John 2:11 we read: “This beginning of signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee and manifested His glory; and His disciples believed in Him.” The turning of water into wine was proof that Jesus was divine. You remember Nicodemus said: “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him” (John 3:2). Yes, signs, or miracles, were proof of the genuineness of the person speaking from God. But still, even seeing all these signs, wonders, and miracles, people would not believe. The gospel of John is filled with miracles for the purpose of getting people to believe in Jesus. John wrote: “And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name” (John 20:30-31). Do you believe in Jesus Christ? I certainly hope so because unless one believes that Jesus Christ is the son of God and is buried with Him in baptism, they cannot have eternal life. “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:16).

No Evidence of Miracles Today

Now think about this. Since the Bible, the Word of God, is now revealed, and since the confirmation has already been made, what need have we of miracles? There is no valid evidence today that men can do miracles as they did in the first century and that is because it is not needed today as it was then. Do we need more truth revealed to us? Is not the Bible enough? Would you charge that the Bible is insufficient? Is there something lacking in God’s book? Do we need more light now than the people did in Paul’s day? If one faithfully follows God’s book today, wouldn’t he be saved? If so, then what do we need with added revelation? Since the Bible is proven to be from God, why do we need more confirmation?


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