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PAUL: MIRACLES, SIGNS, AND WONDERS



Did Abraham, the father of the faithful, perform miracles? Nope. How about King David, the man after God’s own heart? He didn’t do miracles either. When his baby was dying, he fasted and prayed but God didn’t give him the ability to miraculously extend the infant’s life.


How about Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Isaiah, Jeremiah, or Ezekiel? These patriarchs and prophets weren’t given the ability to perform miracles signs and wonders. We find miracles in the Old Testament, especially during the Exodus when God enabled Moses with miraculous powers, and during the divided kingdom when Elijah and Elisha were given miracle-working authority.


In the New Testament, Jesus performed many miracles, and he gave the Apostles “authority over unclean spirits, to drive them out and to heal every disease and sickness” (Matthew 10:1). After Jesus’ death, resurrection, and ascension, “many wonders and signs were being performed through the apostles” (Acts 2:43). People “would carry the sick out into the streets and lay them on cots and mats so that when Peter came by, at least his shadow might fall on some of them. In addition, a multitude came together from the towns surrounding Jerusalem, bringing the sick and those who were tormented by unclean spirits, and they were all healed” (Acts 5:15–16).


Like Peter, Paul was given incredible power to perform miracles, signs and wonders. “God was performing extraordinary miracles by Paul’s hands, so that even facecloths or aprons that had touched his skin were brought to the sick, and the diseases left them, and the evil spirits came out of them” (Acts 19:11–12).


At the end of the third missionary journey, “a young man named Eutychus was sitting on a window sill and sank into a deep sleep as Paul kept on talking. When he was overcome by sleep, he fell down from the third story and was picked up dead. But Paul went down, bent over him, embraced him, and said, ‘Don’t be alarmed, because he’s alive.’ After going upstairs, breaking the bread, and eating, Paul talked a long time until dawn. Then he left. They brought the boy home alive and were greatly comforted” (Acts 20:9–12).


Miracles seem to be God’s stamp of approval upon the message and ministry of the Apostles. When the Apostles “spoke boldly for the Lord, (God) testified to the message of his grace by enabling them to do signs and wonders” (Acts 14:3).


Toward the end of Paul’s life, his young friend Timothy was suffering, but Paul didn’t heal him miraculously. He told the sickly young man to “use a little wine because of your stomach and your frequent illnesses” (1 Timothy 5:23). Was the God-ordained period of Apostolic miracles wanning? Maybe.


After the death of the Apostles, the spiritual gift of miracles ceased. (Lots of folks disagree with that statement.) Let me be clear. God can do miracles. He does them regularly! He has no less power than He had on the day He declared, “Let there be...” But God has not given this preacher or that teacher the same miracle-working authority as He gave to Peter and Paul.


Paul wrote, “the signs of an apostle were performed with unfailing endurance among you, including signs and wonders and miracles” (2 Corinthians 12:12) and “I would not dare say anything except what Christ has accomplished through me by word and deed for the obedience of the Gentiles, by the power of miraculous signs and wonders, and by the power of God’s Spirit” (Romans 15:18–19).


Need a miracle? You don’t need a faith healer. You need the Healer. He’s your Father, so snuggle up close, and ask your Father to do what only he can do! But remember, your Father is also the King, so as you plead your need, bow in humble submission saying, “Your will. Not mine!”