God's power in healing and salvation.
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(All quotations from the King James Version unless stated otherwise).
The Spirit of God is the power by which the whole of creation was made and is sustained. What we call the ‘Laws of nature’ - the physical laws by which all creation is governed - are ordered and maintained by the Spirit or power of God.
Genesis 1:2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
Job 26:13 By his spirit he hath garnished the heavens...
Job 33:4 The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life.
God can at any time suspend and change the physical laws by which everything works. When God sees fit to do this it is called a ‘miracle’. In the Old Testament many miracles are recorded; from the parting of the Red Sea at the time of the Exodus (Exodus 14) to the healing of Naaman of leprosy in the days of Elisha (2 Kings 5).
Jesus at his baptism received the ability to use the power of God.
Matthew 3:16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:
With this power Jesus could work miracles.
The ability to work miracles was God’s testimony that Jesus was the Messiah promised to the Jews and that the gospel he preached was of God.
Some of the Jews recognised this.
John 3:2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.
Others refused to recognise that the power was of God and attributed it to a pagan idol.
Matthew 12:24 But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils.
Devils are not to be thought of as supernatural entities rather they were mental illnesses similar to those we still see today.
The man who was born blind to whom Jesus gave sight, tried without success to get the Pharisees to see that the miracle must be by the power of God.
John 9:32 Since the world began was it not heard that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind. 33 If this man were not of God, he could do nothing. 34 They answered and said unto him, Thou wast altogether born in sins, and dost thou teach us? And they cast him out.
The performing of miracles should have been seen as God’s testimony. Only by the power of God can miracles be performed.
John 10:38 But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him.
John 14:10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.
John 14:11 Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake.
After Christ’s resurrection and ascension Peter began his preaching to the Jews by pointing out that God’s approval of Jesus was evident in the miracles he performed. The miracles were well known for many had witnessed and been the recipients of the healing power of God.
Acts 2:22 Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:
Jesus is unique in history in this respect.
Luke 7:22 Then Jesus answering said unto them, Go your way, and tell John what things ye have seen and heard; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor the gospel is preached. 23 And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.
The apostles were baptised with the Holy Spirit at Pentecost and they also worked miracles by the power of God; though not on the scale of Christ.
Acts 3:1 Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour. 2 And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple; 3 Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms. 4 And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us. 5 And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them. 6 Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. 7 And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. 8 And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God.
It was without doubt that a miracle had taken place.
Acts 4:16 Saying, What shall we do to these men? for that indeed a notable miracle hath been done by them is manifest to all them that dwell in Jerusalem; and we cannot deny it.
Sadly it had no effect on those who refused to acknowledge that miracles happen only by the power of God.
Acts 4:17 But that it spread no further among the people, let us straitly threaten them, that they speak henceforth to no man in this name. 18 And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. 19 But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. 20 For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard. 21 So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding nothing how they might punish them, because of the people: for all men glorified God for that which was done. 22 For the man was above forty years old, on whom this miracle of healing was shewed.
Miracles are not Biblical myths they are an integral part of the testimony that the Bible is the word of God.
The promise of God to those who believe and obey the gospel is that they will be raised from the dead to eternal life in the kingdom of God.
This promised miracle is demonstrated in the resurrection of Christ from the dead.
Paul explains what is yet to happen in the purpose of God.
1 Corinthians 15:20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. 21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming. 24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. 25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. 27 For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. 28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.
If we accept God’s testimony and believe and obey the gospel preached by Jesus Christ we can have eternal life when he returns.
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I hope you have found this helpful.
God bless you,