Miracles in the Christian Dispensation

(Acts 3:1-11) 

IT is not the purpose of this discourse to prove that 
miracles were performed. We are going to accept 
without question the testimony of Matthew, Mark, Luke 
and John. They were on the ground at the time the 
miracles were performed by Jesus and the apostles, and 
testify to the fact. Hence, their testimony is superior 
to that of uninspired men born more than eighteen 
hundred years later. 

Christianity is founded upon miracles — the incarna- 
tion, atonement and resurrection, and others. The 
human mind is unable to grasp the things of the infi- 
nite. Because we can not grasp the deep things of God 
merely proves that the Bible is superior to the intellect 
of man. We can only know what God has chosen to 
reveal (Deut. 29:29). Everything has been revealed 
that pertains to righteousness and salvation. That is all 
we need to know (2 Pet, 1:3). 

1. The purpose of miracles. 

a. To substantiate the message. God never sent out 
a special messenger without giving him the power neces- 
sary to prove the message. The miracles performed by 
Moses to prove his divine calling as the leader and de- 
liverer of Israel (Ex. 4:1-9). The miracles of Jesus 
Christ were performed that we might believe that He 
is the Son of God (John 20: 39, 31; Acts 2: 22). The 
apostles, going out with the new message of salvation 
through Christ, were given this miraculous power. In 
entering a locality, they usually performed a miracle to 
prove that God was behind their message (Mark 16: 
15-20). 

A supernatural proposition requires a supernatural 
proof. Consequently, signs were needed to confirm the 
message of the resurrection of Christ (Heb. 2:3, 4). 
God bore witness to their preaching by various miracles 
and gifts of the Holy Spirit. 

b. To demonstrate the power and glory of God. Be- 
cause Moses took the glory to himself he was not 
allowed to enter the promised land. He failed to sanc- 
tify God in the eyes of the people of Israel (Num. 20: 
7-13; Deut. 32:48-52; 34:1-6). 

The attitude of the Master in raising Lazarus from 
the dead (John 11:40). The opinion of Nicodemus 
(John 3:2). 

Peter and John display the right attitude in healing 
the lame man at the Beautiful Gate. They gave the 
glory to God (Acts 3: 12-16). 

Men should always give the glory to God for every- 
thing they do that is upright (1 Cor. 10:31). 

c. Miracles were never performed to save any one. 
Jesus appeared to Saul of Tarsus to make him an apos- 
tle, but sent him to Ananias to find out what to do to 
be saved (Acts 26:15-10; 9:6-18). God has ordained 
that men shall find out what to do through His ministers. 

2. The place of miracles in the Christian dispensa- 
tion. 

a. Everything in the divine economy starts in a 
miracle. The creation a miracle. The exodus accom- 
panied by miracles. The gospel attested by miracles. 
The church endowed with miraculous gifts during its 
infancy (1 Cor. 12 and 13). 

b. The apostles endowed with this power in the bap- 
tism of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:4-8). They performed 
no miracles previous to the coming of the Spirit on 
Pentecost. 

c. They transferred this power to others by the lay- 
ing on of hands (Acts 8: 13-17). The church at Home 
did not have this power until Paul visited them (Rom. 
1: 11). This gift of the Holy Spirit was different from 
the baptism of the Holy Spirit and the indwelling of 
the Holy Spirit by faith. 

d. Miracles ceased with the infancy of the church. 
This miraculous power could be transferred by the 
apostles to those upon whom they laid their hands, but 
there it stopped. Miracles performed to-day could not 
prove events that happened nineteen hundred years 
ago. Everything in the divine economy starts in a 
miracle and continues by the operation of natural laws. 
When the church was established, miracles were no 
longer necessary. Now abides the more excellent way 
of love (1 Cor. 12:31; 13:8). 

It is useless for men to scoff at miracles. We can 
not even explain the mystery of the food we eat, of the 
water we drink, of the air we breathe; of gravitation 
and electricity; of the universe, with its countless sys- 
tems of growth and reproduction ; and a thousand other 
processes that surpass human intelligence. Why, then, 
discredit the miracles of the Bible?