Is It For Today?
Miracles are an integral part of the Bible. From the very beginning of Genesis, we see that the world was formed by divine decree. God said it, and it came to pass.
Throughout the Old Testament time, God intervened on behalf of His children with miracles, signs, and wonders. In the Gospels we see a Saviour who came not only to preach the kingdom of God, but also to touch the lives of the people through healings, casting out of demons, cleansings, and even raising people from the dead. It continued after the ascension of Jesus Christ. The book of Acts presents the Christian life as being accompanied with miracles. And yet, some have brought up the topic of miracles and asked, Is it for today?
There are those who hold on to the cessation doctrine, which states that the gifts of the Holy Spirit—the miracles and the supernatural utterances—all ceased when the apostles passed away. The idea presented is that the signs and wonders were only present to endorse or validate the claims of the apostles. They conclude that once the apostles died, the signs and wonders were no longer necessary. However, is that true? Were the signs and wonders only performed by the apostles? Were the miracles in the book of Acts and in the Epistles merely God’s way of endorsing the apostles’ claim to ecclesiastical authority?
The Perfect Has Come
They love to quote I Corinthians 13:10: “But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part will be done away.” They say that when the written Word of God came, there was no longer a need for the miraculous. The problem with this is that the list of things in the previous verse (verse 8) to this verse (verse 10) are still here today: “Charity never fails. But whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there are tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away” (I Cor. 13:8).
Let me ask you, has knowledge been done away? Of course not. Why? Because that which is perfect has not yet arrived. It isn’t referring to the Bible. It is speaking of the return of Jesus Christ.
These Signs Shall Fallow
In the Gospel of Mark, we see that the miracles of Jesus were discussed more than the other three Gospels. Mark presents the last words spoken by our Saviour while on earth: “And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover” (Mar. 16:17-18).
Who did Jesus say would be used to do these great signs and wonders? Just the eleven? Remember, Judas had already died. No, He said, “These signs shall follow them that believe.” If you are a believer, God can use you as an instrument of His power. Was there an expiration date placed on this promise? Did He say, “Until John the Beloved dies, these signs shall follow you?” Of course not.
Church history supports Jesus’ promise that miracles, signs and wonders, and the gifts of the Holy Spirit would be operating in the church. Justin Martyr (AD 100-165), Irenaeus (AD 125-200), Tertullian (AD 160-240), and Anthony (AD 251-356) all witnessed divine healings. From Azusa Street to the present, miracles have been a normal part of the Spirit-filled life.
So to the question asked, Are miracles for today? The answer is clearly yes, miracles are for today. True believers don’t follow the signs—the signs follow them.