MIRACLES, SIGNS, etc. Part IV
Miracles and faith.
I would like to point out that some of the assumptions made by Gaius Columbus when he laid out his questions , specifically the apparent scarcity of miracles today versus their abundance in them Bible era are not entirely valid.
Firstly, the Bible is a condensation of years of ministry by individuals into a few hundred pages and at a casual glance you get the sense that Jesus, Paul, Peter and company were awash with a daily repertoire of miracles, but this is clearly not the case. The time periods between some of the chapters in the Bible involve weeks, months or years. The Bible is silent on what went on during those black out periods and you cannot assume that there were miracles going on then.
So there is a POSSIBILITY that they also had "lean" periods where there were no miracles. The Gospel is now spread out across a world of 6 billion people and not just concentrated in Jerusalem, Judea and the Roman world. We may be very oblivious of the cumulative number of miracles today and indeed there may be more miracles occurring today than there were in the Bible period.
Secondly, God clearly has the prerogative to perform the miracle and not us. We cannot hold Him to anything since it is not our power. This is where faith has to be defined very clearly. Faith is not just the fact that we pray and therefore God will answer because it is in line with our general knowledge of the Bible. Faith is a very specific standing on a promise that God reveals by His indwelling Holy Spirit to our spirits and minds by His Word. So it becomes very difficult in individual cases to know if there was a promise of healing in that specific instance that was not fulfilled. Also, there are many variables involved in the promises being fulfilled.
Sometimes we violate the physical, moral and spiritual conditions of those promises and I do not expect God to just overlook that- example when someone who has recklessly smoked all their life goes on to develop lung cancer and comes for prayer for healing I usually expect and have always seen them die subsequently. Some Christians have probably died prematurely in mission fields that they were never sent to and we may mistakenly be calling it martyrdom. Notice how Satan tried to get Jesus to jump off the temple roof by trying to convince Him it was the right spiritual move to make. I am very therefore careful in making conclusions based on an individual case
It does seem that miracles occur to confirm the Word of God and faith in it. See Matt13:58. Jesus did not do a lot of miracles in His hometown because of a lack of faith in Him. I always was taught that the folks did not have the faith to make the miracles happen, but actually the verse should be interpreted differently. Jesus DID perform some miracles; just that He did not perform many because the folks had already made up their minds to reject Him. He still had the power to perform the miracles but chose not to. This goes back to my earlier point; faith is planted well before the miracle occurs and with or without the miracle the faith remains. This is the mystery of our faith and is definitely the power of God and is a miracle in itself.
I will stop here and revisit this later after I get some other comments from you guys. Suffice to say, I still see miracles today. - Alien Warrior
The Perception of a Miracle
What is a miracle?
Where have all the miracles gone?