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Should Christians Expect Miracles Today? Objections and Answers from the Bible, Part 1, by Wayne A. Grudem

In fact, the New Testament picture is different. People see Jesus’ miracles and they know He comes from God, and they believe in Him (John 2:11, 23; 3:2; 20:30, 31; etc.) They decide correctly that His miracles are “true and instructive,” not “false and deceptive.” And so it is with the later evangelistic ministry of the Early Church, as we see in Acts and the Epistles.

So I fail to understand how Boice would explain the evangelistic activity of Jesus Himself. Or the evangelistic activity of Peter and Paul. Or the evangelistic activity of Stephen. Would he say regarding miracles in the ministry of these people that “we are never told they are God’s means for converting unbelievers”?

Certainly the apostle Paul would not agree with this. He says,

I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has worked through me to win obedience from the Gentiles, by word and deed, by the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Holy Spirit, so that from Jerusalem and as far round as Illyr’icum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ Romans 15:18, 19). These verses describe the whole of Paul’s evangelistic ministry. He says that the “power of signs and wonders” is one of the means God Himself used for converting unbelievers. Paul says that he did evangelism with miracles. It is hard for me to understand how Boice can say, “We are never told that they [miracles] are God’s means for converting unbelievers” (p. 127).

Perhaps at this point Boice would modify his statement and say it was only Jesus and the apostles who worked miracles along with their evangelism. But that would not seem to help his argument, because if miracles were a means God used to bring about faith when Jesus and the apostles preached, then why could God not use miracles to bring about faith when we preach today? Is our preaching today more powerful than that of Jesus and the apostles? Did they need miracles to accompany their preaching but we do not, because our preaching is so much more powerful? Certainly that is an incorrect argument.

We must remember it is God Himself who “bore witness” to the gospel “by signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his own will” (Hebrews 2:4), and we cannot say that He has an inappropriate view of the power of the gospel message.

5. Weren’t miracles mostly limited to the apostles? Of course we see a lot of miracles in the book of Acts, but wasn’t that a special time when new Scripture was being written?

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Category: Pneuma Review, Spirit, Winter 2000

About the Author: Wayne A. Grudem is Professor of Theology and Biblical Studies at Phoenix Seminary, Phoenix, Arizona. He has authored over twenty books, including Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine (1994), Politics According to the Bible: A Comprehensive Resource for Understanding Modern Political Issues in Light of Scripture (2010), The Poverty of Nations: A Sustainable Solution (2013), The Gift of Prophecy in the New Testament and Today, Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood: A Response to Evangelical Feminism, and "Free Grace" Theology: 5 Ways It Diminishes the Gospel (2016). He was also the General Editor for the ESV Study Bible (Evangelical Christian Publishers Association Book of the Year, 2009).

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