Romans 15:18-19 HCSB - For I would not dare say anything except what Christ has accomplished through me to make the Gentiles obedient by word and deed 19 by the power of miraculous signs and wonders, and by the power of God’s Spirit. As a result, I have fully proclaimed the good news about the Messiah from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum.
In the First Century Church it was not uncommon for the apostles’ preaching of the Gospel to be accompanied by signs and wonders. Paul referred to signs and wonders as being part of fully proclaiming the Good News of Christ in making new disciples and planting churches. In the Book of Acts, Paul persuaded people with theology, philosophy, and reason; however, his ministry of miracles, prophecies, healings, and other wonders were also vital to evangelizing his world. The apostles’ ministry was not like that of some discredited “faith healers” of recent generations. Unbiblical displays of spiritual weirdness or manipulation are neither helpful nor necessary to further the cause of Christ. The early church ministered miraculously while being persecuted, not compensated. They were missionaries, not celebrities. Their ministry often required the undeniable miracles, the verifiable exorcisms, the angelic assistance - not antics or hype. Though we do not have the same ministry as Christ’s original apostles, there is no need to fake signs and wonders today. True signs and wonders from God still occur, they still build up the church, and they still assist in evangelism. Consider the testimony of Muslims who convert to Christianity based on dreams, visions, and other miraculous occurrences. Most who have walked with God for a lengthy time have encountered the real power of God’s Spirit in a genuine sign or wonder. From the miracle of a life transformed by Jesus Christ and the supernatural baptism of God’s Spirit to a experiencing a verified healing, an accurate prophetic word, or a genuine vision from God, most of us have seen signs and wonders. These brought glory to God, strengthened the church, or led a non-Christian to conversion. What genuine signs and wonders have you (or those in your family) experienced? Did you recall what specifics were involved when they occurred (in regard to trusting God, obeying the leading of the Spirit, or stepping out by taking a genuine faith risk)?
Galatians 3:5 NIV - So again I ask, does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you by the works of the law, or by your believing what you heard?
1 Corinthians 12:4-12 NIV - There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. 7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8 To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, r and to still another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.
1 Corinthians 14:23-26 NIV - So if the whole church comes together and everyone speaks in tongues, and inquirers or unbelievers come in, will they not say that you are out of your mind? 24 But if an unbeliever or an inquirer comes in while everyone is prophesying, they are convicted of sin and are brought under judgment by all, 25 as the secrets of their hearts are laid bare. So they will fall down and worship God, exclaiming, “God is really among you!” 26 What then shall we say, brothers and sisters? When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. Everything must be done so that the church may be built up.