There is no doubt that most people are greatly interested in and really curious about signs and wonders. News about miracles always attracts our attention. Most of us have a desire that God will somehow confirm our calling through wonders and the supernatural. To help us understand that the ascended Christ sent his Holy Spirit to enable us to work through the power of the ascended Lord at the right hand of the Father to do his work in faith and with awe.
When we read the Word in Acts 2: 43, especially as Christians with a ministry, we wish to have our own divine signs that we are part of God’s growth priority, living after the Church’s baptism with the fire of the Holy Spirit:
Acts 2: 43: “Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles.” This was said about the first Church in person experienced the first Pentecost Sunday.
During the ministry of Jesus on earth, the religious leaders asked him to show them a sign! But Jesus refused to be manipulated by their misguided requests. He did not do his miracles as a performance or for their entertainment!
His miracles had a purpose. They were the signs that the Kingdom of God, his dominion through the Messiah, had come into the world. This is still God’s purpose with signs and wonders he grants us through his grace!
Does God still do signs and wonders, you may ask?
Is there perhaps something wrong with us that we do not see them as often and as remarkably as the apostles and the first Church did? Some say the reason for this is that our faith is too small or too weak!
Run away from anyone who blames YOU for God not granting a miracle in your life. They will deceive and hurt you and therefore do not display the heart of God. The Lord distinctively did not give his wonders according to the limited faith of those listening to the apostles. No, he surprised and stunned those to whom the Gospel was preached by working powerfully in the first Church. He gave them what they did not believe was possible!
Signs and wonders are not related to the power of our faith. It is related to the revelation of the might of the resurrected, ascended Jesus and therefore is intrinsically part of and related to the sovereignty of God’s grace and the mercy of his Son!
Paul taught that (2 Corinthians 12:12), "The things that mark an apostle — signs, wonders and miracles — were done among you with great perseverance." God worked in a special and even unique way through the first apostles. They truly had and will always have a special place in the establishment of the Church of Christ and of his dominion amongst his people after the ascension of Jesus and after Pentecost. There was something unique and exceptional about the grandeur of the signs and wonders done through the first Church and the apostles.
But it is not true that signs and wonders by themselves verify and confirm God’s work and teaching as authentic or generate faith in the hearts of those who experience them. The miracles given to the apostles were not the verifying agent of them being used by God.
The experiences of salvation by the grace of God received by those who believed the gospel preached, confirmed that the apostles were doing God’s work and that they were authentic servants under his reign.
Yet the signs and wonders given by the Lord through the first Church served a most important purpose. The purpose was to help those in need (a pastoral purpose), to grow the faith of the apostles and the first Church (a ministry purpose) and most of all to transform them into an awe-filled worshipping Church to exalt and glorify the ascended Jesus (a doxological purpose).
As there is no doubt that God does not give signs and wonders to thrill and entertain us, God works and will always work his miracles to fulfil his purposes. This is basically whom God is! And always was and will be.
God is not limited by our inadequate understanding or faith!
The signs and wonders of God remain part of his sovereign interventions to make his Church an agent of his purpose!
And his purpose for an inspired church, filled with his Spirit and enabled by the resurrection power of his Son at the right hand of God, remains to care for us pastorally, to minister to us efficiently and to glorify and exalt his most holy Majesty!
Awe-filled, miracle experiencing believers will fulfil God’s purpose with us, his people and his Church!
Believe it, and pray for it!