Miracles Topical Study

<p><strong><span class="heading-lg">Miracles in Scripture</span></strong></p><ul><li><span style="font-size: 16px;"><span class="body-copy"><a href="https://preachingandworship.org/search/Genesis%201%3A1">Genesis 1:1</a>, creation</span></span></li><li><span style="font-size: 16px;"><span class="body-copy"><a href="https://preachingandworship.org/search/Exodus%2014%3A21-22">Exodus 14:21-22</a>, God divides the sea</span></span></li><li><span style="font-size: 16px;"><span class="body-copy"><a href="https://preachingandworship.org/search/1%20Kings%2018%3A27-28">1 Kings 18:27-28</a>, Elijah prays while battling the prophets of Baal</span></span></li><li><span style="font-size: 16px;"><span class="body-copy"><a href="https://preachingandworship.org/search/Matthew%201%3A18-20">Matthew 1:18-20</a>, the virgin birth</span></span></li><li><span style="font-size: 16px;"><span class="body-copy"><a href="https://preachingandworship.org/search/Mark%206%3A41-44">Mark 6:41-44</a>, Feeding of the five thousand</span></span></li><li><span style="font-size: 16px;"><span class="body-copy"><a href="https://preachingandworship.org/search/Luke%207%3A14-16">Luke 7:14-16</a>, Jesus&#39; resurrection</span></span></li><li><span style="font-size: 16px;"><span class="body-copy"><a href="https://preachingandworship.org/search/Luke%2011%3A14">Luke 11:14</a>, Jesus casts out a demon</span></span></li><li><span style="font-size: 16px;"><span class="body-copy"><a href="https://preachingandworship.org/search/Luke%2017%3A11-14">Luke 17:11-14</a>, Jesus heals ten lepers</span></span></li><li><span style="font-size: 16px;"><span class="body-copy"><a href="https://preachingandworship.org/search/John%202%3A9-11">John 2:9-11</a>, Jesus turns water into wine</span></span></li><li><span style="font-size: 16px;"><span class="body-copy"><a href="https://preachingandworship.org/search/Acts%202%3A36-37">Acts 2:36-37</a>, regeneration of the heart</span></span></li></ul><p><strong><span class="heading-lg">Reflections about Miracles</span></strong></p><p><span class="body-copy">Miracles are incredible to many, including to many theologians. They assume that everything that happens must have a natural cause and that a miracle is therefore impossible. But this is a form of materialism, a sworn enemy of Christianity, which is from start to finish a supernatural religion. A non-miraculous Christianity would be clam chowder without the clams. </span></p><p><span style="font-size: 16px;">Nothing prevents God from occasionally acting unusually and unpredictability: God&#39;<span class="body-copy">s usual patterns of providence &mdash; of upholding the world in all its processes &mdash; are regular, usual, predictable. Descriptions of how God usually acts, drawn from widespread observation, we call &quot;laws of nature.&quot; They make science possible. But nothing prevents God from occasionally acting unusually and unpredictably. When God (or one of God&#39;s deputies) so acts for one of the purposes described in </span>the definition of miracles above, you have a miracle. The providence of God is regular, but as miracles show, not uniform.</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 16px;">God&#39;s miracles do not merely doctor or tinker with nature. Th<span class="body-copy">ey are purposeful. They heal, or exorcise, or feed, or restore to life. They anticipate the great time of shalom described so often in Isaiah: a time of universal wholeness, harmony, and delight in which there shall be no more crying except for cries of joy. Miracles may also attest to God&#39;s authority: Jesus heals a paralyzed man in Mark 2, and thereby attests to his own divine authority to forgive sins. Mirac</span>les in Scripture are mighty and serious business.</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 16px;">Miracles belong to&nbsp;<span class="body-copy">the class of &quot;wonders,&quot; i.e., events that typically cause astonishment or numinous fear. They are &quot;other.&quot; But not every wonder is a miracle. When the basketball star Michael Jordan was in his prime, he could soar to a dunk from behind the free throw line. People would gasp with wonder. But Jordan&#39;s soaring was not a miracle; it lacked the miraculous purposes stated in the definition.</span></span></p><p><span style="font-size: 16px;">The most common miracle is the regeneration of a selfish human heart. W<span class="body-copy">hen Peter told fellow Jews that they had the blood of God&#39;s Messiah on their hands, they did not try to kill Peter. They were stabbed to the heart with the knowledge of their complicity in Jesus&#39; death. John Newton, who authored the hymn &quot;Amazing Grace,&quot; had ambition like a Caesar. He was a hard man, a profane man. He traded British manufactured goods for African slaves, and he packed those slaves like sardines in the hold of his ship. Newton&#39;s journal tells us that he treated slaves as his enemies. But one night in a storm at sea, the Holy Spirit began to blow, and it got John Newton&#39;s attention. One night the Holy Spirit got into John Newton&#39;s heart and did Pentecost there so that Newton began to speak in a new tongue. What came out of his mouth were the words, &quot;Lord, have mercy. . . . Lord, have mercy on us.&quot; For those words to come out of this hard man&#39;s mouth was a supernatural, God Almighty, Holy Ghost miracle.</span></span></p>